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Rajesh Khanna's Safar: He Would Have Been 76 Today

December 29, 2018 09:20
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    The heartthrob of the '70s, the term 'superstar' was coined for Rajesh Khanna. Despite being written off as a "flop hero" when he started out, Rajesh Khanna single-handedly broke the spell of the reigning trinity of heroes - Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.

    On his birth anniversary, here is a look at the life and times of the actor who died of cancer on July 18, 2012 in Mumbai.

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    Rajesh Khanna, real name Jatin Khanna, was born in Amritsar on December 29, 1942. He was the adopted son of his parents.

    Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra studied together at the St. Sebastian Goan High School in Girgaum and went to Kishinchand Chellaram College. They remained lifelong friends.

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    Rajesh Khanna was reportedly in a relationship with actress and costume designer Anju Mahendru for seven years.

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    In 1973, Rajesh Khanna married the then budding star Dimple Kapadia who, at 16, was 15 years younger. The couple separated in 1984.

    They never officially divorced and Dimple nursed her estranged husband through his long illness.

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    The couple have two daughters Twinkle and Rinke Khanna. Both tried their luck in the film industry.

    Twinkle is married to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar while Rinke is married to entrepreneur Sameer Saran.

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    Rajesh Khanna made his film debut in 1966 film Aakhri Khat, followed by Raaz opposite Babita. Neither film was a major success.

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    He was noticed for his performance in his next film Baharon Ke Sapne which was followed by box office successes like Aurat (1967) and Khamoshi.

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    Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore appeared together for the first time in Aradhana in 1969. The chemistry between them was an instant hit.

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    He formed a brilliant team with director Shakti Samanta, music director RD Burman and 'his voice', singer Kishore Kumar. They delivered blockbuster films such as Kati Patang (1970) and Amar Prem (1971).

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    With Hrishikesh Mukherjee, one of India's best-loved directors, Rajesh Khanna delivered fine performances in Bawarchi (1972) and Namak Haram (1973).

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    Kishore Kumar sang several songs for Rajesh Khanna in the 1970s. One of them, Mere Sapnon Ki Rani from Aradhana, became the most popular song of its generation.

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    Rajesh Khanna had 15 consecutive hits between 1969 to 1972, which is still a Bollywood record.

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    After 1972, even films with old regulars such as Ajnabee (1974), Mehbooba (1976), and Anurodh (1977) with Shakti Samanta and Naukri (1978) with Hrishida didn't do well.

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    Rajesh Khanna bounced back with Amardeep (1979) and then again appeared in a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films between 1979 and 1991.

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    In the early '90s, he turned to politics and served a five-year tenure as MP of New Delhi Constituency (1991 to 1996).

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    Rajesh Khanna hit the headlines once again for a kissing and love-making scene in Rakhi Sawant's brother Rakesh Sawant's film Wafaa.

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    He also appeared in TV serial Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi between November 2008 and September 2009.

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    In 2001 and 2002, Rajesh Khanna played major roles in two television serials - Aapne Parai and Ittefaq. He also performed in a video album based on Tagore's songs (Rabindra Sangeet).

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    Rajesh Khanna posthumously received the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award, in April 2013. The award was collected on his behalf by his wife Dimple Kapadia.

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    Rajesh Khanna's iconic Carter Road bungalow, Vardan Aashirwad, was reportedly sold for Rs 90 crore this year to a businesman Shashi Shetty.

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