Born to two of Indian cinema’s finest actors, Sanjay Dutt’s road to success has been rather bumpy. In a life that has largely been marred with controversies, Sanjay has managed to stay on top of the game. Looking back at his career spanning four decades, it becomes apparent that there is no genre that he did not tap into. He has played a variety of characters across action, drama, thriller and romance. Undoubtedly, he has given some of the most memorable characters to Indian cinema and has wowed the audiences.
At 62, he is ahead by miles compared to his contemporaries and renowned makers still queue to cast him. Today, let’s look back at five of his most iconic roles:
VAASTAV: THE REALITY (1999)
Sanjay won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award. He played the role of Raghunath Namdev Shivalkar aka Raghu in this Mahesh Manjrekar film. Raghu is a simple guy who wants to get rid of unemployment but his life changes forever after he accidentally kills someone.
Sanjay’s character was said to be loosely based on the life of Chhota Rajan. Arguably one of his best screen performances, the actor convinces the audience to be one of the most dreaded gangsters of the country.
MUNNA BHAI M.B.B.S (2003)
Sanjay plays a goon who gets admission into a medical school, with the help of his sidekick. Rajkumar Hirani’s directorial debut won several awards including Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Screenplay and National Film Award for Best Popular Film.
Munna Bhai is a street gangster who earns the empathy of the audience with all the shades his character embodies.
One of Sanjay’s first antagonist roles. As Ballu, Sanjay delivers a magnetic performance. He loves gamesmanship and gives the cops sleepless nights in this action thriller film. Notorious and cunning Ballu is an outrageous criminal wanted by the police for heinous crimes. The character is charming and unique with all the negative shades.
Sanjay essays the role of a poet who is a limping orphan. His introverted personality gets overshadowed by his frisky friend, Salman Khan. Sanjay’s modest and sober demeanour with a romantic persona is what leads him to woo the girl in the end. The film became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1991.
This romantic drama had a super hit soundtrack and also starred Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit.
Sanjay as Kancha Cheena was evil, ruthless and menacing. Bald, barbarous and dangerous, he plays the role of a deadly drug lord with sheer finesse. Despite being pitted against Hrithik Roshan and veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay manages to steal the show.
In the 1990 original starring Amitabh Bachchan, the legendary Danny Denzongpa portrayed the underworld kingpin.