Bollywood’s original superstar Rajesh Khanna introduced Bollywood to fan mania. Known for his typical mannerisms, Rajesh — born Jatin Khanna — appeared in more than 160 feature films and 17 short films. The highest paid Indian actor from 1970 to 1987, Rajesh passed away four years ago at this day.
Remembering Rajesh Khanna on his death anniversary we present to you some lesser known facts about him:
- His real name was Jatin Khanna. On his uncle’s advice, he changed his name from Jatin to Rajesh Khanna with his foray into Bollywood and that remained with him forever.
- He was selected through a talent hunt organized by Filmfare and United Producers in 1965. This was long before television was popular in India – forget reality television.
- He was the first Bollywood actor for whom the term ‘superstar’ was coined. With the blockbuster success of his film Aradhana, critics called him the first superstar of Indian cinema.
- He gave 15 consecutive superhits as a solo lead hero in the 1969-1971 period. The films were Aaradhna, Do Raaste, Bandhan, Doli, Khamoshi, Ittefaq, Safar, Kati Patang, The Train, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Dushmun, Andaaz and Anand.
- Actor Rajendra Kumar sold his bungalow ‘Dimple’ to Rajesh Khanna. The house had proved unlucky for Rajendra but Rajesh renamed it Aashirwaad and went on to deliver 15 hits in a row while living there. He also married Dimple some time later!
- Rajesh Khanna dated actress Anju Mahendru for around seven years. They broke up in 1972 since, apparently, Mahendru wasn’t ready for marriage.
- Rajesh Khanna was the one who gave popular writer duo Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first break as screenwriters for the film ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’. And after that there was no looking back for Salim-Javed.
- He created history in Bollywood by becoming the first actor to shoot for the song Roop Tera Mastana in Aradhana in a single take.
- Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna appeared in the maximum number of films (15) together.
- He and Mumtaz gave hits in all the films — eight in all — that they worked in together.
Rajesh Khanna enjoyed the biggest possible fan-following. Girls used to write him letters in blood. He would often be mobbed by fans at public appearances. His cars used to be full of lipstick marks of crazy fans. There were stories of females marrying his photograph. Such was the magic of the legend Rajesh Khanna and the superstar will always stay on peoples heart forever.