The founder of Bollywood’s premier banner, Yash Raj Films, and perhaps the industry’s most powerful movie mogul, Yash Chopra died in Mumbai after he was contracted dengue fever.
He was known as the ‘King of Romance,’ and had a Hindi-language movie-making career that spanned five decades with major hits including ‘Deewar’, ‘Dil To Pagal Hai and ‘Chandni’.
According to the reports, Chopra was also suffering from kidney ailments. Dr. Prakash Jiyavani while speaking to the media said, “He passed away due to dengue and multiple organ failure.”
The 80-year-old Chopra was eagerly awaiting the release of his latest directorial venture, Jab Tak Hai Jaan. It is scheduled for release across India next month.
The Lahore-born Yash Chopra started his film career under the tutelage of his elder brother, veteran filmmaker B R Chopra, who died four years ago at age 94.
Chopra’s grand theme was love and it was seldom a simple affair. In his films, it was usually a high-hanging fruit that could be attained only after navigating through a maze of complications and snuffles.
Complex love triangles (Daag and Chandni), convoluted love quadrangle (Silsila), love defying category (Kabhi Kabhie), age-gap amour (Lamhe), fake young serious romance (Dil To Paagal Hai), love as sacrifice (Veer Zara), he tried to capture love in every hue.
Music was always a hallmark of his romantic movies. And he helped revive the career of Khayyam by giving the out-of-job composer an opportunity to give music in Kabhi Kabhie.
Khayyam repaid the trust by providing an unforgettable score. Chopra also worked with two classical musicians, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Shiv Kumar Sharma.
The government of India honoured him with the “Dadasaheb Phalke Award” in 2001 and the “Padma Bhushan” in 2005 for his meritorious services to Hindi cinema. He was also given the “Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2001 and the Swiss Ambassador’s Award 2010 for rediscovering Switzerland.
A popular legend among film-goers in India was that Chopra had shot so often in Switzerland that one of the lakes had been renamed Chopra Lake.
He is survived by his wife and two sons. Elder son Aditya Chopra is a successful film director, and Uday Chopra runs the international branch of the family’s production house.