Remembering Vinod Mehra on his 72nd birth anniversary.

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Vinod Mehra (13 February 1945–30 October 1990) was an Indian actor in Bollywood films. He started out as a child actor in the late 1950s before starting his film career as an adult in 1971. He acted in over 100 films through to his death at the age of 45 in 1990. He was also the producer and director of the film Gurudev which was released 3 years after his death.

Mehra made his debut in the 1958 film Raagni as a child artist playing the younger version of the character played by Kishore Kumar. After playing a few more minor roles as a child, he started his film career as an adult in 1971 with Ek Thi Rita, a smash hit based on the English play, ‘A Girl Called Rita’, along with Tanuja. He was one of finalists in the 1965 All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare from more than ten thousand contestants. He lost the contest to Rajesh Khanna and became male runner up of the contest.

This was followed by the film Parday Ke Peechhay opposite debutant Yogeeta Bali followed by Elaan (with Rekha), Amar Prem (1972) and Lal Patthar, though it was only Shakti Samanta’s Anuraag (1972) with Maushmi Chatterjee, which established him as an actor. He went on to appear in over 100 films in his career spanning over two decades. He played the lead role in some of his earlier films but often acted in many multi-starrers as the secondary lead or played supporting roles such as a brother, friend, uncle, father and police officer. He worked with many actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra. His frequent female co-stars included Rekha, Maushmi Chatterjee, Yogeeta Bali, Shabana Azmi and Bindiya Goswami.

Some of his prominent films were Nagin, Jaani Dushman, Ghar, Swarg Narak, Kartavya, Saajan Bina Suhagan, Jurmana, Ek Hi Raasta, Ye Kaisa Insaaf Sweekar Kiya Maine and Khud-Daar. He received Filmfare Nominations as Best Supporting Actor for Anurodh (1977), Amar Deep (1979), and Bemisal (1982). He also played the leading role in a Punjabi film Maujaan Dubai Diyaan in 1985.

He turned producer and director with the film Gurudev in the late 1980s, with Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor in the lead. He died of a heart attack before completion of the film at the age of 45 in October 1990. The film was released in 1993 after director Raj Sippy completed the film.

Many of his delayed films were released after his death and dedicated to his memory such as Patthar Ke Phool (1991 film), Insaniyat (1994) and Aurat Aurat Aurat (1996).

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