Rajesh Khanna Birth Anniversary: Remembering 'The First Superstar' Of Bollywood

| December 29 , 2018 , 12:28 IST

Today is the 76th birth anniversary of heartthrob of the nation and the first superstar of Hindi cinema, Rajesh Khanna.

From Anand to Kati Patang, the megastar had given many gems that remain unmatched even to this day.

On his birth anniversary, here is a look at the life and times of the actor who died of cancer on July 18, 2012, in Mumbai.

Born as Jatin Khanna on December 29, 1942, in Amritsar, Punjab. Rajesh Khanna was adopted and raised by Chunnilal Khanna and Leelawati Khanna, who were relatives of his biological parents.

Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra studied together at the St. Sebastian Goan High School in Girgaum and went to Kishinchand Chellaram College. They remained lifelong friends.

He changed his name from Jatin to Rajesh Khanna on his uncle’s suggestion who wanted him to act in films. He was also addressed as Kaka in the industry fondly by many.

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 was not a major hit.

He got recognition in the industry for his performance in 'Baharon Ke Sapne'. The response from the public in the first week of run forced the film's ending to be changed from a tragic one to a happier one from the second week.

Rajesh Khanna had 15 consecutive hits between 1969 to 1972, which is still a Bollywood record.

Rajesh Khanna married the then-budding star Dimple Kapadia In 1973, who at 16 was 15 years younger than the actor.

The couple separated in 1984. They never officially divorced and Dimple nursed her estranged husband through his long illness.

Rajesh Khanna posthumously received the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award, in April 2013. The award was collected on his behalf by his wife Dimple Kapadia.

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He ruled over the hearts of millions of Indians and continues to do so even after six years of his death.

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, his daughter Twinkle Khanna, who also happens to share her birthday with his father, posted a rare picture of the star. 

Actor and husband of Twinkle, Akshay Kumar also shared a picture on his Twitter account wishing both father and daughter on their birthday.