Overview: VINOD KHANNA
NICKNAME: Sexy Sanyasi
FULL NAME: Vinod Khanna
PROFESSION: Actor, Producer, Politician
DATE OF BIRTH: October 6, 1946
DATE OF DEATH: April 27, 2017
PLACE OF DEATH: Mumbai, India
CAUSE OF DEATH: Mumbai, India
ZODIAC SIGN: Libra
Born: October 6, 1946, in Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, British India
Died: April 27, 2017, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (bladder cancer)
Height: 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
Vinod Khanna was born on 6 October 1996 in Peshawar, now in Pakistan. After Partition, his family migrate to Punjab and then to Bombay. He did his schooling at Barnes School, Deolali and graduation from Sydenham College, Bombay. In the late 1960s, the by-then well-establish Sunil Dutt, as part of his experiment of grooming new talent for films, took Vinod Khanna (along with his brother Som Dutt) as apprentices in the field of acting.
Khanna’s film journey represents an amazing transformation of the screen image, rarely seen in Indian cinema. He began his career with a villainous role, in his mentor Sunil Dutt’s Man Ka Meet release in 1968, followed by Rajesh Nanda’s Nateeja as the hero.
In Mukul Dutt’s Aan Milo Sajna and Manmohan Desai’s Sachcha Jhootha, in both of which Rajesh Khanna was the hero, he went back to playing the villain. Vinod Khanna stole the show in the role of a dread dacoit in Raj Khosla’s Mera Gaon Mera Desh, in which Dharmendra was the hero.
But he soon moves out of the shadow of his mentor Sunil Dutt’s image (arch eyebrows, blood-shot eyes, and harsh expressions) and found through his second mentor, Gulzar (real name Sampooran Singh), opportunities to discover his talent as a sensitive hero. It was this writer-director who finally prepare the young actor for the place he was soon to find in Indian cinema.
In Gulzar’s Mere Apne, a harsh depiction of criminal politics amidst gang warfare in the late 1960s, the young actor appeared in the role of a college student who is forced to become a gangster. He and his minions are constantly fighting with a rival gang (led by Shatrughan Sinha, who was once Vinod Khanna’s friend, but later turns into a bitter enemy) in the streets and bylanes of a small city.
He gives refuge to a simple-heart old widow, who has been brought to the city from her village by a working couple pretending to be her relatives so that she can look after their uncared-for child. The harden hoodlums are deeply moved by the motherly affection and care the widow bestows on them.
They begin to realize the futility of their violent actions that are driven by hate and vengeance. Khanna very ably captures the gradual humane transformation of the criminal under the comforting shadow of the mother-like figure, propagating, in her simplicity and innocence, the warmth of love and friendship between the two warring gangs.
The gangs decide to reconcile when Meena Kumari is killing as a result of their rivalry. Gulzar utilizes the talents of his young disciple in another landmark film, Achanak, released in 1973. Achanak was evidently ‘inspire’ by R. K. Nayyar’s Yeh Raaste Hai Pyar Ke, a film based on the true-life story of K. M. Nanavati, a navy officer, who after murdering his adulterous wife, surrenders to the police.
However, in Achanak, the hero, after killing his disloyal wife, uses several tactics to evade being arrest by the police. Khanna also appears in the lead in Vikas Desai and Aruna Raje’s offbeat film Shaque opposite Shabana Azmi. In this film, he gives evidence in a murder trial against the accus.
However, a decade later, another criminal surface and creates suspicion in his wife’s mind that her husband is not all that innocent. Vinod Khanna enters big-budget cinema in the 1970s with Prakash Mehra’s Haath Ki Safai and Raj Khosla’s Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki follows by action-pack hits: B. It Chopra’s The Burning Train and Feroz Khan’s Qurbani, both release in 1980.
In the decade of the 1970s, he reaches the zenith of his career in counterpoint to Amitabh Bachchan, with whom he appeared in a string of hit films. Juxtaposing their position with the antiestablishment stance of Bachchan, Khanna’s characters reflect the conviction of a common upright individual driven by his conscience to help the wrathful hero in his battle against the unjust and cruel world.
Khanna’s characterizations, in fact, reflect the moral, emotional as well as physical support arising within the socio-political milieu for the realization of the vision of the angry renegade. This kind of bonding between individuals from diverse social settings who come together to promote the causes of social justice and personal redemption reaches its high point in Prakash Mehra’s Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.
In this superhit film, Khanna gave a memorable performance as a lawyer with a conscience who fulfills the dreams and hopes that Amitabh Bachchan’s hero is unable to due to his taint past. Other films starring these two heroes together were Khoon Pasina, Parvarish, and Amar Akbar Anthony, both direct by Manmohan Desai.
In the last-mention film, a runaway hit with some rip-roaring scenes, Vinod Khanna plays an honest police officer vis-à-vis Amitabh Bachchan’s hooligan with a heart of gold. They eventually join hands to defeat the villain and his henchmen.
The third hero Akbar also pitches in to thwart the designs of the bad guys. At a time when Vinod Khanna had to establish himself as one of the most successful actors in Bollywood, vying with Amitabh Bachchan for the top slot, he suddenly left the film industry in 1979 to become a follower of the spiritual guru Rajneesh.
After his return to the film world eight years later, he still manage to rediscover his status, appearing in several important films of his career such as Mukul Anand’s Insaaf, Raj N. Sippy’s Satyamev Jayate, Balraj Tah’s Jallianwala Bagh, Feroz Khan’s Dayavan, Rajiv Mehra’s Aakhri Adalat, Yash Chopra’s Chandni in the second lead, Gulzar’s Lekin and David Dhawan’s Elena Meena Deeka.
In Dayavan, a remake of the Tamil film Nayagan that Starr Kamalahasan, and one of the most memorable movies of Khanna, he portrays a seemingly invincible Bombay underworld don. The don is an unconstitutional power figure, worship by the common people as a hero for his kindness and the sense of protection his very presence provides. In Lekin, a ‘ghost story’, he posts an impressive performance as a museum curator determine to liberate an unhappy ‘ghost’, Rewa, who haunts a royal palace, even risking his own life.
The film had a superb musical score by Lath Mangeshkar’s brother Hridyanath Mangeshkar. As a senior actor, Khanna chose to appear in very few films, which include Ashu Trikha’s DeewAanapan and Vishram Sawant’s Risk. He won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He enters politics as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and became a minister in Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s cabinet in 2002.
Vinod Khanna Filmography
|1968||Man Ka Meet||Pran|
|1970||Sacha Jhutha||C.I.D. Inspector Pradhan|
|Aan Milo Sajna||Anil Choudhury|
|Purab Aur Paschim||Shyamu|
|1971||Mera Gaon Mera Desh||Jabbar Singh|
|Reshma Aur Shera||Vijay Singh|
|Jaane-Anjaane||Police Inspector Hemant|
|Dost Aur Dushman|
|Hum Tum Aur Woh||Vijay|
|Ek Hasina Do Diwane||Prakash|
|Ek Khiladi Bawan Pattey||Inspector Chetan|
|1973||Kuchhe Dhaage||Thakur Lakhan Singh|
|Achanak||Major Ranjeet Khanna|
|Gaddaar||C.B.I. Inspector Raj Kumar ‘Raja’|
|Pyaar Ka Rishta|
|Haath Ki Safai||Shankar Kumar|
|Kunwara Baap||Police Inspector Ramesh|
|Patthar Aur Payal||Surajbhan Singh ‘Sarju’|
|1975||Zameer||Daku Suraj Singh / Chimpoo|
|Qaid||Advocate Jai Saxena|
|Prem Kahani||Sher Khan|
|Nehle Pe Dehla|
|Shankar Shambhu||Pappu R. Singh / Shambhu L. ‘Chhotey Thakur’ Singh|
|Adha Din Adhi Raat||Gopal / Jagan|
|Amar Akbar Anthony||Amar|
|Khoon Pasina||Aslam Sher Khan / Shera|
|Hatyara||Vijay D. Singh/Inspector Ajay Singh|
|Aap Ki Khatir||Sagar|
|Chor Sipahee||Raja Dada / Raja Khanna|
|Inkaar||CID Officer Amarnath “Amar” Gill|
|1978||Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki||Ajay Chouhan|
|Daaku Aur Jawan||Ramu|
|Muqaddar Ka Sikandar||Vishal Anand|
|Aakhri Daku||Mangal Singh|
|Khoon Ka Badla Khoon|
|Khoon Ki Pukaar||Sher Singh / Amrit|
|1979||Lahu Ke Do Rang||Inspector Raj Singh / Gopi Lathuria|
|Yuvraaj||Gajendra / Vikramdev|
|Meera||Rana Bhojraj Sesodia|
|1980||The Burning Train||Vinod Verma|
|Garam Khoon||Ravi / Bablu|
|Bombay 405 Miles||Kanhaiya|
|1981||Ek Aur Ek Gyaraah|
|Khuda Kasam||Sumer Singh|
|Jail Yatra||Raju Verma|
|Kudrat||Dr. Naresh Gupta|
|1982||Rajput||Bhanupratap Singh / Bhawani|
|Daulat||Ravi / Kunwar Dilip Singh|
|1983||Daulat Ke Dushman||Vinod|
|Satyamev Jayate||Police Inspector Arjun Singh|
|1988||Dayavan||Shakti Vellu/ Dayavan|
|Aakhri Adaalat||Inspector Amar Kaushal|
|Suryaa: An Awakening||Suraj Singh|
|1990||Muqaddar Ka Badshaah||Naresh|
|Jurm||Inspector Shekhar Varma|
|C.I.D.||Police Inspector Veer Sehgal|
|Pathar Ke Insan||Arjun|
|1991||Khoon Ka Karz||Karan|
|1992||Humshakal||Insp. Vinod/Sunil Kumar/Dadu Kaliya|
|Police Aur Mujrim||DSP Vishal Khanna|
|Waqt Ka Badshah|
|1993||Kshatriya||Raja Jaswant Singh (Mirtagarh)|
|Parampara||Thakur Prithvi Singh|
|Insaniyat Ke Devta ||Balbir|
|1994||Eena Meena Deeka||Deeka|
|Ekka Raja Rani||Vishal ‘Vicky’ Kapoor|
|Pyar Ka Rog||Army Officer|
|1995||Janam Kundli||Randhir ‘Junior’ Mehra|
|1995||Hulchul (1995 film)||ACP Siddhant|
|1996||Muqadama||Captain Ajit Singh|
|Himalay Putra||ACP Suraj Khanna|
|Dhaal||Inspector Varun Saxena|
|2002||Kranti||Awadesh Pratap Singh|
|2004||Bhola in Bollywood||Himself|
|2005||Pehchaan: The Face of Truth||Advocate|
|Risk||Khalid Bin Zamal|
|2007-2009||Mere Apne||Kashinath Pandey|
|Wanted||Retd. Police Officer Shrikant Shekhawat|
|Red Alert: The War Within||Krishnaraj|
|2012||Dabangg 2||Prajapati Pandey|
|2013||Ramaiya Vastavaiya||Station Master|
|2014||Koyelaanchal||Saryu Bhan Singh|
|2017||Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi|