Rajesh Khanna

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Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna, often referred to as the “Original Superstar” of Indian cinema, left an indelible mark on Bollywood with his unparalleled charm, mesmerizing performances, and an unmatched string of consecutive hit films. Born on December 29, 1942, in Amritsar, Punjab, India, Rajesh Khanna rose to stardom in the late 1960s and early 1970s, becoming a cultural icon and a symbol of the romantic hero in Indian films.

Early Life:

Khanna was born as Jatin Khanna to Lala Hiranand and Chandrani Khanna. His family moved to Mumbai, where he attended St. Sebastian’s Goan High School and later pursued a degree in arts at K.C. College. Despite a background in theatre during his college years, a career in acting wasn’t his initial plan. However, fate had other ideas for the young and charismatic Khanna.

Breakthrough and Rise to Stardom:

Rajesh Khanna’s cinematic journey began with a brief stint in the industry, appearing in films like “Aakhri Khat” (1966) and “Raaz” (1967). However, it was his lead role in “Aaradhana” (1969) opposite Sharmila Tagore that catapulted him to unprecedented fame. The film’s success marked the beginning of a golden era for Khanna, where he delivered 15 consecutive solo superhits between 1969 and 1972, a record still unmatched in Indian cinema.

The Romantic Icon:

Rajesh Khanna was not just a talented actor; he was the epitome of romance on the silver screen. His on-screen chemistry with leading ladies like Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, and Hema Malini became the stuff of legend. Songs like “Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Tu” and “Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai” resonated with audiences and solidified his status as the ultimate romantic hero.

Notable Films:

Khanna’s filmography boasts a plethora of memorable movies. Some of his notable works include “Anand” (1971), “Bawarchi” (1972), “Safar” (1970), and “Namak Haraam” (1973). His performance in “Anand” alongside Amitabh Bachchan received critical acclaim and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

The Decline and Comeback:

Despite his initial success, the 1980s marked a decline in Rajesh Khanna’s career as new actors emerged on the Bollywood scene. However, he made a comeback with notable performances in films like “Avishkaar” (1973) and “Choti Bahu” (1971). Though the second phase of his career did not match the heights of his earlier success, Khanna continued to contribute to Indian cinema.

Personal Life:

Rajesh Khanna’s personal life was as vibrant as his on-screen presence. He married Dimple Kapadia in 1973, and the couple has two daughters, Twinkle and Rinkie Khanna. Despite their eventual separation, Khanna maintained a close relationship with his family.


Rajesh Khanna’s legacy goes beyond the silver screen. He was not just a Bollywood star; he was a cultural phenomenon. The title of “First Superstar” was not just a moniker but a testament to his unparalleled influence on the Indian film industry. Even after his passing on July 18, 2012, Rajesh Khanna remains a timeless icon, remembered for his charismatic smile, soulful performances, and the era of romance he brought to Indian cinema.

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