Arun Govil was born on 12 January 1958 in Ramnagar near Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He spent his teenage life in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He got his formal education at Chaudhary Charan Singh University, where he took part in some plays. In 1975 he moved to Mumbai with an initial intention to start his business, but later on continued to pursue an acting career. His debut in Indian cinema was in 1977 when he acted in the film Paheli. In the following years he performed in several other movies, such as Sawan Ko Aane Do from 1979, Saanch Ko Aanch Nahin from 1979, Ayaash from 1982 and Itni Si Baat from 1981.
In his entire acting career he performed in more than 40 films in several languages. His famous Oriya film is Bidhira Bidhan from 1989, and some of his Telugu films are Edu Kondalaswamy from 1991, Govindha Govindha from 1993, and Great Robbery from 1996. Arun acted in TV series, and his most significant role is Rama in the very successful television series Ramayan, for which he received the Uptron Award for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" in 1988. Some other TV series he performed in are: Vishwamitra, Buddha, ,
and many more. Arun owns a production company together with his Ramayan co-star Sunil Lahiri. He produced and acted in a TV series based on the Indian independence movement called Mashaal, together with his wife Shrileikha(Sreelekha).