Veteran actor Vinod Khanna, who died recently after suffering cancer, has presented several memorable performances in his life. A villain, a star, a sanyasi and a politician, Vinod Khanna, also known as “the monk who sold his Mercedes” and Swami Vinod Bharti would have turned 71 today. Remembering its incredible life and age, here are some unknown facts about the elegant and versatile Vinod Khanna.
The late superstar Vinod Khanna was one of the few names that triumphed in Bollywood after debuting as a villain. One of the favorite cops we grew up watching in Indian cinema appeared in several successful films such as Gaddaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Jaane-Anjaane, Jurm and many others.
The actor, who gave up fame to embrace spirituality only to return home after a 5-year break, was active in films until his last years before succumbing to cancer in April 2017.
On the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the birth of Vinod Khanna, here are some interesting facts about the actor:
1. Vinod played Chulbul Pandey’s father, Prajapati Pandey, in Dabangg by Salman Khan and his sequel. After his death, his brother Pramod Khanna put himself in his place in Dabangg 3 due to his marked similarity to the late actor.
2. He was popularly called “the monk who sold his Mercedes” and was also known by another name: Swami Vinod Bharti published his spiritual journey.
3. Vinod had revealed that he was a gardener in the Rajneeshpuram of Osho, the city he built in the United States and that he spent four years with him. “I was his gardener, I cleaned the toilets, washed the dishes and they tested my clothes because, physically, we were the same height,” he revealed in one of the interviews.
4. He rose to fame as a “dacoit” before claiming stardom in Bollywood alongside ruling stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. He debuted with the 1968 Sunil Dutt movie, Man Ka Meet as a villain.
5. Vinod was reportedly chosen in the 1980 film Qurbani after Amitabh Bachchan rejected the role. The movie later became the highest grossing film of that year.
6. Vinod was at the top of his career when he left the movies in search of spiritual satisfaction, which led him to Osho.
7. Vinod had his appointment with politics when he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and was elected twice from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. It is currently in the hands of actor Sunny Deol, who participated in the elections of Lok Sabha this year.
8. Vinod was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism in the cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002. Later, he was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
9. The actor starred in 47 films of various heroes such as Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, Hera Pheri, Khoon Pasina, Amar Akbar Anthony, Zameer, Parvarish and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar between 1971-1982.
10. Dharmendra once revealed that Khanna literally bled to infuse realism in her role in Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971).
11. When the actor returned to India and finished his spiritual rest, he was offered to direct Osho’s ashram in Pune. Speaking of which, he said: “I returned to Bollywood. Returning to the cinema was the easy part. Leaving my guru in the United States was an almost impossible decision, I was so attached to Osho. He asked me to direct the Puna ashram, but I said no. That is the most difficult one I have said in my life. “