Sunny Deol (born Ajay Singh Deol, 19 October 1957) is an Indian film actor, director and producer known for his works exclusively in Hindi cinema. He is the son of veteran actor Dharmendra, and the elder brother of actor Bobby Deol. In a film career spanning twenty five years, Deol has won two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards. Deol made his debut in the film Betaab for which he was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award. From there, he went on to star in numerous films in the 80s and 90s like Tridev, Arjun, Kroadh, Ghayal, Vishwatma, Lootere, Darr, Damini – Lightning, Jeet, Ghatak, Border, Ziddi, Arjun Pandit, and Indian. He made his debut as a director and producer with Dillagi, in which he also starred alongside his brother Bobby. Deol made his debut opposite fellow debutant Amrita Singh in Betaab (1983), which was a blockbuster that launched the careers of both actors. His performance won him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award Nomination.
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 Filmfare Award for Best Actor and also National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film). In 1991, Sunny starred in about 5 films but only Narsimha was a success. Rajiv Rai's Vishwatma in which he acted opposite Divya Bharti, was Sunny's only release in 1992. His role of a lawyer in Damini – Lightning (1993) fetched him several awards and accolades including National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1993, he starred in Yash Chopra's blockbuster Darr with Juhi Chawla. 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 played by Ameesha Patel 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 won Screen Award for Best Actor and 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 played 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 played the character of freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad in 23rd March 1931: Shaheed.