Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna died on Thursday in a Mumbai hospital after a battle with cancer.
Vinod, 70, was hospitalised last month and his son Rahul said at the time that his father was “severly dehydrated”. He is survived by his wife Kavita and four children.
Vinod “breathed his last at 11:20am due to advanced bladder carcinoma,” Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital said in a statement.
Born in Peshawar on October 6, 1946, his family moved to Bombay soon after Partition. Vinod had featured in films such as Mere Apne, Insaaf and Amar Akbar Anthony during his long Bollywood career, and was last seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale in 2015.
Known for his chiseled looks and fiery acting, Vinod, who was also a lawmaker in India’s lower house of parliament, made a name for himself in the masala movies of the 70s and 80s before he gave up acting to become a disciple of self-styled godman Osho Rajneesh.
His second career in Bollywood was not as successful, and Vinod went into politics, representing Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab four times for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“He was a lion-hearted man and generous to a fault. He had the guts to risk it all, break his relationship with the movie industry to live in the ashram of Osho,” director Mahesh Bhatt said about Vinod on CNN News 18 channel.
The legendary actor became one of the most famous film stars in the 1970s and 1980s. He was one of the few actors from that era who transitioned successfully from villain to hero.
He received the Filmfare award in the best supporting actor category for Haath Ki Safaai, and in 1999 he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It is said that when Sunil Dutt saw Vinod Khanna for the first time what attracted him to the young boy was that he was from Peshawar, now in Pakistan. Dutt decided to launch Khanna and his younger brother Som Dutt in his home production Man ka Meet (1968),” Indian film journalist Bhawana Somaaya wrote in the Quint, The News Minute reported.
The promoters of “Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion”, one of the most highly awaited Indian films of the decade, cancelled the movie’s premiere on Friday due to Vinod’s death.
“As a mark of respect to our beloved Vinod Khanna the entire team of Baahubali has decided to cancel the premiere tonight.” tweeted producer Karan Johar, who is marketing the Hindi version of the film.