Vinod Khanna

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Vinod Khanna
Vinod Khanna at Esha Deol's wedding at ISCKON temple 11 (cropped).jpg
Vinod Khanna at Esha Deol's wedding in 2011
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
2014 – 27 April 2017
Preceded byPratap Singh Bajwa
Succeeded bySunil Jakhar
In office
Preceded bySukhbuns Kaur
Succeeded byPratap Singh Bajwa
ConstituencyGurdaspur, Punjab
Personal details
Born(1946-10-06)6 October 1946[1]
Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, British India
(now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
Died27 April 2017(2017-04-27) (aged 70)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Cause of deathBladder cancer
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
  • Geetanjali Taleyarkhan[2] (m. 1971–1985)
  • Kavita Daftary (m. 1990–2017)
Children4; including Rahul, Akshaye
Alma materSydenham College, Mumbai
OccupationActor, politician

Vinod Khanna (6 October 1946 – 27 April 2017)[1][3] was an Indian actor, producer and politician.[4] He was the recipient of two Filmfare awards. He was also an active politician and was the MP from the Gurdaspur constituency between 1998–2009 and 2014–2017. In July 2002, Khanna became the minister for Culture and Tourism in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Six months later, he became the Minister of State for external affairs.[5]

After making his film debut in 1968, Khanna first acted in supporting and antagonistic roles; as an angry young man in the movie Mere Apne,[6] as the main villain[7] in the super-hit movie Mera Gaon Mera Desh,[8] and as the military officer turned fugitive[9] in the critically acclaimed movie Achanak, which was a film based on the events of K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra.[10][11] Khanna played lead roles in many films and is best remembered for his performances in Kuchhe Dhaage, Gaddaar, Imtihaan, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, The Burning Train, Qurbani, Kudrat, Parvarish, Khoon Pasina, Dayavan, Chandni and Jurm.[8]

In 1982, at the peak of his film career, Khanna temporarily quit the film industry to follow his spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh.[12] After a 5-year hiatus, he returned to the Hindi film industry with two hit films; Insaaf and Satyamev Jayate.[13]

Khanna has been posthumously awarded India’s highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2018 by the Government of India at 65th National Film Awards.

Early life[edit]

Khanna was born in a Punjabi Hindu family to Kamla and Krishanchand Khanna on 6 October 1946, in Peshawar, British India (now in Pakistan).[1] He had three sisters and one brother. Shortly after his birth, India was partitioned and the family left Peshawar and moved to Mumbai.[14]

He attended St. Mary's School, Mumbai until class II and then transferred to Delhi.[15] In 1957, the family moved to Delhi where he attended Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. Although the family moved back to Mumbai in 1960, he was sent to Barnes School in Deolali, near Nashik. During his time at the boarding school Khanna watched the epics Solva Saal and Mughal-e-Azam and fell in love with motion pictures.[16] He graduated with a commerce degree from Sydenham College, Mumbai.[17] He loved cricket. "The public may think I am just another filmstar, but there was a time when I played fair cricket with (Test player) Budhi Kunderan. Later I played with Eknath Solkar at the Hindu Gym. I used to bat at No. 4 but settled for films the moment I realised I couldn't be a Vishwanath! Even so cricket, not films, is my first love," he wrote in The Illustrated Weekly of India in 1979. [18]



Vinod was spotted by Sunil Dutt after graduation, and made his acting debut in Sunil Dutt's 1968 film Man Ka Meet (directed by Adurthi Subba Rao) as a villain and in which Som Dutt was the hero, a remake of the Tamil film Kumari Penn.[19] At the start of his career, he played supporting or villainous characters in films such as Purab Aur Paschim, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna[20] and Mastana in 1970, and in Mera Gaon Mera Desh and Elaan in 1971.[19]


Khanna was one of few Hindi actors who began by playing villains and moved on to play the hero.[21][22] He got his first break as the solo lead hero in the film Hum Tum Aur Woh (1971) opposite Bharathi Vishnuvardhan. It was followed by the 1971 multi-hero film about youth unrest[23] Mere Apne directed by Gulzar.[24]

In 1973, his performance as an army officer facing death row in another film scripted and directed by Gulzar, Achanak, was critically acclaimed.[23] It echoed the true life story of K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra and Khanna portrayed Kawas Nanavati, the real-life Navy officer.[19] In 1974 he played a college professor in Imtihaan, which was different than his action movie roles. The movie was successful commercially in spite of releasing along with Roti Kapda Aur Makan and Majboor.[25] This movie had the song "Ruk Jaan Nahi Tu Kahin Haarke" picturised on Vinod Khanna.[26][27]

Khanna's Amar Akbar Anthony and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar were the highest grossing Indian movies of 1977[28] and 1978 respectively.[29][30][31] Muqaddar Ka Sikandar was the third highest-grossing Hindi movie in the 1970s after Sholay and Bobby.[32] Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki was released in 1978.[33] In this movie Khanna played a supporting male lead to Asha Parekh and Nutan.[23]

Between 1973 and 1982, Khanna played the lead role in movies which included Farebi and Hatyara with Moushumi Chatterjee; Qaid in 1975 and Zalim in 1980, both with Leena Chandavarkar; and Inkaar in 1978 opposite Vidya Sinha. He did successful movies such as Dhamkee with Kumkum, Gaddaar (1973 film) with Yogita Bali, Aap Ki Khatir (1977 film) opposite Rekha, Raajmahal with Neetu Singh, Khoon Ki Pukaar, Shaque and Adha Din Aadhi Raat with Shabana Azmi, Aarop with Saira Banu, Taaqat with Rakhee and Parveen Babi, Jail Yatra and Insaan (1982 film) opposite Reena Roy, Daulat (1982 film) with Zeenat Aman and The Burning Train with Parveen Babi. In 1980, he starred in Feroz Khan's Qurbani (1980) which became the highest-grossing film of that year.[34] He was, at the time, one of the highest paid actors in Hindi films.[35]

Vinod also starred in 47 multi-hero films.[36] In Shankar Shambhu he co-starred with Feroz Khan and in Chor Sipahee and Ek Aur Ek Gyarah he co-starred with Shashi Kapoor, in Hera Pheri, Khoon Pasina, Amar Akbar Anthony, Zameer, Parvarish and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar Khanna appeared with Amitabh Bacchan; and in Haath Ki Safai and Aakhri Daku he co-starred with Randhir Kapoor. He appeared with Sunil Dutt in Daku Aur Jawan. He acted with Jeetendra in Ek Hasina Do Diwane, Ek Bechara, Parichay, Insaan (1982 film), Anokhi Ada and Janam Kundli. He did Rakhwala, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Patthar Aur Payal, The Burning Train, Batwara and Farishtay with Dharmendra. He worked with Shatrughan Sinha in films such as Panch Dushman, Bombay 405 Miles, Dost Aur Dushman, Pyaar Ka Rishta, Daulat Ke Dushman and Do Yaar, beginning with Gulzar's directorial debut Mere Apne.[37] Gulzar worked with him in Achanak, Meera and Lekin, after his first movie Mere Apne.[38]


Khanna became a follower of the spiritual teacher Osho (Rajneesh) and left the film industry in 1982 for five years.[39][40]


In 1987, Khanna returned to films with Insaaf in which he performed with Dimple Kapadia.[41] After his comeback, he played romantic roles in Jurm and Chandni, but he was mostly offered roles in action films.[42] after Amar Akbar Anthony.[43] His Muzaffar Ali-directed Dimple Kapadia-starrer Zooni is still unreleased.[44][45]

After Qurbani, he worked with Feroz Khan again in Dayavan in 1988. The movie was a remake of Maniratnam's 1987 Tamil movie Nayakan.[46]

In the 1990s, Khanna appeared in films including Muqaddar Ka Badshaah, CID, Jurm, Lekin, Humshakal, Aakhri Adaalat, Maha-Sangram, Khoon Ka Karz, Police Aur Mujrim, Kshatriya, Insaaniyat Ke Devta, Ekka Raja Rani and Eena Meena Deeka. Actor Salman Khan played a supporting role in the film Nishchaiy in which Vinod Khanna is in the lead role. His pairing with Meenakshi Seshadri was appreciated by audiences and the pair made films such as Jurm, Mahaadev, Police Aur Mujrim, Humshakal and Satyamev Jayate. Actor Ranjeet directed Kaarnama in 1990 with Vinod in the lead role. He co-starred with Raaj Kumar in Suryaa: An Awakening.

In 1997, he launched his son Akshaye Khanna in Himalay Putra in which he also starred alongside him. In 1999, Vinod Khanna received a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry for over three decades. Since then, he started playing character roles in films such as Deewaanapan (2002), Red Alert: The War Within, Wanted (2009), Dabangg (2010) and Dabangg 2(2012). In 2007, he starred in the Pakistani film Godfather.

Khanna also ventured into television, playing the male lead role of "Kashinath" in the Smriti Irani-produced Hindi serial mere apne, which aired on the channel 9X in 2009. In 2014, he played the lead role in Koyelaanchal, in which he played the role of a Godfather and leader of the coal mafia.[47] He made his last film appearance in the 2015 film Dilwale alongside Shah Rukh Khan. The film was directed by National awards-winning film director Rohit Shetty and released on 18 December 2015 worldwide.He also acted in the film EK THI RANI AISI BHI,a biopic based on the life and times of Vijaya raje Scindia of Gwalior. The film was released in 2017 and also premiered on Zee T.V.


In 1997, Khanna joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)[48] and was elected from Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab in the next year's Lok Sabha poll. In 1999, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the same constituency. Later, he became union minister for culture and tourism in July 2002. Six months later, he was moved to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) as Minister of State. In 2004 he won re-election from Gurdaspur. However, Khanna lost out in the 2009 general elections. In the 2014 general election he was again elected for the 16th Lok sabha from the same constituency.[49]. No other Bollywood star has triumphed in four Lok Sabha polls (1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014). The BJP MP from Gurdaspur also served as Union minister of state for tourism and culture, as well as external affairs. [50].

Personal life[edit]

Khanna met his first wife Gitanjali Taleyarkhan in college.[51][16] Khanna married Gitanjali in 1971[52] and had two sons with her, Rahul and Akshaye; both became Bollywood actors. In 1975, he became a disciple of Osho and in the early 1980s, moved to Rajneeshpuram.[40][53] Khanna and Gitanjali settled for a divorce in 1985.[54]

In 1990, upon returning to India, Khanna married Kavita Daftary, daughter of industrialist Sharayu Daftary.[55] They had a son, Sakshi (born 1991),[56] and a daughter, Shraddha.[57]

Illness and death[edit]

Khanna was hospitalised at the Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Center in Girgaon, Mumbai on 2 April 2017 for a few weeks after suffering from severe dehydration.[58] He died at 11:20 a.m. (IST) on 27 April, and it was revealed that he had been battling advanced bladder cancer.[59] Although the news about his deteriorating health started to spread in early 2017, his family declined to disclose any information.[60] He was cremated at the Worli Crematorium on the same day.[61]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Vinod Khanna won his first filmfare award for Haath Ki Safai.[62]


Year Film Role Notes
1968 Man Ka Meet[69]
1969 Nateeja[70]
1970 Sachaa Jhutha[71] Inspector Pradhan
Aan Milo Sajna[72] Anil Choudhury
Mastana[71] Police Inspector Prasad
Purab Aur Paschim Gopi's groom[73] [74]
1971 Mera Gaon Mera Desh Jabbar Singh[69]
Reshma Aur Shera[75] Vijay Singh
Mere Apne[24] Shyam
Elaan Ram Singh
Hungama Preetam
Rakhwala Shyam
Preetam Anil Thakur
Jaane-Anjaane Police Inspector Hemant
Dost Aur Dushman
Hum Tum Aur Woh[69] Vijay
Memsaab Arjun
Guddi[75] Himself shooting of Mere Apne (uncredited)
1972 Parichay Amit
Do Yaar
Ek Bechara
Ek Hasina Do Diwane Prakash
Ek Khiladi Bawan Pattey Inspector Chetan
1973 Kuchhe Dhaage[76] Thakur Lakhan Singh
Achanak Major Ranjeet Khanna[77]
Anokhi Ada Gopal
Gaddaar[69] Inspector Raj Kumar 'Raja'
Paanch Dushman
Pyaar Ka Rishta
1974 Aarop Subhash
Haath Ki Safai[77] Shankar Kumar Winner, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Imtihan[76] Pramod Sharma
Kunwara Baap Police Inspector Ramesh Guest Appearance
Patthar Aur Payal Surajbhan Singh 'Sarju'
Chowkidar Gopal
1975 Zameer Daku Suraj Singh / Chimpoo Guest Appearance
Qaid Advocate Jai Saxena
Prem Kahani Sher Khan
1976 Hera Pheri Ajay[63] Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Nehle Pe Dehla[57]
Shankar Shambhu Pappu R. Singh/Shambhu L. 'Chhotey Thakur' Singh
Shaque Vinod Joshi Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
1977 Parvarish[75] Kishan
Adha Din Adhi Raat
Amar Akbar Anthony Amar[75]
Khoon Pasina[75] Aslam Sher Khan / Shera
Hatyara[76] Vijay D. Singh/Inspector Ajay Singh
Aap Ki Khatir[78] Sagar
Jallianwala Bagh[79]
Maha Badmaash
Chor Sipahee Raja Dada / Raja Khanna
1978 Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki[35] Ajay Chouhan
Daaku Aur Jawan[57]
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar[76] Vishal Anand Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Aakhri Daku
Khoon Ka Badla Khoon
Khoon Ki Pukaar[35] Sher Singh/Amrit
Inkaar[78] CID Officer Amarnath "Amar" Gill
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang[35] Inspector Raj Singh / Gopi Lathuria
Do Shikaari Satish
Yuvraaj[80] Gajendra/ Vikramdev
Meera Rana Bhojraj Sesodia
Sarkari Mehmaan Anand
1980 The Burning Train[76] Vinod Verma
Qurbani Amar[81] Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
Garam Khoon[80] Ravi/Babloo Double Role
Bombay 405 Miles Kanhaiya
1981 Ek Aur Ek Gyaraah[80]
Khuda Kasam Sumer Singh
Jail Yatra[35] Raju Verma
Kudrat[76] Dr. Naresh Gupta
1982 Rajput Bhanu
Raaj Mahal[35]
Daulat Ravi/ Kunwar Dilip Singh
1983 Daulat Ke Dushman Vinod
1987 Insaaf[78] Avinash Kapoor
Satyamev Jayate Police Inspector Arjun Singh
1988 Dayavan[77] Shakti Vellu/ Dayavan
Rihaee Amarji
Aakhri Adaalat Inspector Amar Kaushal
Faisla Birju
1989 Chandni[82] Lalit Khanna
Batwara Vikram Singh
Suryaa: An Awakening[76] Suraj Singh
Mahaadev Arjun Singh
1990 Muqaddar Ka Badshaah[72] Naresh
Jurm[78] Inspector Shekhar Varma
C.I.D.[35] Police Inspector Veer Sehgal
Lekin...[35] Samir Yogi
Maha-Sangram Vishal
Kaarnama Suraj
Pathar Ke Insan Arjun
1991 Khoon Ka Karz[35] Karan
Farishtay Dheeru
Dharam Sankat Birju
Garajna Unrealeased
1992 Humshakal[35] Insp. Vinod/Sunil Kumar/Dadu Kaliya
Nishchaiy Ravi Yadav
Police Aur Mujrim[35] DSP Vishal Khanna
Waqt Ka Badshah
1993 Kshatriya[72] Raja Jaswant Singh (Mirtagarh)
Parampara[57] Thakur Prithvi Singh
Insaniyat Ke Devta [72] Balbir
1994 Eena Meena Deeka[72] Deeka
Ekka Raja Rani[72] Vishal 'Vicky' Kapoor
Pyar Ka Rog[84] Army Officer
1995 Janam Kundli Randhir 'Junior' Mehra
1996 Muqadama Captain Ajit Singh
1997 Dus General Incomplete
Himalay Putra[72] ACP Suraj Khanna Also Producer of the film
Dhaal Inspector Varun Saxena
2001 Deewaanapan[85] Ranvir Choudhary
2002 Kranti Awadesh Pratap Singh[86]
Leela[87] Nashaad
2004 Bhola in Bollywood[88] Himself Special Appearance
2005 Pehchaan: The Face of Truth Advocate[89]
2007 Godfather Abdullah Khan Lead role[90]
Risk Khalid Bin Zamal[91]
2008 Halla Bol Himself Special Appearance
2009 99 JC[92]
Wanted[93] Retd. Police Officer Shrikant Shekhawat
Fast Forward Palaash
2010 Dabangg Prajapati Pandey[94]
Red Alert: The War Within Krishnaraj[95]
2012 Dabangg 2 Prajapati Pandey[96]
Players Victor Braganza[97]
2013 Ramaiya Vastavaiya Station Master[98]
2014 Koyelaanchal Saryu Bhan Singh[99]
2015 Chooriyan Besant Singh[100]
Dilwale Randhir Bakshi[101]


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Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Sukhbuns Kaur
Member of Parliament
for Gurdaspur

1998 – 2009
Succeeded by
Pratap Singh Bajwa
Preceded by
Pratap Singh Bajwa
Member of Parliament
for Gurdaspur

2014 – 2017
Succeeded by
Sunil Kumar Jakhar

External links[edit]