Vinod Khanna dies at 70: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and others attend funeral

Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna during the cremation of his father veteran actor Vinod Khanna in Mumbai on Thursday.

Vinod Khanna — veteran Bollywood actor, politician and former union minister — was hospitalised over a month ago for cancer but the family then remained tight-lipped about his condition.

Veteran Bollywood actor, politician and former union minister Vinod Khanna passed away in Mumbai on Thursday morning following prolonged illness. He was 70. His funeral took place at a crematorium in Worli, Mumbai, in the evening which was attended by a number of his contemporaries, including Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranjit and many others.

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan (centre) with Sakshi Khanna in white, at the funeral of Bollywood actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna in Mumbai on Thursday.

Khanna was hospitalised over a month ago for cancer but the family then remained tight-lipped about his condition. In a brief statement, the hospital said Khanna breathed his last at 11.20 am due to advanced bladder carcinoma.

Khanna is survived by his former wife Geetanjali and their sons Akshaye and Rahul, who are now actors, and his present wife Kavita and son Sakshi and daughter Shraddha.

News of his death triggered an outpouring of grief from Bollywood actors and millions of fans on social media. Actor Rishi Kapoor, who was Khanna’s co-star in the 1977’s Amar Akbar Anthony, tweeted a poster of the film. “We will miss you Amar. RIP,” Kapoor said, referring to Khanna’s screen name in the film.

Amitabh Bachchan reportedly rushed to Vinod Khanna’s family’s side after hearing the news of his death. According to reports, he was giving an interview for his upcoming film Sarkar 3.

In his condolence message, filmmaker Subhash Ghai called Khanna a “real handsome man” both on and off screen. “He celebrated his life with love and dignity and compassion for others and in service to his nation as MP,” Ghai said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee condoled the demise of Khanna. “Will always remember Vinod Khanna as a popular actor, dedicated leader and a wonderful human. Pained by his demise. My condolences,” Modi tweeted.

President Mukherjee also tweeted: “Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Vinod Khanna, a highly talented and acclaimed actor and MP.”

A number of political leaders expressed their condolence on Khanna’s death. Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she remembered as a “gifted actor”. “Vinodji had a rare and profound influence over the masses with his simple and charismatic character,” she said, adding he dominated the silver screen with his outstanding persona. Gandhi expressed solidarity with Khanna’s family and prayed for the departed soul.

“Saddened to know about the demise of one of the greatest legends of Indian cinema,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. “We have lost an eminent personality who played a variety of roles in his film career and later in his social-political life. His contribution, both in films and as a minister, will always be remembered,” Fadnavis added.

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