Born in a Mohyal Brahmin family, Sunil Dutt started his career in radio, where he became quite popular on the Hindi service of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. Dutt moved to acting later on and played the role of a rebellious son in the cult classic Mother India, where Nargis played the role of his mother.
It is said that Dutt displayed exemplary courage when he saved Nargis from a fire on the sets and won her heart. The two actors got married an year after that. In the 1950s and 60s, Sunil Dutt was quite a popular actor and acted in many hit films like Sadhana, Mujhe Jeene Do, Khandaan, Padosan, Gumrah, Waqt and Hamraaz. Sunil Dutt turned to production and direction with Reshma Aur Shera, which boasted of a great star cast but failed to make any ripples at the box office.
Sunil was also responsible for launching the career of his son Sanjay Dutt in Rocky, which was a massive hit. He retired from the film industry in the early 1990s to turn to politics after his last few film releases including Parampara (1992) and Kshatriya (1993). In 1995 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry for four decades. Sunil Dutt’s last film was Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, in which he played the father to real son Sanjay Dutt.
The veteran actor passed away due to a heart attack shortly afterwards and his seat in the Parliament was contested by his daughter, Priya Dutt who eventually won it and is a Member of Parliament from North West Mumbai.
Till date, Sunil Dutt is remembered for his iconic role as the rebellious Birju from Mother India.