Vinod Khanna, the veteran actor and politician, passed away at the age of 70. He was said to be suffering from cancer. The former Bollywood star was also a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. Khanna was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai. While he was reportedly hospitalised due to severe dehydration, he was said to be improving and responding to treatment. But today news of his death came as a blow to his fans and admirers as it has left a big void in the world of Indian cinema. Khanna was last seen in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Dilwale. The actor who was considered to be one of the most handsome stars ever in Bollywood, has 146 movies to his name, according to IMDB.
Khanna was born in a Punjabi business family in Peshawar (now in Pakistan). Interestingly the heartthrob of a generation, began his Bollywood journey with negative roles before he was cast as the hero.
Khanna had a long Bollywood career, which was followed by a successful stint as a politician. One of the most sought after actors in 1970s and 1980s, he had started his movie journey with the film called Man Ka Meet. Khanna and superstar Amitabh Bachchan have generated many box office hits, including Hera Pheri (1976), Khoon Pasina (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Parvarish (1977) and Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978). Intriguingly, at the peak of his success, Khanna had suddenly decided to renounce the world of fame and followed the spiritual guru, Osho Rajneesh. Later, he returned to the silver screen after a gap five years.
Khanna married twice. From his first marriage to Kavita he had two sons who are themselves actors – Akshaye Khanna and Rahul Khanna. Later, he married Geetanjali and has a son and a daughter with her.
Here is a timeline of the most important events from the life of a legend, that is Vinod Khanna.
1968: Debuted in Sunil Dutt’s 1968 film Man Ka Meet directed by Adhurti Subba Rao. He was cast as a villain whereas Dutt was the hero. At the start of his career, he played supporting or villainous characters in films such as Purab Aur Paschim, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, and Mastana in 1970, and in Mera Gaon Mera Desh and Elaan in 1971.
1971: He got his first break as the solo lead hero in the film Hum Tum Aur Woh (1971) opposite Bharati Vishnuvardhan. It was followed by the 1971 multi-hero film Mere Apne directed by Gulzar. In 1973, his performance as an army officer facing death row in another film scripted and directed by Gulzar, Achanak, won critical acclaim. It echoed the true life story of K. M. Nanavati vs. the State of Maharashtra and Khanna essayed the role of Kawas Nanavati, the real-life Navy officer.
In the same year, Khanna married Geetanjali and later had two sons with her, Rahul Khanna and Akshaye Khanna.
1982: Khanna became a follower of the spiritual teacher Osho (Rajneesh) and left the film industry in 1982 for five years.
1987: Khanna returned to Bollywood with Insaaf where he performed with Dimple Kapadia. Following his comeback, he played romantic roles in Jurm and Chandni, but he was mostly offered roles in action films.
1990: Khanna married Kavita. They have a son and a daughter.
1990s: Khanna worked in many famous films like Muqaddar Ka Badshaah, CID, Jurm, Rihaee, Lekin, and Humshakal. He also appeared in multi-hero casts in films such as Aakhri Adalat, Maha Sangram, Khoon Ka Karz, Police Aur Mujrim, Kshatriya, Insaaniyat Ke Devta, Ekka Raja Rani and Eena Meena Deeka.
1997: Vinod Khanna launched his son Akshaye Khanna in Himalay Putra. He also acted in the film.
Vinod Khanna received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry for over three decades.
2000s: Khanna mostly played character roles in movies like Deewaanapan (2002), Red Alert: The War Within, Wanted (2009) and Dabangg (2010).
2007: Khanna did a Pakistani film called Godfather.
Life in Politics
1997: Khanna joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
1998: He was elected from Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab in the Lok Sabha elections.
1999: Khanna was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the same constituency.
2002: He became the union minister for culture and tourism that year. Later, he was moved to the of external affairs (MEA) ministry as Minister of State.
2004: Khanna won re-election from Gurdaspur.
2009: He lost out in the 2009 Lok Sabha poll.
2014: Khanna was again elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from Gurdaspur constituency.
2017: In April he was admitted to hospital. Khanna reportedly passed away due to cancer.