Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rajesh Khanna passes away at 69

Actor Rajesh Khanna has died at home in Mumbai. He was 69. Mr Khanna was suffering from cancer.

Mr Khanna will be cremated tomorrow morning. His bungalow, Aashirwad, on Carter Road in Bandra has been cordoned off by the police.

Mr Khanna had been hospitalized on June 23, when he was taken to Lilavati Hospital to be treated for exhaustion, and spent some days having tests. He was discharged just yesterday.

Worried fans had lined up outside Aashirwad on June 21 when Mr Khanna was said to have stopped eating. He was later reported to be "more than fine" by son-in-law, actor Akshay Kumar. Mr Khanna himself appeared on his balcony, visibly weak and wearing dark glasses, to wave at his fans and give them the victory sign.

Mr Khanna had also been hospitalized for a few days in April this year.

Mr Khanna's ex-wife, actress Dimple Kapadia, has nursed him through his illness. They have two daughters together - Twinkle, who is expecting her second child with husband Akshay Kumar, and Rinke who is married to businessman Sameer Saran.
Rajesh Khanna has appeared in more than 150 Hindi films 

Mr Khanna was the top actor in Bollywood during the Seventies and early Eighties, and is considered to be it's first real superstar. He was the star of romantic comedies and dramas such asAnandAradhana and Kati Patanag. He won three Filmfare awards in his long career. Mr Khanna also held a Lok Sabha seat as a Congressman from 1992-1996.

Rajesh Khanna's Bollywood journey

His rise to Bollywood superstar reads like a movie script. As a struggling actor in Mumbai, Rajesh Khanna won the All India Talent Contest organised in association with Filmfare, beating over 10,000 contestants.
Though the actor got his first break soon after in Chetan Anand's 'Akhri Khat' in 1966, and followed it up with a few films including Asit Sen's 'Khamoshi', it wasn't until his double role n 'Aradhana' in 1969 opposte Sharmila Tagore that a star was born.
Through the early 1970s films like 'Kati Patang', 'Safar', 'Ittefaq', 'Aan Milo Sajna' and 'Haathi Mere Saathi' consolidated his superstardom. During this phase Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anand' remains one of the actor's most memorable performances. Khanna, music composer RD Burman and singer Kishore Kumar were a team most sought after in the early 70s.
He married actress Dimple while he was still riding his success wave in 1973, but the two separated a few years later.
He was also successfully paired with a string of leading ladies including Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz.
Though Rajesh Khanna's popularity declined with the rise of the angry young man - Amitabh Bachchan - the star continued to deliver hits well into the 1980s with films like 'Souten', 'Dharam Kanta' and 'Maqsad'. He eventually moved on to do older and character roles and enjoyed box-office success with 'Avatar' and 'Swarg'.
In the 1990s the actor took a break from films and joined politics having won the 1992 by elections on a Congress ticket from Delhi.
Though Khanna appeared in a B grade film recently, it was this commercial directed by R Balki that brought him back to the limelight. The commercial recreates an era actually lived by the Bollywood's first superstar who leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come.

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