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 told that he had qualified for the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College however after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, his mother pleaded with him to give up joining the army after several people of their village were killed. Danny then enrolled in the Film institute in Pune.
Pem Deechen's(Danny's Brother's) hotel in West Sikkim
During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Urdu, the lingua franca of Bollywood at that time 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 where he played the role of Pathans.
He started out with B-grade movies such as 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. He missed out on one of the most famous villain roles in Indian Cinema, that of Gabbar Singh for Sholay. He was the original choice for the role but had to back out because of a clash of dates. The character later became an icon and made Amjad Khan a star overnight.
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 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 currently resides in Juhu in Mumbai. In recent times he has become more selective as to the roles he plays.