When Jaya Bachchan saved Danny Denzongpa, Romesh Sharma from bullies: 'She may be small, but she’s a Bengali tigress'

Published on Apr 09, 2022 10:27 AM IST

Happy birthday Jaya Bachchan: Before their Bollywood debut as actors, Jaya and Danny Denzongpa were FTII classmates. Here's how the actor got his name from Jaya.

Jaya Bachchan was never the one to take things lying down.
Jaya Bachchan was never the one to take things lying down.

Jaya Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa were classmates at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) before they made their debut in Bollywood as actors. In an old interview, Danny had said that after joining FTII, when his seniors and classmates joked about his name, Jaya had suggested that he keep it simple. As Jaya clocks her 74th birthday, we bring you an old interview in which Danny had revealed that she had then given him his name. (Also Read | Kirron Kher meets Jaya Bachchan at the Parliament, fan asks 'jhagra nahi kiye?')

Danny Denzongpa's real name is Tshering Phintso Denzongpa. He made his debut with BR Ishara's Zaroorat in (1972) and got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne (1971). He first played an antagonist in BR Chopra's Dhundh (1973). Danny starred in several films such as Chor Machaye Shor, 36 Ghante, Fakira, Sangram, Kalicharan, Kaala Sona, Devata, Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Paapi, Bandish, The Burning Train, and Chunoti.

In an interview with Filmfare in 2018, Danny had said, "Jaya was my classmate at the FTII. On orientation day, newcomers have to introduce themselves to the seniors. When I said my name Tshering Phintso Denzongpa, they couldn’t get it and kept saying, ‘Come again, come again!’ It became a joke. My classmates would call out ‘Shhssh shhhssh…’ as though I were a puppy! Jaya suggested I keep it simple and named me Danny."

"As a person, she’s honest and calls a spade a spade. So, in many ways, she’s like me. Even when she was a newcomer, she’d rush to defend a friend. Once at a party, a filmmaker made fun of Romesh Sharma. Jaya took on the filmmaker. She may be small in height but she’s a Bengali tigress," he had added.

Jaya made her Bollywood debut with Guddi (1971), directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. She featured in many films such as Uphaar (1971), Koshish (1972), Zanjeer and Abhimaan (1973), Kora Kagaz (1974), Chupke Chupke, Mili and Sholay (1975), Nauker (1979), Silsila (1981). After a 17-year sabbatical, she returned to acting with Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998). She has since appeared in Fiza (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). She is married to actor Amitabh Bachchan and has two kids--Shweta Bachchan Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan.

Jaya will be seen next in filmmaker Karan Johar's Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani. Written by Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan, and Sumit Roy, the film also stars Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Dharmendra, and Shabana Azmi.

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