Sanjay Dutt, also known as "Sanju Baba" among his fan circles is one of the most versatile actors the Indian Film Industry has ever seen. From serious roles in movies such as "Vaastav" and "Shootout at Lokhandwala" to comedy roles in "Munnabhai M.B.B.S." and "Lage Raho Munnabhai", Sanjay has practically done it all. The actor has also indulged in playback singing in movies like “Kaante”. His pals and his co stars look up to him as an icon and has huge fan followings across the globe. With a towering 6 foot 2 inch frame, he has always been projected as the macho man and the bad boy of Bollywood.
It all started when Sanjay Dutt was born on July 29, 1959 to Bollywood's power couple Sunil and Nargis Dutt. Sanjay had his first brush with acting when he as a child artist played a role in his father's 1971 movie "Reshma Aur Shera". He debuted as an actor in 1981 in the movie "Rocky" which was a big hit, however it did not give him star status. Trouble has always courted Sanjay Dutt and it seemed to follow him throughout his career .
Sanjay developed an addiction towards drugs during his years at Lawrence School in Sanawar and when his mother passed away right before the release of “Rocky”, the actor went into a drugged world. Sanjay was sent to Texas, United States for a rehabilitation program to battle his drug addiction. A sober Sanjay Dutt started to pave his path in the film industry after returning to India.
In 1987, he married a small time actress Richa Sharma but the couple separated after the birth of his daughter Trishala. To make matters worse, after Richa expired due to brain tumour, he lost the custody of his daughter to his in-laws. As he steadily built his career with hits such as "Sadak", he received his first Filmfare nomination for his role in the movie "Saajan" in 1991.
Throughout his career Sanjay has had trysts with law, with him being on the wrong side more often than not. When one of his movies “Khalnayak” was released, he was arrested by the police in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Coincidentally, the actor portrayed a villainous role in the movie. The film went on becoming a big hit and was the big breakthrough in Sanjay’s career. He spent 18 months in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail following his arrest but received plenty of support from his fans and the film industry. Upon Sanjay’s release from prison in 1995, the actor married model Rhea Pillai. He developed a “macho man” image and built a fan following with excellent acting in movies such as “Vaastav”.
His portrayal of a gangster in “Vastaav” earned him tons of awards. Tragedy struck again when he separated from his wife Rhea Pillai and in the same year his father Sunil Dutt passed away. Still, after going through so many shocks during the course of his career, he maintained his quality acting skills and continued to impress with movies like “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.”., after which fans lovingly began to call him Munna Bhai. The actor also ventured into the line of production and formed a production company called “White Feather Films”.
Sanjay continued to prove his versatility with the super hit comic “Lage Raho Munnabhai” and the action movie “Shootout at Lokhandwala”, another feather in the cap of his production company. In November 2006, the actor was yet again arrested for possession of illegal arms and in the epic trial that followed, his bail was extended many times. In 2007, he was sentenced to 6 years of rigorous imprisonment. Despite all his legal troubles, the fans and film industry have continued to support him, perhaps because every time he faces a setback, he claws back and manages to rebuild his career.
The list of awards this revelled actor has received is long. He received the IIFA Award for Artistic Excellence and the Filmfare Best Actor award for his role in Vaastav. For Munnabhai MBBS, he won the Filmfare Best Actor in a Comic Role Award. He also had various nominations for Lage Raho Munnabhai, Kante, Mission Kashmir and Parineeta.