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Rajesh Khanna, the man who brought superstardom to Hindi films

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Bollywood's first superstar, the 69-year-old actor's mannerism, his unique style of dancing, dialogue delivery, disarming smile and the signature nod of his head added to his onscreen persona that made many a young woman's heart skip a beat.

Despite his heartthrob status as a romantic hero, Khanna essayed a variety of roles--the terminally ill Anand in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee film, a romantic airforce officer in "Aradhana", a chef in "Bawarchi", a lonely husband in "Amar Prem" and a poor medical student in "Safar".

Khanna, popularly called Kaka, generated hysteria among fans like never before. At the peak of his career, he would be mobbed during public appearances as fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks. They lined the road, cheering and chanting his name.

Female fans sent him letters written in blood.

His predecessors Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar broke hearts in their time no doubt, but the hysteria connected with Khanna was unprecedented. Nicknamed 'Kaka', Khanna shot up like a meteor.

Khanna also had a brush with politics after he stopped acting from early nineties. He won the Lok Sabha seat from New constituency in the 1991 elections.

A series of emotional tragedies in which he acted

First Published: Wed, July 18 2012. 17:36 IST