(Last Updated on : 01/02/2013)
Rajesh Khanna is the name that overpowers the word 'legendary actor' and glorifies the notion of superstar; drenching his fans forever drowning in a crescendo of blandishments amidst publicity-hungry cronies. Rajesh Khanna led life drifting in a roller coaster ride full of troughs and crests. Also serving as a Member of Parliament in the arena of Indian politics for tenure of five years Rajesh Khanna's life was indeed one of an actor, 'role playing and stage' being the key words almost silhouetted by the clouds of paramount inimitable success once and abyss of wrenching downfall by consecutive flops in another sway.
Rajesh Khanna was the fruit of an affluent family. Boarding the flight of his career with renowned filmmaker Chetan Anand
and smeared with revelries of unsuccessful setback very soon, he became one of the familiar names in the industry with his dark, soulful, somewhat fleshy looks. The actor persisted and exceeded all expectations through his work; his previous theatrical background assisting him with the characterization of the personas of the cinema which he portrayed effortlessly and naturally. From commercial potboilers to alternate films, he almost ransacked all the genres taking his icon to such heights where he competed none but himself.
Career of Rajesh Khanna
1966 witnessed Rajesh winning the All India Talent Contest and just after that he joined the film media and debuted in 'Akhri Khat.' Next span of two years passed without the spring of oncoming recognition. However, the limelight refused to cast away only after his film 'Aradhana 'monopolized the box office in the year 1969. History was created anew, afresh. Even stigmatized as a tragic hero, emotion was his weapon onscreen that stormed the hearts of femme fatales for years to roll on. Often paired with actresses Mumtaz
or Sharmila Tagore
, he delivered some of his most box office hits in this period, 'Anand', 'Amar Prem', 'Andaaz', 'Daag' and 'Namak Haraam' subjected to the law of diminishing returns . Several of the popular Bollywood songs rendering the voice of Kishore Kumar
in the 1970s were picturised on Khanna accelerated the wizardries of glory. Amitabh Bachchan
once commented: 'I got famous purely because I was working with Rajesh Khanna in Anand. People asked me questions like, 'How is he to look at? What does he do? ' 'Rajesh Khanna was a phenomenon, a brand.
In March 1973, Rajesh Khanna tied the knot with Dimple Kapadia
, the Bobby girl, an eloquent newcomer. He kept the tabloids busy with the nuances of his eventful life. With his brand mark acting, he 'created his audience' who created, weaved his indomitable stardom in return.
His acting in 'Amar Prem' and 'Aap ki Kasam' were unforgettable landmarks. In the late 1970s and 1980s he switched his style and shifted his image from a romantic hero to an action protagonist. He continued to play central characters or guest roles in multi-starred films as well, such as 'Disco Dancer', 'Kudrat', 'Rajput', 'Dharam Aur Kanoon', 'Ashanti'. Khanna was not a man who opted for calculated risks and rather experimented with negative roles in 'Red Rose' where he essayed the role of a psychopath and in 'Dhanwaan', where he played an arrogant businessman. By the early 1990s he closed the doors of cinema temporarily and plunged on to enact the role of a M.P from 1991-96. He beamed back with a boom in 'Aa Ab Laut Chale' and 'Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa' where he played elderly father roles.
In 2006 he appeared in one mid line movie and in 2007 he had officially announced his second innings and signed about ten new films and a new TV serial. Sony TV Channel
invited him to be a part of K for Kishore, this time donning the hat of Celebrity judge. The serial was based on the legendary singer late Kishore Kumar Ganguly. In 2001-2002, Rajesh Khanna inaugurated his presence in television and played two major roles in two television serials namely 'Aapne Parai' and 'Ittefaq'. He also performed in a video album based on Tagore
's songs. Currently he was busy in processing his own music channel viz. R.K. Music Channel. He had recently endorsed a talent hunt programme namely 'Star se Superstar tak' as the First Superstar of Indian Cinema. He was the life member of International Film and Television Research Centre and International Film and Television Club of Asian Academy of Film and Television as well.
Awards received by Rajesh Khanna
An icon of awards, Indian movie actor Rajesh Khanna won a bunch of Filmfare awards. In the year 1971 he won the Filmfare award
for best actor for 'Sachcha Jhutha', he won the awards in consecutive years i.e. in 1972 he won Filmfare best actor award for 'Anand'. In 1973 he got special Award for Guest appearance for 'Anurag', but again in 1974 he won the Filmfare best actor award for 'Aavishkaar'. In 1990 he got special award for twenty-five years in the film industry and in 2005 he has won Filmfare lifetime achievement award. The landmark actor was nominated for Filmfare best actor award from 1969-1974 and 1979-1983 for the film 'Aradhana', 'Ittefaq', 'Kati Patang', 'Amar Prem', 'Dushman', 'Daag', 'Prem Nagar', 'Amar Deep', 'Thodi Si Bewafai', 'Dard', 'Avtaar'. The actor also got Bengal film journalists' association awards as best actor for the films 'Anand', 'Bawarchi', 'Namak Haram' and 'Amrit'. He bagged the Best Actor or Life Time Achievement Awards of international and national repute. Rajesh Khanna was awarded posthumously with the Padma Bhushan, , India's third highest civilian honour.
From dizzying ladders of fame to silent shadows following arc lights, Khanna, popularly known as kaka, by the film fraternity, created a never to be substituted huge vacuum after his demise on 18th July, 2012. Destined to breathe like Anand, ("zindagi lambi nahi bari honi chahiye"-life should be king size big and not long) life had a theatrical sweep for him, as the Khanna star never faded; his superstar ego like his shadow forever keeping pace with his widening girth. Memories cast in celluloid will be eternally sparked in frenzy in memoir of Rajesh Khanna, the cynosure of romantic cinema who himself sensed his fatality and chanted-"pack up, show over!"