Kulbhushan Kharbanda

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Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Kharbanda in Feb 2012
Born (1944-10-21) 21 October 1944 (age 72)
Hasan Abdal, Punjab, British India, (Now in Pakistan)
Occupation actor
Years active 1974 – present
Spouse(s) Maheshwari Devi Kharbanda
Children Shruti Kharbanda, Kriti Kharbanda

Kulbhushan Kharbanda is an Indian actor, who works in Hindi and Punjabi films. He is better known for his role as antagonist Shakaal in Shaan (1980)[1][2] inspired by the character of Blofeld from James Bond movies.[3] Starting with 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 mainstream Hindi film industry. He later appeared in Mahesh Bhatt's classic, Arth (1982), Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), and in all three parts of Deepa Mehta's Elements trilogy, 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's production, of Atmakatha, directed by Vinay Sharma.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Kharbanda was born on 21st October 1944 in Hassanabdal, Attock District, Punjab, British India, which is known for the historic Gurdwara Panja Sahib. His family moved after partition and he did his early schooling from Jodhpur, Dehradun, Aligarh & Delhi. Later Kharbanda did his graduation from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.


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, and became its first paid artiste, though after a few years Yatrik collapsed as the director was lecturing in US universities.[6][7][8] That is when he moved to Kolkata and started working with "Padatik" theatre group which did Hindi theatre, under director Shyamanand Jalanin 1972. Here he worked for a while, before moving to films and Mumbai.[9][10]

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

Playing a bald villain, Shakaal in Shaan (1980) directed by Ramesh Sippy, 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), Refugee (2000). Though he continued appearing in art films, like Chakra (1981) with Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah, Arth (1982) with Shabana Azmi, Andhi Gali (1984) first Hindi film of Buddhadeb Dasgupta,[11] Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986) with Hema Malini, Utsav (1984) by Girish Karnad, Mandi (1983), Trikal (1985) and 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 Production's, Kalyug. He has also appeared in period pieces such as Jodha Akbar and Lagaan. His most recent film are Aloo Chaat and Team: The Force. He has acted in a number of Punjabi films. He had also portrayed the hero in the legendary film Chan Pardesi (1980) and also starred in the Punjabi comedy Mahaul Theek Hai (1999).

He has acted in six of Deepa Mehta's movies and all her trilogies: "Earth","Fire" and "Water". He also has done a German film [2009]. He has also acted in TV series, like Shanno Ki Shaadi and Mahi Ve.[1] He has been seen on the stage in plays like Teen Farishtay, Hatya ek akaar ki, Baki Itihaas, Ek Shunya Bajirao, Guinea Pig, Girdhade, Sakharam Binder and recently, Atmakatha.


Awards and nominations[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. 
  4. ^ "Adieu to stereotypes". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 October 2000. 
  5. ^ "Atmakatha". 
  6. ^ "Joy de vivre". The Hindu. 4 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "40 Years, and Still Travelling". Indian Express. 8 August 2003. 
  8. ^ "The stage is set...". The Hindu. 4 August 2005. 
  9. ^ "Calcutta, home to Hindi Theatre". The Hindu. 29 October 1997. 
  10. ^ "Usha Ganguly". mumbaitheatreguide.com. November 2006. 
  11. ^ "I'm making a Hindi film: Buddhadeb". The Times of India. 10 December 2010. 

External links[edit]