I personally feel actor Vinod Khanna was someone who was in a way different from all the heroes of the Hindi filmdom; though his career graph and personality were commendable, he couldn’t make it to the level of Amitabh or the present day Khans. Tall, handsome, well-built and agile Vinod Khanna should have been ruling for some time; but never. He was given most of the times the antagonist roles initially which also he did elegance.
Sunil Dutt introduced him in ‘Man Ka Meet’ (1969). He made his presence felt in two of Gulzar’s offbeat movies like ‘Mere Apne’ and ‘Achanak’ (1973). It was in ‘Achanak’ were his histrionics were brought out. An army officer who had been wounded in a shoot-out while he was trying to escape after killing his wife and her paramour. He was given death sentence but to be alive before that from the serious condition he was brought in. What a paradox!
Soon Vinod Khanna started starring in many muti star movies of all the commercial directors; Notable among them are ‘Aan Milo Sajna’, ‘Sachcha Jutha’, ‘Purab aur Pachim’, ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’, ‘Mukhaddar ka Sikandhar’, ‘Khoon Pasina’, ‘The Burning Train’, ‘Kudrat’, ‘Hera Pheri, ‘Haath Ki Safai’,’ ‘Qurbani’, ‘Shaque’, and all are commercial and successful movies. He played his roles with Amitabh mostly but also with Feroz Khan, Sunil Dutt, Randhir Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor and others. He was paired with all the popular heroines from Saira Banu, Hemamalini, Shabhana Azmi, Rekha, Zeenat Aman, Asha Parekh, Dimple Kapadia to name a few. His offbeat movie even during his busy days like ‘Lekin’ was significant.
During the peak of his career Vinod Khanna suddenly took to spiritualism and became a follower of Rajneesh and moved from the arc lights from 1982 to 86. Even after his return to filmdom he did ‘Chandini’ with Sridevi. By that time, his film life came to an end.
He developed interest in politics and joined BJP and was elected as MP from Gurdaspur from 1998 to 2007 and 2014 to 2017. During his stint in politics he held offices also as the Minister of Culture and also External affairs for a short while.
Vinod Khanna married twice; first Geetanjali and later Kavitha. His two sons with Geetanjali are Rahul and Akshaye are also actors but nowhere near their father in personality or histrionics.
Vinod Khanna was a rare blend of charm and talent but in a way less fortunate.
He succumbed to bladder cancer and passed away on 27 April 2017 at the age of 70. He was awarded ‘Dada Saheb Phalke Award’ posthumously in the year 2018.
Vinod Khanna was born in Peshawar on 6 October 1946 and the movie ‘Achanak’ which brought him laurels was released on 5 October 1973