Sunny Deol’s Inspiring Journey from Struggle to Success in Bollywood

Sunny Deol

The Success Story of Sunny Deol From Struggle to Stardom

Ajay Singh Deol is known as Sunny Deol. He is an Indian actor, film director, producer, politician. He is also Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament. He was elected from the Gurdaspur constituency of Punjab.

As an actor, he has worked in more than 90 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades. He is particularly known for his angry action hero persona. Deol has won several awards including two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards.

Sunny Deol is the elder son of actor Dharmendra. In 1983, he made his acting debut opposite newcomer Amrita Singh in the romantic drama Betaab. It was a major commercial success. Later, he had further box-office hits in action films like Arjun, Paap Ki Duniya and Tridev.

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Even he gained wider recognition for his act in Ghayal. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the National Film Award – Special Jury Award (Feature Film). For his role in Damini, he won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also starred in Darr, Jeet, Ghatak and Ziddi .

He had his biggest commercial successes in Border   and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. In 2007, he acted in Apne with his father Dharmendra & brother Bobby Deol. Again they all acted together in Yamla, Pagla, Deewana in 2011. Later in 2023, he made a solid comeback by reprising his role in Gadar 2. It became the highest-grossing film of his career and the sixth highest-grossing Hindi film of all-time.

Short Biography of Sunny Deol

Full NameAjay Singh Deol – Sunny Deol
Date of BirthOctober 19, 1956
Place of BirthSahnewal, Punjab, India
OccupationsActor, Film Director, Producer, Politician
Famous ForPortraying intense and action-packed roles in Bollywood films
Debut FilmBetaab (1983)
Notable FilmsGhayal (1990), Ghatak (1996), Border (1997), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Damini (1993)
AwardsNational Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Damini (1993), Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards, etc.
Political PartyBharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Political CareerElected as Member of Parliament (MP) from Gurdaspur, Punjab in 2019
FamilyFather: Dharmendra (Veteran Actor), Brother: Bobby Deol (Actor), Wife: Pooja Deol, Sons: Karan and Rajveer Deol
Other VenturesDirected films like Dillagi (1999) and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (2019)
TriviaKnown for his iconic dialogue delivery and action sequences. Has a strong fan following for his rugged and macho persona.

Sunny Deol’s family background (son of legendary actor Dharmendra)

Ajay Singh Deol, Sunny Deol was born on 19 October 1956 in the village of Sahnewal in East Punjab, India. He was born in a Punjabi Jat family. His father is a Bollywood actor Dharmendra and mother is Prakash Kaur.

He has a younger brother Bobby Deol and two sisters Vijayta and Ajeeta.  Hema Malini is his step-mother. Actress Esha Deol and Ahana Deol are his step-sisters. His cousin Abhay Deol is also an actor.

Sunny Deol is married to Lynda Deol (Pooja Deol). His wife Lynda comes from an Anglo-Indian family. Her father, Krishan Dev Singh Mahal, is an Indian and her mother, June Sarah Mahal, is a British descending from the British Royal family.

The couple have two sons named Karan and Rajveer. Karan was an assistant director on Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. In 2019, Karan Deol has made his Bollywood debut with the Hindi movie Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.

Pivotal roles that catapulted Sunny Deol to fame (e.g., ‘Betaab’, ‘Arjun’, ‘Ghayal’)

In 1983, Deol made his debut with the romantic film Betaab which earned him his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

Later, the following year, he starred in Sunny, Manzil Manzil and Sohni Mahiwal. Later 1985, he appeared in Arjun. The film opened to much critical praise and went on to become a major hit and established Sunny Deol’s status as an action hero. Arjun is considered one of Deol’s best works to date.

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In 1986, Sunny Deol appeared alongside his father in movie Sultanat. Later, he starred in movies like Paap Ki Duniya, Vardi and Tridev. His role as a police officer in Tridev was praised. Tridev was the third highest-grossing film of 1989. He also played a role in the ChaalBaaz in 1989 opposite Sridevi in dual role and Rajinikanth. It became the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1989.

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In 1990, he appeared in Ghayal. The film won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the National Film Award – Special Jury Award (Feature Film). During 1991 to 2001, he delivered back-to-back successes. In 1993, he acted in Damini with Rishi Kapoor & Minakshi Sheshadri.

For Damini he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor and the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. That same year, Deol acted in Darr with Shah Rukh Khan & Juhi Chawla.

It was declared a blockbuster and was the third-highest grossing film of the year in India, and the highest-grossing Indian film of the year in the overseas markets. In 1994 he appeared in Insaniyat, he alongside Amitabh Bachchan which turned out to be the 10th highest grossing film of the year.

1996 marked Deol’s most successful year in terms of commercial success. The audiences saw four releases that year including Himmat, Jeet, Ghatak and Ajay.

In 1997, he appeared in Ziddi which had a net collection of Rs 292.5 million and was one of the highest grossing films of 1997.

In his 1999 film Arjun Pandit marked his first collaboration with director Rahul Rawail after Yodha. The film became a hit.

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In 1999 he made his directorial debut with Dillagi starring himself, his brother and Urmila Matondkar, but the film failed to gain success.

His only release of the year 2000 was Champion, but it was a box office disappointment.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha was his first blockbuster hit in the millennium. Gadar became the highest-grossing Hindi film up until then in mainstream cinema earning over ₹1.3 billion (US$16 million) worldwide.

It ranks among the top 3 Indian films in all-time highest footfalls since 1990s. The film earned Deol his fifth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. In the same year, he worked in another successful action thriller film Indian. It was the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year in India with collection of ₹42.60 crore.

In 2002, Sunny Deol starred in the war film Maa Tujhhe Salaam. Then, in 2003, Deol teamed up with director Anil Sharma for The Hero: Love Story of a Spy with Preity Zinta & Priyanka Chopra. The Hero was billed as Bollywood’s most expensive film at that time with an estimated budget of ₹600 million (US$7.5 million).

The film became the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of that year. In 2004, he appeared in Lakeerwith Sunil Shetty, Sohail Khan and John Abraham. The film was a flop. In the same year, he acted in the sports comedy film Rok Sako To Rok Lo, another flop.

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His Jo Bole So Nihaal released in 2005 was Deol’s solo release for the year. In 2007, Deol appeared alongside his father Dharmendra and brother Bobby Deol together for the first time in Apne. The film garnered significant hype and achieved considerable success.

Again in 2008, he appeared with his brother again in the ensemble film Heroes. In 2011, his Yamla Pagla Deewana was the only hit. Unfortunately, its sequel of the same movie was flop in 2013.

In 2016, Ghayal Once Again was released which was a sequel to his 1990 film Ghayal. The film earned well but ultimately failed. In 2018, Deol appeared in Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se, the third film in the franchise.

In 2019, Sunny Deol took the mantle of a director again, his third film as a director, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, it marked the debut of his son Karan Deol, with another newcomer Sahher Bambba in lead roles.
In 2022, Deol starred in the crime thriller Chup: Revenge of the Artist.  

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The sequel of the 2001 film Gadar, Gadar 2, was released on 11 August 2023. Gadar 2 emerged as the highest-grossing film in Deol’s career. The film earned ₹691 crore worldwide and became the year’s 4th highest-grosser, as well as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

Sunny Deol’s performance earned him his seventh nomination for a Filmfare Award in the Best Actor category and a nomination for Zee Cine Award for Best Actor.

Political Involvement

On 23rd April 2019, Sunny Deol joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He won the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab against Sunil Jakhar of Indian National Congress with a margin of 82,459 votes.

Legal issues

In August 2023, Bank of Baroda, a public sector bank in India, issued a notice to auction Sunny Deol’s property in Mumbai’s Juhu locality, known as Sunny Villa, for failing to repay a loan amounting to nearly ₹56 crore. However, shortly after the notice was issued, Bank of Baroda withdrew it for “technical reasons”.

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