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Vinod Khanna

Vinod Khanna is possibly the only male star in the Hindi film industry who forsook fame at the height of success. After a long string of hits in 1977-1978, Vinod was Amitabh Bachchan’s direct competitor in the superstar sweepstakes. He shocked filmdom and the public by announcing his retirement. Nonchalantly, he determinedly embarked on a quest for spiritual fulfillment.

People should have learnt to expect the unexpected from Vinod Khanna. After all, a few years earlier, he had already worked the rare alchemy that let him manage the difficult crossover from ‘villain’ to ‘hero.’ A student of Mumbai’s elite Sydenham college, he found acting more exciting than his family business and signed on Sunil Dutt’s home production Man Ka Meet (1968). Designed as a launch pad for Sunil’s brother, Som Dutt, Man Ka Meet, ironically, made stars of its moon-faced heroine Leena Chandarvarkar and its tall and hunky anti-hero, Vinod Khanna.

As a villain whose handsome face hid ugly designs and deeds, Vinod was lapped up by the audience. But few producers had the confidence to let a major film ride on his brawny shoulders. He had to pair with starlets like Bindu (Nateeja) and Bharati (Hum Tum Aur Woh); or be the unwanted hypotenuse in many a triangular tango (Aan Milo Sajna, Ek Haseena Do Deewane) where all he was required to do was sneer and exude charisma. As a blackguard, Vinod was most memorable playing the dacoit in Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971). Sporting a huge black tilak, a crumpled dhoti and bloodshot eyes, Vinod matched he-man Dharmendra shoulder to shoulder. A section of the audience was convinced that second leads Laxmi Chhaya and Vinod Khanna had stolen the thunder in this horses-and-bullets megahit.

Not content with being a sought-after model of male nastiness, Vinod yearned for more. Debutant director Gulzar provided the much-needed breakthrough, giving Vinod the role of a soul-troubled street desperado in his Mere Apne (1971). The audience enjoyed the sparring between Vinod and Shatrughan Sinha as rival street gang leaders. Vinod capably blended toughness with sensitivity (his character was jilted by his girlfriend). He began his transition to hero roles in right earnest.

Thankfully, the actor also attempted risky, offbeat roles. Vinod won raves for his mature and complex performance as a murder suspect in Aruna Vikas’ small budget sleeper success, Shaque (1976). His lovemaking scenes with Shabana Azmi were considered bold for the times and created a stir. In Gulzar’s Meera (1979), Vinod brought alive the frustration of an essentially decent man unable to reconcile himself to his wife Meera’s devotion to a force bigger than himself.

Even as Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki and Muqaddar Ka Sikander light up the marquee, Vinod found himself questioning the gossamer nature of worldly glory. It shored his resolve to join his guru Rajneesh’s ashram. Neither the runaway success of his starrer Qurbani (1980) nor his early 1970s marriage to Geetanjali (which ended in a divorce) stopped Vinod from setting off on a spiritual odyssey.

Even as Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki and Muqaddar Ka Sikander light up the marquee, Vinod found himself questioning the gossamer nature of worldly glory. It shored his resolve to join his guru Rajneesh’s ashram. Neither the runaway success of his starrer Qurbani (1980) nor his early 1970s marriage to Geetanjali (which ended in a divorce) stopped Vinod from setting off on a spiritual odyssey.

Aruna Raje’s Rihaee (1990) where he played an emancipated man who accepts his wife’s straying and Gulzar’s underrated metaphysical melodrama, Lekin (1991) were the two bright spots in a by now speckled career. Vinod went about rebuilding his life and married again. He launched his son Akshaye with Himalayaputra (1997), entered politics, became the minister of state for tourism and culture and proved himself willing to act in the occasional film like Leela, if it took his fancy.

 

Awards and nominations Received By Vinod Khanna

  • 1975 – Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Haath Ki Safai
  • 1977 – Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Hera Pheri
  • 1977 – Filmfare Nomination as Best Actor for Shaque
  • 1979 – Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Muqaddar Ka Sikander
  • 1981 – Filmfare Nomination as Best Actor for Qurbani
  • 1999 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2005 – Stardust Awards – Rolej Model for the Year
  • 2007 – Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 2017 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award (posthumously).

 

Films Done By Vinod Khanna

  • 1969 Man Ka Meet None Villain
  • 1969 Nateeja None Villain
  • 1970 Sachaa Jhutha None C.I.D. Inspector Pradhan
  • 1970 Mastana Bharati
  • 1970 Aan Milo Sajna  Asha Parekh
  • 1970  Purab Aur Paschim Bharati
  • 1971 Jaane-Anjaane Leena Chandavarkar
  • 1971 Elaan Rekha
  • 1971 Reshma Aur SheraNone Villain
  • 1971 Preetam Leena Chandavarkar
  • 1971 Rakhwala Leena Chandavarkar
  • 1971 Hungama Zeenat Aman
  • 1972 Ek Hasina Do Diwane Babita
  • 1972 Ek Bechara Rekha
  • 1972 Do Yaar Rekha
  • 1973 Kuchhe Dhaage Moushumi
  • 1973 Dhamkee Kumkum
  • 1973 Pyaar Ka Rishta Mumtaz
  • 1973 Paanch Dushman None
  • 1973 Gaddaar Yogeeta Bali
  • 1973 Anokhi Ada Rekha
  • 1973 Achanak Lily Chakraborty
  • 1974 Aarop Saira Banu
  • 1974 Yogeeta Bali
  • 1975 Zameer None Guest Appearance
  • 1975 Qaid Leena Chandavarkar
  • 1975 Sewak Neetu Singh
  • 1975 Prem Kahani None Special Appearance
  • 1976 Shankar Shambhu Sulakshana Pandit
  • 1976 Hera Pheri Sulakshana Pandit Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
  • 1976 Shaque Shabana Azmi Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
  • 1976 Nehle Pe Dehla None
  • 1976 Lagaam Yogeeta Bali
  • 1977 Khoon Pasina Rekha
  • 1977 Amar Akbar Anthony Shabana Azmir
  • 1977 Aap Ki Khatir Rekha
  • 1977 Hatyara  Moushumi Chatterjee
  • 1977 Parvarish Shabana Azmi
  • 1978 Aakhri Daku Rekha
  • 1979 Sarkari Mehmaan Jasmin
  • 1980 Zalim Leena Chandavarkar
  • 1981 KudratHema Malini
  • 1981 Jail Yatra Reena Roy
  • 1981 Khuda Kasam Tina Munim
  • 1981 Ek Aur Ek Gyaraah Zarina Wahab
  • 1982 Rajput Tina Munim, Ranjeeta
  • 1982 Insaan Reena Roy
  • 1982 Raaj Mahal   Neetu Singh
  • 1982 TaaqatRaakhee
  • 1982 Daulat Zeenat Aman
  • 1983 Daulat Ke Dushman None re-release of Paanch Dushman from 1973
  • 1987 Insaaf Dimple Kapadia
  • 1987 Satyamev Jayate Meenakshi Seshadri, Anita Raj
  • 1987 Zameen Sridevi Unreleased
  • 1988 Rihaee Hema Malini
  • 1989 Ustaad Shankar
  • 1990 Maha-Sangram Madhuri Dixit
  • 1991 Farishtay Sridevi
  • 1991 Khoon Ka Karz Dimple Kapadia
  • 1991 Dharam Sankat Amrita Singh
  • 1991 Garajna Sridevi Unreleased
  • 1992 Nishchaiy None
  • 1992 Humshakal  Meenakshi Seshadri, Kiran June Double Role
  • 1992 Waqt Ka Badshah Moonmoon Sen
  • 1992 Police Aur Mujrim Meenakshi Seshadri
  • 1993 Maarg  Hema Malini, Dimple Kapadia
  • 1993 Insaniyat Ke Devta Jayaprada
  • 1993 Kshatriya Meenakshi Seshadri, Nafisa Ali
  • 1993 Parampara Ramya Krishna, Ashwini Bhave
  • 1994 Pyar Ka Rog None
  • 1994 Eena Meena DeekaNone
  • 1994 Ekka Raja Rani Ashwini Bhave
  • 1995 Janam Kundli Reena Roy
  • 1995 Hulchul Navni Parihar
  • 1996 Muqadama Zeba
  • 1997 Maharani Pratap TV Series
  • 1997 Himalay Putra Hema Malini Also Producer of the film
  • 1997 Dhaal None
  • 2000 Dus None Incomplete
  • 2001 Deewaanapan None
  • 2002 Kranti Rati Agnihotri
  • 2012 Leela Dimple Kapadia
  • 2004 Bhola in Bollywood Himself Special Appearance
  • 2005 Pehchaan: The Face of Truth Rati Agnihotri
  • 2007 Risk None
  • 2007 Godfather None Lead rolePakistani Film
  • 2007-2009 Mere Apne None TV serial
  • 2008 Halla Bol Himself Special Appearance
  • 2009 99 None JC
  • 2009 Red Alert: The War Within None Krishnaraj
  • 2009 Wanted None
  • 2009 Fast Forward None
  • 2010 Dabangg Dimple Kapadia Prajapati Pandey
  • 2011 Tell Me O Kkhuda None
  • 2012 Players None Victor Braganza
  • 2012 Dabangg 2 Dimple Kapadia
  • 2013 Ramaiya Vastavaiya None
  • 2013 Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi None Delayed last release
  • 2014 Koyelaanchal None
  • 2015 Chooriyan None
  • 2015 Dilwale None
  • 2016 Downtown None
  • 2020 Guns of Banaras None Posthumous release, (final film role)