The Mumbai premiere of much-awaited blockbuster “Baahubali: The Conclusion” was canceled as a mark of respect for Khanna, who died of advanced bladder carcinoma.
Khanna began his career in 1968 playing an antagonist in “Man Ka Meet.” He was a popular screen villain, notably in “Mera Gaon Mera Desh,” until he became a leading man with “Hum Tum Aur Woh.”
He soon became one of India’s most bankable stars, with such films as “Achanak,” “Imtihan” and “Haath Ki Safai.” He was considered to be in the same league as such Hindi film superstars as Amitabh Bachchan, with whom he acted together in “Zameer” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar” (1978).
In 1982, when he was at the height of his fame, Khanna left the film industry for five years to follow the spiritual leader Osho. He made a comeback in 1987 with hits “Insaaf” and “Satyameva Jayate.”
In 1997, Khanna became a member of parliament on the ticket of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. That same year, he produced “Himalay Putra” to launch the acting career of his son Akshay Khanna. In 2002, he had stints as minister for culture and tourism and external affairs.
Khanna continued acting. His last release was “Dilwale,” a 2015 Bollywood hit headlining Shah Rukh Khan.
Indian media personality, Karan Johar tweeted: “His screen presence is unparalleled even today…his super star swag is what we grew up on….RIP #VinodKhanna…thoughts and prayers….”
Khanna is survived by wife Kavita, sons Akshay, Rahul and Sakshi, and daughter Shraddha.
When Amitabh Bachchan 'hit' Vinod Khanna with a glass
The film industry was shattered by the news of untimely death of veteran actor Vinod Khanna. The actor was battling with cancer and breathed his last on Thursday.
At the funeral yesterday evening, Amitabh Bachchan was emotional as he came to bid goodbye to his longtime friend. Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan had worked in many popular Bollywood films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Hera Pheri, Batwara, Parvarish and Reshma Aur Shera to name a few.
The actor took to Twitter to pay a tribute to his friend with a poem.
He also wrote a longer post on his blog reminiscing the good old days when he first met Vinod Khanna.
Read the blog below:
I first saw him entering the Ajanta Arts office in Bandra, of Sunil Dutt, where I was making my way to seek a job .. a most good looking handsome young man .. a body in elegant frame .. a swagger in his walk .. and a gentle smile as he looked towards me .. it was 1969 .. he was working in the Ajanta Arts film, 'Man ka Meet' .. I was struggling to get a role, any role, anywhere ..
In time we met again within the same precincts .. he and I were working in the same film of Dutt Saheb, 'Reshma aur Shera' .. look trials in the office of the film .. travel and sittings on the story .. Thapa saheb, Ali Raza, Sukhdev and those all night meets, most novel for me .. my first brush with the way the film industry functioned .. the time for the shoot and the excitement of travel on a location in Jaisalmer .. the months we spent together and after .. driving in the scorching heat of the deserts of Rajasthan to the location, Pochina, in the sands of nowhere near civilisation .. living under one tent - Vinod, Ranjit, Thapa Saheb, Ali Raza saheb about seven of us in the same tent .. then similar number at a make shift residence in the city of Jaisalmer - Amrish Puri joining us in that room filled with all of us, living laughing, working .. carefree days .. the rigors of that location and its environs ..
On return from the location his continued connect with me .. he a big star .. but always most humble with selfless concern for others .. the rides he would take me on, in his recently acquired Beetle VolksWagen, yellow in color .. his generosity in smuggling me into the only Disco Club in the city at the Taj, where he was a member, and I not even remotely in any state to become one .. his marriage to Geetanjali, whom he and we all fondly called Gitly .. the birth of his sons, Rahul and Akshay, whom he often brought on to the sets of AAA ..
That incident at a restaurant in SoBo, where someone made a snide remark, and he took him on, getting knifed in the arm during the scuffle, but being victorious ..
The sudden passing of his Father soon after our work together in 'Reshma' .. I being with him in his hour of grief .. and then .. the amazing chemistry of the several historic films that we did together .. an association that was so loveable and considerate .. spending time in each others make up rooms, sharing our lunch, just biding time and talking of all kinds of talk .. the late shoot pack ups and the beyond midnight drives to Juhu Beach, to just sit with our directors and he to have a drink, and I mine ( I used to in those days ) ..
That guilt ridden incident when I had to fling a glass in a scene towards him and it accidentally hitting his chin, cutting him open right through to his teeth .. the remorse regret and guilt within me to date for that unforgiving accident .. rushing him to his doctor, late at night, getting stitched up, driving with him to his house to settle him in and to just keep apologising for this horrific accidental slip ..
The sudden brush with him as he ran up the stairs in Breach Candy Hospital, where I had gone to visit a friend, and his anger and grave faced expression - he learning of the accident of his close relative on a motorbike, and him wanting to be with her as she struggled for her life ..
His friendly gesture of appearing in a film of mine 'Zameer' .. the times we spent on it at various locations .. the most rigorous being action sequences shot in the interiors of Udaipur, well into the night and dawn, with that most respected Action Coordinator Khanna Saheb .. after the sequence was filmed, Khanna Saheb sitting with us in the early hours of the morning and emotionally expressing his great joy in working with the two of us ..
"give me these two artists in an action drama and I shall extract the best ever seen" .. he would commend us ..
The Hotel in Udaipur and our rooms distanced .. me away in one lonely corner and he in another .. I call him in the middle of the night and express the loneliness .. he inviting me over and saying to stay with him in his room .. for a newcomer you cannot imagine what this meant to me to be treated like this by a star ..
His confident charm was infectious .. there was always an optimistic swagger about him .. a smile .. a laugh .. a casualness .. nothing seemed to disturb him one felt .. the relaxed 'cool' of today's times ..
The jigs we would invent on set .. impromptu songs .. when 5 Librans working together in the same film at the same scene would break into - Shammi Kapoor ji, Amjad, Kader Khan, Vinod and I - our little ditty, on the sets of ManMohan Desai's "Parvarish" ..
'We are crazy Librans .. **%#@!! up this film" .. !!!
And the uproarious laughter that followed each shot that we gave together ..
And then one day his sudden decision to the following of Rajneesh .. his passion and the strength of his belief .. his sincerity in his following, right to California where Rajneesh had shifted .. I met him in Los Angeles during this period on a stray visit, and he spent hours at a common friend's place explaining to me what the movement meant not just to him, but to the World in general ..
And this afternoon that association of 48 years came to an end ..
This man .. this body of enthused energy and giving .. this friend .. this colleague .. this ever smiling swagger infested individual, lay motionless ..
No one walked the way he did .. no one had the presence he had in a crowded room .. no one could lighten up the surroundings he was in, like him .. no one ..
- Amitabh Bachchan
Rishi Kapoor on Vinod Khanna’s funeral: Stars wait for fashion parade at prayer meet
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor is angry, yet again. In a series of tweets, he has lashed out at the “so-called stars of this generation” for not turning up at Vinod Khanna’s funeral on Thursday. Khanna died at the age of 70 in Mumbai, after succumbing to bladder cancer.
“I was angered, not disheartened,” Kapoor tells us, referring to the near-total absence of young actors at the funeral except Abhishek Bachchan and Randeep Hooda. “What does an actor work for? It’s his last journey and you can’t come to pay [your] respects to man who has worked in over 150 films and been there for over four decades, and even has worked with you? Sad that a respected senior actor was sent away by not actually having a lot of people with him wishing him adieu,” says Kapoor.
On whether he expects more people to turn up for Khanna’s prayer meet, Rishi retorts, “Yeah because that’s more of a fashion parade and you want to be in the comforts of air conditioned premises. Why were you not there for this [funeral] event?”
Despite the fact that Khanna earned immense love and adulation from his co-stars, Kapoor adds, “It’s heartbreaking that none of his leading ladies were there. Even many actors from my generation were not there. You just needed to give him respect for his contribution to cinema and love that he’s spread. No one is expecting you to make a dramatic entry at the funeral.”
On Thursday night, Kapoor posted a series of tweets.
Saying more about the sparse attendance at Vinod Khanna’s funeral, Rishi Kapoor points out that it wasn’t as if Khanna didn’t have any connection with the industry for a long time. Khanna’s last films are Dilwale (2015) and Ek Thi Rani Aishi Bhi (2017). “[Also] he has two kids—Rahul and Akhsaye—who are part of the industry and his other son, Sakshi, is joining films soon. There’s some human element that you want to share someone’s grief,” says Kapoor.
The 64-year-old shares that though he “was never overtly friendly with Vinod Khanna”, he had no reason to skip Khanna’s funeral. “My career has been sprinkled with films with him. I can’t say that I shared a great vibe with him, a great chemistry or anything of that sort. It was pure respect. I’ve directed his son Akshaye (in Aa Ab Laut Chalen, 1999) and I remember Vinod was so happy that I had taken his son for my film, and that’s the reason for my being there. He was my elder, my senior, my colleague, part of my fraternity and brotherhood. We are all part of one small family of actors who are contributing to cinema and spreading love.”
Among those who’ve shared screen space with Khanna in recent times are actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Salman Khan and Sonu Sood and none of them was there at the funeral. Did Kapoor have any particular names in mind while writing those tweets? He says, “I’m not naming any one person. I’m just saying that this generation — actors, filmmakers, producers — none of them came. I’ve seen this happen at Feroz Khan and Rajesh Khanna’s funeral also. It seems these actors have troubled this generation [so] that they don’t really care. I am compelled to think in this manner.”
Soon after Kapoor’s first few tweets, trolls were quick to react asking him why his son, Ranbir, couldn’t attend the funeral. “I clarified in my next tweet that he’s not in the country and my wife, too, is away. If he was, he 100 per cent would have been there,” he says about that.
In one of his tweets, Kapoor even attacked those who attended Priyanka Chopra’s party, a night before Khanna’s demise.
Why the comparison? He explains, “Because just a night before, I saw the most profound people from the film industry and the following morning, barring a few, none was there at his funeral. You could be out of town but the very fact that most of these shootings and most of whatever so called activities were going on were cancelled [after Vinod’s demise], you can’t tell me that didn’t know about it. Knowing that he passed away at 11 in the morning, you had the whole day to plan. All TV channels and radio [stations] were blaring about it, yet it was such a poorly attended funeral.”
The makers of Baahubali 2 cancelled their Mumbai premiere as a mark of respect, and Kapoor calls it “a justified tribute and a welcome thing”.