Jul 18

First Bollywood Superstar Rajesh Khanna dies Aged 69

Actor Rajesh Khanna has died at home in Mumbai. He was 69. Mr Khanna was suffering from cancer.Rajesh-Khanna

Mr Khanna will be cremated tomorrow morning at 11.30am. His bungalow, Aashirwad, on Carter Road in Bandra has been cordoned off by the police.

Mr Khanna’s son-in-law, actor Akshay Kumar, addressed the press and asked fans to pray for the late star.

Mr Khanna had been hospitalised on June 23, when he was taken to Lilavati Hospital to be treated for exhaustion, and spent some days having tests. He was discharged just yesterday.

Worried fans had lined up outside Aashirwad on June 21 when Mr Khanna was said to have stopped eating. He was later reported to be “more than fine” by son-in-law, actor Akshay Kumar. Mr Khanna himself appeared on his balcony, visibly weak and wearing dark glasses, to wave at his fans and give them the victory sign.

Mr Khanna had also been hospitalized for a few days in April this year.

Mr Khanna’s ex-wife, actress Dimple Kapadia, has nursed him through his illness. They have two daughters together – Twinkle, who is expecting her second child with husband Akshay Kumar, and Rinke who is married to businessman Sameer Saran.

Mr Khanna was the top actor in Bollywood during the Seventies and early Eighties, and is considered to be it’s first real superstar. He was the star of romantic comedies and dramas such as Anand, Aradhana and Kati Patanag. He won three Filmfare awards in his long career.

Mr Khanna also held a Lok Sabha seat as a Congressman from 1992-1996. A host of politicians, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, joined Bollywood celebrities in expressing their grief over Mr Khanna’s death.