April 27 marks the first death anniversary of late actor Vinod Khanna, who passed away a year ago after battling bladder cancer.
On the occasion of his first death anniversary, let’s take a look at the actor’s journey from a villain to one of the most iconic heroes of all time in Indian cinema.
Khanna was born in a Punjabi Hindu family on October 6, 1946 in Peshawar (now Pakistan). During his school years, Khanna fell in love with motion pictures after watching Solva Saal and Mughal-e-Azam.
After completing his graduation, he was spotted by Sunil Dutt and was offered to act in a film. Khanna made his debut in Dutt’s Man Ka Meet, a remake of Tamil film Kumari Penn, as a villain.
Khanna went on to star in more villainous and supporting roles in films like Purab Aur Paschim, Sachaa Jhutha, Mastana and Elaan.
After being one of the few actors, who began their innings by playing the bad guy in films, the actor got his first break as a hero in the film Hum Tum Aur Woh.
The year 1973 was a turning point in Khanna’s career after he rose to prominence with his acclaimed performance in the film Achanak. Post the success of the film Khanna solidified his status as one of the most versatile actors of the 70s and went on to achieve international fame in the coming years.
His other memorable projects include the solo hero films like Imtihaan, Farebi, Inkaar, Khoon Ki Pukaar, Dayavan and Gaddar.
Interestingly, Khanna has starred in more than 40 multi-starrer films with some of the A-Listers of the golden era of Bollywood. He starred in Amar Akbar Anthony, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Parvarish, Parichay, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, The Burning Train, Qurbaani and Mere Apne.
Apart from acting, Khanna also ventured into Politics in 1997 and joined BJP and was elected from Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab in 1999’s Lob Sabha poll.
In a career spanning almost five decades Khanna won numerous awards and honours throughout his career. He has won two Filmfare awards and was recently honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (posthumously).
Khanna liked to keep a low profile in the industry and married his first wife Gitanjali in 1971 in the presence of his family and friends. With his first wife, Khanna has two sons, Rahul and Akshaye Khanna, both actors.
Khanna was said to have become a disciple of Osho in 1975 and moved to Rajneeshpuram. He divorced his wife in 1985.
Upon his return to India in 1990, Khanna married Kavita Daftary, daughter of Sharayu Daftary. With Kavita, Khanna has two children, a son and a daughter.
Throughout his career, Khanna was considered one of the most handsome and natural actors to ever step foot in the industry.
Interestingly, starting his career as a villain, Khanna became the definition of what a typical hero should look like, courtesy his macho persona.
On April 2, 2017, Khanna was hospitalised at the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Center in Girgaon, Mumbai, after suffering from severe dehydration. He died on April 27, 2017 after battling advanced bladder cancer.