Dara Singh Randhawa, the famous wrestler and actor, was born on November 19, 1928 in Dharmuchak village in Punjab’s Majha area. He is one of the most legendary wrestlers that India has ever seen. As a professional wrestler, he till date is remembered for his undefeated worldwide streak in wrestling. The ace wrestler was also the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
He was initially encouraged for Pehelwani because of his physique. He weighed 127 kilograms and was 6.2 feet tall. In order to learn the skill of wrestling, he went to Singapore in the year 1947. There, he started training under Harnam Singh in the Great World Stadium. Once he got into wrestling, he competed with opponents across the world. In his career, he has faced the likes of Bill Verna, Firpo Zbyszko, John Da Silva, Rikidōzan, Danny Lynch and Ski Hi Lee.
In 1954, he won the Rustam-e-Hind tournament after defeating Tiger Joginder Singh. Subsequently, in 1959, he won the Commonwealth Championship in Calcutta. He had beaten George Gordienko to claim the title. In 1968, Dara defeated Lou Thesz in Bombay to win the world championship title. In June 1983, the ace wrestler announced his retirement from wrestling after his last tournament. He was inducted into the Legacy Category of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Apart from wrestling, he has been a successful actor, writer, director, producer and politician. Dara joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1998. He also became the president of the Jat Mahasabha during his political career.
In his career in the entertainment industry, he worked in Hindi and Punjabi films and television serials. He made his debut as an actor in the 1952 film Sangdil and his first lead role was in the film King Kong which was released in 1962. In late 80s, he played the role of Lord Hanuman in television adaptation of Ramayana. His last role as an actor in Hindi film was in Jab We Met and his last performance in Punjabi movie was in Dil Apna Punjabi.