Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Profession: Main Lead , Actor, Singer, Supporting Actor
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  • Also Know as :- Kulbhushan Kharbanda
  • Profession:- Main Lead , Actor, Singer, Supporting Actor
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 21 Oct 1944
  • Status:- Married
  • Debut Year:- 1976
  • Active Years:- Till Today

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Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Indian Film History

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Kulbhushan Kharbanda became immortal as Shakaal in Shaan After the mega success of Sholay (1975) filmmaker Ramesh Sippy announced his next biggest blockbuster Shaan with an array of top stars from Bollywood. The film had Sunil Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rakhee, Praveen Babi, Johnny Walker and others. The story was written by the same Sholay writers - Salim Javed. Like Sholay that introduced Amjad Khan as the dreaded Gabbar Singh likewise much hyped was created about the villain Shakaal in Shaan. Ramesh Sippy and writers Salim Javed hunted an able actor and after one year of talent hunt they finalized Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the menacing Shakaal. Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s make-up was inspired by Hollywood’s popular James Bond film character Blofeld. He spotted a bald and dressed elegantly. His den was surrounded four sides by water. Huge hype was created in media about Kulbhushan Kharbanda and his looks and his den. People waited eagerly for the film’s release and when the film released in 1980 ticket rate were shot-up but crazy fans bought ticket in black. As Shakaal, Kulbhushan Kharbanda made his grand entry in Bollywood and shall ever be remembered as Shakaal for generations!

Kulbhushan Kharbanda is the first theatre actor to be paid It may sound strange but it is true that in the early 50’s stage actors did theatre just for their passion and entertain others. But in the mid-60’s Kulbhushan Kharbanda was the first stage actor to bring professionalism in theatre where actor were paid. After graduation from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and his few friends who were passionate about theatre decided to make their career in theatre. Hence they joined eminent dramatist Joy Michael’s theatre company Yatrik. The drama company was a joined venture of few Indian theatre loyalist and Joy Michael. The drama company produced English and Hindi plays and was a professional drama company where theatre artist were paid. Thus from 1964 Kulbhushan Kharbanda has been working in theater. It’s been 53 years and HE still continues to entertain. Kulbhushan Kharbanda was kicked out from his job for his passion in theatre Kulbhushan Kharbanda enjoyed working at Yatrik but after few years of success Yatrik had to be shut down, no not because the drama company was making losses, but because its founder and director of the drama company Joy Michael got a lucrative job as a lecturer in US universities. Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s was forced to do a job for survival. But his heart lay in theatre hence he spent hours dreaming about theatre and concentrated less on his work. His boss was tired of his laziness and kicked him out of the job. Left with no option he came to Kolkata and joined Shyamanand Jalan’s theatre group Padatik in 1972. The drama company did both Bengali and Hindi plays.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda had an arranged marriage with Maheshwari Devi Kharbanda.

Shyam Benegal invited Kulbhushan Kharbanda to Mumbai When Kulbhushan Kharbanda was doing theatre at Shyamanand Jalan’s Padatik, once eminent parallel cinema guru Shyam Benegal saw one of his plays at Kolkata and was impressed by Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s acting skill. When Benegal was making Manthan (1976) he called Kulbhushan Kharbanda to meet him in Mumbai. Kulbhushan Kharbanda was in two minds but his theatre owner Shyamanand Jalan told him to try his luck. Besides, Shyam Benegal had assured to pay his return ticket and lodging charges too! On Shyamanand Jalan’s advice Kulbhushan Kharbanda came to Mumbai and settled permanently as his Jodi with Shyam Benegal gelled so well that Kulbhushan Kharbanda became a permanent actor in Shyam Benegal’s every movie. Beginning with From Manthan (1976) Kulbhushan Kharbanda was seen in practically all movies of Benegal like Bhumika (1977), Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), Mandi (1983), Trikal (1985), Susman (1987), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005) etc. With Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth Kulbhushan Kharbanda won real fame Though with Shyam Benegal’s movies Kulbhushan Kharbanda won critical appreciation as a competent actor but he won real fame from Mahesh Bhatt’s hard-hitting film Arth. Incidentally Arth was also Mahesh Bhatt’s first commercial successful film. Earlier Mahesh Bhatt had attempted many commercial films like Lahu Ke Do Rang with Vinod Khanna and Vishwasghath with Sanjeev Kumar but both were major debacle at box-office. Hence Mahesh Bhatt’s career was at stake and he needed a desperate hit for his survival. At such a crucial phase of his career Mahesh Bhatt penned a semi-autobiographical story about the conflict that he himself underwent when he was having an extramarital affair with Praveen Babi. After the script was ready Mahesh signed Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil but he was in docks about signing an actor who could justify the role. He thought of many versatile actors like Sanjeev Kumar, Farooq Sheikh, Amol Palekar but could not finalize until he saw Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s play and instantly signed him for the lead role. When Mahesh Bhatt had signed Kulbhushan Kharbanda there were major oppositions from the producers as Kulbhushan Kharbanda was not a star material but Mahesh Bhatt was adamant and had the last laugh! The movie was a commercial success and opened doors of Bollywood for Kulbhushan Kharbanda. Kulbhushan Kharbanda was repeated by every top filmmaker The highlight of Kulbhushan Kharbanda as an actor was that any filmmaker with whom he worked was overwhelmed not only by his acting genius but as great human being. That’s the reason ever top filmmaker repeated him like top directors Raj Kapoor (Prem Rog, Ram Teri Ganga Mali and Heena), Yash Chopra ( Nakhuda, Silsila), Rajkumar Santoshi ( Ghayal, Damini, China Gate), J.P.Datta (Gulami, Border, Refugee), Ramesh Sippy (Shaan, Shakti), Aamir Khan ( Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar , Lagaan). In fact when Kulbhushan Kharbanda worked with International film director Deepa Mehta in Fire, she was so impressed that Kulbhushan Kharbanda became part of her other two films as well as Earth and Water. Further she signed him for her other 3 films as well!

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