By Nabila Habib (NVONews.Com)
Bollywood’s superfamous actor of the 70s, called the first superstar of Indian Film Industry, Rajesh Khanna died at his bungalow ‘Aashirwad’ in Mumbai. The 69-year-old actor was suffering from cancer and is survived by two daughters Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna.
The body of the actor would be cremated on 19th July at 11.30am. Police has cordoned off his home.
Khanna’s eldest son-in-law, actor Akshay Kumar addressed the press and fans and asked them to pray for the late star.
Khanna had been ailing since earlier this year and was hospitalized in April. Later he was said to have stopped eating on June 21st and concerned fans had thronged his home for a glimpse of the superstar. Akshay Khanna later confirmed that he was fine and Rajesh Khanna even ventured out on his balcony to wave at his fans and made victory sign.
Rajesh Khanna was married to actress Dimple Kapadia and the couple had two daughters before they divorced. He has also had romantic relations with actress Tina Munim and actress Anju Mahendru.
After years of separation, Rajesh Khanna and his ex-wife Dimple Kapadia let go of bitterness and stayed in touch. He was nursed by Dimple during his last days.
His elder daughter Twinkle is currently expecting her second child. Younger daughter Rinke is married to businessman Sameer Saran.
Rajesh Khanna has left behind him a rich legacy of films, most of which were the classics of the 70s and 80s. His famous films include such successes as Anand, Aradhana and Kati Patanag. He appeared in 163 feature films and played lead roles in 128 of them. He won three Filmfare Awards in his long career and was nominated fourteen times. He also received the maximum number of BFJA Awards (4) and was nominated for the same 25 times.
In 1991 he received the Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years. Then in 2005 he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
After acting, Khanna took to politics and held a Lok Sabha seat as a Congressman from 1992-1996.
Expressing their grief over the star’s death were a number of politicians, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Bollywood celebrities, who remember him with great warmth.
Renowned lyricist and screenplay writer Javed Akhtar, along with Salim Khan, scriptwriter and father of superstar Salman Khan, owes his success to the superstar.
Akhtar said in an interview, “One day, he went to Salimsaab and said that Mr. Devar had given him a huge signing amount with which he could complete the payment for his bungalow Aashirwad. But the film’s script was far from being satisfactory. He told us that if we could set right the script, he would make sure we got both money and credit.”
Mumtaz, lead actress who starred alongside Khanna in eight successful films, spoke about him, “I would pull his leg and tease him about his fan following. Whenever Rajesh entered a hotel in Madras, there was a queue of 600 girls waiting to see him at midnight. As a result, even I would get some importance, as people would ask for my autograph as well. He was very generous with his associates, and would party a lot.”
In 1974 BBC made a biographical film on him which was titled ‘Bombay Superstar’.
Sharmila Tagore, current head of Indian Film Censor Board, is reported to have said about Khanna in an interview, “Women came out in droves to see Kaka (Khanna). They would stand in queues outside the studios to catch a glimpse, they would marry his photographs; they would pull at his clothes. Delhi girls were crazier for him than Mumbai girls. He needed police protection when he was in public. I have never seen anything like this before and since.”