Famous for his Filmfare Award-winning roles in the Bollywood features Sanam Bewafa and Khuda Gawah, Denzongpa also played villainous character roles in movies such as Dhundh, Kanoon Kya Karega, and Andar Baahar. A singer as well as an actor, he recorded two 1970s hits: "Chiso Chiso Hawama" and "Manko Kura Lai Bandhi Narakha."
Before enrolling at India's Film and Television Institute, he had planned to study at the Indian Armed Forces Medical College.
He was a 2003 recipient of India's prestigious Padma Shree honor.
He grew up in Sikkim, India, as a member of a Buddhist family. He later settled in Mumbai with his wife Gawa and children Rinzing and Pema.
He and American film star Brad Pitt were both in the 1997 feature Seven Years in Tibet.