Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Bollywood with a string of movies hits in the seventies, passed away in his Mumbai residence on Wednesday, leaving millions of fans saddened and grieved.
He was often referred to as the first superstar of Bollywood and the Hindi film industry’s biggest heart-throb in his day.
Rajesh Khanna’s health started deteriorating since April this year when the actor stopped taking food and complained of exhaustion and weakness. The actor has been rushed to Lilavati Hospital twice in the past one month.
The 69-year-old, who was known as Kaka (Uncle), had been battling with health issues for a long time and was frequently admitted to hospital in the last few months.
He, who was born in Amritsar in 1942, was not from an acting dynasty like many big names of the Indian film industry. He started his career by appearing on stage from his very early age.
Khanna made his film debut in Akhri Khat (The Last Letter) in 1966 but his big break came in 1969 when his movie Aaradhan (Worship) had hit the ranks. After that he played typically romantic role in many hit movies.
During his illustrious career Khanna gave 15 consecutive solo super hits between 1969 and 1972 including “Kati Patang” (Broken Kite), “Haathi Mere Saathi” (The Elephants My Friends), “Anand” (Peace) and “Amar Prem” (Everlasting love). Rajesh In total, he appeared in more than 150 Hindi movies.
The legendary actor accomplished three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same fourteen times. He was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
His fall from stardom was quite sudden as his rise to fame was considered meteoric. Although, his charm at the box office had waned, it did not affect his personal charisma.
He held a Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament) seat as a Congressman from 1992 to 1996.