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THE LEGEND OF RAJESH KHANNA

By Kaushik.L.M

Indian cinema lost a big legend yesterday as Rajesh Khanna passed away at the age of 69. He was widely regarded as India's first Superstar and his romantic songs are evergreen even with today's generation. Behindwoods presents you a few 'must know' facts about the man who is fondly known as ‘Kaka.’

He acted in 180 films in a career that spanned 40 years, of which 163 were feature films.

In the time span of 1967-1991 alone, 73 of Kaka's films were Golden Jubilee hits and 22 were Silver Jubilee hits. Some theater or the other in India would have always been playing a Rajesh Khanna movie in this extended time period. Such was the run his films enjoyed.

He was also India’s highest paid actor in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kaka enjoyed a Godlike status in the period 1969-1976 when his legion of female fans used to write letters in blood to him.

When he was the reigning Superstar, a textbook prescribed by Bombay University contained an essay titled ' The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna'.

Known for the superb songs in his movies, Kaka always insisted on Anand Bakshi to write lyrics for his songs.

Composer R.D.Burman and singer Kishore Kumar created magic for Rajesh Khanna in countless songs along with Anand Bakshi’s lines. The RD-Kishore- Rajesh Khanna combination worked in 32 films and Rajesh also personally contributed a lot to the success of his movies’ songs.

Kaka also had awards to show for his efforts. He has won the Filmfare Best Actor Award thrice and was nominated 14 times in all. His first movie ‘Aakhri Khath’ was also India’s official entry to the Oscars in the best foreign language film category.

Talking of his heroines, Hema Malini is the actress with whom Rajesh Khanna was romantically paired with, the most number of times, a whopping 15. He also had a 100% success ratio with actress Mumtaz in the form of 8 blockbusters.

Other top heroines who shared screen space with Rajesh Khanna include Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, Mala Sinha, Tanuja, Nanda, Rakee, Neetu Singh and Parveen Babi.

Speaking of family, he was married to Dimple Kapadia and later divorced her. He was the father of actresses Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna and the father-in-law of noted actor Akshay Kumar who is married to Twinkle.

He was also actively into politics as a Member of Parliament for the New Delhi constituency from 1991-1996. He was an active Congress loyalist since 1984.

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