Lauded for playing angry, young men

Actor Vinod Khanna's career spanned almost five decades.
Actor Vinod Khanna's career spanned almost five decades.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Indian film legend Vinod Khanna's roles bucked the trend of polite, romantic leads favoured by Bollywood directors

MUMBAI • Acclaimed Indian actor Vinod Khanna, who starred in dozens of hit Bollywood movies, including the 1977 comedy Amar Akbar Anthony and the 1971 drama Mere Apne, died on Thursday, said a Mumbai hospital. He was 70.

The cause was advanced bladder cancer, said Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.

Tributes poured in from the world of Hindi cinema for the award-winning actor, who was lauded for playing angry, young men in the 1970s. He was also a Member of Parliament for the northern state of Punjab.

Khanna made his acting debut in the 1969 thriller, Man Ka Meet, and earned plaudits for his performance as an angry anti-hero in Mere Apne and as a violent villain in the 1971 action drama, Mera Gaon Mera Desh - aggressive roles that bucked the trend of polite, romantic leads favoured by Bollywood directors.

He is also remembered for the 1973 crime drama, Achanak, and for Amar Akbar Anthony, in which he and superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor played three brothers who are reunited after being separated and brought up as a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian.

"Remembering the good times with you, Vinod. Thank you for being my friend," Kapoor wrote on Twitter.

  • Five significant films from his career

  • MAN KA MEET (1969)

    Vinod Khanna made his acting debut in this film produced by Sunil Dutt and directed by Adurthi Subba Rao. He plays Pran, a villainous young man.

  • HAATH KI SAFAI (1974)

    Khanna wins his first acting trophy - the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award - for his role as a crime boss in this drama produced by I.A. Nadiadwala and directed by Prakash Mehra.


    In this blockbuster comedy produced and directed by Manmohan Desai, Khanna plays Inspector Amar Khanna, one of three brothers who were separated during childhood, raised in three different faiths and meet again as adults.

    The film also stars Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, Khanna's close friend and screen rival.

  • DABANGG (2010)

    One of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time, the crime drama - which won 10 prizes at the International Indian Film Academy Awards and nine at the Zee Cine Awards - features Khanna as the stepfather of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.

    The film won seven prizes at the Screen Awards and six at the Filmfare Awards.

  • DILWALE (2015)

    Khanna's last silver screen appearance is in the role of gang boss Randheer Bakshi in this romantic- action film, a box-office hit. He is the on-screen father of another modern Bollywood megastar, Shah Rukh Khan.

    Eddino Abdul Hadi

"#VinodKhanna will always remain the coolest and most good- looking actor to grace the Indian screens. The industry has lost a legend today," tweeted actor Varun Dhawan.

Actor Akshay Kumar posted: "Sad to learn about the passing away of #VinodKhanna Sir, one of the most charismatic actors... truly end of an era. Condolences to the family."

Khanna won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award in 1975 for his role in the action drama, Haath Ki Safai. In 1999, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. He last appeared on the silver screen in the 2015 action comedy, Dilwale.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Lauded for playing angry, young men'. Print Edition | Subscribe