The Indian movie industry suffered a major loss today with the passing of Bollywood legend, Rajesh Khanna (born Jatin Khanna; 29 December 1942 – 18 July 2012). He was 69 years old, and died of a liver infection at his home in Mumbai “Aashirwad”.
Rajesh Khanna was Bollywood’s first superstar and reigned the box office in the 1960s and 1970s as one of the most popular Kings of Romance. Khanna featured in 163 films and acted as a lead in 128. He was nominated for the Filmfare award 14 times and won 3. He holds the records for the most consecutive solo hits. Between 1969 and 1972, he produced 15 consecutive solo superhits. His popularity was unprecedented and, at it’s height, girls would crowd around his car kissing it and often sent him letters written in their blood!
In an interview, Khanna shared that “My inspirations include Dilip Kumar’s dedication and intensity, Raj Kapoor’s spontaneity, Dev Anand’s style and Shammi Kapoor’s rhythm.” However, Khanna’s style, mannerisms, movements were all his own and he was no doubt, one of the biggest mega-stars to grace Indian cinema.
Khanna formed a popular pair with Sharmila Tagore on screen producing hits like Aradhana (which truly catapulted Khanna to stardom), Amar Prem, Safar, Raja Rani, and Chhoti Bahu, among others. The actress mentioned how deeply sad she was with his passing, and explained how his charm touched all people and generations:
“Elderly woman would want to mother him. Younger women wanted to fall in love with him. And the men also liked him because he had a lot of energy and style. He brought together people from nine-year-olds to ninety-year-olds.”
Although he formed a magic pair with Sharmila, the one to ultimately steal his heart was Dimple Kapadia. They had two daughters, actress Twinkle Khanna who is married to Akshay Kumar, and Rinke Khanna. Although they went through a rocky phase in their marriage, they eventually worked things out and stayed close till the end.
Rajesh Khanna will be deeply missed in the industry. R.I.P. “Kaka”. Read on below to see what Bollywood has been saying at his loss, and a couple music tributes artists made dedicated to Khanna.
Tweets from Celebs:
- Shilpa Shetty – “Just heard the sad news,heartfelt condolences & prayers 2 the family 2 cope with this irreparable loss,R.I.P Rajesh Khanna, a Superstar always.”
- Anupam Kher – “Rajesh Khanna gave us a crash course in Romance. He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eye that made us feel good about ourselves. RIP”
- Raima Sen – “A final salute to star Rajesh Khanna, he who defined stardom..”
- Poonam Pandey – “Kaka made his death a celebration IN REEL LIFE, Let us Make It Same In REAL LIFE. zindagi BADI honi chahiye lambi nahi. RIP RAJESH KHANNA”
- Mandira Bedi – “Sad to hear Indias 1st Super star, Rajesh Khanna is no more. RIP.”
- Sherlyn Chopra – “Rajesh Khanna ji REST IN PEACE.”
- Dia Mirza – “Babumoshai eto bhalo bhasha bhalo na…”Anand, Kati Patang, Bawarchi and many more… What a legacy you’ve left behind. RIP Rajesh Khannaji”
- Ayesha Takia – “So beyond sad 2 hear of the passing of Rajesh khanna ji. Let us all pray for his family,so they may get strength.RIP Rajesh Khanna ji.”
- Farah Khan – ” Just hrd the saddest news.the 1st Superstar of india is no more.bt the legend that was Rajesh khanna will live eternally thru his films (sic).”
- Prateik Babbar – ” Zindagi ka safar..hai yeh kaisa safar..koi samjha nahi.. – aap shayad samajh gaye..RiP Rajesh Khanna SahaB..upar SmitA se zaroor milna.”
- Tusshar Kapoor – “Rajesh Khanna ji, our 1st superstar is no more! I worked with him in kyaa dil ne kaha & learnt a lot just talking to him! May his soul RIP!”
- Arshad Warsi – “RIP KAKA…. God bless n have mercy on his soul….”
- Madhu Bhandarkar – “The epitome of superstardom is no more amongst us. There was none, there is none & there won’t be any like you kakaji. You will be missed.”
- Manoj Bajpai – “Nafrat ki duniya ko chod ke pyar ki duniya me khush rahena mere yaar!still remember hathi mere sathi .saw it as a child.we will miss you sir”
- Karan Johar – “the magic…the mannerism…the mania of RAJESH KHANNA is inscribed in every archive of indian cinema…forever…RIP SIR!!!”
Other comments from celebs:
- Asha Parekh, who acted with Khanna in Aan Milo Sajna and other movies, said “He was a big big superstar. As an actor his class was super. And now that he is no more with us, it is a very sad day for all of us.”
- Asha Bhonsle said “He had a massive fan following. He was very simple at heart. Even though girls went gaga over him, he was very grounded. I still remember, unmarried as well as married girls used to send letters written in blood to Kaka.”
- Shakti Kapoor said “I have just heard the news and I am really bereaved to know about Kaka’s death. I still cannot believe that he is no more with us. He was very strong in the sense that he still was very passionate about the art of cinema.”
- Moushmi Chatterjee recalled “Rajesh Khanna lived up to his famous dialogue –zindagi badi honi chahiye..lambi nahi. It will take some time for me to believe that Kaka is no more with us. I am so shocked hearing the news. I do not know how to react.”
- Hema Malini, recalled “I have some very fond memories of working with Rajesh Khanna. It’s a day of mourning for everyone one of us. ‘Andaz’, ‘Pream Nagar’ are two movies which I loved working with Kaka. His death is an irreparable loss for our hindi film industry… He was the best at his time.”
- Shabana Azmi – “He was the darling of Indian cinema. It was an amazing phenomenon that Rajesh Khanna had created.”
- Filmmaker Subhash Ghai expressed, “I know Kaka (Rajesh Khanna) for a long time. He was very inspiring. He had an exceptional energy. I don’t think anybody has enjoyed superstardom as Rajesh Khanna did in his prime days.”
- Prem Chopra said, “Rajesh Khanna was a very dear friend of mine. He was a great guy to work with. He was the real superstar of that era.”
- Om Puri said, “He has made amazing contribution to the film industry. He has inspired many many actors.”
- Raj Babbar said, “He is the superstar and will remain the superstar forever. His films will continue to inspire generations to come.”
- Manoj Kumar said: “Rajesh Khanna was one of his own kind. I remember youngsters going hysterical seeing him on the screen. He will never be forgotten.”
- Satish Shah – “He has been a super icon for me.”
Mohit Lalwani Tribute