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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Sanjay Dutt: Bollywood's bad boy
Sanjay Dutt
Dutt made his name with macho, gangster roles
Sanjay Dutt is arguably the most controversial star in the history of Bollywood.

The 48-year-old actor, son of the late actor-politician Sunil Dutt and actress Nargis, has been found guilty of involvement in a series of bombings in Mumbai (Bombay), which killed 257 people and wounded 713.

Dutt was convicted of possessing arms and ammunition in his upmarket Mumbai residence that were allegedly part of the main consignment used in the blasts. But he was cleared of all conspiracy charges related to the blasts.

He was arrested in April 1993, a month after the blasts, and spent 18 months in prison before he was released on bail.

He has now been sentenced to six years in jail, although he can appeal.

Despite an early drug addiction in college ("That was it for nine years of my life," he once told an interviewer) and his time in prison, Dutt has gone on to star in more than 100 Bollywood films, making a name in action-packed gangland films and lately revealing a yen for comedy.

Recently Dutt has been basking in the limelight with his latest release Lage Raho Munnabhai, a light comedy where he plays a brawny, bumbling soft-hearted gangster who resorts to Gandhian non-violence to fix problems and win over a girl.

Gawky

Dutt made his debut in 1981 as a gawky 22-year-old in a typical Bollywood revenge film of its times, Rocky, directed by his father, who later became a federal sports minister with India's ruling Congress party.

The film did modestly and marked the arrival of Dutt as another star son in an industry where producer-director parents routinely launch their children as lead actors.

His mother Nargis, a luminous beauty and a star actress of her generation, died of cancer in the same year he debuted.

Sanjay Dutt (left) in Lage Raho Munnabhai, his latest hit
Dutt has shown a yen for comedy

Over the years, Sanjay Dutt has had a chequered career with a mixed bag of films, mostly revelling in the role of a macho, gangland don, sometimes with a soft heart.

One of his most popular films called Khalnayak (The Villain) ironically coincided with his arrest in the Mumbai blast case and became a huge hit.

In the past few years, Dutt has won himself a fan following with a curious combination of gangster and bumbling comic roles.

He even set up a production company with director Sanjay Gupta to star and make a number of films - one of them, Kaante, a watered-down Bollywood version of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, became a minor cult film.

Controversy continued to dog Dutt's rising fortunes in Bollywood when an audiotape surfaced in the media in 2001 where the star was allegedly in conversation with an underworld figure, Chotta Shakeel, based in Pakistan.

Nothing much transpired from this alleged phone conversation where among other things, Dutt allegedly complained about a fellow star, Govinda, who usually "came late to the sets".

"I don't remember of any phase in my life where there have been no problems," Dutt told interviewer Simi Garewal last year.

Garewal asked the twice-married star whether it was "strange fate that makes you go through one ordeal after the other".

"Maybe I am the chosen one," he replied.




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