India's 1st superstar, the eternal romantic Rajesh Khanna no more
New Delhi, Jul 18 : The decades of 1970s to the new millennium may have witnessed many superstars shine on the Bollywood skyway but its was Rajesh Khanna, who died in Mumbai this morning, who heralded the era of Superstars in the Hindi film industry.
Known lovingly as 'kaka' to his colleagues, Rajesh Khanna was undoubtedly Hindi cinema's first superstar what with the tremendous aura that he generated through his films, from 'Aradhana' to 'Safar' to 'Kati Patang' to 'Amar Prem' to the memorable 'Anand'.
Rising like a meteor on the horizon of Indian cinema, Khanna captured the imagination of millions of cinegoers with a string of hits from 1969 to 1972.
Infact, the years between 1969 and 1972, which had the actor churn out successive hits like 'Khamoshi', 'Do Raaste', 'Aradhana', 'Safar', 'Sacha Jhootha', 'Kati Patang', 'Anand', 'Mehboob Ki Mehndi', 'Haathi Mere Saathi', 'Dushman', 'Amar Prem', 'Mere Jeevan Saathi' and 'Apna Desh', saw the Rajesh Khanna phenomenon sweeping Bollywood off its feet.
The madness and hysteria which Khanna generated was unparalleled in Indian cinema. With one hit after another, he was elevated to the position of God.
Born on December 29, 1942 in Amritsar, as Jatin Khanna, the actor made his debut in 'Akhri Khat' (1966), after winning several acting competitions at various levels.
His first hit came in the form of mystery thriller 'Raaz'(1967). However, it was with 'Aradhana' (1969) that he became the heartthrob of millions as an 'eternal romantic', an image that was bolstered by films like 'Do Raaste' and 'Kati Patang'.