Early Life of Rajesh Khanna
Rajesh Khanna was born on 29 December 1942, in Amritsar in the present-day state of Punjab, in a Khatri family as Jatin Khanna. He was adopted and raised by Chunnilal Khanna and Leelawati Khanna, who were relatives of his biological parents. His father had migrated from West Punjab to Gali Tiwarian in Amritsar. His biological parents were Lala Hiranand Khanna and Chandrani Khanna. Khanna lived in Saraswati Niwas, in Thakurdwar near Girgaon, Mumbai. He attended St. Sebastian's Goan High School with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the stage name Jeetendra. Khanna gradually started taking interest in theatre, did many of stage and theatre plays in his school and college days, and won many prizes in inter-college drama competitions. Khanna did his first two years of Bachelor of Arts in Nowrosjee Wadia College in Pune from 1959 to 1961. Khanna later studied in K. C. College, Mumbai and Jeetendra studied from Siddharth Jain College. Khanna tutored Jeetendra for his first film audition. Khanna's uncle KK Talwar changed Khanna's first name to Rajesh when he decided to enter films.
Career of Rajesh Khanna
In 1962 Khanna played a wounded mute soldier in the play Andha Yug and impressed with his performance; the chief guest suggested that he get into films soon. Khanna became a rare newcomer who had his own MG sports car, who once struggled to get work in theatre and films in the early 1960s. 1966 witnessed Rajesh winning the All India Talent Contest and just after that he joined the film media and debuted in 'Akhri Khat.' The limelight refused to cast away only after his film 'Aradhana ' monopolized the box office in the year 1969.
Often paired with actresses Mumtaz or Sharmila Tagore, he delivered mosto f his 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 picturised on Khanna accelerated the wizardries of glory. 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.
Later Career in Television of Rajesh Khanna
Khanna was a life member of the International Film and Television Research Centre, the International Film And Television Club and the Asian Academy of Film and Television. He was the Faculty Guest of "Specialised Cinema Courses at Asian School of Media Studies". On 10 April 1999 Khanna inaugurated the live concert of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, held at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad as a tribute to R. D. Burman. In 2001 and 2002, Rajesh played the lead in two television serials: Aapne Parai (B4U and DD Metro) and Ittefaq (Zee TV).
He performed in a video album based on Tagore's songs without payment. He also endorsed Star se Superstar tak – a talent hunt programme in 2007 and donated a Gold Trophy of Rs.1 crore. In its Silver Jubilee Episode on 14–15 March 2008, K for Kishore aired a Rajesh Khanna special. He signed on to star in a TV serial with Creative Eye Banner by Dhiraj Kumar in 2007, and in 2008 performed in a TV serial, Bhabhima, with Leena Ganguly as his co-star. His successful TV serial Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi began in November 2008 and ended in September 2009. Khanna cited the lack of good roles for actors like him in films as the reason for him not appearing much in films after 2001.
Awards Received by Rajesh Khanna
Rajesh Khanna was posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2013.
Filmfare Awards: Rajesh Khanna got nominated 11 times for filmfare awards as best actor and won 4 times for Sachaa Jhutha, Anand, Anuraag and Avishkaar. Also he received Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years in the Indian Film Industry and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (Golden Jubilee function).
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards: Rajesh Khanna was nominated for the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards Best Actor 25 times, more than any other actor and won 4 times for Anand, Bawarchi, Namak Haraam and Amrit.
All-India Critics Association Awards: Rajesh Khanna was nominated for the All-India Critics Association Awards 3 times and won 7 times for Anand, Amar Prem, Ajanabee, Kudrat, Avtaar, Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar and Amrit.
2005 Stardust - Pride of Film Industry Award
2009 IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 All India Film Workers Association Life Time Achievement Award
2010 Life Time Achievement Award from Pune International Film Festival
2004 Lifetime of Glamour award at the Kingfisher Bollywood Fashion Awards
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bollywood Awards held in US
2001 Zee Cine Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Indian Cinema
2001 Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Third Sansui Film Awards
2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for Major Contribution to Indian Cinema by the Film and Television Producers Guild Association
1982 Winner Lions Club, New Delhi - Best Actor Award for Dard
1994 Winner Russian Film Festival, Ujvegistan - Best Actor for Khudai
2003 Maharashtra State Government's Raj Kapoor Award
2006 Yugantar Gaurav Puraskar 2006 awarded by Chandibai Himmatmal Mansukhani
2006 Award for Outstanding contribution to Indian cinema at the 2006 Bollywood Movie Awards
2011 Mother Teresa Award
Bharat Jyoti National Award
1995 Kala Ratna Award
Selected Filmography of Rajesh Khanna
1971 Badnaam Farishte
1972 Amar Prem
1972 Joroo Ka Ghulam
1972 Mere Jeevan Saathi
1973 Raja Rani
1973 Bangaru Babu
1973 Daag: A Poem of Love
1973 Namak Haraam
1973 Bombay Superstar
1974 Aap Ki Kasam
1974 Prem Nagar
1974 5 Rifles
1974 Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi
1975 Prem Kahani
1976 Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun
1976 Ginny Aur Johnny
1976 Bundal Baaz
1977 Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein
1977 Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka
1978 Bhola Bhala
1979 Prem Bandhan
1979 Amar Deep
1980 Red Rose
1980 Phir Wohi Raat
1981 Khoon Aur Paani
1981 Fiffty Fiffty
1982 Dharam Kanta
1982 Disco Dancer
1983 Agar Tum Na Hote
1984 Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar
1984 Dharm Aur Qanoon
1984 Paapi Pet Ka Sawaal Hai
1985 Bayen Haath Ka Khel
1985 Aakhir Kyon?
1985 Alag Alag
1985 Oonche Log
1985 Insaaf Main Karoonga
1985 Ram Tere Kitne Nam
1986 Anokha Rishta
1986 Mohabbat Ki Kasam
1987 Sitapur Ki Geeta
1987 Raj Kapoor
1989 Main Tera Dushman
1990 Jai Shiv Shankar
1996 Sautela Bhai
1999 Aa Ab Laut Chalen
2008 Wafa: A Deadly Love Story
Personal Life and Death of Rajesh Khanna
Early in his career, Rajesh Khanna conducted a seven-year-long live-in-relationship with actress Anju Mahendru. At the height of his fame, in 1973, he married 16- year-old Dimple Kapadia. Khanna and Kapadia have two daughters from the marriage; Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna. Khanna and Kapadia separated in 1982, but never completed the divorce proceedings. He died on 18 July 2012, at his bungalow, Aashirwad, in Mumbai.
(Last Updated on : 07-04-2021)
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