Govinda was nicknamed and referred to as "Chi Chi" (Punjabi: Little Finger) by his family, close associates and occasionally by the media.
Govinda is married to Sunita Ahuja. He is a member of the Indian National Congress Party and was elected in June 2004 in the 14th Lok Sabha elections defeating Ram Naik of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In June 1999, Govinda was voted as the 10th greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years by BBC News Online users.
His first film to be released Ilzaam (1986) was a box office success and 5 th biggest hit of 1986. He acted in a string of movies after that with mixed success. Most of the films he appeared in during the 1980s were in the action, romance or family drama genres. He was often paired opposite actress Neelam and together they appeared in hit films such as Love 86 (1986), Khudgarz (1987) and his brother Kirti Kumar's directed Hatya (1988). He had success with family drama films such as Dariya Dil (1988), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988) and Hum (1991) as well as action films such as Marte Dam Tak (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). He worked with David Dhawan for the first time in the 1989 action film Taaqatwar. He also had a hit film that year in a B grade flick with Sridevi in Ghair Khanooni He acted in critically acclaimed film Zulm Ki Hukamat, an Indian remake of Godfather where his performance was appreciated. He then formed a successful collaboration with David Dhawan and went onto act in 17 movies directed by him most of which were comedy films. The most successful films during their collaboration included Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993), Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Hero No. 1 (1997), Deewana Mastana (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Anari No. 1 (1999), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999) and Jodi No. 1 (2001). Dhawan and other directors frequently cast him opposite actresses such as Divya Bharati, Karishma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon during the 1990s.
Govinda played the role of a villain for the first time in his career in Shikari (2000). Although the movie was not a commercial success, Govinda's convincing portrayal of a sociopath murderer was critically acclaimed..
His box office draw suffered a setback in the early 2000s following a series of commercially unsuccessful films. His acting career was further affected when he contested and won the seat for Member of Parliament from Mumbai North in the 2004 parliamentary elections. He did not have any new film releases in 2004 and 2005 although some of his delayed films such as Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen (2005) and his own home production Ssukh (2005) were released but were box office disasters.
Govinda made a comeback to films in late 2006 with the comedy film Bhagam Bhag alongside Akshay Kumar which was a success. His first 2007 release was the huge multi-starrer Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love. Although a box office disappointment, Govinda was praised for his performance.
His second 2007 release was the David Dhawan directed romantic comedy Partner, which co-stars Salman Khan. The film grossed Rs.300 Million in India on its opening week, the second highest domestic opening week gross for an Indian film. . His upcoming films for 2008 include Money Hai To Honey Hai.
In a run up to the polls, Govinda had announced that his agenda will be awaas (housing), prawaas (transportation), swasthya (health) and gyaan (education).
During the first ten months of his tenure as an Member of Parliament (MP), Govinda did not spend any money from his MP Local Area Development Fund of Rs. 20 million. He started utilizing his fund only when newspaper reports brought this to notice. According to the Thane district collectorate sources, Govinda committed Rs 7 to construct anganwadi, samaj mandirs and resolve drinking water problem of Vasai and Virar residents. However, work on these projects did not begin (as of August 2005), because administrative approval was being awaited. Govinda also took credit for 80% of the quadrupling of Borivli-Virar section on Western Railway (India).
During his tenure as an MP, Govinda embarrassed his party, Congress, by coming out in open to support actor Shakti Kapoor, who had been caught in an sting operation, asking for sexual favours from a television reporter posing as a Bollywood aspirant He also opposed the ban on dance bars, which embarrassed the Congress-NCP led Democratic Front Government, which had proposed the ban.
As an MP, Govinda has been criticized for being inaccessible to the people of his constituency, especially during the terrible rains (beginning July 26, 2005) that left around 450 dead in Mumbai. After the rains, while speaking to a TV channel, Govinda claimed that he had got Rs 150 million sanctioned for his flood-hit constituency after speaking to Sonia Gandhi. However, his own party colleagues contested the claim. Mohan Adhikari, the president of Palghar Congress Unit went on record saying that "not a single paisa" had been received.
Govinda initially wanted to marry actress Neelam with whom he had made many films but eventually gave up and married according to his mother's choice. He had a narrow escape from death on January 5, 1994. While travelling to a studio for the shooting of 'Khuddar (1994)', the actor's car hit another car, resulting in him sustaining injuries to his head. Though bleeding profusely, Govinda did not cancel the shooting. After visiting a doctor, he shot for the film till midnight.
|Love 86||1986||Vikram Doshi|
|Marte Dam Tak||1987||Jai|
|Pyaar Karke Dekho||1987||Ravi Kumar|
|Jeete Hain Shaan Se||1988||Iqbal Ali|
|Aakhri Baazi||1989||Ram Kumar|
|Jung Baaz||1989||Arjun Srivastav|
|Teri Payal Mere Geet||1989||Premi|
|Shola Aur Shabnam||1992||Karan|
|Jaan Se Pyaara||1992||Inspector Jai/Sunder||Double Role|
|Ekka Raja Rani||1994||Sagar|
|Raja Babu||1994||Raja Singh|
|Coolie No. 1||1995||Raju||Nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award|
|Saajan Chale Sasural||1996||Shyamsunder||Special Filmfare Award|
|Hero No. 1||1997||Rajesh Malhotra|
|Jodi No. 1||1998||Veeru|
|Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan||1998||Pyare Mohan/Chhote Miyan||Double Role|
|''Pardesi Babu||1998||Raju Pardesi|
|Anari No. 1||1999||Rahul/Raja||Double Role|
|Haseena Maan Jaayegi||1999||Monu||Winner, Filmfare Best Comedian Award|
|Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain||1999||Rahul Malhotra|
|Jis desh mein ganga rehta hain|
|Shikari||2000||Om Srivastav||Nominated for Filmfare Best Villain Award|
|Joru Ka Ghulam||2000||Raju|
|Hadh Kar Di Aapne||2000||Raju/Mummy/Daddy/Sweety/Dada/Dadi||Six Roles|
|Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa||2001||Bhimsha|
|Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta||2001||Raj Malhotra|
|Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai||2002||Sunder|
|Waah! Tera Kya Kehna||2002||Raj Oberoi/Banne Khan||Double Role|
|Chalo Ishq Ladaaye||2002||Pappu|
|Ek Aur Ek Gyarah||2003||Tara|
|Three Roses||2003||Tamil film|
|Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love||2007||Raju|
|Partner||2007||Bhaskar Diwakar Chowdahry|
|Om Shanti Om||2007||Special appearance|
|Money Hai Toh Honey Hai||2008||Bobby Arora|
|Main Aur Mrs Khanna||2008|