Former Indian wrestling champion and actor Dara Singh died at the age of 84 at his home on Thursday morning following a brief illness, doctors treating him said.
“Dara Singh passed away peacefully at 7.30 am this (Thursday) morning,” said Ram Narain, COO, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, where the actor was being treated before he was shifted to his Juhu home late Wednesday.
“Angel now gone to shine like a star up above,” the actor’s son, Vindu Dara Singh, texted after his father’s death.
Dara Singh had been undergoing dialysis at the hospital.
It was his family’s wish that he should be home in the last stages of his life, a hospital official had said on Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife and six children – three sons and three daughters. One of his sons, Vindu Dara Singh, is a known name in Bollywood.
The veteran actor was rushed to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Saturday by his family members following a cardiac problem. He had been in a critical condition since then. Two days later, he was put on dialysis after his kidneys stopped functioning.
A recipient of titles like Rustam-e-Punjab (1966) and Rustam-e-Hind (1978), Dara Singh retired from active wrestling in 1983.
He is best known for his portrayal of Hanuman in Ramanand Sagar’s “Ramayan” and in BR Chopra’s “Mahabharat”.
He had appeared in films like Watan Se Door, Daada, Rustom-e-Baghdad, Sher Dil, Sikandar-e-Azam, Raaka, Mera Naam Joker and Dharam Karam.
One of his last screen appearance was in the Kareena Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor starrer Jab We Met in 2007 as the stern, lovable Daarji who ruled over a noisy, close-knit Sikh family, quite like the real life man, who intimidated people with his tall frame, but soon won them over with outgoing nature and warmth. He had also directed films.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.
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