By Rajesh V. Gaur & Suneel V. Gaur
The birth anniversary of Vinod Mehra – the highly acclaimed film star of the 1970s and 80s – falls on February 13. The actor, who passed away at the age of 50, started his career as a child artist and went on to star in lead roles in several successful films like ‘Elaan', 'Aaarop', ‘Lal Patthar’, ‘Anuraag’, ‘Ghar', 'Khudaar, and others. He created a distinct position for himself, defined by a contemporary acting style that was fresh, as compared to that of the traditional heroes of the era.
Mehra was born in 1940 in Amritsar and later married Meena Broca, who was chosen for him by his mother. However, the marriage did not last, and he later married Bindiya Goswami. Sadly, this marriage also ended and Bindiya later married director J.P. Dutta of 'Border' and 'Refugee' fame.
There were rumors at one time of Mehra’s closeness with Rekha, and it was said that they had secretly married. But years later in a popular TV programme anchored by Simi Garewal, Rekha admitted that Mehra and she were never married and were just good friends. He finally married Kiran and the couple had a daughter and son together.
It was the success of 'Elaan' opposite Rekha in 1971, and the highly acclaimed 'Anuraag' opposite Moushmi in 1972, that cemented Vinod’s position as a dependable and successful star. He was next seen in the box office bonanza 'Lal Paththar' alongside Raaj Kumar and Hema Malini.
Mehra also starred in the 1976 multistarrer 'Nagin' and later collaborated with Rajkumar Kohli in another big film ‘Jaani Dushman’, which reinforced his position as a bankable star. He also won accolades for his performance opposite Rekha in ‘Ghar’ (1978).
Mehra then tried his hand at direction, but his first and only venture as a director and producer, 'Gurudev', could be released only three years after his demise. Mehra will always be remembered by the Hindi film industry for his charismatic and gracious personality which won him many friends, and also for his stellar performances in the many films that he starred in.