, New Delhi, India
Sunny Deol is an Indian film actor, producer and director. Often referred to as "Action King of Bollywood", Deol has established himself as one of the leading actors of Hindi Cinema.
Deol was born to actor Dharmendra. To study acting, Deol learned from acting schools in England, where he joined the Old Rep Theater in Birmingham. There he studied theatre and acting. Since, he has won two National Film Awards, as well as two Filmfare Awards.
Deol's films such as Border (1997) and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) remain some of Bollywood's biggest hits, while films like Betaab (1983), Arjun (1985), Saltanat (1986), Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Tridev (1989), Ghayal (1990), Damini – Lightning (1993), Darr (1993), Jeet (1996), Ghatak: Lethal (1996), Ziddi (1997), Indian (2001), The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003), Apne (2007), Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011) are other successful films thus making him one of the successful leading actors of Bollywood.
Deol was born into a Punjabi Sikh family in the Sahnewal village of Punjab, India (near ludhiana) to Bollywood actor Dharmendra and Prakash Kaur. Sunny is the eldest son of Dharmendra. His stepmother is Hema Malini. He has a brother Bobby Deol and two sisters Vijayta Deol and Ajeeta Deol who are settled in California, he also has two half-sisters, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. His cousin Abhay Deol is also a successful actor.
Deol made his debut opposite debutant Amrita Singh in Betaab (1983) which was a blockbuster and launched both Sunny & Amrita Singh's careers. His performance won him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award Nomination. He then went through a lean phase for a couple of years until Rahul Rawail's Arjun (1985) came. He played the titular role of an unemployed youngster in Arjun. The film went on to become a major hit and established Sunny’s status as an action hero. What followed were a bunch of hits like Dacait (1987), Yateem (1988) and Paap Ki Duniya (1988). In 1989, he had back to back hits with Rajiv Rai's Tridev and Pankaj Parashar's Chaalbaaz. With his portrayal of an amateur boxer wrongly accused of his brother’s murder in Rajkumar Santoshi's Ghayal, Sunny proved that he still ruled the industry when it came to action sequences. Produced by the home banner Vijayta Films, the movie was an instant hit with the masses and went on to win seven Filmfare Awards. His performance won him his second Filmfare Best Actor Award and also his first National Film Award.
In 1991, Sunny starred in about 5 films but only Narsimha was a success. Rajiv Rai's Vishwatma was Sunny's only release in 1992. His role of a lawyer in Damini – Lightning (1993) fetched him several awards and accolades in Bollywood. In the mid-nineties he delivered four big hits in a row Jeet (1996), Ghatak: Lethal (1996), Ziddi (1997) and Border (1997). In 1999, after starring opposite Juhi Chawla in Arjun Pandit, Sunny Deol tried his hand at direction and helmed Dillagi. He also acted alongside younger brother Bobby Deol and Urmila Matondkar in his directorial debut, which was very well appreciated by critics.
In 2001, he starred in the film Farz opposite Preity Zinta. Sunny played the role of lorry driver Tara Singh who falls in love with a Muslim girl in Anil Sharma’s Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. The partition saga went to become an all time blockbuster and was the highest grossing Bollywood film ever that time as well as the biggest hit of the 21st century, earning Rs 973 million in India. He was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his portrayal. His third release that year saw him playing the title role in the action film Indian, a remake of the Tamil film Vallarasu in which Sunny essayed the character of DCP Rajshekhar Azad, an honest police officer. The movie was a success. Sunny’s next few projects were extremely patriotic in nature and struck a chord with audiences across the country. He played the role of an Indian military officer in Maa Tujhhe Salaam and essayed the character of freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad in 23rd March 1931: Shaheed.
In 2003 Sunny Deol teamed up with director Anil Sharma yet again for The Hero: Love Story of a Spy, which also starred Preity Zinta and Priyanka Chopra in her first onscreen appearance which released on 11 April and was billed as Bollywood's most expensive film that time with an estimated budget of INR 60 crore (US$9.2 million). The film received mostly positive reviews from critics and became the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of that year. Sunny made an appearance alongside Dharmendra and Bobby Deol in Apne (2007) and then yet again in Yamla Pagla Deewana.
Deol's first release of 2010 was Right Yaaa Wrong. The film was critically successful, but moderately successful commercially. Yamla Pagla Deewana was Sunny's only release in 2011 and one of the biggest successes of the year. In 2011, he started working in Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru's I Love New Year opposite Tannishtha Chatterjee and in Chandraprakash Dwivedi's Mohalla Assi opposite Sakshi Tanwar but for some reason's both films have been delayed.
For the first time in his career, Sunny will lend his voice (for Bheem) in the Animated film Mahabharata; produced by Jayantilal Gada of PEN India Pvt Ltd. His future ventures includes Neeraj Pathak's Bhaiyyaji Superhitt (where he plays a double role for the first time), Anil Sharma's Singh Saab The Great, Sangeeth Sivan's Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 and Rahul Rawail's Ghayal Returns.
Sunny Deol has always maintained a low profile in the media about his personal life. He is married to Pooja Deol. The couple have two sons Karan Deol(21) and Rajvir Deol(17). His elder son is all set to make his debut.
Apart from National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards and other competitive awards which Deol won for his performances throughout the years, he has been awarded several honours for his achievements in the Indian film industry.