Khanna Dies at 69
Rajesh Khanna, considered the first superstar of Bollywood, was a successful lead in many romantic movies. The actor died at the age of 69 on Wednesday. Dimple Kapadia, his wife, also an actor and their two daughters were with Khanna when he passed away in Mumbai at his home.
Khanna started his acting career in the 1960s in very popular romantic films. He was the lead in over 120 of the more than 170 movies he appeared in. In the process, he won many awards. His great success was new for India. Fans that screamed and hollered his name would surround him whenever he made an appearance in public. Women loved him and wrote thousands of letters in blood proposing to him.
Khanna was born on December 29, 1942 as Jatin Khanna, in the town of Amristar in northern India. While in school, he studied acting and adopted his name Rajesh when he first started his film career. Following his early success, he became the favorite of film directors who wanted a sure winner at the box office.
In the 1970s, Khanna had 15 straight films that set sales records. He was known as the king of romance who was always mobbed by his adoring and sometimes hysterical fans. His fans even kissed his cars when they were not able to get close to him.
He married in 1973 to the dismay of millions of women throughout India. The couple had two daughters nevertheless, they soon separated. However, a few months ago, she returned to take care of him when he fell ill.