Kulbhushan Kharbanda

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Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Kharbanda in February 2012
Born (1944-10-21) 21 October 1944 (age 75)
Alma materKirori Mal College Delhi University[citation needed]
Years active1974 – present
Known forShaan

Kulbhushan Kharbanda (born 21 October 1944) is an Indian actor who works in Hindi and Punjabi films. He is best known for his role as the antagonist Shakaal in Shaan (1980),[1][2] inspired by the character Blofeld from James Bond movies.[3] Starting off with the Delhi-based theatre group 'Yatrik' in the 1960s, he moved to films with Sai Paranjpye's Jadu Ka Shankh in 1974. He worked in several parallel cinema films before working in the mainstream Hindi film industry. He appeared in Mahesh Bhatt's classic Arth (1982), Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), and in all three parts of Deepa Mehta's Elements trilogy:, Waaris (1988), Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005).[4]

After nearly two decades he was seen on the theatre stage at the Padatik Theatre in Kolkata in the production of Atmakatha, directed by Vinay Sharma.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Kharbanda is married to Maheshwari, a woman who was previously married to the Maharaja of Kotah. Born the daughter of Maharaja Ram Singh II of Pratapgarh, Rajasthan, Maheshwari married Kharbanda in 1965.[6]


After his studies he and a few of his college friends formed a theatre group called "Abhiyaan", and then joined Delhi-based "Yatrik", a bilingual theatre repertory founded by director Joy Michael in 1964; he became its first paid artiste, though after a few years Yatrik collapsed as the director was lecturing in US universities.[7][8][9] That is when he moved to Kolkata in 1972 and started working with the theatre group "Padatik" which did Hindi theatre, under director Shyamanand Jalan. Here he worked for a while before moving on to Mumbai and films.[10][11]

He first got noticed in Nishaant (1974) by Shyam Benegal, with whom he went on to work in several more films including Manthan (1976), Bhumika: The Role (1977), Junoon (1978), and Kalyug (1980). Soon he was a regular with parallel cinema directors, like in Godhuli (1977) with B. V. Karanth.

Playing the bald villain Shakaal in Shaan (1980) directed by Ramesh Sippy, he saw his transition into Bollywood mainstream. Kharbanda went on to appear in Ghayal (1990), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Gupt (1997), Border (1997), Yes Boss (1997) and Refugee (2000). However, he continued appearing in art films such as Chakra (1981), with Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah, Arth (1982), with Shabana Azmi, Andhi Gali (1984), the first Hindi film of Buddhadeb Dasgupta,[12] Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), with Hema Malini, Utsav (1984), by Girish Karnad, Mandi (1983), Trikal (1985), Susman (1987), by Shyam Benegal, Naseem (1995), by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Monsoon Wedding (2001) directed by Mira Nair.

He portrayed Reema Lagoo's husband and Raj Babbar's brother in Shashi Kapoor's Filmwalas Productions' Kalyug. He has also appeared in period pieces such as Jodha Akbar and Lagaan. His most recent films are Aloo Chaat and Team: The Force. He has acted in a number of Punjabi films. He portrayed the hero in the legendary film Chan Pardesi (1980) and starred in the Punjabi comedy Mahaul Theek Hai (1999).

He has acted in six of Deepa Mehta's movies and all her trilogy films: Earth, Fire and Water. He did a German film in 2009.

He has acted in TV serials, such as Shanno Ki Shaadi and Mahi Ve.[1]

He has been seen on the stage in plays such as Teen Farishtay, Hatya ek akaar ki, Baki Itihaas, Ek Shunya Bajirao, Guinea Pig, Girdhade, Sakharam Binder and, recently, Atmakatha.


Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Down movie lane". The Tribune. 1 July 2006.
  2. ^ "Bollywood's villains we love to hate". CNN-IBN.
  3. ^ "A homage to G P Sippy". Bollywood Hungama, Screen. 5 January 2008. Archived from the original on 21 May 2008.
  4. ^ "Adieu to stereotypes". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 October 2000.
  5. ^ "Atmakatha".
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Joy de vivre". The Hindu. 4 March 2010.
  8. ^ "40 Years, and Still Travelling". Indian Express. 8 August 2003. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  9. ^ "The stage is set..." The Hindu. 4 August 2005.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Calcutta, home to Hindi Theatre". The Hindu. 29 October 1997. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Usha Ganguly". mumbaitheatreguide.com. November 2006.
  12. ^ "I'm making a Hindi film: Buddhadeb". The Times of India. 10 December 2010.

External links[edit]