New Delhi, July 18 (ANI): Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Wednesday condoled the demise of Rajesh Khanna, saying the Bollywood icon has left behind a legacy and will continue to be a superhero of the Indian film industry.
Soni said Rajesh Khanna was a living force in the film world, and added that his films were seen all over the country.
It's with great sadness that I pay my respects to the memory of Mr. Rajesh Khanna. He has been such a living force in the film world and has left such a long legacy and rich legacy of film tradition. Language was no barrier, his films were seen all over the country, she said.
Soni further said the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was planning to organize a retrospective in his honour in August.
My ministry has been wanting to organize a retrospective. And we were asking him for dates on the 17th-18th of August. But sometimes in hospital, sometimes outside, he was fighting the illness and I am sorry that we have lost him. Forever, he will be a superhero of the Indian film world, she said.
The first superstar of Bollywood, Rajesh Khanna, passed away after a prolonged illness earlier today . He was 69.
The actor, who enjoyed unprecedented adulation from his fans across the country, was rushed to Lilavati Hospital twice in the past one month due to exhaustion and weakness.
Khanna's health started deteriorating since April this year when he stopped taking food and complained of exhaustion and weakness.
Khanna, who married actress Dimple Kapadia in 1973, has two daughters Twinkle and Rinki. Twinkle, an interior decorator and a former film actress, is married to actor Akshay Kumar, who is reported to have returned from his shoots abroad.
Khanna was born in Amritsar on December 29, 1942. Khanna lived in Thakurdwar near Girgaon. Khanna attended St. Sebastian's Goan High School in Girgaum, along with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the stage name Jeetendra.
Rajesh Khanna was one of eight finalists in the 1965 All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare from more than ten thousand contestants. Subsequently, Khanna won the contest.
He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz directed by Ravindra Dave both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers' Talent Competition.
He rose to prominence with his performances in films like Raaz, Baharon Ke Sapne, Ittefaq and Aradhana.
Khanna appeared in 163 feature films of which 128 as the lead protagonist including 106 as the solo lead hero films and 22 two-hero projects and did 17 short films. He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same fourteen times. He received the maximum BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi) - four times and nominated 25 times.
Khanna, the 'First Superstar' of Hindi cinema, was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. (ANI)