Danny Denzongpa

Other names of Danny Denzongpa: Tshering Phintso Denzongpa
Birthday: 25-02-1948
Age: 71
Star sign: Pisces
For Danny Denzongpa the voyage to the glittering world of films from distant Gangtok in Sikkim, where he was born and had his preliminary education, was quite eventful. In fact his entry into a film career was in many ways a matter of unexpected coincidence. Finishing college from Darjeeling, West Bengal, he made it to the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, for he had always dreamed, like many from his region, to join the Indian Army. This desire was perhaps fuelled by his bagging the Best Cadet Award from West Bengal, and in being selected for the annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi. However, once in Pune, he switched over to the Film Institute instead of the Armed Forces College. That is when Tshering Phintso Denzongpa of Gangtok became the future “Danny” Denzongpa of the Mumbai film world. He had decided to change his name to a simpler sounding "Danny" as he realized that his original name would have been difficult to be pronounced once he entered films.

Danny’s film career due to its sheer length of 44 years and 200 plus films cannot be accommodated in a brief profile of his, but the high points of his career and sheer variety of his roles can be discussed, as well as the vicissitudes of his career. Although he had to manage with B-grade movies on his entry in 1971, just 2 years into his career, he drew attention for the role of crippled husband, emoting his frustrations, in “Dhundh” During the entire 70s he displayed his versatility, making a clear mark for himself in the industry. In fact, he portrayed as much of positive roles as he did villainous ones, narrowly missing the role of Gabbar Singh in “ Sholay” due to a mix up of shooting dates. In 1978 a major landmark came in his career for his role in “Devata” (1978) which saw him get substantial roles after that including big budget ones. However, in the beginning of the 1980s he suddenly lost interest in films, being type cast in villainous roles with the same setting over and over again.

This spell was broken briefly when he directed the Rajesh Khanna starrer “ Phir Wohi Raat” for N.N. Sippy in 1980, but although he went on getting any number of roles he wanted, most of them were not to his liking, as they seemed to be carbon copies of similar roles he had done previously. In between, however, there was something more satisfying for him when he made an international appearance in “Seven Years in Tibet”, co-starring with the redoubtable Brad Pitt. Danny, however, reduced his appearances at the turn of the century and between 2003 and 2009 starred in only 10 movies, with very few appearances thereafter. Any profile of Danny would be incomplete without the mention that he was not only an accomplished singer for Nepali songs, but has sung alongside Lata, Asha and Mohd Rafi in Hindi films too.

Darshan Kumar

It is not uncommon for those whose maiden acting venture happened to be a bio-pic, to have their names invariably associated with that movie for quite some time to come. So has been the case with the up and coming hero of Bollywood, Darshan Kumar, who debuted in the 2013 film “Mary Kom” on the life and times of the most famous Indian female pugilist. Funnily, “Mary Kom” was not actually Darshan’s first film – it was the first to be released, but it quite undeniably altered the image of Darshan as the screen “husband” of Mary Kom, based on his role in the film. Although a Delhi lad, he shifted base to Mumbai when he was 24, in his passion for theatre. Starting with the city’s Sahej Theater group, he signed up with Motley Productions after 5 years, and this was the most useful period of his theatre career, getting the opportunity of working and picking up the finer points of acting from none other than Nasiruddin Shah, over the next 10 years. This extended stint in honing up his acting skills ultimately bore fruit when he was picked up for Anushka Sharma’s production unit’s maiden venture “NH 10”, to be paired opposite the actress herself as the lead actor. Reminiscing on his two contrasting roles opposite two of the leading ladies of Bollywood, Darshan Kumar feels himself to be indeed lucky t be so privileged in his very first two films. That Darshan is very serious about his acting is obvious from the amount of time and effort he puts in for his roles. For the character of Onler Karong Kom, Mary Kom’s husband, Darshan Kumar literally starved it out, losing 12 kgs before the shooting commenced to look convincing for the part of the lean and gaunt looking Onler. For “NH 10” on the other hand, Darshan had to look the tough macho guy, playing a role with shades of negativity about it. While on the topic of his looks, Darshan is supposed to resemble the American Golden Globe Award winning actor John Christopher "Johnny" Depp” who was a teen idol in the 80s in USA. However, the serious actor that he is, Darshan would love to emulate Johnny Depp not only in looks but also as an actor of a high calibre. In keeping with the 2 roles he has already played, none of which were of the romantic hero types, he would like to build up his career more as a class actor rather than as a glamorous hero. With the obvious histrionic talent he has acquired through long years in theatre, this ambition of his does not seem misplaced.

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