Vinod Khanna passed away in the early hours of Thursday due to gall bladder cancer at the age of 70. He was born in a trading family in Peshawar which started in Lahore but later came to Mumbai. He studied in Barnes school Deolali and later Sydneham College in Mumbai. 

Vinod Khanna was one of the most dashing leading men of the seventies and the eighties. His first films got him noticed as a villain in films like ‘Man Ka Meet’ in which he was launched by Sunil Dutt where the hero was his brother Som Dutt but ironically Som Dutt faded away but Vinod Khanna signed many films out of which Aan Milo Sajna opposite Rajesh Khanna, Raj Khosla’s ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’, Manmohan Desai’s Saccha Jhutta, Manoj Kumars ‘Purab Aur Paschim’ ‘S Ramanathan’s ‘Mastana’, and ‘Elan ‘ with Vinod Mehra’ directed by K Raman; made him a high priced villain. But the genius filmmaker Gulzar spotted a spark in him and launched him as the hero in ‘Mera Apne’ which was about youth angst and turf wars and which was adapted from a successful Bengali film and also made a much appreciated thriller ‘Achanak’ which was based on the famous Nanavati murder case recently remade as Akshay Kumars National Award winning ‘Rustom’. This film started the successful career of Khanna in which films like ‘Hum Tum Aur Woh’, ‘Lahu Ke Do Rang’, ‘Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, ‘Aarop’, ‘Jail Yatra’, ‘Garam Khoon’, ‘Rajput’,’Kudrat’, ‘The Burning Train’, ‘Aakhri Dao’, ‘Inkaar’, ‘Kacche Dhage’, ‘Prem Kahani’, ‘Shaque, ‘Rihaee’, ‘Hera Pheri’, Parvarish’, ‘Haath Ki Safaai’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ were prominent. He got critical appreciation for his role of a professor in a remake of the Sidney Poitier film ‘To Sir with Love’ titled Imtihaan where he starred opposite Tanuja and was directed By Madan Sinha. He starred with most of the leading ladies of that time like Simi Garewal, Yogita Bali, Hema Malini’, Shabana Azmi, Nutan, Neeta Mehta, Saira Banu, Vidya Sinha, Parveen Babi, etc. But in the late eighties he seeked solace in the Osho commune and gave away the signing amounts of all his producers. He worked as a gardener in the commune. But after some years he gave away that too and his comeback started with the hit Nitin Manmohan film ‘Insaaf’ directed by Mukul Anand, and Satyamev Jayate produced by Romu Sippy and directed by Raj Sippy. Then he worked in many JP Dutta films like ‘Kshatriya’, ‘Batwara’ and then Satee Shouries ‘Farishtey’ directed by Anil Sharma. His most cherished comeback role was a Kamal Haasan remake role of a don in ‘Dayavan’ directed by one of his best friends Feroz Khan with whom he did one of his most successful films of the eighties ‘Qurbani’ which also starred Zeenat Aman. He also did a film for fellow actor Ranjeet in ‘Kaarnama and Kiske Liye’. He also acted in Esmayeel Shroff’s ‘Suryaa’, and Ekka Raja Rani. He also acted in character roles in films like ‘Risk’ but his leading man role in Mahesh Bhatts Jurm was very much appreciated. Then he started doing fatherly roles in films like ‘Dabaang;, ‘Mahasan gram’, ‘Deewanapan. One of his unreleased film was Hema Malini’s home production ‘Marg’ directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Some of his recent films were Koylaanchal, and Ramayya Vastavaiyya. His last release was the much delayed Gulbahar Singh Film ‘Ek Rani Aisi Bhi Thi’. He won two Film fare awards for the Best Supporting Actor in Prakash Mehra’s ‘Haath Ki Safai’ and ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’.

He produced ‘Himalayputra’ to launch his son Akshaye Khanna. He married twice, once to college girlfriend Geetanjali affectionately known as Geetli, and has two sons Rahul and Akshaye from her and then to Kavita Daftary from whom he has a son Saakshi who is about to debut in Hindi films and daughter Shraddha. He was also an active politician and was the sitting MP from Gurdaspur constituency (between 1998-2009 and 2014-2017).In July 2002, Vinod Khanna became the minister for culture and tourism in the Atal Behari Vajpayee Cabinet. Six months later, he became the minister of State for External Affairs. He did a lot of good work for the people of Gurdaspur. In 5 decades he starred in more than 150 films. 

Super Cinema pays heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

supercinemaArticlesBollywood Trade Magazine