Rajesh Khanna birth anniversary: Remembering 'Kaka' with his iconic movies
Bollywood's first superstar, Rajesh Khanna, would have turned 79 if he were alive today.
Mumbai (Maharashtra): Bollywood's first superstar, Rajesh Khanna, would have turned 79 if he were alive today. Born in Punjab's Amritsar on December 29 1942, Khanna made his debut in 1966 with 'Aakhri Khat', which was India's first official Oscar Entry in 1967.
Khanna achieved super-stardom with Shakti Samantha's 'Aradhana' (1969) that also starred veteran actor Sharmila Tagore in the lead role. Leaving a strong imprint on each one of his fans with his exemplary persona, he proved his acting mettle on the silver screen with three consecutive hit films like 'Aakhri Khat', 'Raaz' and 'Aurat'.
By 2011, Khanna held the record for a maximum number of films as the solo lead hero and the least number of multi-star cast films in Hindi Cinema.
With his versatility in acting, he has wowed and entertained the audience in more than 100 films. Khanna, who was fondly called Kaka, also made the world record of having 17 successive super-hits in three years from 1969-71 which included 15 consecutive solo super-hit films. The actor won the Filmfare Best Actor Awards on three occasions and was nominated 14 times for the same.
Here is a look back at a few of the iconic films that made him an irrepressible star:
1. 'Anand': The 1971 film that is still best known for its heart touching ruminative dialogues gave the message 'Death is just a moment'. Khanna played the role of Anand, who has lymphosarcoma of the intestine, a rare type of cancer. Despite knowing the truth that he is not going to survive for more than six months, he maintains a cheerful demeanour and always tries to make everyone around him happy.
The film also starred Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role. The dialogues of the blockbuster hit were written by the famous poet Gulzar for which he also won the Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue.
2. 'Aradhana': Khanna achieved super-stardom with this 1969 blockbuster hit that also starred Sharmila Tagore in the lead role. Sharmila played the role of Vandana in the movie and Kaka played the double role --Arun (Vandana's husband) and Prasad Saxena (Vandana and Arun's child).
The theme of the movie was based on the 1946 film 'To Each His Own'. In 'Aradhana', Vandana's husband, Arun, gets killed in an air crash but no one accepts their marriage. Thereafter, she puts her child up for adoption and later works as his nanny to stay by his side.
3. 'Amar Prem': One of the iconic movies of all time, which gave the memorable dialogue 'Pushpa, I hate tears', 'Amar Prem' is the 1972 record-breaking movie which co-starred veteran actor Sharmila Tagore with Khanna in the lead.
The dialogue which is still engraved in people's minds and souls was written by screenwriter Ramesh Pant and made the film win the Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue. Khanna played the role of Anand Babu in the flick.
4. 'Avtaar': The 1983 Mohan Kumar directorial film 'Avtaar' starred Khanna and veteran actor Shabana Azmi in the lead roles. 'Avtaar' was a commercial hit, and reportedly Khanna's biggest film in terms of box office collections since 1973.
Kaka played the role of Avataar Krishen, who leads a happy life with his wife, Radha (Shabana), and his sons, Chandan (Gulshan Grover) and Ramesh (Shashi Puri). However, consumed by their greed, Avtaar's sons betray him but he soon reaches new heights of success.
5. 'Kati Patang': Who doesn't still hum on the evergreen song 'Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai' sung by legendary singer Kishore Kumar? The masterpiece was a part of this 1971 released romantic cult classic that starred Khanna and veteran star Asha Parekh in the lead roles. The song 'Ye Shaam Mastani' is also from this iconic movie.
Parekh played the role of Madhavi, an orphan living under the roof of her uncle, but when he arranges a marriage for her with With Khanna (Kamal Sinha), she flees to the man she truly loves (Prem Chopra), discovering his infidelity in the process. She decides to leave town with her friend Poonam (also Parekh), a widow with a young son, but when their train gets into an accident, Poonam dies, leaving Madhvi to care for the child. Madhvi assumes Poonam's identity, vowing to raise her child.
The actor-turned-politician was posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honour. It has been nine years since the legendary actor passed away and the world is still mourning the loss of the icon, whose excellence, grace and charisma are unmatched. However, the legion of his admirers' has taken it to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to pour in their indomitable love once again for the late icon. (ANI)