Veteran actor Vinod Khanna dies at 70

Chandigarh, April 27

Veteran actor Vinod Khanna passed  away at a Mumbai hospital on Thursday after a prolonged illness. He was 70.

Khanna was admitted to the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital on March 31 with severe dehydration. The hospital authorities refused to share the reasons for his demise.

He was the sitting BJP MP from Gurdaspur in Punjab.

Khanna acted in lead roles in various superhit films and is best remembered for his performance in ‘Mere Apne’, ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’, ‘Gaddar’, ‘Imtihaan’ ‘Qurbani’, ‘Kudrat’, ‘Dayavaan’ and ‘Jurm’.

After making his debut in 1968, Khanna acted in small second lead or negative roles. His angry young man role in ‘Mere Apne’, his negative role in  ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’, and his role in the critically acclaimed ‘Achanak’ as a military officer-turned fugitive received tremendous applause from both the film industry and his fans.In 1982, at the peak of his film career, Khanna temporarily quit the film industry to follow his spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh. After a five-year hiatus, he returned to the Hindi film industry giving two back-to-back hits in ‘Insaaf’ and ‘Satyamev Jayate’.Khanna was hailed as one of the most handsome actors in Bollywood, along with Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor. Khanna was born into a Punjabi family to Kamla and Kishanchand Khanna, a textiles businessman, on October 6, 1946, in Pakistan.  He acted in 141 films between 1968 and 2013  and was last seen in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Dilwale’ in 2015.

Vinod studied commerce at Mumbai’s Sydenham College before moving into acting.

Khanna was married to Geetanjali between 1971 and 1985 and has two sons with her, Rahul Khanna and Akshaye Khanna. He married Kavita with whom he has two children, Sakshi and Shraddha. Khanna forayed into politics by joining the BJP. He was Minister of State for Tourism and Culture in 2002. He might have made his debut as a villain in Sunil Dutt’s 1968 film ‘Man Ka Meet’, but later started playing lead roles. The film, which was made to launch Dutt’s brother Som, helped make Vinod the cynosure of all eyes. Within weeks of the release of the film, more than a dozen producers lined up outside his house to sign him. The actor also received a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 for his contribution to the film industry for over three decades.

His most acclaimed works:

• Hum Tum Aur Woh (1971) He played the solo lead hero in the flick

  • Mere Apne (1971)

‘Hum Tum Aur Woh’ was followed by the 1971 multi-starrer and critically acclaimed ‘Mere Apne’ that was directed by Gulzar.

  • Achanak (1973)

His role in this critically acclaimed movie as the military officer-turned fugitive received tremendous applause.

  • Imtihan (1974)

The film had Khanna playing a tough college teacher who is falsely accused by one of his students of sexual harassment which had him essaying both sensitivity and charm in equal measure.

  • Shaque (1976)

He was universally praised for his role and some say the underrated film contains the best acting of his career. • Aap Ki Khatir (1977) Rekha and Vinod Khanna starred together in this situational comedy about a wife who takes a loan from a loan shark for the sake of her husband and then is desperate to pay off the loan.

  • Inkaar (1978)

Based on Kurosawa film ‘High And Low’ (1963), the film has Khanna playing a hardworking cop who moves heaven and hell to get to the root of a kidnapping and wins back the heart of his former girlfriend (Vidya Sinha) in the process.

  • Wanted (2009)

An official remake of a Telugu film ‘Pokiri’, the film stars Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia, Prakash Raj, Vinod Khanna and Mahesh Manjrekar in the lead roles.

Dabangg (2010)

Directed by Abhinav Kashyap and produced by Arbaaz Khan, Vinod Khanna was seen as Salman Khan’s father in ‘Dabangg’ • Ek Thi Rani Asi Bhi (2017) The biopic features Hema Malini in the lead role, and maps Vijay Raje Scindia’s political career and her estrangement from her son Madhavrao Scindia (Rajesh Shringarpure) after the death of her husband Jivajirao Scindia (Vinod Khanna). With agencies