Proudly known for his role as the ingenious bald villain “Shakaal” inspired by James Bond’s Blofeld, Kulbhushan Kharbanda personifies the versatility in the Bollywood industry.
Having being born in Attock district of Punjab (now Pakistan), his family migrated to India where he completed his schooling Jodhpur, Dehradun & Aligarh. Right after his graduation from Kirori Mal College from Delhi University, a few friends of his along with him created a theater group which went by the name of “Abhiyaan.” He also conjugated with Michael Joy’s “Yatrik”, a bilingual theater, consequently also to emerge as its first paid artist. In 1972 he migrated to Kolkata, to work under director Shyamanand Jalan and join the “Padatik” theater group. He first set foot in the film industry through Sai Paranjape’s “Jadu Ka Shankh” but was first noticed Shyam Benegal’s “Nishant” in 1974.
He also featured in Benegal’s “
”, and “Kalyug.” Coextensively, he also ventured into parallel films like “Godhuli” in 1977. However in 1980, he was presented with the role of the infamous “Shakaal” in Ramesh Sippy’s “
” which would lay concrete on his foot into Bollywood mainstream movies. He is also well known for his roles “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” where he played the jubilant portrayal of a loving dad who raises his sons and the King of Champaner ‘Raja Puran Singh’ in Lagaan.
Gupt, Border, Refugee are some of the projects in which he featured. Besides, Kharbanda also ventured into art films right from Chakra in 1981, Arth in 1982, Andhi Gali in 1984 up to “Monsoon Weddings” in 2001 among many others. He also featured in Deepa Mehta’s movie trilogy “Earth”, “Fire” and “Water.” In the year 2009, he also found the opportunity to appear briefly in a German film. He also grabbed a role in the 2014 movie “
” which was a remake of the Hollywood flick “Warriors” and in “
”, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” His television works include serials such as “
Shanno Ki Shaadi
” and “Mahi Ve.” He has a daughter, Shruti, with wife Maheshwari Devi Kharbanda.