Veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was known as Hindi cinema’s ‘king of romance’ for making some of Bollywood’s most memorably intense romantic dramas, passed away in Mumbai on Sunday. He was suffering from dengue.
Chopra had celebrated his 80th birthday on September 27. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, starring Shah Rukh Khan was his final film as director. Regarded as the country’s king of celluloid romance, Chopra has also proved his mettle with intensely emotional and tragic movies, many of which went on to become box-office blockbusters.
Chopra has been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai with an attack of dengue, a spokesperson for his company said. Chopra attended actor Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday party with wife Pamela on October 11.
Born in 1932 in Lahore, now in Pakistan, the film-maker was favoured by leading Indian actors with his movies seen as a sure-fire way to become a hit with audiences.
Chopra recently reminisced about a Bollywood career that spanned five decades, narrating how he came to Mumbai with 200 rupees in his pocket, hoping to make it as a film director.
Chopra’s disclosure, made at an event marking his 80th birthday with actor Shah Rukh Khan by his side, took the Indian film industry by surprise.
“I think I’ve had enough, Shah Rukh,” Chopra replied when Khan asked him about his next project. “I have always lived according to what my heart tells me,” he said. “I won’t make any film after Jab Tak Hai Jaan.”
Since then, Chopra has made some of Indian cinema’s most memorable films — such as ‘Deewar’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, ‘Silsila’ and ‘Chandni’. His flamboyant style of film-making, movies filmed in exotic locales and mellifluous music became a hallmark, endearing him to filmgoers.
Chiffon sarees and the Swiss Alps are so synonymous with Chopra’s style of film-making that Switzerland Tourism even offered visitors a guided tour of the places where the director filmed some of his most famous songs and scenes.
Riding on his success, Chopra established Yash Raj Films, one of Bollywood’s biggest production houses, churning out at least three movies a year. In November, the film studio announced its foray into Hollywood, signing on actors such as Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman for its overseas productions.
Chopra also produced Indian cinema’s longest-running blockbuster, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995), which marked the debut of his son Aditya as director.
Minister for I&B, Smt Ambika Soni has condoled the death of veteran director and producer, Shri Yash Chopra. In her condolence message she said, “Today Indian cinema has lost one of its iconic personalities and a creative genius. Through films, Yashji connected generations together. His idea of portraying love as the essence of life and relationships will fondly be remembered by all movie lovers. His untimely death is a void which will be difficult to fill.”
Here’s what celebrities had to say about Yash Chopra
Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) tweets: Heartbreaking news Yash Chopra passes away.
Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) says, “I am in shock. Yash Chopra jee passed away ? What a man. What a loss .. can never forget his warmth, encouragement and humility..”
Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan): “Yash Chopra passes away .. Just now a hour ago.” (Inputs from Reuters)
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