Rajesh Khanna, an Indian actor, film producer, and politician who performed in Hindi cinema, was born on December 29, 1942. Between 1969 and 1971, he was dubbed the “First Superstar” of Bollywood, having acted in a record 15 successful films in a row. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he was the highest-paid actor in Hindi cinema. Four BFJA Awards and five Filmfare Awards have been bestowed to him, and in 2013, he was posthumously given the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor.
Khanna made his acting debut in 1966 with Aakhri Khat, India’s first official Oscar submission in 1967. On the 50th anniversary of the Filmfare Awards, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Between 1992 and 1996, he served in the 10th Lok Sabha from the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, having been elected as an Indian National Congress candidate in the 1992 New Delhi by-election.] In March 1973, eight months before her debut picture, he married Dimple Kapadia. Bobby was eventually released, and his marriage resulted in two daughters. Twinkle Khanna, their older daughter, is an actress who is married to Akshay Kumar, and they also have a younger daughter, Rinke Khanna.
Khanna studied in Pune and Mumbai, and his first film audition was inspired by his friend Ravi Kapoor, who eventually adopted the stage name Jeetendra. When Khanna’s uncle, KK Talwar, wanted to pursue a career in film, he changed his first name to Rajesh. Because of his youthful features, his friends and wife dubbed him Kaka (which means “baby faced guy” in Punjabi). He had his own MG sports car, which he used to strive to find work in the theater and film.
In the 1965 All India Talent Contest, organized by United Producers and Filmfare, Rajesh Khanna was one of eight finalists chosen from over 10,000 contestants. In 1966, he made his film debut in Aakhri Khat, followed by Ravindra Dave’s Raaz, both of which were part of his planned reward for winning the contest. Babita, who was already a well-known actress at the time, was his heroine, and he felt bashful in front of the camera.
By granting them employment in Haathi Mere Saathi, Khanna is credited with giving Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first chance to create screenplays. At 1970, he paid 31 lakhs for Rajendra Kumar’s Dimple house in Carter Road Promenade and renamed it Ashirwaad. His films Amar Prem, Apna Desh, and Mere Jeevan Saathi all grossed over Rs.5 crore in 1972. During the height of his success, he was surrounded by fans when he made public appearances. Every day, a queue of his producers’ vehicles and frenzied admirers formed outside his home.
Female devotees wrote him messages in their own blood. He is still a favorite among imitation artists, who imitate his signature style and dial.
Khanna passed away on July 18, 2012, following a long illness. The Prime Minister of India has honored him with a stamp and a statue in his likeness, as well as renaming a road after him. Penguin Books published Yasser Usman’s biography Rajesh Khanna: The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar in 2014. Khanna was honored with a one-kilometer fitness trail in Lajpat Nagar National Park in 2018, which was opened by his wife Dimple Kapadia.