Bollywood's 'Iron Man' with a heart of gold died here Thursday morning following a brief illness. He may have lost his final battle but he will foreven remain a "champ" and a "hero" in the eyes of his fans.
At a "grand old age" of 84, Dara Singh "used to stride down Juhu beach, body erect, smile on his face at a pace faster than 20-year-olds," filmmaker Shekhar Kapur recalled.
But a cardiac problem led to his hospitalisation July 7 at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Thereafter, he suffered a kidney malfunction and was put on dialysis, which led to brain damage.
His family wanted him to spend the last stages of his life at home, so he was shifted to his Juhu residence Wednesday night. He breathed his last at 7.30 a.m.
Dara Singh is survived by his wife and six children - three sons and three daughters. One of his sons, Vindu Dara Singh, is a known name in showbiz.
"Angel now gone to shine like a star up above," Vindu said after the death of his father, who was known as Bollywood's first macho man.
Celebrities including Manoj Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Tabu, Rajpal Yadav and Anu Malik visited Dara Singh's residence to pay condolences to the family.
His funeral at the Ville Parle Crematorium here Thursday afternoon also saw an overwhelming turn out of people with moist eyes.
Dara Singh's last journey seemed to be a celebration of the great and genuine man that he was - his body was taken to the funeral spot in a mini truck decked up with colourful flowers.Image: Relatives and fans of Veteran actor-wrestler Dara Singh during his funeral in Mumbai on Thursday, July 12, 2012