By Justine Espersen
As of Wed., July 18, Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna passed away at 69 in Mumbai after suffering from a liver infection since April.
Khanna was best known for his romantic lead in Indian movies during the 1960s and ’70s.
“Yes, I remember he was always seen as a heartthrob and many in the industry here, then used to closely watch his progress,” thespian actor Kerala Madhu told India Today. “Certainly he was a good actor.”
During the ’70s, a generation of Indians fell in love with him. Female fans wrote letters to Khanna in blood, according to the Hindustan Times. Men copied his hairstyle and his well-known head bob always accompanied in his songs.
Khanna also served as a member of the lower house of the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, from 1991-96.
“We were friends and knew one another well. He always carried himself well even though he was a popular film star,” Kerala Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said. “We used to interact then and also it continued even when he was not a Lok Sabha member. He did what he was asked to do for the Congress party.”
The Bollywood heartthrob was India’s first superstar to be cremated. Hundreds of supporters and admirers line the streets at the crematorium ceremony.
Khanna is survived by his wife, Dimple, and two daughters.