Joined: 11 March 2006
Rajesh Khanna's ticket to the film industry was 'Filmfare United Producers Talent Hunt', apparently chosen out of 10,000 applicants, says Rauf Ahmed.
But, he did not have a promising start. Debut film, Chetan Anand's Haqeeqat, did reveal flashes of his talent, but nobody expected the kind of frenzy he was to whip up.
Then, a miracle happened in 1969. Aaradhna (opposite Sharmila Tagore), directed by Shakti Samanta, and Do Raaste (opposite Mumtaz), directed by Raj Khosla , became an absolute rage.
They were being screened in Bombay (now Mumbai) in two theatres opposite each other, Opera House and Roxy. People used to come out of one theatre and head to the other.
These films were followed by 15 blockbusters and for a while it looked like Kaka's popularity will never wane. Such was his demand that the industry seemed to forget every other hero around. Jeetendra, who had starred in a golden jubilee hit Farz around the same time, had no work in the early 1970s. The only survivor was Dharmendra, who mostly did action films.
Every day huge crowds would wait outside his bungalow Aashirwad to catch a glimpse of him.One girl in the crowd was Dimple Kapadia, who later became his wife. Mothers would come with their sick children to his film sets for his blessings. His car was covered in lipstick marks.
Khanna rode the success wave right up to 1972, and then came a decline as dramatic as the rise. He took directors who had backed him for granted.
His bitter face-off with Javed of the Salim-Javed duo, who had written hits like Haathi Mere Saathi, was the worst thing to happen. They backed Bachchan with a vengeance.
Not withstanding that misadventure, there is no denying that Khanna was one of the most charismatic stars ever and a fantastic actor. No other actor, not even Amitabh Bachchan, had generated the kind of euphoria.
Khanna has redefined stardom. Before him directors never gave importance to stars but following Khanna's example, the stars started calling shots. That was Khanna's biggest achievement.
Joined: 16 June 2012
Unseen Pic: Dimple, Rajesh K with little Twinkle
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