Photo of Rajesh Khanna Rajesh Khanna

Born Dec. 29, 1942, in Amritsar, India, Rajesh Khanna skyrocketed to Bollywood fame after a stint in theater. He made his film debut in Aakhri Khat (1966) and saw his stardom grow with the release of 1969's Aradhana (1969), in which Khanna cut a dynamic figure playing a dual role.

Khanna continued to impress audiences -- and to cultivate his screen persona as a vulnerable romantic -- in Safar (1970) and Anand (also 1970). Khanna extended his string of box-office hits with Amar Prem (1971), while strong performances in Bawarchi (1972) and Namak Haraam (1973) earned him critical acclaim.

Though his star had begun to fade, Khanna pulled off a hat trick in 1983 with three successful films: Avtaar, Souten and Agar Tum Na Hote. The charismatic actor later entered the political arena and served a term in parliament.

Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana

Aradhana

1969 NR

Air Force pilot Arun (Rajesh Khanna) and the lovely Vandana (Sharmila Tagore) marry in secret after a brief courtship. But when Arun perishes in a plane crash, the heartbroken and pregnant Vandana must fend for herself and her child. Featuring the tunes "Mere sapno ki rani," "Chanda Hai Tu" and "Roop tera mastana," this beloved Bollywood megahit is a remake of the 1946 Hollywood version, To Each His Own.

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