Mangal Dhillon (1974-2023) was an Indian actor, writer, film producer, director, and poet. He is known for playing the role of Labhaya Ram in the Hindi TV serial ‘Buniyaad’ (1986) which aired on DD National. On 11 June 2023, he took his last breath after battling cancer in Ludhiana, Punjab.
Mangal Singh Dhillon was born on Tuesday, 18 June 1974 (age 48 years; at the time of death) in Wander Jatana village, Faridkot tehsil, Faridkot district, Punjab, India. His zodiac sign is Gemini. Upto class 4, he studied at Govt Sr Sec School Panjgrain, Kalan, Faridkot. He continued his schooling at Zilla Parishad High School in Nighasan District, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. He then did his graduation in theatre arts at Government College, Muktsar. In 1980, he did a post-graduate diploma in method acting at the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, Punjab, India. He was awarded a gold medal for his outstanding performances as an actor on completion of his training by the University Drama Department. While he was studying in college, he performed in various theatre plays.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Surinderpal Singh, is a farmer. His mother’s name is Baljeet Kaur. He has two sisters named Kiran Dhillon and Ihana Dhillon. Ihana is an actor and model.
Wife & Children
On 26 April 1994, he got married to the Indian painter Ritu Dhillon in Mumbai.
He was engaged to the Indian actor, Mita Vashisht in the late 80’s. Later, the duo called off their engagement.
He followed Sikhism.
In 1978, he started his career as a theatre artist with a theatre group in Delhi. He then worked in various radio plays in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Mumbai. Some of his popular theatre plays are ‘Theatrewala Urf Pagal Hai’ (1996), ‘Baazi’ (1984), ‘Baba Bolda Hai’ (1986), ‘Sandhya Chhaya’ (1984), and ‘Aaj Ka Jarasandh’ (1983).
In 1986, he started his TV acting career with the Hindi TV serial ‘Katha Sagar,’ which aired on DD National. He played various roles in the TV serial.
Some of his other Hindi TV serials are ‘Buniyaad’ (1986), ‘Junoon’ (1993), ‘Panther’ (1996), and ‘Param Vir Chakra’ (1988).
He made his Bollywood debut with the film ‘Khoon Bhari Maang’ (1988) in which he played the role of an advocate.
Some of his other Hindi films are ‘Kahan Hai Kanoon’ (1989), ‘Naaka Bandi’ (1990), ‘Pyar Ka Devta’ (1991), ‘Vishwatma’ (1992), and ‘Janasheen’ (2003). In 2017, he did his last Punjabi film ‘Toofan Singh’ in which he played the role of Lakha.
He also acted in a few documentaries named ‘A day at the Golden Temple’ and ‘Sikhism.’
He had started his film production company M. D. & Company. Under his production company, he released various documentaries like A Day at the Golden Temple, Prakash Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh Ate Dastaar, The Inseparable-A Sikh and his Turban, Sarvnash, and Harinam Ke Chamatkar. He also did a theatre production of his one-man play ‘Theatrewala Urf Pagal Hai.’
Dhillon penned two books titled ‘Kujh Saddaran ate Chand Haunke’ and ‘The Dark World of The Ghosts’ in English and Punjabi languages. He also wrote a Hindustani poetry book titled ‘Be-Tarteeb Jazbaat.’ He worked as a writer for various documentary films like Sarvnaash, The Inseparables, A Day at Golden Temple, Khalsa, and Prakash Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He also wrote the script of various films and TV serials.
- 1998: RAPA (Radio and Television Advertising Practitioners’ Association) award for Best Actor for his role in the TV series Junoon
- Baba Farid Award for his film Khalsa by the Punjab Government
- 2006: Outstanding achievement award from the Chief Minister of Punjab, along with several other recognitions from organizations in Punjab and abroad
- Mohan Rakesh Gold Medal for Best Actor
On June 11, 2023, he passed away in Ludhiana, Punjab, after fighting against cancer.
- It was in Chandigarh that he honed his skills as an actor. He was a village boy when he came there after having a fallout with his father. He didn’t have a penny in his pocket. It was there that he started his own theatre group called Natyalya in 1982.
- His father wanted him to join the police or become a lawyer, but those professions didn’t inspire him. By the time he graduated from a government college in Muktsar, he had already decided that he would pursue a career as either a radio announcer or a teacher. However, his interest in theatre grew strong.
- Many years ago, Mangal Dhillon’s life underwent a transformation when he started connecting to God. In an interview, he shared that he used to communicate with God and receive answers to his questions. He initiated a website dedicated to meditation in Sikhism. Furthermore, he established a social welfare trust with the goal of assisting people in “waking up” and progressing on their own spiritual paths. He considered himself fortunate to serve as a channel for God to deliver his messages. Additionally, the foundation also focuses on raising awareness of Sikh history through films.
- Mangal Dhillon experienced a significant shift in his approach to films when he came across the thoughts of a Catholic Church father regarding Sikh history. The father expressed his belief that Sikhs were not showcasing their blood-soaked and unparalleled history to the world, unlike Christianity, which had spread worldwide with the story of Jesus Christ. These words saddened and deeply affected Mangal, as he found it unacceptable and shameful for the entire Sikh community. Motivated by this realization, he decided to set aside his career in film and television. With great passion, he dedicated himself to preserving Sikh history for the world to witness and for future Sikh generations.
- In 2009, he started his YouTube channel ‘Mangal Dhillon Channel’ on which he uploaded spiritual and motivational videos.
- One of his favourite quotes was,
Every action has an equal & opposite reaction” the 3rd law of Newton, which can perhaps help us to become better human beings, since we can not benefit ourselves by harming others.”