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The Bollywood actor whose every film in the seventies was a super hit

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In the 70s, Rajesh Khanna was accused of playing only romantic roles, but in 1972, he surprised the audience by acting in a comedy like Rishi Kesh Mukherjee’s Kudachi.



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<p>Rajesh Khanna, Photo IANS</p>
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Rajesh Khanna, photo IANS

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MUMBAI: There have been few actors in Bollywood who have turned out to be a box office hit in any film they acted in. In the seventies, Rajesh Khanna was one such actor whose film was a success on the big screen. Rahi, Jatin Khanna aka Rajesh Khanna was born on 29 December 1942 in Amritsar, Punjab. From childhood he was inclined towards films and wanted to become an actor although his father was strongly against it. Rajesh Khanna was associated with theater early in his career and later participated in the All India Talent Competition organized by the United Producers Association and topped it.

His career started in 1966 with Chetan Anand’s film ‘Aakhri Khat’, but after the release of ‘Aradhana’ in 1969, he became an overnight star. In this golden jubilee film, he played the double role of father and son and his unique head shaking, unique gait, sad eyes and distinctive performances have touched the hearts of the audience. After that, he gave 15 consecutive hit films and set a record of success which has not been broken till now. After the success of Aradhana, actor Rajesh Khanna became a favorite actor of filmmaker Shakti Samant. He gave Rajesh Khanna an opportunity to act in many films. These films include Kattipatang, Amarprem, Anurag, Ajjan, Anurodh and Awaaz etc.

In the seventies, Rajesh Khanna rose to the heights of popularity and earned the distinction of being the first superstar of the Hindi film industry. Thus, everyone was convinced of his acting, but especially among the teenage girls, his craze was a bit more visible. These girls were so crazy about him that they used to write him love letters with their own blood. However, it was not that there were no big stars before him. Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor have all touched the heights of popularity, but film analysts say the frenzy that Rajesh Khanna’s fans have become is unprecedented in Bollywood.

In the 70s, Rajesh Khanna was accused of playing only romantic roles, but in 1972, he surprised the audience by acting in a comedy like Rishi Kesh Mukherjee’s Kudachi. Apart from this, in a scene of the movie ‘Anand’ Rajesh Khanna uttered this dialogue ‘Babumoshay… We are all puppets of the Rang Munch whose string is tied to the finger of the upper one. Can’t tell’. It was quite popular among the audience in those days and even today the audience has not forgotten it. During the golden period of success between 1969 and 1976, Rajesh Khanna acted in most of the films that proved to be hits, but after the arrival of Amitabh Bachchan, the audience turned away from the actor who created the magic of romance on the screen. His films started to fail.

To escape the monotony of acting, Rajesh Khanna presented himself as a character actor in the 80s. In this 1980 film ‘Redrose’ is particularly noteworthy. In this film, Rajesh Khanna mesmerized the audience by playing a negative role. In 1985, Rajesh Khanna entered the field of filmmaking through the release of the film ‘Alag Alag’. He also stepped in. In his film career, his pairing with co-stars Mumtaz and Sharmila Tagore was quite popular. He gave super hit films like ‘Aap Ki Kaas’, ‘Do Rasti’, ‘Dishman’, ‘Roti’ and ‘Sacha Jhoota’ with Mumtaz. With films like ‘Do Rasti’, ‘Khamoshi’, ‘Anand’ and ‘Safar’, he proved that he can get deep into the character.

Rajesh Khanna has been honored with the Filmfare Award three times. After playing several roles in films, Rajesh Khanna turned to politics and was also a Congress Member of Parliament. He acted in about 125 films in his four-decade-long film career. The King of Romance, who mesmerized the audience with his acting, left this world on 18 July 2012.

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