Dara Singh, legendary Bollywood star

MUMBAI — Bollywood ­action hero Dara Singh, known for his television portrayal of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, died at his Mumbai home Thursday, days after suffering a heart attack. He was 84.

Movie stars and politicians sent messages of praise and condolence, while the prime minister lamented the loss of a ‘‘self-educated son of the soil.’’

‘‘I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Dara Singh, who has been an inspiration and icon to many generations in our country,’’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.


Dara Singh was born in 1928 in the Punjab district of Amritsar. He spent his youth competing in professional freestyle wrestling tournaments.

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In the 1950s, he began working in Bollywood films and appeared in dozens for which he did his own stunts. The muscular actor is best known, however, for his portrayal of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman in the 1986 Indian television series ‘‘Ramayan.’’

Later in life, Mr. Singh served in India’s upper house of Parliament, for the country’s Hindu nationalist opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, from 2003 to 2009.

He had been ailing in recent years before suffering a heart attack and being admitted Saturday to the intensive care unit of a Mumbai hospital.

Mr. Singh leaves his wife, three sons, and three daughters.