Veteran Bollywood director, screenwriter and producer Yash Chopra, hailed as the ‘King of Romance’ died on Sunday evening at a Mumbai hospital of multiple organ failure.
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The filmmaker, who had been hospitalised last Sunday with Dengue fever, is survived by wife Pamela and sons Aditya and Uday Chopra.
Chopra, who was born on Sept 27, 1932, had announced his retirement from directing this year on his 80th birthday.
He was the youngest of eight children, one of whom was elder brother B R Chopra who also became a director and producer, Chopra began his career as an assistant director to I.S. Johar and his elder brother, B.R. Chopra. He made his directorial debut with DHOOL KA PHOOL in 1959, a melodrama about illegitimacy and followed it with the hard-hitting social drama DHARMPUTRA (1961). Encouraged by the success of both films, the Chopra brothers made several more movies together during the late fifties and sixties.
Chopra then rose to prominence after the commercially and critically successful drama, WAQT (1965), which pioneered the concept of multi-starters in Bollywood.
In 1973, Chopra founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, and launched it with DAAG: A POEM OF LOVE (1973).
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His success continued in the seventies, with some of Indian cinema’s most successful and iconic films, including the action thriller DEEWAR (1975), KABHI KABHIE (1976) and TRISHUL (1978).
The eighties marked a professional setbacks in Chopra’s career as several films he directed and produced in that period failed to leave a mark at the Indian box office, notably SILSILA (1981), MASHAAL (1984) and VIJAY (1988).
However, in 1989, Chopra directed the commercially and critically successful cult film CHANDNI which became instrumental in ending the era of violence in Bollywood and bringing back music into Hindi films.
Chopra then directed and produced the cult classic LAMHE in 1991, that went on to be judged by many critics and the man himself as his finest work till date.
Chopra followed it with the box-office hit and trend setter DARR (1993), starring the then-debutant Shahrukh Khan.
Since then, Chopra directed three more romantic films, all starring Khan DIL TO PAGAL HAI (1997), VEER-ZAARA (2004) and JAB TAK HAI JAAN (2012).
He has been conferred a number of honours and salutations including the Padma Bhushan, the French Legion of Honour, and a lifetime membership to BAFTA for his contribution to the Indian film industry.