By DiMarkco Chandler
Indian actor-producer Rajesh Khanna has died due to kidney problems. Hospital spokesman Dr Trivedi says he cannot confirm the nature of the illness.
To many in his homeland of India, Khanna was their first film superstar. The actor’s career spans four decades and 150 movies. In 1966 he won a nationwide talent contest which gave his career the boost it needed. He played an air force pilot in the 1969 “Aradhana,” which made him the heartthrob of millions of female fans.
Fans went screaming almost everywhere that he was during his early celebrity years.
He appeared in 163 feature films and 17 short movies and won countless acting awards.
In his early life, Khanna was raised by foster parents.
As an adult, Khanna fell in love with fashion designer Anju Mahendre. After seven years with her, they split and did not speak to one another for 17 years. He later married Dimple Kapadia in 1973. In 1984, they separated as Dimple wanted to pursue an acting career. They therefore lived separately. However, before separation the Dimple gave birth to two children. Their oldest was Twinkle Khanna, who became an interior decorator and the youngest, Rinke Khanna became an actress.
Reaction to his death was meet with surprise. Hema Malini, a member of the Bhratiya Janata Party said, “we always thought he would come back [from the hospital]. We are in shock right now.”
Condolences came from as high up as Pakistan where Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf called Khanna a “Great actor whose contribution to the field of films and arts would be long remembered.