When Rajesh Khanna said to Sharmila Tagore in the film Amar Prem "--- Pushpa, I hate tears", the dialog became truly amar. Today, it is one of the immortal dialogs of the Hindi movies folklore. His manner of saying "Babu Moshai" in Anand gave a new recognition to Bengalis throughout the world. Sadly he is no more with us.
The original superstar of the Hindi movies, was also its last romantic hero. The era of romance in Hindi movies, which was started by the legendary evergreen Dev Anand concluded in the mid seventies, with Rajesh Khanna providing the golden handshake. The imposition of emergency in 1975, made the nation very angry and the 'angry young man' was born in Bollywood. The era of Amitabh Bachchan had begun. Romance has since never returned to Hindi movies.
It is truly a great tribute to Rajesh Khanna's style of romancing his heroines on the screen that millions of female fans simply swooned over him. In this he was carrying forward the tradition of Dev Anand. Both were great romantic heroes, good looking, dashing, highly stylised, with pleasing mannerisms and great screen presence.
Rajesh Khanna had fantastic music in his films and the songs he has portaryed on screen have become legends and are heard with great relish today also. The combination of Rajesh Khanna -R.D. Burman- Kishore Kumar has given scores of songs which are evergreen even four decades after the audiences lapped them. The trio gave songs like "Yeh Shaam Mastani" or "Ropp Tera Mastana" or "Yeh Kya Hua" or 'Jai Sai shiv Shanker" or "O Mere Dil Ke Chain" or "Ye Jo Mohobat Hai" or "Mere Sapnoon ki Rani" or "Chingari Koyi Bhadke" or "Kahin Door Jabh Din Dal Jaye" and on a on.
He romanced some of Bollywood's best heroines like Sharmila, Mumtaz, Asha Parekh, and Hema Malini in particular. Some of the best directors like Shakti Samanta, Hrishikesh Mukherjee,Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai and Ramesh Sippy directed him.
Some of his top films were Aradhana, Safar, Do Raste, Bawarchi, Kati Patang, Sacha Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajana, Guddi, Dushman, Haathi Mere Sathi, Choti Bahu, Amar Prem, Jhoru Ka Ghulam, Prem Nagar, Aap Ki Kasam, Roti, Daag, Namak Haram, Anand, Apna Desh, Mehbooba, Kudrat, Red Rose, Avtar, Aa Ab laut Chale, Swarg etc. In all starting from his first movie, Akhri Khat in 1966 to his last movie Wafaa in 2008, he acted in 163 films of which he was the lead actor in128 films.
He gave 35 golden Jubilee hits during 1966-75, three in 76-78 and 35 more in the 1979-91 period. He also had 22 silver jubilee hits during his active film career between 1966-1991. His record of delivering 15 back to back super hits during 1969 and 1972 is still unsurpassed till date. His illustrious career saw him get nominated 14 times for the Filmfare Best Actor Award and he won it three times.
The Amritsar born, Bombay bred, Jatin Khanna took the name Rajesh Khanna and went on to reach the super star status in Hindi films. He broke away from his first love Anju Mahendroo and at the age of 31 went on to marry 16 year Dimple Khanna.
He has left behind his millions of admiring fans who all wish him RIP SUPERSTAR.
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