He started his career by singing Indian and Nepali songs and acting in Indian and Nepali movies. He has acted in numerous Hindi films such as Asoka and 16 December. He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth highest civilian honour. Denzongpa is noted for his villainous and character roles.
He started dabbling in the brewing industry after 1982, and in 2009, his company Yuksom Breweries, which has three breweries in Sikkim, Orissa and Assam, and sells over three million cases, acquired Rhino Breweries in Assam, to thwart industry leader United Breweries’ (UB) plans to take over the North East market. Denzongpa's love of horses and horse riding began at an early age, as his family was into horse breeding . He nursed an ambition to join the Indian Army, and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and participated in the Republic Day parade. In an interview to The Times of India newspaper, he said that he had qualified for prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. but withdrew admission to join FTII, Pune. Actress Jaya Bhaduri, his classmate at FTII, Pune decided to change his name to a simpler Catholic sounding "Danny" as his original name was tough to be pronounced by other students. The name has stuck since.
Pem Deechen's(Danny's Brother) hotel in West Sikkim. During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Hindi by talking to the ocean. The Urdu came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar's Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand's Khuda Gawah. He started out with B-grade movies such as B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971, and later moved on to Mere Apne and Kala Sona where he played more positive roles. He then went on to play the roles of the villain in numerous roles. Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord. He got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne, and later in B R Chopra's Dhund where he played a crippled and frustrated husband. The iconic role of Gabbar Singh from the film Sholay, was originally offered to him, but it finally went to Amjad Khan.
He is also an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, three stalwarts of Indian music. He has released Nepalese songs and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs are "Chiso Chiso Hawama", and "Rato Rani Phule".he started his film careers from Nepali movie "saiino" which was superhit. He is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor. Denzongpa owns two breweries, one in South Sikkim, and the other in the state of Orissa. He is currently acting in his Tamil film, Endhiran, Directed by S. Shankar, starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai, in the lead.
Danny, who married Gawa Denzongpa, a Sikkimese princess and niece of the last chogyal from her hometown of Gangtok, currently resides in Juhu in Mumbai. In recent times he has become more selective as to the roles he plays. He does not work in March, April, and May as they are hot. The movies he chooses, he works on his own terms. He has a son named Rinzing and a daughter named Pema.His brother owns a bouj and beer factory in Melli, Sikkim.
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