Be it, "Basanti in kutto ke samne mat nachna" or the famous 'gaon walo' scene where a drunk Viru climbs a water tank and create a riot of laughter saying, "When I dead, police coming ... police coming, budiya going jail ... in jail budiya chakki peesing, and peesing, and peesing, and peesing, and peesing" or the delivered-to-perfection dialogue- "Kutte, kameene, main tera khoon pee jaoonga", Dharmendra has given us evergreen moments to cherish.
As the 'garam dharam' celebrates his 79th birthday today, we bring before you some of the memorable performances of the yesteryear's superstar.
A 1975 Bollywood classic figuring in the list of Bollywood's must-watch film, Sholay is one of the most memorable performance of Dharam pajji. Playing Viru, a criminal hired by a retired police officer to kill dacoit Gabbar Singh, Dharmendra wins heart of his audiences with his chemistry not only with Basanti (played by Hema Malini), his love interest but also with Jai (played by Amitabh Bachchan), his best friend. Sholay proved to be a game-changer for Dharmendra's career. Not only this, it was during the shooting of Sholay that love blossomed between Hema Malini and Dharmendra.
Dharmendra's delivered the finest acting performance of his career in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 1969 classic, Satyakam, based on a Bengali novel of the same name. Dharmendra played the role of Satyapriya Acharya, who moves from one job to another as he is unable to make dishonest compromises. In fact, Hrishikesh Mukherjee has gone on record to call this Dharmendra- Sharmila Tagore-Sanjeev Kumar and Ashok Kumar starrer as his favourite movie.
In this 1981 film directed by Subhash Ghai, Dharmendra played the role of Vicky, an abandoned young child who grew up amidst hatred and becomes a criminal after the death of his love interest. He later tries to live past his life in a small village, where he is revered as a godly man but is identified by one of his gang members.
Chupke Chupke The 1975 Hrishikesh Mukherjee's comedy was a remake of the Bengali movie Chhadmabeshi, in which Dharmendra played the role of Parimal Tripathi, a Botany professor who loves to play pranks. It was a laugh-riot which also starred Amitabh Bachchan, Sharila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri and Om Prakash in pivotal role.
Yadoon ki Baraat
The 1973 box office-hit is fondly remembered for its soundtrack composed by music director RD Burman. The film revolved around the popular Bollywood theme of siblings' separation following a tragedy. Enacting the role of Shankar, the eldest of the three brothers, Dharmendra later avenges the death of his parents. He was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for this Bollywood flick.
Phool Aur Patthar The 1966 highest grosser of the year, Phool aur Patthar established Dharmendra as a star in Bollywood. In this OP Ralhan movie, Dharmendra essayed role of a criminal who nurses and takes care of a widow played by Meena Kumari. His performance in the movie ensured him a nomination in the Best Actor category in the Filmfare awards for that year. The popularity of the film made Dharmendra and Meena Kumari a popular pair who then went on to act in many more films.
The Dharmendra-Sharmila Tagore starrer, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, was critically acclaimed and was nominated for several Filmfare Awards. In this 1966 film, Dharmendra played the role of a poet and a teacher, named Ashok, whose love helps Uma (played by Sharmila Tagore) to overcome the hatred she had faced at the hands of her father since childhood.
Dharmendra-Hema Malini starrer, Pratigya was one of top three grosser of 1975. In this film, Dharmendra essayed role of a truck driver who disguises as a police officer to avenge the death of his family at the hands of a bandit named Bharat Thakur.
Jeevan Mrityu This 1970 crime thriller is considered to be one of Dharmendra's best work. This film helped in establishing Dharmendra as a versatile actor. The film which became a huge success at the box office had Dharmendra playing the role of Ashok who is imprisoned for several years after being falsely implicated in a bank robbery case by his colleagues. After his release, Ashok pledges to find the real culprits and avenge them.
Mera Gaon Mera Desh
This 1971 film starred Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna who essayed a negative character. In this film, Dharmendra essayed the role of Ajit who wanted to take on a dacoit named Jabbar Singh. His performance in the movie ensured him a nomination in the Best Actor category in the Filmfare awards.