New Delhi, Oct 6: A villain, a star, a sanyasi and a politician, Vinod Khanna, also known as “the monk who sold his Mercedes” and Swami Vinod Bharti, succumbed to cancer at the age of 70 earlier this year. Today would have been his 71st birthday.
Mr Khanna not only charmed his fans with his dashing looks and romantic avatar, he also wrecked nerves in anti-hero characters in many of his films.
From playing supporting roles in the initial phase of his career in films like Purab Aur Paschim, Aan Milo Sajna and Mastana to being part of multi-starrers like Amar Akbar Anthony, The Burning Train, to playing the lead in films like Lekin, Achanak – Khanna’s filmography has been an interesting one. He had played the supporting actor, the patriarch in recent films like Dabang, Dilwale and juggled his political career with equal ease.
Khanna is also the first Bollywood actor who left films at the peak of his career and followed his heart in spirituality. His spiritual journey took him to Osho and he became the discipline of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1975. Apparently, in the early 80s, he shifted his base to Rajneeshpuram, US. If reports are to be believed, Mr Khanna used to clean toilets, dishes and worked as a gardener there.
Talking about the end of his spiritual break, Khanna continued, “I went back to Bollywood. Returning to the movies was the easy part. It was leaving my guru in America which was an almost-impossible decision so much attached was I to Osho. He asked me to run the Puna ashram, but I said no. That is the most difficult no I have ever said in my life.’‘
On account of Birth Anniversary of the Veteran actor, Here are some more lesser-known facts about his life:
1. Vinod Khanna became popular for the cop roles played by him, but it is lesser known to many that he used to portray negative roles in films in the early stage of his career.
*He debuted with Sunil Dutt’s Man Ka Meet in 1968 as an anti-hero and received rave review for his performance.
2. Parvarish brought Mr Khanna into the limelight. Although the actor was noticed in films like Man Ka Meet (1968), Purab Aur Paschim (1970), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), it was Manmohan Desai’s Parvarish in 1977 that made him a star.
3. For Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), Dharmendra revealed, that Khanna literally bled to infuse realism into the role.
4. Khanna finally got the opportunity to expand his repertoire when Gulzar noticed his ability to meld brute force with emotional vulnerability and cast him in leading roles in Mere Apne (1972) and Achanak (1973).
5. In the songless Achanak (1973), he won rave reviews for his performance, wherein he had to kill his adulterous wife.
6. Interestingly, the actor worked in 47 multi-hero films between 1971-82 – Khoon Pasina, Amar Akbar Anthony, Zameer, Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, Hera Pheri, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar to name a few.
7. Dayavan was one of the first films ever made which showed a path-breaking kissing and love-making scene and was picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Vinod Khanna. Khanna was 20 years older than Madhuri who was a new newcomer in the industry during Dayavan. The film became a topic of discussion and debate when it was released, and reportedly Madhuri had also once said that she regretted doing the kiss scene.
8. Khanna is also the first Bollywood actor who left films at the peak of his career and followed his heart in spirituality. His spiritual journey took him to Osho and he became the discipline of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1975. Apparently, in the early 80s, he shifted his base to Rajneeshpuram, US. If reports are to be believed, Mr Khanna used to clean toilets, dishes and worked as a gardener there.
9. He entered politics and joined BJP in the year 1997. He won at the Punjab’s Gurdas parliamentary seat four times in the Lok Sabha. He was also Minister of State for External affairs in the NDA govt.
10. Last film of Vinod Khanna was ‘Dilwale’, released in the year 2015. The movie featured Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan in lead roles.