Paresh Rawal played Sunil Dutt in Sanju.
Paresh Rawal played Sunil Dutt in Sanju.

Did you know Sunil Dutt wrote to Paresh Rawal, who later played him in Sanju, hours before his death?

  • Sunil Dutt wrote a letter to Paresh Rawal, an early birthday wish, hours before his death in 2005. Paresh went on to play Sunil in Sanju.
PUBLISHED ON JUN 06, 2021 07:13 AM IST

Late actor Sunil Dutt, the father of actor Sanjay Dutt, died of a heart attack at his Mumbai home on May 25, 2005, days before his 76th birthday. On his 92nd birth anniversary, did you know that shortly before his demise, he wrote a letter to actor Paresh Rawal, who would later go on to portray him in the film Sanju?

In 2018, when Sanju released, Paresh shared this anecdote. The letter, which bore his letterhead as a Member of Parliament, read, “Dear Paresh Ji! As your birthday falls on 30th May, let me wish you all the happiness, prosperity and good luck in life. May God shower his choicest blessings on you and your family.”

Paresh told The Indian Express that he had called his wife, actor Swaroop Sampat, to inform her that he will be home late, when he heard the news of Sunil’s death. “She then told me that there is a letter for you from him (Sunil Dutt). I asked her what the letter was and she said it is for wishing you a happy birthday. I told her that my birthday is on May 30, which is five days away but she said the letter is for you and she even read it to me. I was so surprised. Why would Dutt Sahab send me a birthday letter five days before my birthday? And we have never exchanged any holiday greetings in the past – be it Diwali or Christmas – so why would he write to me?” he said.

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Sunil shot to fame with Mother India, in which he starred alongside late actor Nargis, whom he later married. He established himself as one of the top stars of the late 1950s and 1960s with films such as Sadhna, Insan Jaag Utha, Sujata, Mujhe Jeene Do, Khandan, Mera Saaya and Padosan.

In the 1990s, Sunil turned to politics and was Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Union government at the time of his death.

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