Rajesh Khanna, who was born as Jatin Khanna changed his name from Jatin to Rajesh, before starting his career in Bollywood. He was the first Bollywood actor for whom the term 'superstar' was coined after he delivered the blockbuster hit- Aradhana (1969).
Rajesh Khanna gave 15 consecutive super hits as a solo lead hero from 1969-1971. In his career of 45 years, Khanna did 180 films and was the highest paid actor from 1970-79.
Rajesh Khanna & Mumtaz’s lead pair holds the record of being the one and only romantic on-screen pair with 100 percent success ratio at the box-office. This successful Jodi gave eight blockbusters together.
Rajesh Khanna won 3 Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same fourteen times. He received the most number of BFJA (The Bengal Film Journalists' Association) Awards for Best Actor and was nominated 25 times in the same category. In 1991, he was awarded the Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years in the industry. In 2005, he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
Today on his 5th death anniversary, we take a look at some of the best scenes of his career:
One can’t forget Rajesh Khanna saying, ‘Babumoshai’ in Anand. The film was co-written and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It starred Rajesh Khanna in the lead role with and supporting cast included Amitabh Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal, Ramesh Deo, Seema Deo. The film won several awards including the Filmfare award for best film in 1972.
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971)
Haathi Mere Saathi was directed by M. A. Thirumugam and written by Salim-Javed. It was the biggest hit of 1971 going by box office collections, and was also critically acclaimed as well. The film which starred Tanuja as Khanna’s leading lady, at that point in time, was the biggest hit ever made by a South Indian producer in Hindi.
The film which left numerous hearts beating so fast. Aradhana was Rajesh Khanna’s one of the biggest hits in his career. The film was directed by Shakti Samanta, starring Sharmila Tagore as the female lead. It was voted as the best film of the year by the Filmfare Awards.
Kati Patang (1970)
Kati Patang is still famous for its flawless music. The film, directed by Shakti Samanta, was a huge box- office success. It starred Asha Parekh opposite Rajesh Khanna where she played the role of a woman pretending to be a widow, According to reports, Rajesh Khanna never appeared to be lip-syncing. So convincing were his expressions. His presence, backed by the music, remained the main source of strength for a movie’s success.
Sachaa Jhutha (1970)
This film was the second highest grossing of 1970 and was declared as a super hit. Rajesh Khanna’s performance was critically acclaimed and he even won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for it. The movie stars Rajesh Khanna as a simple villager, who has a look alike who is a crook. It also stars Mumtaz and Vinod Khanna.
Ittefaq was a film produced by B.R Chopra and directed by his brother Yash Chopra. The film also starred Nanda, Bindu, Madan Puri, Iftekhar. The film became was an average hit at the box- office. It was the fourth Bollywood film (after Naujawan, Munna and Kanoon) that did not have any songs in it.
Amar Prem (1972)
Amar Prem was directed by Shakti Samanta. It was bout a school boy, who is ill-treated by his step mother, and becomes friends with a prostitute neighbour. The film starred Sharmila Tagore playing a prostitute, Rajesh Khanna in the role of a lonely businessman. The song, ‘Chingari Koi Bhadke’ became a cult classic from the film.
The film, which saw Rajesh Khanna in a role of a bawarchi, was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and had Jaya Badhuri as the female lead. It ranked the eight highest grossing film of the year 1972. In an interview back then, Khanna had quoted, “In ‘Bawarchi’ I did exactly the opposite of what Hrishida had made me do in ‘Anand’. He allowed me to interpret the role and perform my way. I had done enough intense roles, and ‘Bawarchi’ gave me the opportunity to interpret and perform the role the way I wanted. So I let myself go.”
Namak Haraam (1973)
This was the second Hrishikesh Mukherjee film starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh after Anand. Namak Haraam was a hit at the box-office and had some soulful numbers to offer. The film starred Rekha as the female lead.
Rajesh Khanna received a Filmfare nomination as Best Actor for the film which also starred Meena Kumari, Mumtaz, Bindu, Rehman, Asit Sen and Johnny Walker. It was directed by Dulal Guha.
Prem Bandhan (1979)
This film marked Rajesh Khanna’s comeback, as it was his commercially successful film after a period of one full year. It had Rekha and Moushumi Chatterjee as the female leads.
Thumbnail Image Source: youtube/UltraHindi, Youtube/rajshri & youtube/ankurkhattri