Shilpa Jamkhandikar | Reuters
Wednesday 18 July 2012
Last Update 18 July 2012 4:56 pm
MUMBAI: Rajesh Khanna, one of the Indian film industry’s first home-grown screen idols, died on Wednesday morning, his family said.
Khanna, 69, had been in and out of hospital over the past month as a result of an undisclosed illness. He died at his residence in suburban Mumbai, his son-in-law and actor Akshay Kumar told reporters.
The funeral will be held on Thursday.
His role as a dashing young pilot in “Aradhana” and a terminally ill cancer patient in “Anand” remain some of the most remembered characters in Bollywood, and many of the lines are part of Indian pop culture.
Khanna, who was born Jatin Khanna, married fellow actor Dimple in 1973, and had two daughters with her, but the couple separated in the 1980s.
Tributes to Khanna poured in, including from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Indian television channels ran special shows on his films and social networking sites like Twitter were full of tributes to Khanna.
Part of India’s parliament during the 1990s, Khanna dabbled in politics for a while, but in his later years he become a recluse, hardly appearing in public.
His last appearance before the camera was an ad for a ceiling fan brand earlier this year, where his gaunt and haggard appearance distressed many fans.
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