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David Dhawan
Rajinder Dhawan

16 August 1955 (1955-08-16) (age 66)
Occupation Film director
Spouse(s) Karuna Chopra Dhawan
Children 2, including Varun Dhawan
Relatives See Dhawan family

David Dhawan (born Rajinder Dhawan; 16 August 1955) is an Indian film director who works in Hindi films. He is the father of Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan. He is best known for directing several successful films, including Swarg (1990), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Judwaa (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004), Partner (2007), Chashme Baddoor (2013), Main Tera Hero (2014) and Judwaa 2 (2017). The 1993 action thriller Aankhen and 1999 comedy Biwi No.1 earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Director nominations.

Early life

David Dhawan was born as Rajinder Dhawan in Agartala in a Punjabi family and brought up in Kanpur where his father, who was a manager in UCO Bank, got transferred. He studied in Christ Church College and BNSD Inter College, till Class XII. He then joined Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) for acting where he changed his first name to David, a name given to him by his Catholic neighbours in Agartala. Seeing other actors like Satish Shah and Suresh Oberoi, Dhawan realised that he cannot act. So he took up editing as an option. He became a fan of Manmohan Desai and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Watching the Bengali film Meghe Dhaka Tara, directed by Ritwik Ghatak, made him interested in filmmaking and passed with a gold medal.


Dhawan started off as an editor before moving into directing. He specialises in directing comedy films. His 1993 film Ankhen, starring Govinda, Chunky Pandey and Kader Khan, was highly successful at the box office, witnessing a revival of popular cinema of the 1990s. Another successful film was Shola Aur Shabnam. His 2007 film Partner also became a big success at the box office.

Dhawan is on the board of Asian Academy of Film & Television and Asian School of Media Studies where he has been honoured with an Academy Award by Sandeep Marwah. He was a judge on the Star Plus show Nach Baliye 3 in 2008 and on the show Hans Baliye.

Work with Govinda

Dhawan first teamed with actor Govinda for the film Taaqatwar (1989). He then formed a collaboration with Govinda and went on to direct 17 movies with him as the leading actor, most of which were comedy films. The films made by their collaboration are Taaqatwar (1989), Swarg (1990), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993), Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Banarasi Babu (1997), Deewana Mastana (1997), Hero No. 1 (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999), Kunwara (2000), Jodi No.1 (2001), Ek Aur Ek Gyarah (2003), Partner (2007) and Do Knot Disturb (2009). Partner, which co-starred Salman Khan, grossed Rs. 300 Million in India on its opening week, the second highest domestic opening week gross for an Indian film at that time. The same year, Salman Khan invited Dhawan and Govinda on his show 10 Ka Dum to celebrate their film Partner. Dhawan got back to the trio of Govinda, Ritesh Deshmukh and himself with the film, Do Knot Disturb.

Personal life

Dhawan is married to Karuna Chopra, with whom he has two sons, Rohit Dhawan and Varun Dhawan. His brother is actor Anil Dhawan and nephew is actor Siddharth Dhawan.


Year Film
1989 Taaqatwar
Gola Barood
Aag Ka Gola
1990 Swarg
1991 Jurrat
1992 Shola Aur Shabnam
Bol Radha Bol
1993 Aankhen
1994 Raja Babu
Eena Meena Deeka
1995 Yaraana
Coolie No. 1
1996 Loafer
Saajan Chale Sasural
1997 Mr and Mrs Khiladi
Banarasi Babu
Deewana Mastana
Hero No. 1
1998 Gharwali Baharwali
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
1999 Biwi No.1
Haseena Maan Jaayegi
2000 Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge
Chal Mere Bhai
2001 Jodi No.1
Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta
2002 Chor Machaaye Shor
Yeh Hai Jalwa
Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
2003 Ek Aur Ek Gyarah
2004 Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
2005 Shaadi No. 1
Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya
2007 Partner
2009 Do Knot Disturb
2011 Rascals
2013 Chashme Buddoor
2014 Main Tera Hero
2017 Judwaa 2
2020 Coolie No. 1

Awards and nominations

Year± Film Award Ceremony Category Result
1994 Aankhen Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Director Nominated
2000 Biwi No.1 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Director Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Film Nominated
2005 Mujhse Shaadi Karogi International Indian Film Academy Awards IIFA Award for Best Director Nominated
2014 Main Tera Hero Stardust Awards Stardust Award for Dream Director Nominated
BIG Star Entertainment Awards BIG Star Most Entertaining Comedy Film Won
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