The cruel claws of death snatched today one of the most handsome hunks of Bollywood, Vinod Khanna. Hoax news of his death was doing rounds on the social media for quite some time. Unfortunately, today it was true. The man who charmed females, young or old alike, with his strong screen presence, was a fashion icon in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In an era, when heroes were not into making six pack abs or flaunting their well-toned bodies, Vinod had a physique, which could make any woman go weak in her knees. For many like me, who grew up watching his movies, he was that dreamy typical Mills & Boon hero.
On 6th October in Peshawar, now in Pakistan, Vinod Khanna was born to a textile, dyes and chemical Punjabi businessman Kishanchand Khanna. The family moved to Mumbai during partition. Though Vinod graduated from Sydenham College, Mumbai, his schooling took place in schools of Delhi and Deolali.
He debuted in the industry in 1968, in Sunil Dutt’s, Mann Ke Meet, in a negative role. In the initial stages of his career, he mainly essayed negative or supporting actor’s roles. His characters in films like Poorab Paschim, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Aan Milo Sajna gave him more recognition and success. He even won The Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor in Haath Ki Safai.
Vinod Khanna was one of the few actors who started as a villain and very smoothly transited into playing the main lead. The movie, Hum Tum Aur Woh, was his first movie as a solo hero. It was followed by Mere Apne, which also starred Meena Kumari and Achanak, based on the famous Nanavati case. Both these movies were successful and Vinod was acclaimed critically too. He went on to work in many commercial hits which include Firoz Khan’s Qurbani, which was the highest-grossing film of the year 1980, and Vinod singing Hum tumhe chate hain aise to Zeenat Aman, turned his female fans green with envy, such was his sex appeal. Despite being a successful hero himself, Vinod had no inhibitions working with other heroes such as Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Sunil Dutt, and much more. He was one of the top-paid actors of his time and was even considered a serious threat to Amitabh Bachchan. But he himself cut his bright career short by leaving it all and joining the OSHO commune.
He returned to the industry after a sabbatical of five years, and, what an overwhelming return it was. His first movie was Insaaf with Dimple Kapadia, followed by romantic roles in Jurm and Chandni, all big commercial hits, but action became his main forte after the comeback. He did a few television serials too.
Vinod joined BJP in 1997, and contested the MP elections from Gurdaspur, from where he was the sitting MP till his death.
Vinod Khanna is survived by four children from his two wives. Akshay and Rahul, from his first wife, Geetanjali are known actors in their own leaguesHis second wife, Kavita, whom he married after separating from Geetanjali, borne two children from him, a son Sakshi and a daughter Shraddha. Mystery clouded his illness as his family refused to divulge any information about his disease.
Finally, the impending catastrophe happened today. He is no more with us. But Vinod Khanna, the debonair actor will forever be Amar in our hearts and his movies.
May he Rest in Peace!
Photos from the internet.
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Smriti Maheshwari loves cooking, reading, mostly fiction and thrillers. She enjoys mythological stories too. She also loves meeting people and making friends, socialising, and is a big movie buff. A homemaker and a dreamer, she stays in Allahabad with her husband.