Rajesh Khanna was a famous Indian Hindi films actor, film producer and a politician. He acted in 163 feature films and 17 short films. He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated 14 times for the same; he also received four BFJA Awards for Best Actor and was nominated 25 times. In 2005, he was honored with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. Rajesh Khanna is referred as "Hindi filmdom's original superstar".
Born on 29 December 1942 in Amritsar, Punjab, Rajesh Khanna was adopted and raised by foster parents who were relatives of his parents. He attended St. Sebastian's Goan High School. During school days Rajesh Khanna slowly took interest in theatre and did lots of theater plays in school. In college he won many prizes in the inter-college drama competitions. In the early 60s, he struggled as a newcomer to get work in theatre and films. In March 1973, Rajesh Khanna married Dimple Kapadia and they have two daughters.
In 1966, Rajesh Khanna made his film debut with the film Aakhri Khat. He was noticed for his excellent performances in films like Aurat, Baharon Ke Sapne, Doli, Ittefaq and Aradhana. Through Aradhana he ascended to "instant national fame" and critics referred him as the first superstar of India. In 1971, Haathi Mere Saathi became his biggest hit and also highest grosser at that time. In 1974, BBC made a film on him titled Bombay Superstar. Between 1969 to1971, he had 15 consecutive solo super hits, making it an unbroken record in Indian film history till date. Even today, his trademark style and dialogue delivery remains the favourite of mimicry artists.
Between 1976 and 1978, Rajesh Khanna appeared in four box office hits and nine films that were not so successful. He continued acting in solo roles in socially decent household films during this era and played a range of characters. After 1978, Rajesh Khanna starred in highly praised commercial movies. In 1985, he turned into a producer. He was the biggest and the most genuine celebrity Bollywood has produced. In 1991, he was awarded a Filmfare Special Award for having acted as the solo lead hero in 101 films. He gave 35 Golden Jubilee Hits and gave 22 Silver Jubilee Hits.
From early 90s onwards, he stopped acting and served as M.P. of New Delhi. During that period, he acted in only 10 films and declined a good number of film offers. From 2000 to 2009, he did four television serials. His successful TV serial was "Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi", he mentioned the lack of good roles for him in the films is the reason he is not appearing in many films. Rajesh Khanna has also been a Member of Parliament for the Congress Party, from the New Delhi constituency from 1992 to 1996.
In 2012, Rajesh Khanna was seen in his first and last television ad. He was happy to be approached after so many years and considered it as a great honour and was delighted to reconnect with his fans once again.
In June, 2012, it was reported that Rajesh Khanna's health had been deteriorating for quite some time and he was repeatedly admitted to the hospital due to some complications in health. On 18 July 2012 afternoon, the superstar Rajesh Khanna passed away at his residence in Mumbai.
Some of the awards received by him are:
- Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Sachaa Jhutha in 1971
- Filmfare Best Actor Award for Anand in 1972
- Filmfare Special Guest Actor Award for Anuraag in 1973
- Filmfare Best Actor Award for Avishkaar in 1975
- Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years in the Indian Film Industry in 1991
- Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (Golden Jubilee function) in 2005
- BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Anand in 1972
- BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Bawarchi in 1973
- BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Namak Haraam in 1974
- BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Amrit (film) in 1987
- Pride of Film Industry Award in 2005
- IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009
- All India Film Workers Association Life Time Achievement Award in 2009
- Padma Bhushan (Posthumously) in 2013.