Bollywood superstar ‘Kaka’ Rajesh Khanna dies

India News Bulletin Desk
Rajesh Khanna
Youtube (rajshri)

Bollywood’s iconic figure and superstar Rajesh Khanna has died at the age of 69 in Mumbai after being in and out of hospital since April this year.

Khanna, who is lovingly referred to as ‘Kaka’ by the Bollywood fraternity and his fans, is considered as Bollywood’s first real superstar to be mobbed by people whenever he made an appearance.

Khanna has played the romantic lead in many Bollywood blockbusters of the 1960s, 70s and early 80s.

He was loved for his lead roles in romantic drama and comedies including Anand, Haathi Mere Saathi, Aan Milo Sajna, Aradhana and Kati Patang.

His character of a cancer patient in the 1971 Amitabh Bachchan film Anand is one of his most lauded roles.

He has won three Filmfare awards in his career and has worked with the leading actresses of his time including Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz.

His romantic and 'good-guy' roles, on-screen chemistry with his heroines and the song-and-dance sequences were the biggest crowd-pullers for his films.

In his later years, he played older characters in films such as Swarg and Avatar and continued to enjoy box-office success.

In the 1990s, Khanna took a break from films and joined politics. He held a Lok Sabha seat between 1992 and 1996.

Khanna is survived by his estranged wife and actress Dimple Kapadia, and two daughters Twinkle and Rinkie. Khanna married Kapadia in 1973 but the two separated in 1984. Both his daughters had a short career in Bollywood. Actor Akshay Kumar is married to his daughter Twinkle.

His funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 11am.

Tributes started flowing in on Twitter soon after the news of his death spread. BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj said: “You rightly said ‘Hum sab to rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain’.. Goodbye Rajesh Khanna."

Adman Suhel Seth paid his tribute saying: “The man who made me laugh, made me cry and made me sing is now off to God...he too needs to be happy! RIP Rajesh Khanna...”

Critically acclaimed director, Shekhar Kapur noted: If you weren't there and you didn’t see it, you will never again experience an event that hit the nation like a hurricane as RajeshKhanna did. RIP

Other leading Bollywood stars including Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor also paid their respects on Twitter.

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