Shatrughan Sinha is one those few actors who relied on their sheer wits to make it big in the Bollywood.
Coming from a non-fimly background, he was determined to make his name shine in the B-town. A great orator, he nurtured a unique style of his own during his run in the movies, a style which still sticks to him. 70s were the golden period for Sinha and several critics went "Khamosh" by witnessing his power-packed performances.
Shatrughan Sinha was born in Patna, Bihar on December 9, 1945. He studied in the Patna Science College but his real interest lied in movies. Sinha got admission in the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and then moved to Mumbai to strive for a career in films. He got his first opportunity to display his acting skills publicly via Dev Anand’s Prem Pujari (1970) in which he played the role of a Pakistani military officer. Due to some reasons, the release of the film got delayed. By this time, Sinha had also completed Mohan Sehgal’s Sajan (1969) which went on to become his debut release.
Rise to Stardom
Shatrughan Sinha had started making his presence felt in the film circuit within a year of his entry into the films. He was a bit loud-mouthed but his fellow actors were understanding his personality gradually. He became good friends with Mumtaz and Sanjeev Kumar. Mumtaz empathized with the newcomer Sinha and recommended him for a role in Khilona (1970). She helped him to boost his confidence during his early days. If the superhit Khilona brought him the much-needed recognition, Gulzar’s Mere Apne (1971) raised him to the pedestal of a star. He played the role of a street don who has bitter enmity with his rival Vinod Khanna. He was able to make that much-needed impact with this role and his co-star Meena Kumari was all praise for him.
Shatrughan Sinha’s career took off smoothly from here. With films like Rampur ka Laxman, Bhai Ho To Aisa (both 1972) and Heera (1973) popularity started soaring high. While he had carved his own niche as a hero, he was also adept at playing the role of a flamboyant villain. He played the role of a merry prankster-cum-loyal friend to Dharmendra in Dost (1974) which went down extremely well with the masses. Sinha says, "My character in Dost comes closest to what I am like off-screen, naughty and talkative but with a childlike heart."
Shatrughan Sinha tasted major success once again with Subhash Ghai’s thriller Kalicharan (1976). The movie proved decisive in his career and he started doing more hero roles after this. His heroine in the movie, Reena Roy, went on to star with him in many more films. The Ghai-Sinha-Roy trio delivered another hit right after Kalicharan in the form of Vishwanath (1976). Sinha then worked with the best directors of those times: Prakash Mehra (Jwalamukhi, 1980), Manmohan Desai (Naseeb, 1971), Ramesh Sippy (Shaan, 1980), Raj Khosla (Dostana, 1980) and Yash Chopra (Kaala Patthar, 1979). In Kaala Patthar, Dostana and Naseed, Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan brought the best out of each other.
As the 80s ushered in, Sinha’s career started to dwindle a bit despite the fact that his core competitor Vinod Khanna had left the industry. In 1987 he delivered a surprise hit in the form of Khudgarz. Even during the 90s, he continued acting in the films although the frequency dropped. He was slowly getting interested in politics which eventually became his mainstay.
The X Factor
Flamboyance might have taken some people down but it helped Shatrughan Sinha scale new heights. He came from Bihar, where films weren’t as big a deal. But he was confident and determined to make it big. It was this attitude which helped Shatrughan Sinha become 'Shotgun.'
After enrolling in the Patna Science College, Sinha realised that his real interest lied in films. He got admission into the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and then headed straight to Mumbai to try his luck in the films. His never-say-die attitude helped him to trudge along the tough path and despite hailing from a totally non-film background, he worked hard to make it big in the tinsel town.
Did You Know?
1. “Khamosh!!” (meaning shut up!!!) is one of his most famous dialogues.
2. Currently there's a scholorship being awarded on his name in the institute to Diploma students in the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
3. He is the first ever Bollywood superstar to become a Union Minister.
4. He had a fierce rivalry with Amitabh Bachchan which even extended to the screen. The confrontation scene between him and Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Kala Patthar (1979) is often considered as one of the greatest confrontation scenes between two heroes in a Hindi movie.
- 1973 - Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards - Best Supporting Actor for 'Tanhai'.
- 2003 - "Pride of the Film Industry" at the Stardust Awards 2003.
- 2003 - Stardust Award for Lifetime Achievement.
- 2007 - National Kishore Kumar Samman.
- 2011 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement.
- 2011 - "The ITA Scroll Of Honour" KBC regional at the Indian Television Academy Awards.
He has also received a Special Award for "contribution in Indian Cinema" at the Kalakar Awards.
- Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actor--Paras (1971)
- Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actor--Dost (1974)
- Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actor--Kaala Pathar (1979)
- Filmfare Nomination as Best Actor--Dostana (1980)
Shatrughan Sinha Now
Sinha is now quite active in national politics. He is currently a member of BJP and has been heading the Culture and Arts Department of the party since 2006. Occasionally, one can see him in Bollywood movies. He was last seen in the movie Raktha Charitra (2010). In 2008, he joined as a judge on 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' show, season 4 on STAR One TV. Sinha also hosts the Bhojpuri version of Kaun Banega Crorepati on 'Mahua' channel.
Indian film industry has hardly seen actors who had a flaring attitude and an unbeatable confidence like Shatrughan Sinha, actors who used to make the silver screen come alive due to there mere presence. MensXP wishes luck to 'Shotgun' Sinha for all future endeavours and hopes we get to see him again on the 70 mm screen. (Bollywood, MensXP.com)