From Khalnayak to Bhoomi: Sanjay Dutt`s Roller Coaster Ride

The kismet of actor Sanjay Dutt’s biography is as uproarious as that of the superstar!

By Nikita Dutta

Jun 26, 2018

Bollywood buffs have been eagerly waiting ever since Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming movie ‘Sanju’ dropped its teaser on 24th April which was at its best and looks positively arresting.  And it`s not just Ranbir Kapoor`s look and the amazing direction, but the title of the film that created a lot of buzzes. When the makers found out that Sanjay Dutt`s mother Nargis used to call him ‘Sanju’ they finalized it as it is the most non-committal and neutral title for the epic biopic of the actor.


Nicknamed as ‘Sanju Baba’, he was born into an opulent family with rich film industry roots. The tall, hulking actor seeps an alluring charm and maturity on and off the screen with his prepossessing persona. The road to fame and stardom had not been a bed of roses for Sanjay Dutt but a path filled with thorns. There were many tragedies in Sanju Baba’s life that forced him to enter the world where no one wishes to go!


Sanjay Dutt Life Story




Sanjay was born on 29th July 1959 to Indian cinema actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis. One of the biggest tragedies that happened with him was when his mother died, shortly before his debut film`s premiere which ultimately led to his drug addiction. As a child actor, the versatile actor appeared in the 1972 film ‘Reshma Aur Shera’, where his father was also cast, he appeared in a small role of a qawwali singer. Dutt married actress Richa Sharma in 1987 who gave birth to a girl child, Trishala but later died of a brain tumor in 1996. His daughter was then shifted to the United States to live with her grandparents, following a custody battle with Dutt after the death of his wife. The actor’s second marriage was with model Rhea Pillai in 1998 but their marriage did not work out and they were divorced by 2005. After which he married Maanayata in 2008 in a private ceremony in Goa and on 21 October 2010. They are proud parents of twins, a boy, and a girl.


Sanjay Dutt’s Film Career


Sanjay Dutt made his debut in Bollywood with ‘Rocky’ in 1981 which was a box office hit. After which he was starred in ‘Vidhaata’ which was the highest grossing Hindi film of 1982 along with the super hit movie ‘Main Awara Hoon’ (1983). The next movie he starred in was after three years in ‘Jaan Ki Baazi’ in 1985. This movie was his comeback, post his ‘drug phase years’, after which he had decided not to return to films. ‘Jaan Ki Baazi’ was his stepping stone and then he appeared in successful films throughout the 80s like Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988), Mardon Wali Baat (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Hum Bhi Insaan Hain (1989), Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), and Taaqatwar (1989).


His major critical success came with the 1986 blockbuster film ‘Naam’ which was a turning point in his career. The film established him amongst India`s finest young mainstream leading actors as he was highly praised for his role as an illegal immigrant in Dubai who spirals into a life of crime. After which he was seen in a number of movies of multi-starrers with actors like Govinda, Mithun, Dharmendra, Jackie Shroff and Sunny Deol.




He was one of the most popular stars with fabulous performances in films such as Sadak, Saajan (for which he was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award) and Khal Nayak, for which he was given his second Filmfare Best Actor Award nomination. However, just three weeks before its release, he was arrested for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombing. After which he was unable to act for the next four years due to his subsequent arrests and bails. In this period of four years, many incomplete films were released featuring Sanjay and almost all of them were flops except for the 1994 hit Aatish with Aditya Pancholi, which was completed before his 1993 arrest.


After his 1993 arrest, the first film in which he was featured was ‘Daud’ (1997) but the movie was one of his biggest flops. The year 1999 was a brilliant year for the actor as it was his comeback in Bollywood, with all of his five releases being amongst the highest-grossing films of that year. His year started with Mahesh Bhatt-directed hit ‘Kartoos’, followed by ‘Khoobsurat’, ‘Daag: The Fire’ and ‘Vaastav: The Reality’, for which he received his first Filmfare Best Actor Award. After this, the actor was featured as the lead in popular and critical successes such as Jodi No.1 (2001), Pitaah (2002), Kaante (2002) and the National Award-winning blockbuster Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), for which he received several awards.




He received a number of awards for his performance in the film ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, which was released in 2006, along with an award from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. His successful time although coincided with the start of the Mumbai bombing trial for which he was found not guilty still was imprisoned for short periods on two occasions between 2006–2007, as he was found guilty under the Possession of Arms Act. After he was granted bail, he featured in successful movies such as Dhamaal (2007), Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007), All the Best (2009), Double Dhamaal (2011), Son of Sardaar (2012). He received a number of awards as the psychotic villain Kancha for his movie ‘Agneepath’. He completed his movie PK as the supporting role before being sentenced to imprisonment in early 2013, for the possession of illegal arms verdict handed out to him in 2006.


Sanjay Dutt’s Biggest Controversies


1. There were several bomb blasts in Bombay in 1993 and Dutt was among those few people in Bollywood who were accused of involvement. According to the accusation, he accepted a delivery of weapons at his house, from Abu Salem and co-accused Riyaz Siddiqui, who was involved in the Mumbai blasts.


2. Sanjay Dutt was arrested under the provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) in April 1993 and was granted bail by the Supreme Court of India in October 1995. But he was re-arrested in December 1995 and was again released in April 1997.




3. Abdul Qayyum Abdul Karim Shaikh, who was Dawood Ibrahim’s assistant, was arrested when Sanjay Dutt confessed that he brought a pistol from Qayyum in Dubai in September 1992.


4. Dutt was sentenced to six years of jail for illegal possession of weapons and cleared him of charges relating to the Mumbai blasts on 31 July 2007 by the TADA court.


5. After spending 18 months in jail, in March 2013 the Supreme Court confirmed Dutt`s five-year imprisonment. Due to the seriousness of the offense, he was refused to be released by the court and was given a period of four weeks to surrender to the authorities.


Sanjay Dutt’s Love Affairs


Just like all of us, Sanjay Dutt also started his love story with his childhood crush Tina Munim, but soon their happy life was shattered because of Sanju’s destructive drinking habits. His search for love came to a rest with Richa Sharma, but soon he was found cheating on her. This is why Sanjay Dutt lost his daughter’s custody after his wife’s death. During this Sanju was in the headline because of his affair with Bollywood’s ‘Dhak-Dhak girl’ Madhuri Dixit. But the relation did last long as she left him because of his controversial lifestyle.  Finally, Dutt exhausted his bad luck in love and found Manyata. She was the one who was always with him in his hard times.

Sanjay Dutt and Tina Munim-




Sanjay and former Bollywood actress Tina, both were childhood friends but their friendship soon transformed into love and affection. Their relationship became stronger when both of them came together for Sanjay Dutt’s debut movie ‘Rocky’ where Tina was cast as the lead actress, but alas their affair could not last forever. Soon Tina left Sanjay because of his destructive drinking habit and apparently for much older actor Rajesh Khanna.


Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit-




Sanjay and Madhuri were always in the headline in the 90s because of their well-known affair. Reportedly, their love story started while shooting for ‘Saajan’ in 1991. Both of them were committed towards their relationship but unfortunately, Sanjay’s TADA arrest in 1993 brought an end to the relationship. However, both of them have always denied their relationship.


Sanjay Dutt and Nadia Durrani-




Nadia is one of the reasons why Sanjay’s married life with Rhea went kaput. Although their relationship was in dark for a long time and no one till date knows how they first met, allegedly Sanjay had an affair with her before and even after his marriage. Even after Rhea got the news, she was ready to forgive her husband, but when Nadia reached on the set of the movie ‘Kaante’ in the US, things went out of hand and Rhea decided to part ways with the Sanjay. But after a few months, Nadia too left Sanjay just as mysteriously as she entered his life.


Sanjay Dutt and Lisa Ray-




After having a tough time, both personally and professionally, he found peace and solace in Lisa. But their story was short lived and after few days they separated. However, the actress has always denied whenever asked about her relationship with the Sanjay.


Sanjay Dutt and Rekha-




The news of Sanjay Dutt dating this much older actress came into the spotlight when they were shooting for a movie together. According to some reports, the couple fled and got secretly married. However, this was also denied by the author of Rekha’s biography, Yasser Usman.


Sanjay Dutt is one of those actors who is candid, real, touching and without any doubt has a unique sense of humor and above, he is not pretentious. For his fans or those who aren’t, ‘he is a fighter, a real survivor’!

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