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Rajesh Khanna Biography
•Full name- Jatin Chunnilal Khanna
•Screen name- Rajesh Khanna
•Born- 29th December 1942, in Amritsar Punjab, India
•Death- 18th July 2012,in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
•Nicknames- Kaka, RK, Original King of Romance, First Superstar of Indian (Hindi) cinema, Shezada
•Spouse- Dimple Kapadia (1973- 2012) Informal separation in 1984
•Children- Twinkle and Rinkie Khanna
•As a Film Star- (1966-2012)
•As a Producer- (1971-1995)
•As a Politician- (1991-1995)
•First Film-Akhri Khat 1966
•Year’s active- (1966-2012)
•Parents- Lala Hiranand and Chandrani Khanna
•Foster parents- Chunni Lal Khanna and Leela Wati Khanna
A lot has been said and written about the first Original Superstar of India and also the King of Romance. His life can be described as a colorful and can be articulated with a string of adjectives. It is difficult to describe him be the string of 15 successful films or the paranoia that surrounded female fans of his generation. At the same time his curious character that was charismatic and determinant with the arrogance that is likened to a certain Napoleon. He is once in a lifetime actor and a phenomenon.
Rajesh Khanna Early Career- One of the most versatile actors in India and certainly heir to the Seat of the supremacy as a superstar. He was born on the 29th December, 1942 and was adopted by a relative of his real parents Chunni Lal Khanna and Leela Wati Khanna. His biological parents were Lala Hiranand and Chandrani Khanna. After his adoption he was named Jatin Khanna and lived with his foster parents at Saraswati Niwas, Thakurdwar near Gurgaon. He attended the St. Sebastian’s Goan High School in Mumbai and completed his schooling from the Hill Grange Hill Schools at Peddar Road. From his early days itself the actor aspired and has a keen affinity towards dramatics and theatres. During those days he used the screen name Jeetandra. It was Khanna's uncle who advised the actor to adopt the screen name of Rajesh as it suited him. Rajesh Khanna attended the prestigious KC college at Churchgate. He was a rare sight for new comers as he was the first struggler to travel in his own MG Cars strolling for a chance in the early sixties.
Rajesh Khanna Film Career- Rajesh Khanna was one of the eight finalists in the All Indian National Talent Contest that was organized by United producers and Film fare. This earned him in first role in feature film with Akhri Khat 1966 and Raaz soon after. While these films received critical acclaim with his first film being the Indian’s official entry for the 40th Oscar Awards for best Foreign feature film the films flopped at the box office. There were many films planned with the actor but due to ceratin reasons they were stalled. Directors and producers refrained to include him in any film. Hence for the next three years he starred in small films that fared moderately or badly at the box office. However he scored his first success in the box office with Aradhana (1969).
In the film the actor essayed a double role and his co actress was the established Sharmila Tagore. The film received positive review and within a week’s time was declared a super duper hit. The music of this film continues to be an all round favorite even to this day. From then on Khanna went to star on as many as 15 successful box office hits. Those 15 solo lead hero films were Aradhana, Doli, Bandhan, Ittefaq, Do Raaste, Khamoshi, Safar, The Train, Kati Patang, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Dushmun, Anand, and Haathi Mere Saathi. This record remains unchallenged even to this day. Critics of the time acclaimed him as the Superstar a title that no actor had inherited before. Rajesh Khanna ruled as the first and the only Superstar of India undisputed from 1969-77. However the choice of films and the persistence on the part of director to repeat monotonous roles with lack of the depth in the script affected the superstar status.
The actor later shared this title with his contemporary Amitabh Bachchan. He shared his title with the actor 1977 to 1991.However on thing that remained as strong as ever was his fan following. Girls in their 20’s and 30’s loved him. Wherever he went he was mobbed by girls. Pyschofrenzy or not Rajesh Khanna was phenomena. Women slit their wrists applied their blood as sindhoor. They slept with posters of the actor. The actor refrained from travelling in white Cars as he used to find them simmered in pink with lip stick. It is difficult to explain the phenomenon. In the 1980’s he acted in films that were critical acclaim and at the same time gave a hits in his films. Music also continued to be an important a part of Rajesh Khanna films and Kishore Kumar was catapulted to cinematic success. His films were not only evergreen melodies but are considered as hits even to this day.
The 80’s was a though difficult time where he had to contend with problems in his career. The BBC made a film on him, titled Bombay Superstar, in 1974, the shooting for which began the same time when he got married and his film Daag premiered. In the video it can be noticed that Khanna was shooting for Aap Ki Kasam. A textbook prescribed by the Bombay University contained an essay, 'The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna!'. On the personal front as well Rajesh Khanna and was facing problems he starred in films that gave him more critical than commercial acclaim.
From the 1990’s Rajesh Khanna took a break from films and concentrated more on politics. He contested the By election in 1992 from Delhi and became a Member of Parliament. His win was the symbolism of the love and the admiration that was converted into the winning mandate. After completing his term the actor campaigned for the party and he also campaigned for the congress during the 2012 Assembly Election in Punjab, despite being in frail health., He returned to acting, playing the lead in Khudai (1994), which was about a father and son both falling in love for the same woman.
After 1992, he appeared in only 10 films and declined most film offers. He made a comeback as a NRI in Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), and Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa(2002) and played the solo lead in films Sautela Bhai in 1996, Pyar Zindagi Hai in 2001 and Wafaa in 2008. He did 4 television serials in the period 2000–2009. In a film career that spanned as many as 42 years Rajesh Khanna acted in as many as 163 feature films and 17 short films. By 2011, he held record for maximum number of films as the solo lead hero and least number of multi star cast films in Hindi Cinema. Of the 163 films 106 were solo hero films and 22 were multi star films.
The main difference between him and his predecessors, successors, contemporaries was that Khanna's films ran successfully in whole of India and not just Hindi speaking areas and at the same time has a fan following was strong form Kashmir to Kanyakumari...He introduced intelligent cinema to the masses with ease.
Rajesh Khanna Personal Life- He had a very colorful life. In the 60’s and the 70’s he fell in love with the Anju Mahendra and their relationship went on for 7 years and the couple eventually broke up with each other. The friends however made peace with each other 17 years after the fall out in the relationship. In the March 1973, Rajesh Khanna married Dimple Kapadia 7 months before she could make her Bollywood debut with Bobby. They have two daughters Twinkle and Rinkie.
The couple separated in 1984 however they never completed the procedures for divorce. Rajesh Khanna had affair with Tina Munim but and the actor refused to marry her. However Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia as a couple starred together in a film in the Jai Shiv Shankar and were seen together post the 90’s. His two children Twinkle is married to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and Rinke is married to London based Investment Banker Samir Saran.
Rajesh Khanna Death- The actor passed away on the 18th July 2012, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. His health swayed in the last few years. Particularly in 2012 he suffered from Cancer and secretly underwent various series of chemotherapy sessions. This was disclosed only after his death. His death was dramatic as ever and his reported his last words as quoted by Amitabh Bachchan, “Time is up, Pack Up.” Before his death he recorded his a message for his fans which was played out for his fans. He thanked his fans for the support that fans gave him throughout his years.
Rajesh Khanna Quotes-
•The lack of actors and the reach of TV-“ There are lack of good roles for actors like me in the films being made after 2000. I would love to do some off beat roles if I am offered. Today the reach of TV is much more than cinema today and one episode of my serial is likely to be watched by more people than a super-hit film. I have played almost all the roles in the planet from 1966-1991 non stop till I joined full time politics in 1991. I had appeared in 153 feature films as an actor that too with 101 films as the main solo lead hero in short span of 25 years by 1991.So just for the sake of my fans I am doing Hindi TV Serials that too yes playing the central character and not side roles.’
•Verstality according to him-“Versatility for me means acting in films of different genres, not repeating same characters and doing justice to the role one plays. Though I was tagged as a romantic icon I never succumbed to that pressure. By 2011, I have appeared in 163 Indian feature films. I played the lead protagonist in 128 films and of them 106 were solo hero films.I could have played a romantic hero for 25 years as people tend to associate my name with romance or stuck to one genre but I chose right from the start to play variety of characters and romance was just an element in my films.”
•On Awards-“Though I gave many awards worthy performances in my career I was not nominated for Best Actor in Filmfare many times. It was surprising to see me not even getting nominations for Best Actor at Filmfare for my performances in Roti, Anurodh, Tyaag, Chakravyuha, Redrose, Dhanwan, Kudrat, Souten, Hum Dono, Babu. Since no Filmfare function was conducted for 2 years I lost the chance to get nominated for Adhikar, Amrit and Awam. Many of my fans till date regret the fact that at none of the award functions I was nominated for Best Actor in leading role especially for Ajnabee and Redrose. Infact I should have won the Filmfare Best Actor award for Amar Prem.Bharati Raja expressed his surprise when his Tamil version got many awards but received no nominations for the same film in Hindi in any of the categories.”
•On his wife- “I had no problems about my wife working. But when i married Dimple, I wanted a mother for my children and didn't want my children to be brought up by servants .And I had no idea of Dimple's talent as Bobby was still not released. Besides if I knew at that moment that Bobby would prove her talent I wouldn't have stooped her. To curb talent is cruel. By the time I saw Bobby our first daughter was already born.”
•On his fans- “As I got so much affection from fans and people across the world, it was my responsibility to quality work. I was accepted in all the roles I essayed - romance, action, emotions, drama, comedy. Any genre I did I ensured there was proper message send across and it should not be that my films are just entertaining alone but reflect reality as well without being too preachy. These days people resort to use of abuse, vulgar scenes or use titillating tittles to make their films run. Even on my bad days I never resorted to such tactics.”
•His career- “I was discovered as an actor at the age of 23 when I won the talent contest. Aakhri Khat made me a star. Aradhana made me the superstar. Anand made me a legend. Amar Prem made me immortal. Amardeep ended my bad run at the box office.”
Rajesh Khanna Controversies- His life was filled with controversies and be it his linkup with actress and his attitude and his cold war with Amitabh Bachchan for the top spot in the industry. However controversy refused to die down even with his death and the actor name sprang up for alleged live in relation with Anita Advani'. However the allegation was proved to be only make up and there was not a fact.
Rajesh Khanna Awards
He won 32 out of the 36 awards in which he was nominated.
1971 – Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Sachaa Jhutha
1972 – Filmfare Best Actor Award for Anand
1973 – Filmfare Special Guest Actor Award for Anuraag (1973 film)
1975 – Filmfare Best Actor Award for Avishkaar
1991 – Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years in the Indian Film Industry as the main male lead hero with 101 films as the solo lead hero and starring in just 21 two hero films till 1991.
2005 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (Golden Jubilee function)
Bengali Jouranalist Award
1972 – Winner BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Anand
1973 – Winner BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Bawarchi
1974 – Winner BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Namak Haraam
1987 – Winner BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Amrit (film)
1982 – Winner Lions Club, New Delhi– Best Actor Award for Dard
1994 – Winner Russian Film Festival, Ujvegistan- Best Actor for Khudai
2003 Maharashtra State Government's Raj Kapoor Awards presented on April 30, 2003
2006 Yugantar Gaurav Puraskar 2006 awarded by Chandibai Himmatmal Mansukhani (CHM) College as part of the Gaurav Diwas celebrations on 4 February 2006
2006 Award for Outstanding contribution to Indian cinema at the 2006 Bollywood Movie Awards held on June 10, at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya
Khanna was a recipient of the Glory of India Award by IIFS, London
Khanna was awarded Mother Teresa Award
Rajesh Khanna won Bharat Jyoti National Award
2005 Rajesh Khanna was awarded the `Pride of Film Industry Award
2008 Phalke Legendary Golden Actor Award at Mumbai on the occasion of Dada Saheb Phalke Birth day celebration
2009 All India Film Workers Association Life Time Achievement Award
2010 Life Time Achievement Award
2004 Lifetime of Glamour award at the Kingfisher Bollywood Fashion Awards
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bollywood Awards held in US
Rajesh Khanna is a simply a phenomenon.