Date of Birth 29 December 1942, Amritsar, Punjab, British India (now India)
Date of Death 18 July 2012, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Birth Name Jatin Chunnilal Khanna
The Original King of Romance
Pasha of Passion
First Indian Superstar
Height 5′ 9″ (1.75 m)
Mini Bioraphy :
Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Indian and Hindi Cinema with 74 Golden Jubilee Hits – (which includes 48 Platinum Jubilee hits and 26 Golden Jubilee Hits) & in addition had 22 Silver Jubilee Hits and 9 average hits, was born on 29 December 1942 in Amritsar, Punjab, India.Rajesh entered Hindi films in the year 1965 when he began shooting for Raaz and did 180 films – 163 feature films and 17 short films. By 2011, he held record for maximum number of films as the solo lead hero and least number of multi star cast films in Hindi Cinema. Of the 163 films – 106 were solo hero films and 22 were multi star films and 29 films had him in special effective guest appearances(though only 97 solo and 20 two hero films only released and 11 unreleased from 1966 till 2013).He ranked first and won the United Producers All India Contest held in 1965 by beating 10000 candidates and the prize of it was acting in films Akhri Khat and Raaz. He first tasted success as an actor with 3 consecutive hit films like Aakhri Khat,Raaz and Aurat.His first brush with super-stardom was when outburst from his fans forced the director to change the story of Baharaon Ke Sapne’s ending from a tragic one to a happy one after 1 week of its release. Though Baharaon Ke Sapne was average in some centers it was declared flop in most places. In 1969 Rajesh Khanna achieved super-stardom with Shakti Samantha’s ‘Aradhana” (1969).He became the craze of the nation, and critics across India started calling him the First Superstar of both Indian Cinema (No. 1 Actor) and Hindi Films and remained so alone as the Superstar for 7 years (1969-1976) and had to share the status with Amitabh from 1977-1991 till he left films to join politics in 1991.He overtook his predecessors Dev-Dilip-Raj, Shammi Kapoor,Rajendra Kumar in terms of extreme popularity with audience and critics, quality of performances, variety of roles and films by doing quickly 47 films from 1966-75 which included 36 Golden Jubilee Hits(21 of the 36 were platinum) and 4 silver silver jubilee hits and only 7 flops in 9 years. He also made the world record of having 17 successive super-hits in 3 years from 1969-71 which included 15 consecutive solo super-hit films and 2 two hero films namely Andaz and Maryada. The main difference between him and his predecessors,successors, contemporaries was that Khanna’s films ran successfully in whole of India and not just Hindi speaking areas and he did films of every genre simultaneously and has more critically acclaimed films to his credit than all other Hindi Actors of every generation. He stands out even by selection of his films as he regularly did both offbeat alternate cinema along with commercial potboiler films and had success in both.He introduced intelligent cinema to the masses with ease. Those 15 consecutive hit solo lead hero films from 1969-71 were Aradhana, Doli, Bandhan, Ittefaq, Do Raaste, Khamoshi, Safar, The Train, Kati Patang, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Dushmun, Anand and Haathi Mere Saathi. His next release Maalik flopped ending thereby the record.
Anju Mahendru was his girl friend in 1968-1972, the then aspiring actress but they had breakup in 1972 when Anju was not ready for marriage while Khanan wanted to marry her, and Khanna married his fan Dimple Kapadia in March 1973, 8 months before Dimple’s debut film Bobby released in theaters.
Khanna’s pairing with Mumtaz always produced much success as they had all of their 8 films together as major platinum jubilee hits.His films with Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Zeenat Aman was a favorite with audiences too in 70’s.
From 1976 onwards till 1978, he had 5 box office hits as lead hero(2 silver jubilee hits, 2 platinum hits, 1 average hit), 3 hits in guest appearances, 1 flop in guest appearance and 8 films of him as the main lead flopped unexpectedly although his performances and the film’s music were praised by critics and thereby 76-78 is considered his bad phase.
K.Balaji wanted to establish himself in Hindi film industry as a producer and thereby wanted to remake his Tamil film Sivaji Ganeshan starer Dheepam in Hindi. At a time when Khanna’s films were not working at the box office, Khanna got this film out of the blue and went on to become a big hit. Khanna bounced back with twin success of Amardeep and Prem Bandhan then again started giving many critically acclaimed and commercially successful films including 35 Golden Jubilee Hits(includes 25 platinum) and 14 SJH starting from 1979 till 1991 and had 9 average hits from 1976-1996. In the 80’s his films opposite Tina Munim, Hema Malini, Reena Roy, Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Poonam Dhillon were big hits.
He produced three films and co-produced 4 films. He had total 105 box office hits(91 as lead hero and 14 in guest appearance) from 1966-1991.He left film industry in 1991 and entered politics by joining the Congress Party in 1991 and became a member of parliament. Khanna was awarded Filmfare Special award in 1991 for having starred in 101 films as the solo lead hero(92 solo film released till 1992 and includes 7 unreleased solos and Anuraag) and having done just 21 two hero films(only 19 released till 1991) but having appeared in 153 films in short span of 25 years between 1966-1991. Has won most number of All India Critics Award for Best Actor for a record 7 times and was nominated for same 10 times.He holds record for being the actor to win maximum BJFA awards for Best Actor – 4 and was nominated the most for it – 25 times.He is still adored and fondly remembered by the masses. Songs from his films adorn the lips of youth and adolescents. He was the first mega-star and has left behind a storehouse of the finest moments in film history.
Jatin Khanna, the first superstar of Indian and Hindi Cinema with 74 Golden Jubilee Hits – (which includes 48 Platinum Jubilee hits and 26 Golden Jubilee Hits) & in addition had 22 Silver Jubilee Hits and 9 average hits, was born on 29 December 1942 in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Known as the most versatile of all actors who later regionally were given superstar status in media. In his on screen career, he has convincingly carried off a variety of roles without the aid of complicated costumes or make up. In fact, some of his most popular roles have required him to play two contrasting characters in a single movie and he used to work in 2 movies in the same day for most of the time in his career especially from 1969-1991, with each film having him in completely different characters. He had no prior connections in the industry and he made it all by his lonesome self. Khanna despite his reclusive ways came across as someone, the fans can identify with. His co actors (male and female) described him as the perfect gentleman, honest, bold, generous and grounded but an introvert. He was revered by fellow actors.
When Jatin took an interest in acting, his rich foster father disapproved, however, Jatin persisted and won first prize in the Filmfare Talent Contest where he was chosen in final eight from among 10000 contestants who participated in the 1965.His uncle K.K.Talwar advised him to replace his first name from Jatin to Rajesh while entering in contest. The contest gave him his debut film Raaz. But his first release was off-beat ‘Aakhri Khat’ opposite Indrani Mukherjee.
He married Dimple Kapadia in 1973. Subsequently he became the father of Twinkle, born in 1974 on the same date as he himself, who would later become actress in her own right. His second daughter, Rinke, was born on 29 June 1977, and also became an actress.
Rajesh was the sole Superstar of Indian and Hindi Cinema from 1969-1976 but had a bad phase from 1976-78 and so has to share Superstar of Hindi Films status with Amitabh from 1977-1991. Khanna acted as the main lead hero from 1966 to 1991 till the time he joined politics in 1991 and gave 105 box office hits from 1966-1996.In the period 1976-78 Khanna continued to act in 5 box office hits as lead hero, 3 hits in guest appearance and had 8 flops as lead hero. Of the 9 flops – 7 were critically acclaimed movies from 1976-78. Violent movies, along with multi star films became popular in this period from 1976-78 and due to emergency declared in India are analyzed as reason for failure of those films. Khanna tasted success at box office again from 1979 beginning with twin success of Amardeep and Prem Bandhan in the year 1979 and then continued to have hits till 1991. Due to being constantly paired up opposite Khanna, Tina Munim fell in love with Khanna after Khanna had separated from Dimple in 1984. Tina and Khanna were the top most romantic pair in the eighties. Tina decided to discontinue her film career in 1987, when Khanna rejected her proposal for marriage as he continued to love Dimple and cared for his children. Relation between Dimple and Khanna blossomed by 1990 and they even did a film together Jai Shiv Shankar and always went to parties, functions as a couple from 1990-2012.
Rajesh decided to join politics in 1991 and was elected Member of Parliament from 1992 through to 1996 representing New Delhi as his constituency. He also starred in 3 movies during this period. He continued to appear on the tinsel screen as the central character in few films post 1996 like Sautela Bhai, Wafa, Pyar Ki Zindgi.
Rajesh played the main lead in two serials ‘Ittefaqe’ and ‘Apne Paraye’ on television during 2001-02, Bhabhimaa and in Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi in 2008-09.
He has won Filmfare Best Actor Awards for 3 times and was nominated for 14 times. Has also won Filmfare Award for effective special appearance for Anuraag in 1973 and Filmfare special award in 1991 for his record of maximum solo hero films till 1991- 101 in 25 years(includes 7 unreleased solos and Anurag till 1991).Has won most number of All India Critics Award for Best Actor for a record 7 times and was nominated for same 10 times.He holds record for being the actor to win maximum BJFA awards for Best Actor – 4 and was nominated the most for it – 25 times.
Dimple Kapadia (1973 – 18 July 2012) (his death) (2 children)
Indian Cinema Super Star :
Father of actresses Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna. Became a grandfather when Twinkle gave birth to a son, Araav in 2002 and then again in 2004 when Rinke gave birth to a daughter.
He was adopted by his rich parents who were relatives of biological parents.
Was a Member of the Indian Parliament representing the New Delhi constituency from 1992-1996. He has campaigned for Congress Party at the insistence of Rajiv Gandhi and gave election speeches supporting Congress since 1984 and continued to do so till January 2012. He came close to defeating L.K. Advani in Delhi elections in 1991 but lost by 1589 votes after-which he stood at the counting station saying cheating has taken place and controversy erupted and Advani had to vacate the constituency. Rajesh then got elected in by-elections defeating BJP leader by 25000 votes at the same constituency.
Enjoyed a godlike status in the period 1969-1976 with female fans writing letters in blood to him that is for eight years. His fans used to kiss the dust unsettled by the tires of his car and females used to apply the mud along the path through which Khanna walked as the sin-door on their forehead.Girls even married his photographs and elderly women prayed to gods if he fell ill. The hysteria was unique and unseen before Khanna came into the film industry & has not been repeated by any other actor.
Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna studied as batch-mates in same school St. Sebastian Goan High School in Girgaum and but Rajesh went to Kishinchand Chellaram College for college. and Jeetendra went to Siddhant College.Khanna encouraged actor Jeetendra to go into movies and even taught Jeetendra how to by heart and deliver lines when Jeetendra went for his first film audition for Geet Gata Patharone. Later after Rajesh Khanna became superstar since 1969, Jeetendra and Rajesh acted in 3 hit commercial films- Dharm Kanta, Nishaan, Maqsad. Also Jeetendra made guest appearance in Rajesh’s home production Roti and also in Begunnah.
Father-in-law of superstar Akshay Kumar.
He was a life member of International Film And Television Research Centre and International Film And Television Club Of Asian Academy Of Film And Television.
Known as the first Superstar of Hindi Cinema since 1969 after release of Aradhana and known as the only Hindi film hero with maximum solo hero films since 1987. He is know as Pehnomenon for giving 17 Consecutive Golden Jubilee Hits from Aradhana to Haathi Mere Saathi which includes 15 consecutive solo hit films and 2 multi-star-cast films Andaz and Marayada.
Holds record for most number of win for Best actor award in Bengal Film Journalist Association Awards (4 awards) and most number of nominations in BFJA awards (25 nominations) for Best Actor. He has won Filmfare Best Actor Awards for 3 times and was nominated for 14 times. Has also won Filmfare Award for effective special appearance for Anuraag in 1973 and Filmfare special award in 1991 for his record of maximum solo hero films till 1991- 101 in 25 years.Has won most number of All India Critics Award for Best Actor for a record 7 times and was nominated for this award 10 times.
The pair Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz holds the record for being the only romantic on screen pair in both Indian and Hindi Cinema to have had 100% success ratio at the box office. Rajesh Khanna has 8 successive platinum jubilee blockbusters opposite Mumtaz and all of them were critically acclaimed.
Used to sit for music sessions with the music directors and singers for the films with him in lead role. He used to select the tune best suited for the film and used to give suggestions to the music directors.
Supported R.D.Burman in the period 1985-94 when many of producers had started avoiding RD and ensured producers of his films take R.D.Burman as the music director for his film. Even after death of Kishore Kumar, he worked with R.D.Burman till R.D’s death(from Baharaon Ke Sapne in 1967 to Sautela Bhai in 1996). Similarly Khanna backed Kishore Kumar, during Kishore’s lean phase as playback singer and insisted to producers and composers to make Kishore sing songs in his films from 1969-72 which helped Kishore resurrect his singing career and offers for him to sing in films across genres and for other actors-directors kept increasing from 1971-1987. Kishore worked with Rajesh from 1969 till 1987.
Kishore Kumar and R.D.Burman were Rajesh Khanna’s closest friends in the film industry. He always insisted on having Anand Bakshi as the lyricist of the songs in his films.
Highest paid Indian actor in 1969-1987 and shared the highest paid actor tag with Amitabh in 1980-1987 period.
Khanna has done 180 films in 47 years from 1966-2012 before his death. Of them 163 are feature films as an actor and 17 short films. His 106 solo hero films includes 97 released solo hero films and 9 unreleased solo hero films. His 22 multi-star films includes 2 unreleased.
The Punjabi film Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun in 1976, starring Dara Singh as the lead hero, had Khanna in special appearance for a Qawalli song and the film turned out to be the biggest box office hit of 1976 in Punjabi films and biggest gross ever.
Had 36 Golden Jubliee hits in short span of 1967-1975 of which 22 were platinum jubilee hits. In 1976-1978 his only Golden Jubliee Hits were Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Anurodh, Chhailla Babu and of them Anurodh and Chailla Babu became platinum jubilee hit and his guest appearances in Hatayara and Ginny Aur Jhonny became silver jubilee hits and Karm became a average hit. In 1979-1996 he had 35 more Golden Jubliee hits, of which 25 became platinum jubilee hits and in addition had 14 silver jubilee hits and 9 average hits.
Record Holder of 74 Golden Jubilee Hits (which includes 48 Platinum Jubilee Hits) and 22 Silver Jubilee Hits from 1967-1991 and 9 average hits from 1976-1996.
Aakhri Khat, Rajesh Khanna’s first ever released film, was selected for the Oscars in the best foreign language entry in 1967 and was a box office hit in 1966.
Only Indian actor with minimum average of 2 films releasing every year for 25 years continuously as the Main Lead Hero from 1969-1991. Has 6 releases as main lead hero in the years 1970 and 1974, 5 each in 1969, 1980 and 1983, 7 in 1971, 1984 and 1986, 9 in 1972 ,8 in 1977, 4 each in the years 1981, 1982 and 1987, 3 each in 1967,1973,1976, 1978, 1979 and 1991 and a record of 11 releases as the main lead hero in 1985.
Had eight hits in the year 1985 from the 11 films with him as the lead hero which were Hum Dono, Babu, Zamana, Masterji, Akhir Kyun, Insaaf Main Karoonga, Durgaa and Bewafai.
He was first choice for Mr. India but Khanna declined it telling the director that invisibility factor was the real hero and that actor of his stature was not needed, so it was better to use a newcomer.
Only Hindi actor with the highest number of films as the solo lead hero – 106 and lowest multi star movies – 22. This figure 106 includes 97 released solo hero films and 9 unreleased solo hero films till 2013. Riyasat is his 106th solo hero film and 97th released solo hero film.
Had a minimum of one super-hit film every year from 1967-1991. Rajesh had a minimum of 2 super-hits every year from 1969-1977 and from 1979-1987 and in the years 1989 and 1991.
82 of the 127 films with Khanna as the lead protagonist (of them 117 released and 11 unreleased) were critically acclaimed films with ratings above 4 stars out of 5 by film reviewers of various newspapers unanimously .
Had a minimum of 3 platinum jubilee hits among the films released each year from 1969-74 and 1980-86 where each of those 3 films ran for at-least 75 weeks successfully.
Of the 74 Golden Jubilee Hits he had from 1966-1991, 48 were platinum Jubilee Hits which ran more than 75 weeks in each theater across India.
He received the tag of Superstar,from critics across India immediately after his performance was noticed in Aradhana. After making the record of 17 consecutive Golden Jubuliee Hits from 1969-1971 which includes 15 solo super-hit films at the box office and includes 2 multi-star films – Andaz and Marayada from 1969-1971, he was given the tag of Phenomenon.
First Indian hero who had fans from Spain, California and Europe coming over to India to meet him during the period 1969-91. Before his debut, fans of Hindi film stars were limited to Hindi speaking areas of India like Maharasthra, Punjab, and few northern states and Pakistan and their films did not run in southern and north eastern India and did not have much market in other western states. His contemporary heroes and their films were not popular in non-Hindi speaking areas especially in South India, Bengal and north-eastern states and did not run in these areas with exception of Sholay.
Khanna made an exception by charging only half his market rate in films directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee as Mukherjee’s films were low budget films.
Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore were the ‘Cerebral Pair’ of Hindi Cinema.as the duo introduced intelligent cinema into mainstream film and had all their 9 films as a pair as critically acclaimed. Their 7 critically acclaimed hits include Aradhana, Safar, Choti Bahu, Amar Prem, Raja Rani, Daag, Aavishkaar: whereas Maalik and Tyaag though critically acclaimed were flops.
Rajesh Khanna gave 91 box office hits in the period 1966-2012 of the 128 films he appeared in as the main lead protagonist in the period 1966-2012. 0f these 128 films – 117 released and 11 unreleased. Of these 117 released films – 91 box office hits and 26 were flops.
Rajesh Khanna starred in Souten, which was the first ever film of any country to be shot in Mauritius. The film was platinum Jubilee hit across India, Asia and Mauritius too.
First ever Hindi Film Hero whose films ran for more than 50 weeks and some even 75 and 100 weeks across theaters even in non-Hindi speaking areas – 4 states of South India and north eastern Indian states and ran in , Gujrat, Punjab, Rajasthan and other northern sates as well and in other Asian countries in the period 1969-1987. No other Hindi star after him and before him has had their films running in southern and north eastern states this successfully.
All of his 5 released films as the main lead hero in 1969 were box office hits and similarly 6 films in 1970 and 7 films in 1971. This is a world record with 17 consecutive box-office hits, which includes 15 successive solo super-hits and 2 multi-star cast film Andaz and Marayada.
Rajesh Khanna starred in Aradhana which was the first Hindi film to celebrate 100 week run in theaters in non Hindi speaking areas – Madras, Trivandrum, Hyderbad, Banglore and other big cities of the southern Indian states and also in north eastern Indian states of present day Assam,Manipur and others and even in rural areas of central India. Others films of Rajesh to complete 100 week run even in these places were Kati Patang, Sachaa Jhutha, Haathi Mera Saathi, Amar Prem ,Aap Ki Kasam, Roti, Prem Kahani, Kudrat, Rajput, Avtaar, Souten, Maqsad and Hum Dono. Only Non RK film to have run in these areas in this way was Sholay alone.
His biological parents were Lala Hira Nand Khanna and Chandrani Khanna. His foster parents were Chunnilal Khanna and Lellawati Khanna. His foster father ran Chunnilal Khanna and Company in Thakurdwar, Charni road from 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.His biological father worked as a headmaster in MC School in Burewala, Pakistan and so had an ancestral house named ‘Khanna Haveli’ in Burewala, district Vehari, Province of Punjab, Pakistan from 1920’s. Rajesh Khanna was born at his mother’s hometown in Amritsar. Rajesh Khanna’s parents’s hometown was Amritsar, where they shifted back in 1948 immediately after Partition leaving the Burewala ancestral house.
He was called Kaka, since childhood, which meant Baby faced Boy in Punjabi. He was called this name by his parents since his childhood and later by his wife, his school and college friends and by his friends in the film industry.
His jackets and suits of different types in Prem Nagar, Hum Dono, Redrose and Dhanwan were very popular style statements in 70’s and 80’s. The Guru Kurta, which was once only worn by poor farmers on festivals and humble politicians, came into fashion when Rajesh Khanna started wearing it. The Kurta continues to be in vogue both among young men and women from the 1966 till date. The trend of wearing sunglasses became fashionable from 1971 in India due to the way he wore it in Andaz. The use of musical lighter increased after release of Ittefaq, Dhaka topi after Aradhana,over sized sunglasses after Andaz and use of mandarin collared, colorful, guru kurtas became a fashion since Haathi Mere Saathi released. The use of brass band drums, horns, clarinets for weddings increased and the song Meri Pyari Behnaiya was always played in Indian Baraats since release of Sachca Jhuta in 1970 and continues till date and Jacquard print pants, ruby red velvet vest and blazer, clunky rings, showy glares became a party wear in fancy parties after Apna Desh released.
Was a student of K. C. College from 1961-1963 and was actively involved in stage shows and intercollegiate dramas.
Asha Parekh was paired with Khanna in ‘Bahraon Ke Sapne’ in 1967 when she was a bigger star at that point of time and this film was the pair’s first film together. After Khanna became a Superstar in 1969, the pair did 3 hit films – Aan Milo Sajna, Kati Patang and Dharm Aur Kanoon.
Did his first two years of Bachelor of Arts at Wadia College in Pune, India from 1959 to 1961.
Has all his 4 box-office super-hits of the 4 films he did opposite each of the heroines – Asha Parekh, Reena Roy, Padmini Kolhapuri, Sridevi. Had 5 hits of 5 films he did each opposite Rekha and Jaya Prada. 3 hits of 3 films each with both Nanda and Rakhee. He had all 7 of his films with Shabana Azmi as hits. With Mumtaz all his 8 films were platinum jubilee hits.Had 11 hits of 15 films he did opposite Hema Malini. Has 7 hits of 9 films with Sharmila Tagore.Had 5 hits of 6 films he did with Smita Patil. He worked in 6 films with Poonam – 4 were hits, 1 unreleased, 1 flop.
Rajesh Khanna was paid for various films in the range of above 10 lacs in 1970, then 20-27 lakhs in 1974-77 later 30-57 lakhs in 1978-1982 and 50-70 lakhs from 1981-1989. No other lead actor was paid a higher salary in this period. Pran’s salary was in the range of 10-20 lakhs, depending on his role in 1970-1982. Pran was the highest paid supporting actor in Hindi film industry. So producers shied away from casting them together in a single project of Rajesh as solo lead hero from 1971-1982. Aurat and Maryada were multi-star-cast films.
Rajesh Khanna was the first choice for playing the male lead in the films – Paraya Dhan, Amanush, Savera, Meri Aawaz Suno, Palay Khan, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Aankh Micholi, Resham Ki Dori, Anand Ashram and Jheel Ke Us Paar but due to date issues had to back out and producers had to replace with another actor.
Rajesh Khanna personally considered his best performances were in Aradhana, Dushman, Anand, Amar Prem, Avishkar, Roti, Aap Ki Kasam, Ajnabee, Prem Nagar, Prem Kahani, Chakravyuha, Amardeep, Red Rose, Kudrat, Dhanwan, Avtaar, Awaaz , Babu, Hum Dono and Anokha Rishta. Among multi-star films he did, his favorites are Ashanti, Rajput, Maqsad, Dharm Aur Kanoon and Zamana.
Khanna considered Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari and Geeta Bali as his idols, His inspirations include, Dilip Kumar’s dedication and intensity, Raj Kapoor’s spontaneity, Dev Anand’s style and Shammi Kapoor’s rhythm. His other favorite actors were Ashok Kumar, Pran, Balraj Sahni, Shivaji Ganesan, M.G. Ramachandran aka MGR, Gregory Peck, Tyrone Power and Jeffrey Hunter.
Southern film industry referred Rajesh Khanna as Sivaji Ganeshan of Hindi film Industry.
Rajesh Khanna considered Kamal Hassan to be the only Indian actor after himself, to be doing variety of roles in Indian Cinema continuously from the start of his career and considered Kamal to be as versatile as himself. None of Rajesh’s contemporaries accepted variety of roles from 70’s till 90’s as they either respective career did 80% movies of a particular genre – like only romantic( like Shammi, Rajendra Kumar in 1959-1971 period, Dev Anand ,Rishi Kapoor in their career of initial 25 years) or did only angry young man action or formula based mas-ala ( like Dharmendra, Amitabh, Jeetendra, Mithun, Anil Kapoor did for major part of their career) films. Admired the southern heroes Mamooty and Mohanlal as well and considered none from Hindi films after 1992 to be really versatile while doing more than 2 films in a year.
India’s First Actor to be given Superstar Status is Rajesh. The second person to be called Superstar was Amitabh Bachchan and Khanna alone reigned as Superstar from 1969-1976 and Big B shared the Superstar status with Kaka from 1977-1991.
Khanna’s favorite songs were sung by Kishore Kumar pictured on him are Kal Tak Main Akela Tha from Bhola Bhala, Joshe Jawani Tauba Re Tauba from Hum Dono, Bye Bye Miss Goodnight from Prem Nagar, Mere Sang Sang from Rajput, Chala Jata Hun from Mere Jeevan Saathi, Ek Ajnabee from Ajanbee, Main Babu Chailla from Chhialla Babu, Lehron Ki Tarah from Nishaan, Dil Kya Chahe and Tera Ghar from Oonche Log,Aisa Rangeen Sama from Aanchal, Ruk Meri Jaan from Bundalbaaz, Mere Diwanepan Ki from Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Zindagi K a Safar from Safar, Zindagi Ek Safar from Andaz, Zindagi Ke Safar from Aap Ki Kasam,2 solo songs from Mehbooba, 3 solos each from films Roti, Kati Patang, Amar Prem ,Bhola Bhala and Jaanwar and all 4 solos from Anurodh .
Mohan Kumar wanted to cast Rajesh Khanna for Amir Garib in 1974 but Khanna said Mohan would have to wait for 1 more year if he wants him.So Mohan made Amir Garib with Devanand and later Mohan could get Khanna’s dates only 9 years later for Avtaar. Later Mohan directed Amirt in 1987 with Khanna.
Had eight hits in the year 1985 from the 11 films with him as the lead hero which were Hum Dono, Babu, Zamana, Masterji, Akhir Kyun, Insaaf Main Karoonga as Golden Jubilee hits and Durgaa and Bewafai being average grossers.
Though the 1966 box office hit Akhri Khat was his first release as the lead hero, his debut film is Raaz. In the very first film Raaz for which he shot, he was given a double role and his performance was critically acclaimed and Raaz was a box office hit.
Rajesh Khanna had 11 double role films. The first film for which he began shooting was Raaz, where he had a double role. His other films where he had double role were Aradhana, Sachcha Jhuta , Kudrat , Dard, Dharm Aur Kanoon, Hum Dono, Humshakal, Mahachor , Mehbooba and Bhola Bhala .
The last song recorded by Kishore Kumar for Rajesh Khanna was Mera Geet Adura Hai, recorded in August 1987. Kishore Kumar was the director of the film Mamta Ki Chaon Mein and this song picturised on Khanna as riding a horse was directed by Kishore himself in September 1987. Kishore died in October 1987, but later Amit Kumar completed the film with help from Rajesh Khanna and it was released in 1989.
Tere Mere Pyar Ka Nata Aisa Hai – This was the last song released of the combination of Kishore Kumar singing for Rajesh Khanna. It was recorded by Kishore Kumar for Rajesh Khanna in August 1987 but the shooting of film Begunaah started only in 1989 and got completed by 1990 and was released in 1991 and became another solo hit film of Khanna.
Rajesh Khanna was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011 but he asked his family to not disclose this to media and friends and was discharged after treatment in October 2011. He lost 30 kilograms between September 2011-May 2012 and looked from Jan 2012 as thin as he was in his debut film Raaz in 1967. He even campaigned for Congress for Jan 2012 elections in Punjab and gave election speeches expressing his support for Congress in Jan 2012. He came at Apsara Awards 2012 accept award for his contribution to Indian Cinema in Jan 2012. In April he was admitted for the 2nd time in hospital but went on to shoot the Advertisement directed by Balki in April 2012 immediately after being discharged from hospital and none of the Balki’s crew members or Balki or the media were aware that Khanna had cancer – which was the real cause for him loosing weight drastically and appearing very weak.
Kashmir was like a second home to Rajesh and he was fond of getting at-least one song from his films shot at Kashmir and would insist about this to directors . Shooting of songs from his 15 films – Aan Milo Sajna, Roti, Aap Ki Kasam, Chhailla Babu, Bundalbaaz, Prem Bandhan, Dard ,Avtaar, Asha Jyoti, Awaaz, Alag Alag, Insaaf Main Karoonga, Awara Baap, Bewafai and Adhikar took place in Kashmir. Amarnath temple appears in both Aap Ki Kasam and Avtaar. Aradhana and Anurodh were shot in Darjeeling in Sikkim, Raaz and Aakhri Khat in Kulu Manali and Kudrat in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and Karm was extensively shot in Rishikesh and the school scenes of Karm show campus of Hampton Court School of Mussorie in Dehradun district in Uttarkand and also the Mohkampur area of the Doon valley . Ghar Ka Chirag was shot in Wynberg Allen school in Mussorie. ‘Daag’ was the first film to be shot in Chail Palace in Shimla and Kati Patang made Nainital’s Bhimtal Lake and Naini Lake in Uttarakhand and also Kandala a famous tourist destination. Mehbooba was shot at Mysore Palace and Brindavan Gardens and Haathi Mere Saathi across Ooty, Nungambakkam and Madras. Joroo ka Ghulam ‘s certain scenes were shot in Bombay right on Carter Road and near National College Bandra and even in Aakhri Khat – places like Mahim (St. Michael’s church), and Sitla Devi Temple, Mahim Creek are shown.First Indian film ever to be shot at Mauritius was Souten and first film of Rajesh shot abroad was Ashiq Hun Baharon Ka in 1977 in Switzerland.
Rajesh underwent chemotherapy sessions in Jan-Feb 2012 and apart from family, only few from film industry like Reena Roy, Mumtaz, Rakhee were allowed by Khanna in the period Jan-July 2012, when his health began deteriorating, to know that he had cancer and he allowed them to meet him at his home. Khanna asked his family members the very first time he was admitted in hospital in Sep 2011, that the real cause of his illness should not be told to media and film industry. Media and rest of film-industry came to know only on day of his death that he was having cancer and media was of opinion that he was critically ill so was losing weight since October 2011, but were not sure of the reason for illness. He appeared very thin when he attended Apsara Awards 2012 in Jan 2012 but his voice was energetic as usual. He even campaigned for INC and gave election speeches in Jan 2012 in Punjab asking people to support Congress always. He appeared weaker in the advertisement he shot in April 2012.
Rajesh Khanna started accepting unconventional roles right from his age of 23 in 1966 and even after getting Superstar status at age of 26 continued to do variety of roles as the hero till age of 50 in 1991.No other star in Hindi films other than Khanna have after acquiring success at young age accepted such under-hero unconventional roles, as others preferred to do romantic films or over the top characters and action films while being in age bracket of 26-45. Only other Hindi actors to do this was Sanjeev Kumar from his age of 30 in 1968 with Sangharsh and then Ranbir Kapoor who began accepting unconventional roles from age of 27 in 2009 (but Ranbir after Rocket Singh,Wake Up Sid did many romantic roles and every movie of his that followed had kissing scenes including Rockstar, Barfi, Rajneeti and Ranbir was called a superstar from age 30 when Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani happened). Other Indian actors who did unconventional roles from their age of below 30 other than Khanna were Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and Kamal Hasan.
First Indian hero to do a double role in his debut film Raaz in 1966.
After he won the Filmfare-United Producers Contest, beating 10000 contestants, he was given his first break by G.P.Sippy in the film Raaz and was given a double role.The female winner of the contest was Fardia Jalal and male runner up was Vinod Mehra and female runner up was Leena Chandravarkar.
Rajesh has played varied roles as the lead hero in his career like – pop-singer, dacoit, thief, air-force pilot, painter, artist, religious person, atheist, college student, army officer, inspector, commissioner of police, advocate, judge, paper seller, postman, pa-than, florist, Christian, arrogant man, woman hater, a psychopath, a rapist, a mental patient, a truck driver, innocent man, school teacher, soldier, defense personnel, hospital patient, don, smuggler, farmer, villager, rickshaw-puller, corrupt politician, medical student, doctor, cameraman, family patriarch, retired man, unemployed youth, a playboy, industrialist, stable lad, captain, CID, NRI, convict ,fisher-man, an insurance agent, blind person, story writer, prince of estate, road-singer, radio-singer, juggler, a laborer, gardener, advertising executive, a model, illiterate man.Rajesh holds the record for maximum different characters done by a Hindi film hero.
Rajesh was first admitted to hospital in October 2011, after which he lost weight and looked as thin as he was in his debut film Raaz in 1967 from Nov 2012 onwards. His voice remained energetic even in his appearance in Jan 26,2012 at Apsara Awards 2012, where he received an award for his contribution to Indian Cinema. He was hospitalized again in April 2012 for 2 days but, immediately after being discharged, he shot an advertisement directed by R.Balki. He appeared even more weaker in the Ad, but did not disclose the reason for his weakness to the media. On 22nd June Rajesh became aware that medications are not working on him but chose to come outside his bungalow to wave at his fans as reports of him having stopped taking food had spread in media.From the 2nd week of July, he stopped having food and began losing his voice. He was again hospitalized on 15 July, but Khanna asked to be discharged and expressed that he would like to die at his home. He died on 18 July 2012 at 11am.
Rajesh Khanna funeral saw one of the largest turnovers in the country as it was attended by 9 lakh people on 19 July 2012 with fans from all over India and some even from California, Spain, Australia, Singapore landed in the morning of 19th July . For first time in 21st century for any actor’s death day, funeral day and prayer meeting held on 4th day – all 3 occasions were extensively covered by media. This kind of respect was earlier seen only in cases of funeral of Kishore, Rafi and MGR.
After the success of Aradhana, Rajesh Khanna had declared that he had only wanted Kishore Kumar as his voice. As Rajesh Khanna was the ruling icon at the time, the producers had no choice but to agree to his request. Following in his footsteps, it wasn’t long before other artists of the film fraternity started to have the same request – they wanted Kishore Kumar to sing their songs. This was a turbulent moment in Rafi Saheb’s career especially from 1969-1976. Rafi kept getting offers but got very less songs to sing and very few songs from 1969-1976 became popular.Rafi’s songs on Rajesh Khanna were big hits. Rafi’s big stage comeback happened only in 1977 when RD gave Rafi the song – Chand Mera Dil for him to sing.
Rajesh Khanna’s favorite Kishore Lata Duets from his films are Kora Kagaz Tha from Aradhana, Acchha Toh Hum from Aan Milo Sajna, Chupke Se Dil De from Maryada, Kehdo Kehdo from Sachcha Jhuta, Kajra Lagake from Apna Desh, Karvatein Badalte and Paas Nahi Aana from Aap Ki Kasam, Gore Rang Pe from Roti, Chal Dariya Mein and Prem Kahani Mein from Prem Kahani, Hum Dono and Bheegi Bheegi from Ajanabee, Main Tumse Pyar Karti Hun from Mahachor, Iam in Love from Ashiq Hun Baharaon Ka, Hum Tum Tum Hum from Tyaag, Jhuk Gayi Aankhen from Bhola Bhala, Bas Meri Ja Bas from Aanchal, Sang Mere Nikle The Sajan from Phir Wohi Raat, Main Tere Pyar Me Pagal from Prem Bandhan, Chandni Raat Mein from Dil-E-Nadan, Shayad Meri Shaadi from Souten, Bulbul Mujhe Bata from Masterji and Kuch Humko from Alag Alag.
Rajesh Khanna’s favorite 22 Kishore Asha Duets from his films are Mera Chain Khoya Hua Hai from Joroo Ka Ghulam, Satra Baras KI Chokariya from Ajanbee, Tandi Hawaone Gorika from Prem Nagar, Yaar Dil Dar Mujhe Paisa from Chhailla Babu, Kore Kagaz Pe Likhwa Le from Tyaag, Maine Dekha Tujhe from Karm, Humko Nikaloge Gharse and Kal Raat Sadak Pe Ek from Chhailla Babu, Shaadi Karne Se from Chakravyuha, Pyar Ka Wada from Fiffty Fiffty, Mere Hosh Lelo and Arey Bhago Arey Dhaudo from Bandish, Paise Ka Kajal from Aanchal, Kiski Sadayen from Redrose, Pyar Ka Dard Hai from Dard, Dil Se Dil Ki Baat Hogayi from Dharm Aur Qanoon , Zindagi Sau Baras Ki from Awaaz, Tukur Tukur Dekha Karun from Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtaar, Ek Baat Hai Humse from Zamana, Phool Jahan Wahan from Naya Kadam, Jab Tanhai Mein Do Badan from Masterji and Sunle Zameen Aasman from Hum Dono.
Rajesh as lead hero had 2 hits each in the years 1967, 1989 5 hits each in years 1969, 1974 and 1983, 6 hits in 1970, 1982 and 1986, 7 in 1971 and 1984, 8 hits in 1972 and 1985, 1 in 1966, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1988, 1990 and 1996, 3 hits each in 1973, 1977, 1979, 1987 and 1991, 4 hits each in 1980 and 1981. Rajesh had total of 105 box-office hits which includes 14 films with Khanna in guest appearances like Bangaru Babu, Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Disco Dancer, Guddi, Hatyara, Sundar Satarkara, Ginny Aur Jhonny, Naseeb, Main Tera Dushman, Muqabla, Suraag of 153 Hindi films from 1966-1991. Of the 128 films with Rajesh as main lead hero – 11 are unreleased and 117 released till 2013. Of these 128 films, 91 were box-office hits Khanna had as the lead hero which excludes all the above 14 guest appearances.
Rajesh Khanna drove MG Magnette Mark IV , MG Midgit Sports Cars and MG MGA Roadster 1600 model in late 1950’s and in 1960’s which his father had bought . After his debut purchased a 1967 model red Toyota Corona. After he became a superstar, his first car from his earnings were Standard Herald’s white car bought in 1971 and after his marriage bought two-door Chevrolet Impala Convertible model in 1973 followed by a Lotus Elan Sport car (this is a limited edition car with only 25 cars made in the world) in 1978 after he became a father of 2 girls. Rajesh later owned Mercedes Benz 220 Diesel from 1980 and also bought BMW car in 1991. Later in 2007, bought metal blue color Mercedes Benz 220 and used it till he died. Rajesh Khanna gifted a BMW to his younger daughter Rinke from the money he got from his TV commercial of Havells fans in May 2012.
Rajesh Khanna won All-India Critics Association (AICA) Best Actor Award for a record 7 times – for Anand(1971), Amar Prem(1972), Ajanabee(1974), Kudrat(1981), Avtaar(1983), Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar(1984) and Amrit(1986) and was nominated for Prem Kahani(1975), Chakravyuha(1978), Amardeep(1979).
Rajesh Khanna was nominated for Best Actor award at Bengal Film Journalist Association for a record 25 times , which is the highest for any actor at this award function. Khanna was nominated for his performances in Ittefaq, Safar, Anand, Dushman, Bawarchi, Namak Haram, Aap Ki Kasam, Roti, Prem Kahani, Mehbooba, Anurodh, Chakravyuha, Amardeep, Aanchal, Kudrat, Dhanwan, Avtaar, Souten, Awaaz, Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avatar, Hum Dono, Babu, Amrit, Ankha Rishta and Awam. He won it 4 times again most by any actor at BFJA awards – for Anand, Bawarchi, Namak Haram and Amrit.
Other than the songs sung by Kishore-Lata-Asha in his various films, Rajesh was also extremely fond of the song Sochta Hun Ke from Raaz sung by Rafi-Krishna Kalle, the S.P.B-Asha duet from Masterji – Yeh Kya Hua, Suresh Wadkar-Asha duet Yeh Hawayien Sard from Nasihat, the Suresh Wadkar-Usha Mangeshkar duet – Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki from Disco Dancer, Mahinder Kapoor-Asha duet songs like Teri Aankhon Mein Dhundli Maine from Awam, Chalo Bulawa Aya Hai from Avtaar,Muqabla Hai Muqabla from Muqabla and also the Kishore-Anuradha Pudwal song Tere Payal Ki Jhankar from Asha Jyot, O Meri Pehle Se Tung Thi Choli from Souten and duet song of Kishore-Salma Agha Tu Mera Kya Lage from Oonche Log and Amit Kumar-Lata duet Dushman Na Kare from Akhir Kyun.He also loved the solo song sung by Mahinder Kapoor – Aa Jao Aa Bhi Jao for him in Bandhan, Papa Mere Papa sung by Mohammad Aziz from Ghar Ka Chirag,Yeh Kismat Hai Kya sung by Amit Kumar from Ghar Ka Chirag and the duet song Aaj Ki Duniya Main Beta of Kishore Kumar and Suresh Wadkar in Papi Pet Ka Sawal and the solo song Ek Baras Mein Ek Baar Hi from Insaaf Main Karoonga sung by Bappi Lahiri.He also loved Manna Dey songs for him Zindagi kaisi hai paheli (Anand, 1971), Tum bin jeewan kaisa jeewan and Bhor Aaye Gaya Andhera (Bawarchi, 1972), Nadiya Chale Re” (song sung with Rajesh), Hasne ki chah ne kitna mujhe (Avishkaar, 1973) and Gori tori paijaniya (Mehbooba, 1976) and songs sung by Anwar like Teri Ankhon Ki Chahat Mein, Humse Kya Bhool Hui from Janta Hawaldar and song by Mohammad Aziz like Ek Andhera Lakh Sitare.
Rajesh’s most favorite duets sung by Rafi-Lata from his films are Mujhse Bhala Yeh Kajal from The Train and Itna Toh Yaad Hai Mujhe from Mehboob Ki Mehendi – both being his most favorites followed by Kaheko Bhulaya from Humshakal, Baghaon Mein Bahar Hai from Aradhana, Nagma Hamre from Bundalbaaz, title duet song of Aan Milo Sajna, Chupgaye Sare from Do Raaste, Yunhi Tum Mujhse Baat from Sachhca Jhoota.Yeh Jo Chiman Hai from Mehboob Ki Mehendi again. Rajesh is fond of Rafi Asha duets like Gunguna Rahe Hai from Aradhana, Woh Nazar Leke from Suraag and Yeh Gotey Dar Lahenga from Dharam Kanta.
Rajesh Khanna started accepting unconventional roles right from his age of 23 in 1966 and even after getting Superstar status at age of 26 continued to do variety of roles as the hero till age of 50 in 1991. No other star in Hindi films other than Khanna have after acquiring success at young age accepted such under-hero unconventional roles, as others preferred to do romantic films or over the top characters and action films while being in age bracket of 27-45.Only other Hindi actors to do this was Ranbir Kapoor who began accepting unconventional roles from age of 27 in 2009 (but Ranbir’s every next film had kissing scenes like Rockstar,Rajneeti,Barfi etc and Ranbir was called a superstar only from age 30 when Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani happened whereas Rajesh Khanna never had kissing scenes in his films from 1966 with exception being Alag Alag in 1985) and Sanjeev Kumar from age of 30. Other Indian actors who did this were Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and Kamal Hasan.
Rajesh hated the term Bollywood and continued to use the word Hindi Film Industry. Often used the term Hindi motion pictures instead of words like Hindi flicks. Said in an interview Bollywood is a term used only from late 1990’s and all the classics from 1940-1985 are part of Hindi Film Industry.
Only Indian actor in Hindi films , who after becoming a superstar, has had an average of 4.5 films releasing as the main lead hero every-year for 22 years. Khanna had 101 films as main lead hero, after getting super-star status, from 1969-1991 in 22 years (excluding all guest appearances for less than 7 minutes and Disco Dancer and excluding his 4 films released before 1969 and if Anuraag is added as well). All other actors including Amitabh(from 1970-1999 as hero), Jeetendra, Dharmedra, Aamir, Sharukh, Salman, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan have lesser than average of 4.5 films releasing every-year continuously after they becoming a famous star.(Rajesh’s did 128 films as lead hero from 1966-2013 – but 117 films in lead role were released from 1966-2013 and 11 films with him in lead role remain unreleased).
Rajesh Khanna’s ‘permanent’ choice for a room for hotel stay was at the Chola Sheraton in 1970-1991 period whenever he came to Tamil Nadu for any occasion. He would have for his breakfast hot idlis and coffee prepared at the New Woodlands hotel.
Rajesh Khanna’s movie Haathi Mere Saathi – which was shown at the Royal cinema at Maxwell Road in Penang state in Malaysia for first time in 1972 which holds the record for being the longest-running movie ever shown in local cinemas in Malaysia.
Rajesh Khanna was brought up in Saraswati Niwas, which was built by landlady Varsha Josji’s grandfather in 1940’s in Thakurdwar near Girgaon and Rajesh continued to own the 3BHK home till 2000, when he decided to sell the flat to Hiral Thakkar.
Rajesh Khanna’s 1978 film Bhola Bhala recovered its cost within 8 weeks of its release and was a hit and ran for 15-20 weeks but since it did not complete a 25 week run at box-office it was not publicized as a hit in 1978 and critics came down heavily on the film for one sole reason that Rajesh Khanna’s second character as a villain in the film did not have voice of Khanna but instead was dubbed by some-one else. So producer V.Gopalkrishna and distributors smartly got film released in rural areas and north-eastern and central India to make the film a hit whereas the film flopped in city areas.
Though Rajesh Khanna is known as the Prince of Romance for his realistic presentation of romance, he has done only 23 full length films and each of them handled different subjects of romance. Khanna starred in very few romance dramas Aradhana, Kati Patang, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Amar Prem, Mere Jeevan Saathi , Daag, Aap Ki Kasam, Prem Nagar, Prem Kahani, Mehbooba, Anurodh, Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Palkon Ki Chaon Mein, Prem Bandhan, Kudrat, Fiffty Fiffty, Dil-E-Nadaan, Souten, Asha Jyoti, Bewafai, Alag Alag, Oonche Log and Anokha Rishta. Unlike doing run of the mill romantic comedy like Aamir-Salman-SRK did in 1990’s to 2006 or like that of Rishi Kapoor’s career from 1973-1999 or Imran Khan after 2010, Rajesh did not do all films in romantic genre, Other Rajesh Khanna’s films belonged to different genres but always had romance just as an constant element in the film.
In many of the Rajesh Khanna’s films between 1967 to 1974 – the heroine’s name would appear ahead of his in the credit titles, as a mark of respect for the woman – especially when actresses junior to him – Sharmila Tagore (in Aradhana and Amar Prem alone), Mumtaz (in Dushman and Aaina alone) and those senior to him like Nanda, Mala Sinha, Sadhana, Asha Parekh, Padmini were given credits first before Rajesh Khanna’s name was displayed in the on-screen credits as mark of respect for them being seniors to him. Rajesh even in 1980’s asked no credits be mentioned in films Durgaa and asked Smita Patil be credited first in Angaray.
When Rajesh Khanna was shooting in Nainital for Kati Patang in 1970, the boots around Naini Lake were moored for 3 days. There were thousands of people thronging the shooting that even the police had a tough time controlling them. Kati Patang was amongst one of the first movies to be shot in Nainital and the film’s popularity put the hill station on the tourist map. When Rajesh Khanna returned to Nainital after 33 years to shoot for ‘Jaana’, old women and collegians alike thronged him again and he was floored by the reception he got.
97 films with Rajesh Khanna as the solo-lead hero released between 1966-2013.He had overtaken Dev Anand’s tally of 88 solo hero films in 1988. By the time Rajesh last film Released in 2013, he had done 106 solo hero films though only 97 solo hero films were released from 1966 till 2013(and other 11 either unreleased or unfinished). His contemporaries Dharmendra had 85 solo hero films from 1960 till 2006, Jeetendra did 92 from 1965 till 1997, Shashi Kapoor did 61 solo hero films from 1961-1986, Vinod Khanna did 48 solo hero films from 1971-2007 and Amitabh had done only 42 solo hero films from 1971-2013. Rajesh Khanna’s title as the hero with most title role was intact from 1987-2013 and is yet to be broken.
It was Dev Anand who held record for being the only actor with most number of solo hero Hindi films starting from 1957 – when Dev already had 40 solo hero films and by 1985 he had 88 solo hero films, which was the maximum by a Hindi hero. Rajesh Khanna broke Dev Anand’s record in 1988 as by start of the year 1988, Rajesh Khanna became the only Hindi hero with maximum solo hero films (ie. film where whole film revolves around his character and others support his character) with 91 released solo hero films by 1988 and 6 unreleased solo hero films by 1988 making his total solo hero films to 97. Rajesh Khanna’s record of most solo hero Hindi films increased from 91 released solo hero films to 97 by 2013. Rajesh Khanna’s bears the name of Hindi hero with maximum solo hero films since 1988 till 2013 and is yet to be broken.As of 2013, Rajesh Khanna has done 97 released solo hero films and 9 more unreleased solo hero films.
The attire that Rajesh Khanna donned as hero were trend-setting. No high designers or labels or ramp shows or promos were used, The Rajesh Khanna hair-cuts of Aradhana, Amar Prem, Kudrat and Anurodh, safari-suit/Safari Jacket from Mere Jeevan Saathi, Tuxedos in Baharoan Ke Sapne and Prem Nagar, Tracksuits in Bewafai and Maqsad , Morning dress in Karm, Guru-kurta pyjama in Anand, dhoti-kurta of Amar Prem, pin-striped suits in Hum Dono, polo-neck sweaters with muffler in Andaz., Leisure suit in Roti and Chhailla Babu, Shiny White And White Stripe Ton in Prem Nagar, Pink suit in Ajnabee, Jacket lapel in Ajanabee , Mehbooba and Aap Ki Kasam, Western business attire in Prem Bandhan and Amardeep , Drape suits in Kudrat, Dhanwan, Double breasted Suits in Prem Nagar,Souten and Sherwanis in Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Rajput , Fiffty Fiffty became famous fashion statements in India with the release of these specific films.Rajesh Khanna famously set the above fashion trends, be it his unique hairstyle, his bell-bottom trousers, his safari suits, his style of wearing belt on shirts, or his famous short kurta.
Rajesh formed a great team with Singer Kishore Kumar and Music Director R D Burman and together they have given such songs which are immensely popular even today.Pancham composed music for 40 films of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore sang in 91 films for Khanna. The RD-Kishore- Rajesh Khanna combination worked in 32 films. Rajesh enjoyed a great personal and professional relationship with composers Laximikant Pyarelal who composed music for 26 films with Khanna as the lead hero.
Rajesh has done female-oriented films, which had him as the lead hero but in secondary role to that of heroine as well – beginning with Aurat and Aradhana and after becoming a superstar, continued to be part of such films regularly -Maryada, Aaina, Durgaa, Akhir Kyun, Angaaray, Sitapur Ki Geeta. In all most all his films, where he was the main lead hero and female lead’s role was secondary in the films even there the role of the female character was never trivial or that of just running around trees, but had strong characters as seen in Amar Prem, Avishkaar, Ajanabee, Dushman, Aap Ki Kasam, Tyaag, Dard, Aanchal, Anokha Rishta etc.
Rajesh Khanna performed double role or dual roles in 11 films – his debut film Raaz, Aradhana, Sachcha Jhuta, Humshakal, Mahachor, Mehbooba, Bhola Bhala, Kudrat, Dard, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Hum Dono.
Regular character actors in solo hero films of Rajesh were Ashok Kumar, Madan Puri, Asrani, Bindu, Prem Chopra, A.K.Hangal, Sujith Kumar, Roopesh Kumar, Om Shivpuri, Dina Pathak right from early 1970’s to 1991 and Shafi Inamdar(from 1986-90).
The film Bobby was actually made to pay the debts incurred due to failure of Mera Naam Joker. By Raj Kapoor and Raj wanted to make a love story with Rajesh Khanna in the lead and he did not have money to cast superstar Rajesh Khanna in the film. So Raj decided to cast Rishi Kapoor in the the lead and converted the story Bobby into a teen love story and thus Rishi made his debut as an adult actor by default.
Rajesh Khanna’s comic timing was appreciated in films like Joru Ka Ghulam, Dil Daulat Duniya, Bhola Bhala, Bawarchi and Hum Dono.
Actors like Ashok Kumar(in 11 films), Raj Kapoor(Naukri), Amol Palekar(in Aanchal) Sanjeev Kumar(Aap Ki Kasam), Amitabh(Anand & Namak Haram), Shashi Kapoor(in Prem Kahani & Alag Alag), Vinod Khanna(in 5 films Aan Milo Sajna, Sachcha Jhoota, Prem Kahani, Kudrat, Rajput), Vinod Mehra(in 4 films – Amar Prem, Anurodh, Amardeep, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Rajesh appeared in guest appearance in Anurrag, Naya Bakra)have played supporting roles in the solo lead hero films of Rajesh Khanna where story revolved around character played by Rajesh only.
Rajesh’s favorite songs sung by Mukesh for him are the 2 solos – Maine Tere Liye and Kahin Door Jab from Anand, the Mukesh duet with Lata – Haan Toh Main Kya from Raja Rani, Dil Sambhale Sambhalta Nahin from Raaz and Phool Ahista Pheko from Prem Kahani, solo song Jis Gali Main from Kati Patang,Zuban Pe Dard from Maryada,Bina Badra Ke Bijuria from Bandhan.
Rajesh Khanna has done art films like Aavishkaar, Akhiri Khat, Maalik, Dushmun, Khudai and Parallel Cinema/ Offbeat films like Khamoshi,Safar, Anand, Bawarchi, Amar Prem, Anuraag , Namak Haraam, Aaina, Naukri, experimental films/ coming of age Cinema like Aaina, Palkaon Ki Chaon Mein, Anokha Rishta , Chakravyuha, Pyaar Zindagi Hai song-less thriller Ittefaq, and played negative character in Redrose, Dhanwan and also impactive films with social message based on different topics like Aurat, Do Raaste, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Roti, Kudrat, Aanchal, Souten ,Avtaar, Naya Kadam, Awaaz, Babu, Aakhir Kyon?, Amrit, Adhikar.
Rajesh Khanna has also played as the hero whose character belongs to lower castes in films like Bandhan, Roti, Prem Bandhan, Aanchal, Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar and also played Muslim in Mehboob Ki Mehendi and played a Chirstain in Anokha Rishta.
In the movie Shatru in 1986 – Rajesh Khanna asked director to put in opening credits the lines – “Inspired from Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s crusade against Red-tap-ism and corruption – the greatest enemy of country’s progress.” and these words appear in on-screen credits at the beginning of the film. Rajiv Gandhi, was fan of Rajesh Khanna since 1969 but became real life friends after 1984, when Rajiv watched Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar and Naya Kadam and asked Rajesh Khanna to campaign for Congress.
Many of films starring Rajesh Khanna were remade in Tamil with Sivaji Ganesan in the lead like Namak Haram was remade as Unakkaga Naan, Aradhana as Sivakamiyin Selvan, Dushman remade as Neethi, Avtaar as Vazhkai and similarly movies starring Sivaji in Tamil were remade in Hindi with Rajesh Khanna in lead like Tamil film Babu(1971) remade by original’s director as Babu(1985) in Hindi, Vasantha Maligai remade by same producer into Prem Nagar and Dheepam was made by its producer K.Balaji into Amardeep in Hindi. Director Jambhulingam who made Nam Naadu starring MGR, remade it in Hindi with Rajesh in the lead as Apna Desh, then MGR remade Hindi films of Rajesh Khanna into Tamil like Ninaithadhai Mudippavan was remake of Sachcha Jhuta, Haathi Mere Saathi into Nalla Neram, Humshakal into Oorukku Ozhaipavan and Jaishankar remade Dharm Aur Qanoon into Ezhudada Sattungal.
Saroja Devi once in an interview in 2012 said that many actors from Hindi films had come before Rajesh Khanna and many came even after him from Hindi film industry but none of them managed to create even a fraction of the impact that Rajesh Khanna had on South Indian audiences from 1969-1991. Many South Indians from 1969-1991 used to appreciate his movies, sing songs without knowing the full meaning of some, and his movies increased the desire in them to learn the language Hindi. Many South Indians were named Rajesh from 1969-1991 and are continued to be named so even today.
Rajesh Khanna featured among top 10 greatest Bollywood Stars from among all actors from 1913-2013 and Rajesh Khanna was ranked the 9th most popular Hindi Movie actor in a survey cum poll done in UK in 2013 conducted by a British Asian weekly daily Eastern Eye as it conducted its survey of ‘100 Greatest Bollywood Stars’ ever from 1913-2013. The survey was based on audience votes which came through social networking sites, box-office records, influence created through cinema and acclaim showered by critics.
Rajesh Khanna was highly influential as a major uniting factor during the prevalent turbulent North-South divide on the declaring Hindi as the national language and Southern state especially Madras opposing Hindi language and this issue existed in India between 1965-1985 but he was loved by the audiences from South very much that his films always did well there and had huge fan following. This clearly symbolized his charisma and significance as a true super-star of Indian Cinema. Infact many of his movies used to run for minimum of 100-150 days in the various cities of southern states of India and some of his films even completed golden and platinum jubilee.
Subhash Ghai had went with story of Kalicharan to NN Sippy and said he wanted to direct his first film. N.N.Sippy got ready to produce after few days but wanted to cast only Rajesh Khanna in the lead role of Kalicharan. Then only when N.N.Sippy confirmed with Rajesh Khanna that Rajesh did not have dates for the years 1976 and 1977, Sippy asked Subhash Ghai to go ahead with the script and direct Kaalicharan with Shatrughan Sinha in the lead.
As per India’s first online video service iStream.com, in Internet the most searched and watched movies of Rajesh Khanna based on an analysis of over 10000 views on iStream.com. are (in order top 15) Aradhana, Haathi Mere Saathi, Joru Ka Ghulam, Aavishkaar, Amar Prem, Namak Haram, Apna Desh, Mere Jeevan Saathi , Hum Dono , Amardeep, Dil Daulat Duniya, Naya Kadam, Kudrat, Red Rose, Anokha Rishta , Mehbooba, Aanchal, Prem Kahani, Ajanabee, Shatru.
Rajesh Khanna gifted to one of his fan named Vipin Oberoi a small amount of money and asked him to open an eatery in a particular area in Delhi in early 1990’s .Now since early 1990’s this eatery has become famous by the name ‘The Treat’. Khanna used to come to this outlet regularly when he visited Delhi and visited about 500 times till 2011 with other film-stars and politicians, mostly at night.
Many actors tended to copy Rajesh Khanna inimitable dance moves, body language and personality in 70’s and 80’s none succeeded . In the song Tera Husn Allah Allah from 5 Rifles, I.S.Johar made Rakesh Khanna do all Rajesh Khanna gimmicks and typical expressions in one single package. In the film Shub Din actors like Rajesh Lehar and Shahsi Kiran copied Rajesh Kahnna’s style. Even Mahendra Sadhu copied Rajesh in films like Madhosh(1974) Goonj and then Kiran Kumar in many films like Bhoola Bahtka,Jalte Badan, Abhi Toh Jee Le .
Has a sister named Kamla who is a dentist in UK.
Rajesh khanna famously set quite a few fashion trends, be it his unique hairstyle, his bell-bottom trousers, his safari suits, his style of wearing belt on shirts, or his famous short kurta.
Stardust, the famous magazine was launched in October 1971 with Rajesh Khanna on its cover. The cover story read – “Is Rajesh Khanna married ?”.
Rajesh Khanna received the Filmfare Best Actor trophy from Sharmila Tagore at the 18th Annual Filmfare Awards Function held at the Shanmukhananda Hall in Bombay on April 18, 1970, from Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 1971 for Anand and from Hema Malini, at the 22nd Annual Filmfare Awards Function held in Bombay on March 30, 1975.
Rajesh Khanna had lots of interaction with students and staff of two of Mussoorie’s well-known schools namely Hampton Court and Wynberg Allen during the making of Karm in 1977 and Ghar Ka Chirag in 1989 respectively endeared him to them. There are a number of scenes in Karm which shows the lovely campus of Hampton Court School (CJM) and the Mohkampur area of the Doon valley (The railway crossing). Wynberg Allen school, one of the oldest institutions in the region, appeared in Rajesh Khanna’s 1989 film Ghar Ka Chiraag Karm was extensively shot in both Mussorie and Rsihikesh.
In the late 1961 when he was in KC college for his final year, he used to do lots of plays and during free time used to hung out on the pavement outside Churchgate’s once-trendy Gaylord restaurant. Girls would hang out from the balconies in the adjoining buildings to chat with the wannabe actor but the movie producers/merchants run away saying otherwise Khanna would pester them up. Khanna used to go up to any person belonging to film industry who used to visit Chruchgate area and start asking them to give him small junior artiste roles or supporting roles. He spoke Hindi fluently, displayed attitude and the Churchgate college girls would swoon that from certain angles he looked like Alain Delon. Music composers Shankar-Jaikishan who were regulars at the Gaylord disclosed in 1969 after Aradana became a hit that they had seen many times Rajesh Khanna in 1962-63 period in that hotel but they never had interacted with him.
The building in Thakurdwar, Girgaon, Mumbai, where Rajesh Khanna spent his childhood bore the name plate of his adoptive father, Shri Chunnilal Khanna till 2000 when Khanna sold the flat.
Besides Simple Kapadia, Rajesh Khanna had another sister in law – Reema Kapdia who did just one film as an actress. She appeared alongside Rakesh Roshan and Marc Zuber in Keshu Ramsay’s ‘Haveli’ (1985).
Baldev Pathak was the proprietor of ‘Srimaan Costumes’ at Churchgate and he designed the Guru Kurta and safari’s worn by Rajesh Khanna, which became a rage with the masses. People from as far as Kolkata used to come and buy clothes from him. He once sold about 2,000 Guru Kurtas after Rajesh Khanna wore it in one of his films. Baldev Pathak was husband of Dina Pathak and father of Ratna Pathak Shah & Supriya Pathak.
It is to the credit of Rajesh Khanna, that he very successfully balanced both sides of film media: commercial and art cinema in his career and always maintained his dignity and gravity as a refined, versatile and a very sober household actor-star in his career for 25 years from 1966-1991. Besides, he simultaneously worked with well established North Directors/Producers on the one hand like B. R. Chopra, Hrisikesh Mukherjee, Shakti Samanta, Vijay Anand and at the same time with totally new directors in their debut films like Ismail Shroff, Danny Denzongpa, Miraj, Rishi Kapoor and also with A grade Soutern directors and producers like K.Balaji, D.Rama Naidu, A.C Trilogcnader, A.Bhimsingh, C.V.Sridhar, Devar and also worked with the already famous directors in Southern Cinema world but new entrants in Hindi films in their debut Hindi films like K.Balachander, IV Sasi and Bharatiraja and also working with southern directors who were active in Hindi Cinema like S. S. Vasan, S.S.Balan, K.Raghavendra Rao, Dasari Narayan Rao.
During the 1980-81, Rajesh Khanna outstandingly characterized totally negative characters (without any extreme prosthetic make-up or light effects, but only with change in classic facial expressions) in two films: Red Rose and Dhanwan, in completely versatile manner and thereby established himself as a stalwart performer. Both these characters had a totally different outlook, style and he used to changed personality in a very graceful manner for both roles.
He regarded his best dialogs came in films like Amar Prem where he advices Sharmila, in Bawarchi where he interacts on various topics with family members, in Aradhana where he acts as if he is drunk to Sharmila, in Anagarey where he says why he disrespects his father, then in Namak Haram scene where he confronts Amitabh softly, in Roti where he says he wants to lead a normal life to Mumtaz and even to Pinchoo Kapoor, and the other famous dialogs come from Anand, Safar, Prem Nagar. Dhanwan, Dard, Amardeep,Avataar, Awaaz, Anokha Rishta, Shatru and Rupaye Dus Karod.
Joroo ka Ghulam ‘s certain scenes were shot in Bombay right on Carter Road and one scene was shot at his house Ashirwaad. His address in the movie was his house address ‘2 Carter Road’. They also show National College (Bandra) when Kaka goes in his car to fetch Nanda from her college in this film.
Aashirwad, Cater Road, Bandra. He stayed in this bungalow from 1970 till his death in 2012 [July 2012]
Rajesh Khanna was devotee of Shridi Sai Baba. He used to make frequent visits to the shrine since the 1980s. His last visit to Shirdi Temple was on 24th January 2011 when he was accompanied by his friend and co-star Zeenat Aman as well. He gave a speech there and it was recorded by some TV news channels and temple authorities.
Rajesh Khanna was good at playing drums and Gongo since his secondary school days. He had immense interest in music and that’s why music directors would sit with him while deciding on final tunes for his films. His only weakness was he never had learned dancing as he entered theatre by age of 10 and acted in films from age of 23. But he had a good interest in music so could give extremely nice effect while performing in songs such that viewer would feel Rajesh was himself feeling the words in lyrics and singing the song. He would move himself in exact synchronization with the music beat, sound from the musical instrument and mood of the song.
Many directors either remade their regional films in Hindi with Rajesh Khanna in the lead or remade Rajesh’s movies in their regional language. Director K.Balachander remade his own Tamil film Arangetram into Aaina and C.V.Sridhar remade his Illaimai Oonjal Aadigirathu into Dil E Nadan and producer of the original Chitti in Tamil remade it as Aurat, K.Ragavendra remade his own Telugu film Trishulam into Naya Kadam, director K. Bapaiah remade his own Telugu film Mundadugu into Maqsad, Bharatiraja remade his Siggappu Rojakal into Redrose, I.V.Sasi remade his own Malayalam directorial venture Kanamarayathu into Anokha Rishta and director Dasari Narayana Rao remade his Telugu films MLA Yedukondalu into Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtaar. Many of Rajesh’s movies were remade in Telugu as well like Avtaar was remade in Telugu as “O Thandri Teerpu” (1985) starring Murali Mohan and Jayasudha and NTR remade Roti into Neram Nadi Kadu Akalidi (1976) and ANR remade Daag into Vichitra Jeevitham and Aap Ki Kasam was remade into Edadugula Bandham (1985) starring Mohan Babu and Jayasudha and director Krishan-Panju remade Anuraag into Neela Malargal with Kamal Hasan and Sridevi.
It was Superstar Rajesh Khanna who asked Devar Films to make Jaanwar Aur Insaan with Shashi Kapoor as after Haathi Mere Saathi(1971). Khanna did not again, so soon, do a film with animals. Later Khanna recommended Shashi Kapoor for the lead role even in Mr. Romeo as he had done a musical love story Mere Jeevan Saathi already. For both the films – Jaanwar Aur Insaan and Mr.Romeo first choice was Rajesh Khanna.
Mrinal Sen wanted to direct Rajesh Khanna in his directorial ventures but due to Khanna’s schedule for various films, the films could never be made – they were the planned remakes of Bengali films of Mrinal Sen – like Padatik and Parashuram in Hindi which was to be made in late 70’s and another untitled thriller which was supposed to be made in 1986.
Kaka had a premonition since Feb 2011 that he would die by age 70. In 2012 when he died he was age 69.
Personal Quotes :
Interview in 2011 :
I have had a number of hits but my most memorable performances are in “Aradhana”, “, “Sachaa Jhutha”,”Dushman”, “Anand”, “Haathi Mere Saathi”, “Amar Prem”, “Bawarchi”,”Avishkar”, “Roti”,”Aap Ki Kasam”, “Ajanabee”, “Prem Nagar”, “Prem Kahani”, “Naukri”,”Chakravyuha”, “Amardeep”, “Red Rose”, “Kudrat”, “Dhanwan”, “Avtaar”, “Awaaz” , “Babu”, “Hum Dono” , “Amrit” ,”Shatru” and “Anokha Rishta”. Other favorites include Bandhan, Ittefaq, Kati Patang, Dil Dault Duniya, Anuraag, Tyaag, Chhailla Babu, Mehbooba, Anurodh, Aanchal, Rajput, Ashanti, Souten, Awaaz, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Alag Alag, Zamana, Shatru, Awaam, Rupaye Dus Karod.
Interview in 2000 :
There are lack of good roles for actors like me in the films being made after 2000. I would love to do some off beat roles if I am offered. Today the reach of TV is much more than cinema today and one episode of my serial is likely to be watched by more people than a super-hit film. I have played almost all the roles in the planet from 1966-1991 non stop till I joined full time politics in 1991. I had appeared in around 150 feature films as an actor that too with 100 films as the main solo lead hero in short span of 25 years by 1991 and did just 21 multi hero films till 1991(9 unreleased till 1991) .Satisfied that gave 91 hits as lead hero and 14 in guest appearance from 1966-1996. So just for the sake of my fans I am doing Hindi TV Serials that too yes playing the central character and not side roles.
(2009) Once, Pancham and I were flying together to Delhi for the premiere of Baharon Ke Sapne. When the plane took off and started cruising, he started humming a catchy tune. The moment I heard it, I cajoled him to use it for one of my playback songs. Months later, we were at the sitting of Kati Patang and we just could not get the right tune for a particular song which had a waltz meter. That’s when, fortunately, I could recall the same tune that RD had sung at 32,000 feet. This melody, which was instantly approved by director Shaktida Samanta, was none other than ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’.
(2008) All the 9 films I did as the main lead for Shakti Samanta as the director, excluding the ones where I had guest role, had memorable performance from me. I believe that was possible because we had the same tastes and shared a great rapport.Same goes the case with the 4 films I did with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
(2009) RD and I were on a leisure visit to Shiva temple in Kashmir. After listening to the clanging of temple bells during the aarti, we came out and RD instantly hummed a devotional hook line with a folksy flavor. This time, he assured me that he would gift the melody to me. That vibrant duet-song was much later recorded as ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ from the movie Aap Ki Kasam.
[on versatility in 2011 interview] Versatility for me means acting in films of different genres, not repeating same characters and doing justice to the role one plays. Though I was tagged as a romantic icon I never succumbed to that pressure. By 2011, I have appeared in 163 Indian feature films. I played the lead protagonist in 128 films and of them 106 were solo hero films and 22 were multi star films (though 11 unreleased from 128).I could have played a romantic hero for 25 years as people tend to associate my name with romance or stuck to one genre but I chose right from the start to play variety of characters and romance was just an element in my films.
[when asked in 2006,about Filmfare awards] Though I gave many award worthy performances in my career I was not nominated for Best Actor in Filmfare many times. It was surprising to see me not even getting nominations for Best Actor at Filmfare for my performances especially in Safar, Aap Ki Kasam, Roti, Prem Kahani, Mehbooba, Anurodh, Tyaag, Chakravyuha, Naukri, Redrose, Dhanwan, Kudrat, Souten, Dharm Aur Qanoon , Hum Dono, Babu. Since no Filmfare function was conducted for 2 years I lost the chance to get nominated for Anokha Rishta, Amrit and Awam. Many of my fans till date regret the fact that at none of the award functions I was nominated for Best Actor in leading role especially for Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Tyaag, Naukri, Redrose,Rajput, Agar Tum Na Hote,Dharm Aur Qanoon Infact I should have won the Filmfare Best Actor award for Amar Prem. Bharati Raja expressed his surprise when his Tamil version got many awards but received no nominations for the same film in Hindi in any of the categories. Many below average performances of actors were nominated from 1979 onwards in Filmfare and it continues to happen even now. If an actor has 3 releases in a year and gives 1 classic and gives average performance in other two, even then the same actor got nominations for both the superlative performance in the classic and average performance in a bad film.That I think was unfair on me and my body of work.
[on award functions in 2011 interview]In 70’s & 80’s there were just 3 major award functions and in Filmfare, nominations for Best Actor was restricted to 3 in early 70’s and then to 5 in 80’s. Today you have more than 10 award functions honoring the films of the same year so your work does not get ignored. Its good that today your good performances are recognized and praised. But the issue today is many times even an average performance or even below average by a big star gets nominated for best actor based on his past laurels and that person even wins it at times. On a positive note if you have performed well its definitely gets noticed at functions but most of the times below average performance of a big star gets nominations. In my case it was drastically opposite – where I was not even nominated for many superlative award worthy performances in Filmfare in 1970’s and 1980’s. Only Bengal Journalist Film Awards and All India Critics Association used to recognize some of my good performances in leading role. There have been some of my performances which never got nominated in any of the award functions. Whereas from late 70’s certain other actors if they had 3 releases in year and have given 1 superlative performance and in other two year given below par or done over-acting, still they were nominated for these performances at Filmfare.I don’t care about awards as my biggest award and rewards are when my fans say they loved my performance and content of the film, irrespective of its box office result.
(1990)I had no problems about my wife working.But when i married Dimple, I wanted a mother for my children and didn’t want my children to be brought up by servants.And I had no idea of Dimple’s talent as Bobby was still not released.Besides if I knew at that moment that Bobby would prove her talent I wouldn’t have stooped her.To curb talent is cruel.By the time I saw Bobby our first daughter was already born.
(1990) We cannot be expected to sacrifice our lives for cinema.Its matter of our children’s lives.Today my children have grown up and Dimple is working in my film Jai Shiv Shankar. Dimple and I just developed misunderstandings so were separated for 6 years. I was not against her in acting in films but since I was too busy in films as I always had minimum of 4 films a year , people brainwashed her. We never divorced each other. Though we live separately our relation is sweet and we are there for each-other through out our lives.We continue to love each-other.
Salim-Javed and I had differences.They refused to give Deewar script to Yash Chopra because they wanted only Bachchan.So although Yash wanted me for Deewar in the lead, he had no choice.
[on being asked about his bad phase 1976-78] It saddened me when the good films with great performances by me and the whole cast, good music were flopping in the period 76-78.I remember the next day Balaji offered me Amardeep out of the blue.It gave me second lease to my career.Sohanlal Kanwar, Narinder Bedi, B.R.Chopra, Yash Chopra, Samanta, Shomu Mukherjee and many people from South India stood by me and backed me like producer D. Rama Naidu, C. Dhandayuthapani and directors like Devar, K. Bapaiah, C.V. Sridhar, K. Raghavendra Rao, A.C. Trilogchander and Narayana Rao Dasari.They kept saying commercial failure of those good films in 76-78 had nothing to do with me and I should not let negativity affect me. I am thankful for the scripts they offered me from 1979. I had 35 more Golden Jubliee hits, including 25 became platinum jubilee hits and in addition had 14 other silver jubilee hits and other 9 average hits from 1979-1996.It’s important that producers of my films should make their money and get returns from my film as I believe films must be economically viable projects but what gives me satisfaction is not box office success but when fans appreciate my performances and say the film was good.
(January 28,2012) When I was Congress MP from Delhi, I worked full time as a politician.I have been campaigning for Congress since 1984 till date. It was Rajiv Gandhi who had invited me back in 80’s for my suggestions. I have always stood by the party.Lot of speculations were made when I declined Congress high command’s offer in 2009 to contest elections from Amritsar.It was solely because of health reasons.I would never like to ditch my own people with hollow promises like other politicians. I am of the opinion that when you are not able to serve the masses then don’t make fake promises to them since these are the sins.
[on asked how flop affects him] Its plain bad luck that sweet films, completely different from each-other like Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, Tyaag, Bundalbaaz, Naukri, Chakravyuha, Mehbooba had to be unsuccessful at the box office.All of them were good films but that time period (1976-78) was such that multi star films and masala ones were doing more well and not those films with different story ideas.I had 5 box office hits as lead hero ,3 hits in guest appearances and 9 box office flops which include 7 critically acclaimed in the period 76-78 in Hindi.I was not personally affected by it.I had reached a stage where hits flops did not affect me personally or my career. Had already shown my versatility within the period 1966-1975.I anyways from 1979-1996 had 35 more Golden Jubliee hits, of which 25 became platinum jubilee hits and in addition had 14 silver jubilee hits and 9 average hits. I always wished that my producers and distributors should get sufficient returns to run their houses. But what gives me immense satisfaction is when irrespective of box office result of that film during its release, when people watch it later-on and say – This film was really nice, it had a great message and I acted well.
Am really fortunate that I got author backed title lead roles through out my career. Even the 11 double role films I did are completely different from each other.My start in industry was unconventional – got to do double-role for a debut film, Raaz.Aradhana was my second double role and I did another 9 dual character films. Sachcha Jhuta was about same looking men but one a criminal and other an innocent, Dard had me on one end as a helpless convict and other end had me play a young lawyer, Dharam Aur Kanoon was about father and son with different ideologies and Hum Dono was a laughter riot. Remember much before it became a trend to have the hero play double role in formula based films, Sachcha Jhuta was made. I never really had to succumb to pressure of doing meaningless formula based multi star films, the few I did had excellent parts for me.Had brief double role in Humshakal, Mahachor and excellent diverse double role in Mehbooba, Bhola Bhala and Kudrat too.
Tina Munim was a big fan of mine since her child hood and was very excited when she learned about she being part of films starring me in lead role.We worked in 11 films and of them we were romantically paired in 7 films.As a pair we had 6 box office success of the 7.After I separated from Dimple in 1984, Tina became my support system and we became close friends.She was in love with me but was not open about it till 1984. By 1986,Tina insisted on marriage but I always knew Dimple and I will get together soon as it was misunderstanding only and never wanted to make my children feel that their parents don’t love each other.The moment I rejected Tina’s proposal, she decided to discontinue her acting career. By 1989, Dimple and me became closer and friendly. In-fact we continue to love each-other. Thereafter I was busy with politics and Dimple with her acting career. After our children got married, Dimple and I were together.
Anju Mahendroo and I were very true lovers and Anju’s mother was very affectionate towards me. After I achieved super-stardom, somewhere in 1971, my mother insisted that I get married. I had female fans swooning over me and had crazy fan following. It was then that I decided to discuss about marriage with Anju. But I think destiny had some other plans due to which Anju felt its too early to marry and kept evading this topic for at-least a year and said she is not ready for it. She even started to date others just to make me jealous. This resulted in breakup. But by 1989, we had matured and moved on and became friends again.You know what, I still love my wife, Dimple. On the other hand, my ex Anju Mahendroo is one of my best friends today. Dimple, Anju and me have become closest friends.[2000 interview]
Whenever I died on screen, my mother could not watch them and she used to curse the directors for the scenes. I died in at-least 20 movies and 18 of them were super-hits and only 2 flops.
(2008) As I got so much affection from fans and people across the world, it was my responsibility to quality work. I was accepted in all the roles I essayed – romance, action, emotions, drama, comedy. Any genre I did I ensured there was proper message send across and it should not be that my films are just entertaining alone but reflect reality as well without being too preachy. These days people resort to use of abuse, vulgar scenes or use titillating tittles to make their films run. Even on my bad days I never resorted to such tactics.
(2010) I was discovered as an actor at the age of 23 when I won the talent contest. Aakhri Khat made me a star. Aradhana made me the superstar. Anand made me a legend. Amar Prem made me immortal. Amardeep ended my bad run at the box office.
(2008 )What made me popular was my selection of films. I was one of the stars in 1966-91 who, without a second thought, would take up projects which other mainstream actors would think twice before accepting. If I did Aradhana, then the same year I did Ittefaq. I could do Haathi Mere Saathi,Andaz but also do Anand & Dushman.Similarly, Maalik, Bawarchi had Joru Ka Ghulam, Apna Desh. Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, Tyaag had Anurodh,Chhailla Babu.If I did Redrose, the same year I had Aanchal, Bandish. For every Prem Nagar, I had Aavishkar. For every Avatar and Agar Tum Na Hote there was Souten.For every Maqsad there was Awaaz, Dharm Aur Qanoon,Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar. I have done Kati Patang, Mehbooba, Kudrat but also Namak Haram, Daag, Chakravyuha, Dhanwan, Babu, Amrit. I could do masala potboiler but at the same time balance it out with parallel films with simple stories.I always tried my hand at something completely out-of-the-box so script-writers, producers, directors were happy to want me.
[on his 100 percent success with certain heroines] Difference between my pairing with Mumtaz and other heroines was that all the 8 films where we were paired together became platinum jubilee hits.As such I have 100% success ratio even opposite Jaya Prada with 5 hits, Rekha with 5 hits, Nanda with 3 hits, Rakhee with 3 hits, Reena Roy with 4 hits, Padmini Kolhapuri with 4 hits, Sridevi with 4 hits and Shabana Azmi with whom I had 7 successful films. But in their case some of the films I did with them were silver jubilees and few golden and few platinum jubilee hits.Moreover even with Poonam Dhillon of the 6 films I worked in – 4 were hits and 1 is unreleased and 1 was flop.Similarly with Smita Patil I had 5 hits and just one flop.
Kishore Kumar was my soul and I was his body.
Whats the need of me doing any Hollwood movie ever? After having done so many author backed lead roles I don’t feel any need to appear in English language movie for some minuscule blink and miss role or some 10 minutes supporting role.I am satisfied with my 180 films work in Indian film industry which itself contains 128 lead roles and rest includes guest appearances, few supporting roles which I did after 2000,then short films and central lead character in 4 TV serials. Offcourse I would always be remembered more for the lead hero roles I did from 1966-1991 more.
[2011 interview]Iam Jatin Khanna and custodian of Rajesh Khanna. I would say there cannot be another Rajesh Khanna ever. Even today I see Rajesh Khanna is split between 3 Khans in different ways and all 3 aspects combined together is Rajesh Khanna. Salman has star aura like I have but he acquired them only after 2003 and more so after 2008 and he specializes more in action comedy genre. Sharukh does his romantic scenes and sentimental scenes like me right from 1995 but does films based on social issues very less often in his career. Aamir after 2000 does scripts of different genres like I did and does not repeat his characters but only difference is I never took much time to get into different characters of films belonging to various genres.I used to do minimum 2 films at a time through out the 25 years from 1966 to 1991 and most of the times I had 3 to 4 releases a year but even then managed to do justice to characters poles apart in different films. Notably all 3 Khans did more of romantic love stories or played college boy in the first 10 years of their career and have faced most of the times – failures if they worked in more than a film at a time or if they have more than 1 0r 2 releases in a year. I never advice Akshay on his career but I would say since 2000 he has done masala films, comedy ones, family dramas, romantic and others. Hope he achieves more success in years to come.
[on what he considers his best award] I always tried my level best to do films of different genres right from 1966 till date. What you call today as cinema for common man or as art or as parallel cinema, – that I have done and its just that my presence in them made it appear as mainstream commercial film, irrespective of its subsequent box office result. That’s an achievement. Films must be progressive and entertaining but should stick to ethical values. Thats the reason I did those films, at a time when low quality movies from 1979-1991 with no clear cut message for viewers. Even if a film flops in my career, when people say it deserved to be a hit and that I and my co-stars worked well in it and ultimately conclude saying that film is good, then that’s the ultimate reward which gives me happiness.
Am not happy with the kind of Hindi movies getting nominated for prestigious award functions or becoming popular especially after 1991. Some of the movies which I liked didn’t become popular but are classics like Suraj Ka Sathva Goda,Rui Ka Bhoj. I like the kind of work southern heroes like Kamal Hasan,Mohanlal and Mamooty are doing since the late 80’s till date. If such movies were continued to be made, I would have never chosen semi retirement since 1996.
[on what he considers his best award] I always tried my level best to do films of different genres right from 1966 till date – what you call today as cinema for common man or art or parallel cinema – I have done it and my presence in it made it appear mainstream commercial, irrespective of box office result. That’s an achievement. Films must be progressive and entertaining but should stick to ethical values. That’s the reason I did those films, at a time when low quality movies from 1979-1991 with no clear cut message for viewers were being made. Even if a film flops in my career, when people say it deserved to be a hit and that I and my co-stars worked well and that film is good, that’s the ultimate reward which gives me happiness.
Aakhri Khat (1966) – 1.5 lakhs INR
Aurat (1967) – 2 Lac INR
Baharon Ke Sapne (1967) – 5 lakhs INR
Raaz (1967) – 1 lakh INR
Aradhana (1969) – 7 Lac INR
Ittefaq (1969) – 7 Lac INR
Bandhan (1969) – 7 Lac INR
The Train (1970) – 10 lakhs INR
Sachaa Jhutha (1970) – 15 lakhs INR
Aan Milo Sajna (1970) – 12 lakhs INR
Khamoshi (1970) – 8 Lac INR
Safar (1970) – 10 Lakhs INR
Anand (1971) – 8 Lakhs INR
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) – 25 lakhs INR
Chhoti Bahu (1971) – 15 lakhs INR
Maryada (1971) – 14 lakhs INR
Dushmun (1971) – 20 lakhs INR
Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971) – 20 Lakhs INR
Amar Prem (1972) – 20 lakhs INR
Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972) – 15 lakhs INR
Dil Daulat Duniya (1972) – 15 lakhs INR
Apna Desh (1972) – 20 lakhs INR
Shehzada (1972) – 15 lakhs INR
Namak Haraam (1973) – 20 Lakhs INR
Aap Ki Kasam (1974) – 25 Lakhs INR
Prem Nagar (1974) – 24 lakhs INR
Avishkaar (1974) – 25 lakhs INR
Roti (1974) – 27 lakhs INR
Prem Kahani (1975) – 25 lakhs INR
Mehbooba (1976) – 30 Lakhs INR
Bundal Baaz (1976) – 25 Lakhs INR
Chhailla Babu (1977) – 30 lakhs INR
Karm (1977) – 27 Lakhs INR
Anurodh (1977) – 30 Lakhs INR
Bhola Bhala (1978) – 27 Lakhs
Prem Bandhan (1979) – 35 Lakhs INR
Amar Deep (1979) – 35 lakhs INR
Thodisi Bewafaii (1980) – 40 lakhs INR
Aanchal (1980) – 45 lakhs INR
Bandish (1980) – 40 lakhs INR
Kudrat (1981) – 40 lakhs INR
Dhanwan (1981) – 47 lakhs INR
Fiffty Fiffty (1981) – 35 lakhs INR
Ashanti (1982) – 45 Lakhs INR
Dil-E-Nadaan (1982) – 47 lakhs INR
Jaanwar (1983) – 55 Lakhs INR
Avtaar (1983) – 65 Lakhs INR
Souten (1983) – 57 Lakhs INR
Agar Tum Na Hote (1983) – 60 lakhs INR
Maqsad (1984) – 45 Lakhs INR
Dharm Aur Qanoon (1984) – 50 lakhs INR
Naya Kadam (1984) – 55 Lakhs INR
Awaaz (1984) – 60 Lakhs INR
Zamana (1985) – 45 Lakhs INR
Hum Dono (1985) – 60 lakhs INR
Bewafai (1985) – 55 lakhs INR
Babu (1985) – 55 Lakhs INR
Shatru (1986) – 65 Lakhs INR
Adhikar (1986) – 55 lakhs INR
Avam (1987) – 70 lakhs INR
Ghar Ka Chiraag (1989) – 70 Lakhs INR
Rupaye Dus Karod (1991) – 70 Lakhs INR