Kulbhushan Kharbanda PROFILE
Actor Kulbhushan Kharbanda came to Mumbai from Kolkata to try his luck in films. Back in Kolkata, he was working for a firm by day and doing Hindi theatre with Padatik, a repertory company in the evening. That is, till he answered his inner call and landed in Mumbai for a fulltime career in films. The actor began his career at a time when the art cinema movement was doing quite well. He worked in films like Filmwala’s Kalyug and Junoon. But he came into fame with his portrayal of the dreaded Shakaal in Ramesh Sippy’s Shaan, which co-starred Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Parveen Babi and Shashi Kapoor. He even went bald for his role in the film. That performance may not be quite on par with the late Amjad Khan’s portrayal of Gabbar Singh in Sholay, but it was definitely a very strong portrayal which caught the imagination of the public at large. Another one of his wellknown films is Arth, where he plays the man caught in a triangle between his wife played by Shabana Azmi and mistress, played by Smita Patil. The actor has also worked for Shyam Benegal in Trikaal and Naseem, besides Junoon. He has also worked in all of Deepa Mehta’s trilogy on elements, Earth, Fire and Water, besides Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding. He has done many mainstream films as well like Gupt, Border, Hera Pheri, Lagaan, Lage Raho Munnabhai and the recent Jodhaa Akbar, Ru Ba Ru and EMI. He also played the lead in the legendary Punjabi film Chan Pardesi, and the comedy Mahaul Theek Hai. Unfortunately, Kharbanda has been highly underrated as an actor, being slot mostly in the beleaguered father roles. It was directors like Sippy, Benegal, Mehta and Mahesh Bhatt, who had the conviction to cast him in different kind of roles.