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Volume 6737

Unauthorized Tarzan Films
Robert Allen Lupton


In 1965, Dara Singh made a guest appearance in his second Tarzan film, Tarzan and King Kong. The film was released on November 5, 1965. Directed by A. Shamsheer, the film featured Singh’s younger brother Randhawa as Tarzan and Mumtaz as Sharmilla, a young woman stranded on an unknown island.

An airplane carrying tourists catches on fire and crashes. Bismilla Khan saves a passenger, Sharmila (Mumtaz). She’s is the daughter of his employer. The two parachute into the jungle. The jungle queen, Shibani sends her warriors to capture the two. She plans to sacrifice them to some jungle god. Tarzan intervenes, spoils her plans and saves Bismilla and Sharmilla. Sharmilla is impressed and awed by Tarzan. They fall in love. She sings some songs and Tarzan (Randhawa) joins in by making odd apelike grunts and prancing around like a gorilla.

The jungle queen and her minister (Shyam Kumar) try to kill the castaways several times, but Tarzan is always there to save everyone.

Dara Singh is traveling through the jungle and is captured by the queen and forced to fight Tarzan. The two brothers fight each other after which Tarzan (Randhawa) battles an ape, who is nowhere near the size of Hollywood’s King Kong.

After their epic battle, they become friends. Romi, the prime minister orders the warriors to arrest everyone and they do. He releases his caged animal, King Kong, and sends him to kill Tarzan. They fight, but Kong is distracted by the beautiful Sharmilla and kidnaps her instead of fighting Tarzan.

Tarzan breaks his chains, chases Kong, kills him, and rescues Sharmilla. Tarzan and Dara Singh work together and destroy the jungle empire of the evil queen, Shibani, and her prime minister.

The cast included, Mumtaz, Randhawa Singh, Dara Singh, King Kong, Bela Bose, Shyam Kumar, Master Bhagwan, Paul Sharma, Roopesh Kumar, and Heera Sawant.

The film is available to watch at .

Dara Singh plays himself in this film. A biography of Dara Singh appears in a previous article in this series, Tarzan Comes to Delhi. It is repeated here, but no photos are included.

Dara Singh Randhawa, November 19, 1928 – July 12, 2012) was an Indian professional wrestler, actor and politician. He started acting in 1952 and was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India. He worked as Hindi and Punjabi film producer, director and writer, and he acted in films and television. He is known for his role of Hanuman in film Bajrangi.

Dara Singh was born on 19 November 1928 in the village of Dharmuchak, which was then a part of British Punjab and is now in the Amritsar district of the Majha region of Punjab, India. He went to Singapore in 1947, where he worked in a drum-manufacturing mill and began his wrestling training under Harnam Singh.

Because of his size and strength, he took up pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling. After switching to professional wrestling, he competed around the world with opponents such as Bill Verna, Firpo Zbyszko, John Da Silva, Rikid?zan, Danny Lynch, and Ski Hi Lee etc., his act of flooring King Kong is always remembered.

In 1954, Dara competed in the Rustam-e-Hind (Champion of India) tournament where he won the final by defeating Tiger Joginder Singh. In 1959, he won the Commonwealth Championship by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta. In 1968 in Bombay, his victory over Lou Thesz earned him the World championship. In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. In 2018, WWE inducted him in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy class of 2018.

 He began acting in 1952. He was a stunt film actor for many years and played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong in 1962. From around 1963 he partnered often with Mumtaz, with whom he performed in 16 Hindi films. The couple became the highest-paid B-grade actors, with Singh receiving nearly four lakh rupees per film or over $500,000 dollars.

He then went on to do television in the late 1980s, where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan. He also had roles in numerous films, such as Veer Bheem Sen and Ramayan, and in other television serials. His last Hindi movie was Jab We Met and the last Punjabi movie released before his illness was Dil Apna Punjabi.

Randhawa Singh, Dara Singh’s brother, was also a wrestler. He plays Tarzan in this movie. Sardara Singh Randhawa, popularly known as Randhawa, was an Indian Professional wrestler and actor. He was the younger brother of wrestler and actor Dara Singh and brother-in-law of actress Mumtaz. His wrestling career was overshadowed by his brother. Randhawa was born in 1933 at Dharmuchakk, a village in Amritsar district, Punjab to Surat Singh and Balwant Kaur.

He started his career in wrestling when he arrived at Singapore in 1952. He had a well build and strong body like his brother. During his career he wrestled with wrestlers like Ski Hi Lee, John da Silva and George Gordienko, etc. At the time Dara Singh became the world champion, Randhawa was the reigning Indian champion.

He got his first break in Awara Abdulla (1963). After that, he did many short roles in films, but mostly negative characters. His work can be seen in films like 'Aadmi Aur Insaan', 'Son of Hatimtai', 'Hercules', 'Faulad', 'Awara Abdulla', 'Duplicate', and 'Henna' amongst others. His brother, Dara Singh, played the lead in several of these films.

Randhawa was married to Mumtaz's sister Malika and their son, Shaad Randhawa, is an actor. Randhawa died on October 21, 2013

Several actors and actresses who appeared in Tarzan Comes to Delhi also appeared in this film. Dara Singh and Mumtaz played opposite each other in many movies.

Her biography appeared in the article, Tarzan Comes to Delhi. It is summarized herein and new photographs of the actress are included in this article.

She began her career as a child actress in Sone Ki Chidiya (1958). As a teenager she acted as an extra in Vallah Kya Baat Hai, Stree, and Sehra in the early 1960s. As an adult, her first role in A-grade films was that of the role of the sister of the hero in O. P. Ralhan's Gehra Daag. She got small roles in successful films such as Mujhe Jeene Do. Later, she played the lead heroine in 16 action films, including Faulad, Veer Bhimsen, Tarzan Comes to Delhi, Sikandar-E-Azam, Rustom-E-Hind, Raaka,and Daku Mangal Singh, with freestyle wrestler Dara Singh, and was labelled as a stunt-film heroine. In the films that Dara Singh and Mumtaz did together, Dara's remuneration was 450,000 rupees per film, and Mumtaz's salary was 250,000 rupees per film.

It took Raj Khosla's blockbuster Do Raaste (1969), starring Rajesh Khanna, to finally make Mumtaz a full-fledged star. Although Mumtaz had a minor role, director Khosla filmed four songs with her. In 1969, her films Do Raaste and Bandhan, with Rajesh Khanna, became top grossers of the year, earning around 65 million and 28 million respectively.

Dara Singh gave her the 'Stunt Princess' name and he also agreed to be paired opposite to her in several B-grade movies.

Bela Bose was a prolific dancer and actress in Hindi films during the 1960's. She had no background in films and wasn't a stage-struck girl when she entered films. She was a schoolgirl who started her career as a group dancer in films to help support her family after her father's death. She picked up more films after she finished her schooling. Most of her roles were as glamorous dancers. Her first role was in "Sautela Bhai" (1962) opposite Guru Dutt at the age of 17. She honed her acting skills performing in Bengali plays. She appeared in more than 150 films.

Some of her best roles were in Bimal Roy's Bandini, F.C.Mehra's Professor and Amrapali, Atmaram's Shikar, Umang, Yeh Gulistan Hamara, Dil Aur Mohabbat, Zindagi Aur Maut and Wahan Ke Log. Later, she became a character actress and enjoyed her biggest success playing the villainous sister-in-law in the blockbuster "Jai Santoshi Maa" (1975). Her real-life husband Ashish Kumar was the leading man in the film. She married him in 1967 and gradually eased out of films after giving birth to two children-a daughter and a son. Of all her films, her favorite roles were as Jeetendra's foster sister in "Jeene Ki Raah" (1969) and "More Man Mitwa." Her husband, Ashish Kumar, was an actor. Of course he was. She married him in 1967 and gradually eased out of films after giving birth to a daughter and a son.

Shyam Kumar is best known for his work on Dulari(1949), Johny Mera Naam (1970) and Apradh (1972). He passed away from throat cancer on April 22, 1981.

Actor/singer Shyam Kumar is frequently confused with the 2 Shyams. One was only an Actor called SHYAM (Shyam sunder Chadha) and the second was Gul Hamid, known as actor/playback singer SHYAM KUMAR. These were different people. Actor Shyam NEVER sang any songs.

SYED GUL HAMID, Known as SHYAM KUMAR was born in1913 in Poona. He got first break in Sukhi Jiwan-42 as an actor. He could sing, and Kardar employed him as a Playback singer (Voice work singing for on-screen actors). His first playback came in Namaste-1943. In Kanoon-43 he sang 3 songs with Suraiya. He acted in about 100 films, but sang in only 17 of them. He suffered from throat cancer and stopped singing, but continued to act. He died from the cancer on April 4, 1981.

This information is available in Listeners’ Bulletin No. 48 February. 1982, and articles by Shirish Kanekar, in his book ‘Yadon ki baaraat’. The confusion comes because less knowledgeable people call Shyam Kumar, Shyam. In his entire lifetime, as if he knew the future, actor Shyam never wrote his name as Shyam Kumar, however the suffix KUMAR was used indiscriminately by writers and reviewers and caused the confusion.

To stress again, there were only 2 SHAYAMS. One- only Actor SHYAM and two- actor/playback singer SHYAM KUMAR.

The confusion may also be due to the fact that Dillagi Shyam and Shyam Kumar both acted. In his entire career, SHYAM KUMAR the actor/singer never sang for himself. Maybe because the type of roles he did (bit parts and villains), didn’t qualify for a songs. He was born, Sayed Gul Hamid Ali, but changed his name to Shyam Kumar for films. I believe the photo below is the correct actor. It was the only one I found that I was comfortable was the right actor.

 Master Bhagwan (Bhagwan Abhaji Palav) was born on August 1, 1913 in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India as Bhagwan Abhaji Palav. He was an actor and director, known for Albela (1951), Bhagam Bhag (1956) and Bhoola Bhatka (1976). Master Bhagwan Dada appeared in Tarzan and King Kong as comic relief.

He made his debut in the silent era with the film, Criminal.

He co-directed his first film, Pawar, in 1938. From 1938 to 1949 he directed a string of low-budget stunt and action films that were popular with the working classes. He usually played a naive simpleton. One of the notable films that he made during this period was the Tamil film Vana Mohini (1941) that starred M. K. Radha and Sri Lankan actress Thavamani Devi.

A more detailed biography and other photographs of the actor appear in the article. Tarzan and Gorilla. ( )

Roopesh Kumar was a character actor , especially known for his roles as a villain in over 100 Hindi films from 1965 to 1995. He is widely remembered for his comic negative roles in the films like Seeta Aur Geeta and The Great Gambler. He was the cousin of actress Mumtaz. (It’s all about family.) Kumar was born as Abbas Farashahi on January 16, 1946 in Mumbai. He was the oldest son of Ali Asgar Farashahi and Mariam. He was fondly known as Dadash ("brother" in Persian). His family was in the restaurant and bakery business in Pune, but he chose to be an actor. He was close his cousins actress Mumtaz and Malika. (Remember, it was all in the family in Bollywood.) In 1995, Kumar suffered a heart attack while attending the Filmfare Awards. He was rushed to hospital but could not be revived and passed away at the age of 49.

He started his career with Tarzan and King Kong in 1965 and went on to play supporting roles throughout the 1970s and 1980s. His most well-known films include Andaz (1971), Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Chacha Bhatija (1977), The Great Gambler (1979), Jaani Dushman (1979),  and Hum Paanch (1980), He also directed and produced two films, Hai Meri Jaan (1991) and Meri Aan (1993). His last film release was Paapi Devta in 1995, the same year of his death.

Paul Sharma is best known for the films Saat Sawal Yane Haatim Tai (1971), Raja Jani (1972) and Lootera (1965). He should not be confused with Phaldut Sharma, also known as Paul Sharma, a British actor and dancer active since 2000.

 Heera Sawant was born December 15, 1935 in India. She is an actress, known for Return of Mr. Superman (1960), Kala Pani (1958) and Kala Ghoda (1963). From the 1940s to the 1950s dancers were necessary ingredients in most Hindu/Urdu films. Cuckoo and Helen were the most famous dancers, but there were many second-tier dances active during the same time period. Heera Sawant was one of these dancers.




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