Sanjay Dutt - Family

Owen, Kumar, Siya, Maanayata, Iqra, Priya, Siddharth, Sumair, Namrata, Sacchi, Sanjay, Shahraan
(Special Thanks to Priya Dutt Roncon)

Sanjay Sunil Dutt was born in Bombay/India on July 29, 1959. His parents were legends of the Hindi Cinema: Nargis and Sunil Dutt.

Nargis (June 1, 1929 – May 3, 1981), born in Kolkata as Fatima A. Rashid, daughter of director, singer and actress Jaddanbai and sister of actor Anwar Hussain. She started acting in movies when she was a child, already having taken up her artist name Nargis (= narcissus). Her first leading role she got at the age of fourteen in Taqdeer. In the 1950's Nargis and Raj Kapoor formed a very popular jodi on the silver screen and were said to have a romance in real life, too, though Raj was already married. While shooting for Mother India (1957), an Oscar-nominated film which made Nargis an undying star in Hindi Cinema, Nargis fell in love with Sunil Dutt who played her son in that movie. They got married on March 11, 1958 (an at that time very rare Hindu-Muslim marriage which found many opponents) and got three children: Sanjay, Namrata and Priya. After settling down, Nargis' appearances on screen became very rare, and 1967 after Raat Aur Din she ended her film career to dedicate her life to her family and to her charity activities. After suffering from pancreatic cancer Nargis passed away in 1981 - just five days before the release of Sanjay's debut film Rocky. She was buried in her mother's grave at Marine Drive Cemetary in Mumbai. In the village Mandhaulli near the district Yamunanagar (Haryana), a memorial on the banks of the river Yamuna reminds of Nargis who until today is ranking as one of the most charismatic and seductive actresses the Indian film industry ever had.
(Information about Nargis: Ikonz January 2007.)

Sunil Dutt (June 6, 1929
– May 25, 2005), born as Balraj Dutt. A brahmin, originally from Khurd in the district Jhelum near Rawalpindi (today in Pakistan), he lost his father at the age of five and was separated from his family during the Partition. Later they were reunited in Ambala near Yamunanagar. He went to Bombay to study arts at Jai Hind College where he was discovered while acting in the students' theatre. After a career as a broadcast moderator and the completion of his studies he established himself as a film actor in the mid-1950's. As Birju in Mother India he made his breakthrough in 1957. While shooting this film, Sunil saved Nargis' life when she was caught in burning haystacks. They fell in love and got married on March 11, 1958. They got three children: Sanjay, Namrata and Priya. Sunil continued a successful career, developing a great versatility as an actor, working even as producer and director and founding his own production house Ajanta Arts with which he often made entertainment tours to the jawans at the northern border. After Nargis' death of cancer in 1981, he initiated several charity projects in her memory and took on politics for the Congress, being elected as a MP several times, finally as Sport Minister. 1993 he ended his career as an actor and only once returned back to the sets: as his son Sanjay's film father in Munnabhai MBBS (2003). On May 25, 2005 Sunil Dutt's heart stopped beating while he was sleeping in his house. All India sorrowed for this great man.
In 1996, Sunil Dutt got the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award: Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3 - Link 4.
In 2001, the Zee Cine Lifetime Achievement Award followed:
Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3 - Link 4 - Link 5 - Link 6.

He also got the Screen Lifetime Achievement Award.


Sunil Dutt and Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay has two sisters, Namrata, called Anju (born January 5, 1962, married to Kumar Gaurav, called Bunty; two daughters: Saachi and Siya), and Priya (born August 28, 1966, married to Owen Roncon, two sons: Siddharth and Sumair), who as Congress MP followed in her father's footsteps. (Here she's talking about her father and her brother. And here Namrata remembers her parents and talks about Sanjay.)

Sanjay is married for the third time, after Richa Sharma and Rhea Pillai now with Dilnashin Shaikh, called Maanayata (born July 22, 1979).

He has three children: From his first marriage he has his daughter Trishala (born August 10, 1988). On October 21, 2010 Maanayata gave birth to Sanjay's twins Iqra and Shahraan.

The Dutt Family in the early 70es: Priya, Nargis, Sanjay, Anju and Sunil

To his first wife Richa Sharma, an actress from a NRI family in the USA, Sanjay got married on October 12, 1987 in New York. Shortly after having given birth to Trishala, Richa fell ill with a brain tumor. After several operations and a long-termed chemotherapy there was hope that Richa could finally win over the cancer. But in the end of 1995, the tumor returned. After a stroke in August 1996 there was nothing left the doctors could do for her. On December 10, 1996 Richa died. Though her marriage with Sanjay had been over for quite a long time, Sanjay felt responsible for her until the end and supported her as much as he could.

As a consequence of Richa's illness Sanjay lost the custody for his little daughter. While Richa had been treated in the USA, the child had stayed with her family there in Bayside, Queens, New York. Soon the Sharma family reproached that Sanjay would spend too little time with his family, especially with his daughter. Sanjay countered indicating that he had to work at the Indian film sets to earn the money for Richa's hospital bills and that he nevertheless flew over to New York in every spare time he got. More was not possible. After Richa's death the situation sharpened. Sanjay was willing to let Trishala live with the Sharmas even though he missed her very much, but he preferred the American to the Indian school system, and what is more, he didn't want to uproot Trishala and separate her from the world she got used to live in. He only wanted to have the right to visit Trishala anytime and then also to be alone with her. When the Sharmas denied him this and sent him a legal note (July 17, 1998) divesting him of his visiting rights, a court case was inevitable which resulted in an amicable out-of-court-
settlement in the beginning of 1999 (more information please find here in the essay in Stardust 4/1999). In all this time and also afterwards Sanjay and Trishala were keeping contact by telephone and e-mail. Father and daughter love each other very much and share a wonderful relationship. Trishala studied Forensic Science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and then took fashion classes; now she started her own business Dreamtresses Hair Extensions. Sanjay is very proud of his daughter. (Check here Trishala's Blog.)

Sanjay Dutt's daughter Trishala

Sanjay's second wife, the model Rhea Pillai, was a pillar of strength to him during his term in prison 1994/95 when he was booked under TADA and labelled a terrorist. Rhea stood by him as a rock, and to Sanjay she seemed "probably the best that ever happened to me". After he got bail and was released in October 1995 people therefore expected Sanjay to get divorced from Richa and to marry Rhea soon. But as Richa's physical condition got worse at that time Sanjay blankly refused to do so. He supported Richa until her last day, and even thereafter he concentrated on more important decisions in his life like his visiting rights for Trishala and his TADA case. In so far Rhea's and Sanjay's spontaneous marriage on Valentine's Day 1998 in Mumbai Mahalaxmi Mandir still came as a little surprise. But this marriage too was not meant to last forever. After first rumours about a crisis in 2001 Sanjay and Rhea separated in 2003. Rhea later started living together with tennis player Leander Paes (formerly linked with Mahima Choudhary) and has a daughter with him, Aiyana. Whether they are married or not I don't know for sure; the reports are as controversial as the ones about Sanjay's divorce from Rhea which was reported already in 2005 while it definitely only happened in 2008.

Besides, Sanjay has always been linked by the media with other women, especially with his co-stars from Rati Agnihotri to Kimi Katkar and from Amrita Singh to Madhuri Dixit. These stories gave him an image as Casanova and stud he never got rid of. Sanjay always demented these affairs, and as this issue concerns nobody except the people involved I don't care a damn whether these rumours are true or not. And I definitely believe Sanjay's and Madhuri's consequent assurances that there never was a serious affair between them. There are only a few girls he really was close to like Tina Munim in the beginning of his career and, after the separation from Rhea, Nadia Durrani.

Maanayata and Sanjay Dutt

On February 11, 2008 Sanjay tied the knot with Maanayata (born as Dilnawaz Shaikh). This marriage became a court matter afterwards as Maanayata's former husband Meraj Rehman filed a claim stating that he never legally divorced her. But in May 2008, the Mumbai Sessions Court declared Sanjay's and Maanayata's marriage valid.


Sanjay with his wife Maanayata and his twins Iqra and Shahraan at the Mata Ki Chowki in his house (2012)
and during the press conference after his release from prison (2016)


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