R.I.P. Vinod Khanna (1946-2017): His 10 Most Memorable Performances

R.I.P. Vinod Khanna (1946-2017): His 10 Most Memorable Performances

27 Mar 18 @ 11:54 AM | By Ravi

Veteran actor turned politician Vinod Khanna’s death has come as a rude shock to his fans and the film industry. Vinod Khanna, who was undergoing treatment at the HN Reliance Foundation and Research Centre in Mumbai due to severe dehydration, breathed his last on April 27. The actor’s five-decade long career saw him act in more than 140 odd film starting from Man Ka Meet (1968) where he was launched by the late Sunil Dutt. He started off by doing negative characters but slowly graduated to lead roles and was regarded as one of the main contemporaries in the 70’s to the then reigning superstar, Amitabh Bachchan with whom he formed a formidable pair on screen. After a hiatus of five he made a return to films with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in 1987. The late 90’s saw him appearing in older roles and lesser films as he joined active politics. He was last seen in Rohit Shetty’s Shahrukh Khan starrer Dilwale. As a tribute to the late actor we look back at 10 of his most memorable performances.

  1. Mere Apne (1971)

    Though Vinod was noticed in earlier films like Purab Aur Paschim, Aan Milo Sajna and Sachcha Jhutha but it was Gulzar’s directorial debut Mere Apne that got him his first lead role where he was pitted against his contemporary Shatrughan Sinha. Vinod played Shyam and set the tone for upcoming small town gang flicks as Mere Apne went on to become a cult classic for its rugged treatment and dialogues.

    Vinod Khanna in Mere Apne
    Vinod Khanna in Mere Apne Wikipedia
  2. Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)

    If Amjad Khan’s Gabbar Singh act in ‘Sholay’ created terror among audiences then Vinod Khanna’s Jabbar Singh in ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’ sent shivers down audience’s spine. Vinod’s dacoit act grabbed all the attention in this Raj Khosla dacoit drama despite Dharmendra being the hero. Jabbar Singh was already a terror much before Gabbar came on the screen. Jabbar’s villainous act went down as one of the most dreaded and memorable screen villains of all time in Indian cinema.

    Vinod Khanna in Mera Gaon Mera Desh
    Vinod Khanna in Mera Gaon Mera Desh Liferim
  3. Kuchche Dhaage (1973)

    Director Raj Khosla followed up his much successful dacoit drama ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’ with yet another dacoit film titled ‘Kachche Dhaage’ which got Vinod Khanna pitted against Kabir Bedi. Vinod played Thakur Lakhan Singh a dacoit who is looking to get even with another rival dacoit played by Kabir Bedi. To make matters worse, both fall for the same village girl played by Moushmi Chatterjee. Vinod’s dacoit act took him a notch higher as an actor after this film.

    Vinod Khanna in Kuchche Dhaage
    Vinod Khanna in Kuchche Dhaage YouTube
  4. Achanak (1973)

    ‘Achanak’ was his third film with director Gulzar after ‘Mere Apne’ and ‘Parichay’, where he played the character of Major Ranjeet Khanna, who turns a fugitive after suspecting and killing his wife of adultery. Loosely based on the Nanavati case and RK Nayyar’s Sunil Dutt starrer film ‘Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke’ released in 1963, Vinod as the tainted husband in ‘Achanak’ was spot on. ‘Achanak’ became the first film which displayed a flashback in a flashback for the first time in Indian cinema.

    Vinod Khanna in Achanak
    Vinod Khanna in Achanak imdb
  5. Haath Ki Safai (1974)

    Salim-Javed’s ‘Haath Ki Safai’ directed by Prakash Mehra saw Vinod Khanna playing elder brother to Randhir Kapoor who gets separated in childhood only to meet in the end. His performance fetched him his one and only Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award that year. The cast included Hema Malini, Simi Garewal, Ranjeet and Satyen Kappu, boasted of some major melodies by Kalyanji-Anandji which included Vinod singing the hit duet with Simi ‘Waada Karle Saajna’.

    Vinod Khanna in Haath Ki Safai
    Vinod Khanna in Haath Ki Safai Youtube
  6. Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

    Director Manmohan Desai’s lost and found formula film ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ without doubt is one of Vinod’s landmark performances and films. Though he had stiff competition from Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor but his police inspector act of Amar Khanna didn’t go unnoticed. Some of his scenes with Amitabh became the highlights of this evergreen blockbuster. His teaming with Amitabh became a formidable pair in the 70’s. The duos other hits were ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Khoon Pasina’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’, ‘Parvarish’, etc.

    Vinod Khanna in Amar Akbar Anthony
    Vinod Khanna in Amar Akbar Anthony Imdb
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  8. Inkaar (1977)

    This Raj N Sippy directorial debut was a remake of the Japanese movie ‘High and Low’ (1963) directed by Akira Kurosawa which became one of Vinod Khanna’s most memorable performances. This suspense thriller got him into the big league as he was being counted at par with Amitabh Bachchan who was ruling the roost then. ‘Inkaar’ not only became a huge hit but also got music director Rajesh Roshan in the reckoning for giving songs like ‘O Mungda Mungda’ and ‘Chhodo Yeh Nigaahon Ka Ishaara’.

    Vinod Khanna in Inkaar
    Vinod Khanna in Inkaar Koimoi
  9. Qurbani (1980)

    Who can forget the stylish, suave and macho Vinod as Amar in Feroz Khan’s blockbuster ‘Qurbani’. Though the flick became a rage for its ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ track by Nazia Hasan but nothing can be taken away from Vinod who walked away with all the sympathies and accolades at the end. His style of standing on the sea shore and romancing through his eyes with Zeenat Aman and singing ‘Hum Tumhe Chahte Hain Aise’ still gives gooseflesh to many.

    Vinod Khanna in Qurbani
    Vinod Khanna in Qurbani Youtube
  10. Satyamev Jayate (1987)

    After returning from Osho Rajneesh’s ashram in 1986 Vinod made a comeback to films with old friend director Raj N Sippy’s ‘Satyamev Jayate’. The cop drama released simultaneously with another film of his which was late Mukul Anand’s ‘Insaaf’. Both flicks fared well at the box-office and got him back into contention where nextgen actors like Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt and Sunny Deol had already announced their arrival.

    Vinod Khanna in Satyamev Jayate
    Vinod Khanna in Satyamev Jayate Youtube
  11. Dayavan (1988)

    Probably the last association with Feroz Khan where he acted in the remake of director Mani Ratnam’s Kamal Haasan starrer ‘Nayagan’. This was Vinod’s last notable big solo release before shifting to multi-starrers and playing older roles. His performance as Shakti Vellu, the big-hearted don served as the highlight of his career. Though ‘Dayavan’ bombed at the box-office but his towering performance in the film continues to linger in many cinegoers mind.

    Vinod Khanna in Dayavan
    Vinod Khanna in Dayavan Youtube