He made his debut with Sunil Dutt's Rocky (1981) opposite Tina Munim. Though Sanjay Dutt continued to appear in moderately successful movies like Main Awara Hoon (1983), Jeeva (1986), Mera Haque (1986), Immandaar, Inaam Dus Hazaar (1987), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1987), Mardon Wali Baat (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Hum Bhi Insaan Hain (1989), Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), and Taaqatwar (1989), his first major success was Naam (1986) in which he portrayed Vicky Kapoor.
Mahesh Bhatt's Kabzaa (1988) and J P Dutta's Hathyar (1989) were other movies that established him as an actor in Bollywood.
Sanjay Dutt's career was at peak with the success of films like Tejaa, Khatarnak, Thanedaar, Zahreelay, Khoon Ka Karz, Yalgaar, Gumrah, Sahibaan, Kroadh, Aatish: Feel the Fire, Sadak, Saajan and Khal Nayak, when he was arrested for his alleged role in 1993 Mumbai bombings.
He made his comeback four years later with Daud, but the film failed at the BO. His Dushman was critically acclaimed, but Sanjay Dutt, the superstar was yet to make a proper comeback.
It was Mahesh Bhatt's Kartoos (1999) that marked the return of Dutt. Khoobsurat, Daag: The Fire and Haseena Maan Jayegi that released in the same year were also successful. The movie that proved to be a milestone for Dutt was Vaastav: The Reality, directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. The actor won his first Filmfare Award for the Best Actor for this movie.
In 2000, he did Mission Kashmir, which prevented him to get into the image trap of a gangster. The film was a success. Then came Jodi No 1 (2001) and Kaante (2002) that added to his repertoire of hit films.
It was Munnabhai (2003) that explored a new side to Sanjay Dutt. He played an affable goon who cures people with his jadu ki jhappi. He went on to do Lage Raho Munnabhai which was again a success.
Sanjay Dutt kept shifting genres with films like Dhamaal (2007), Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007), All The Best: Fun Begins (2009), Double Dhamaal (2011) and did complete justice to his roles.
Agneepath (2012) was again a turning point for Dutt as he portrayed a larger-than-life character Kancha Cheena on screen.
Rocky (1981): Sanjay Dutt marked his debut with the film. A new sensation had arrived!
Khal Nayak (1993): Sanjay Dutt is still remembered for his role in the film.
Vaastav: The Reality (1999): Sanjay Dutt's portrayal of an underworld don impressed one and all.
Munnabhai MBBS (2003): The film displayed the comic side of Sanjay Dutt.
Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006): The film was entertaining and had a social message too. A typical Rajkumar Hirani film.
Agneepath (2012): He played the evil Kancha Cheena and made everyone hate his character. The film is an important one for his career.
2000: Winner of Filmfare Best Actor for Vaastav: The Reality
2004: Winnerof Filmfare Best Comedian for Munnabhai M.B.B.S.
2000: Winner of Star Screen Awards- Best Actor for Vaastav: The Reality
2001: Winner of Star Screen Awards- Best Supporting Actor for Mission Kashmir
2000: Winner of International Indian Film Academy Awards - Award for Artistic Excellence, Actor in a leading role for Vaastav: The Reality
2010: Winner of International Indian Film Academy Awards - Best Performance in a Comic Role for All the Best
Sanjay Dutt's love life has been a 'rocky' one. The actor married actress Richa Sharma in 1987. His first wife however died of brain tumour. He has one daughter Trishala from Richa who was born in 1987. She currently stays in the United States with her grandparents.
Dutt got married for the second time to model Rhea Pillai in 1998. The duo however divorced in 2005.
Sanjay Dutt then married Manyata in 2008 at a private ceremony in Goa, after two years of courtship. On 21 October 2010, he became a father to twins, a boy named Shahraan and a girl named Iqra.
Sanjay Dutt faced drug addiction in his early years. He spent 5 months in prison in late 1982 after he was accused of possessing illegal substances.
On 19 April 1993, Sanjay was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA). He spent 16 months in jail until he was granted bail in October 1995 by the Supreme Court of India. He was later re-arrested in December 1995 and re-released in April 1997 once again on police bail terms. In 2006 the case opened for sentencing for all accused.
Sanjay Dutt's advice to his favourite five
Salman Khan: Bro, you are doing a great job, great charity work, just maintain whatever you are doing. You have God's blessings. And yes, get married.
Shah Rukh Khan: You have made peace with a lot of people, but you should make peace with everybody. We are all one big family.
Aamir Khan: You make the right movies and choose perfect roles. Your TV show Satyamev Jayate had great intent. You are one of the greatest actors we have. Aamir, stay in touch like before.
Akshay Kumar: He's my paaji. Whenever his film is released and I find it interesting, I call him and he takes my call. Bro, remain the way you are.
Ajay Devgn: He works from the heart. And he spends a lot of money. Bro, don't be like me. You need to keep a check on your money.
On being father at 50: It's a lovely surprise for me. This is the most satisfying phase of my life! I have two lovely kids, a nice wife. My whole family is together in the same building and my career is doing fine! I was truly waiting for something like this.
On returning to politics: Yes, I want to. My parents were in the Congress, and I have come back to it. There was a phase when I meandered to some other political party, but it was a mistake. I went a little haywire. If I am approached to contest elections, I will give it a thought.
On being a doting father: Absolutely! With the kids around, this is a different world to me. I spend a lot of time with them till they go to their playschool. I wake up early, have breakfast with them. I come back from work and am with them again till they go to bed by 10 pm. Touch wood, this is what I wanted always.
On Trishala's Bollywood dreams: There's a lot of labour that goes behind the glamour. Many youngsters are attracted to it without knowing the dynamics of it. It's not an easy route to success. Plus, Trishala doesn't know Hindi. Also, there are too many things involved. I have told her several times that the film industry doesn't guarantee superstardom to everyone. There's a grind you have to go through. Your lineage and surname become irrelevant after your first film. Audiences do not care.
On his dream role: Tony Montana's role in Scarface is something I would love to play.
On not getting invited for Saif-Kareena wedding: Yes, Amrita is a friend, but we are in touch off and on. I don't know why Saif and Bebo didn't invite me to their wedding. I think it was a closed affair. But I am fine with it. I wish them all the best. I have known Lolo and Bebo since they were little girls. Saif and I have done many films together and we have had some great times together in my house.
(With inputs from Wikipedia)