Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra,who was known as Hindi cinemas king of romance,died at the Lilavati Hospital here on Sunday following dengue infection and multiple organ failure. He was 80 years old.
Chopra,who was admitted to hospital on October 13,is survived by wife Pamela and two sons,filmmaker Aditya Chopra and actor-producer Uday Chopra.
His last film,the Shah Rukh Khan-Katrina Kaif-Anushka Sharma starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan is set to release on November 13. On his 80th birthday celebrations last month,Chopra had announced his retirement from direction.
In a career spanning close to 53 years,Chopra directed 22 films. A master storyteller,he made his directorial debut in 1959 with Dhool Ka Phool,a film based on illegitimacy. He went on to make songless thrillers like Iteffaq,social dramas like Dharamputra,brooding action dramas like Deewar and Trishul,and multi-starrers like Waqt. However,Chopra is today known mostly for his romantic films like Kabhie Kabhie,Silsila,Chandni,Lamhe,Darr,Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Veer Zara.
Born in Lahore on September 27,1932,Chopra moved to India after Partition. His original plan was to go to London to study engineering,but his love for cinema saw him working as an assistant director to I S Johar,and later for his director-producer brother B R Chopra.
In 1973,Chopra established his own banner,Yash Raj Films,and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love with Rajesh Khanna,Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee.
Chopra won six National Film Awards. He was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions to Indian cinema.
As a filmmaker,Chopra never feared to walk the unconventional path. His take on man-woman relationships wasnt just reserved for a walk around the trees. He addressed different hues of love ranging from the infatuated to the obsessive,extra-marital,eternal and cross-border.
His collaboration with the top male stars of their time led to many blockbluster hits. He brought back Rajesh Khanna with Daag. He created the brooding angry young man image for Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar and Trishul,and later re-invented Bachchan as a lover boy in films like Kabhie Kabhie and Silsila.
His association with Shah Rukh Khan began with the 1993 romantic psychological thriller film Darr,which turned out to be a superhit. Since then,Chopra has directed three more romantic films,all starring Khan Dil To Pagal Hai (1997),Veer Zaara (2004) and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) establishing the actor as the modern-day lover boy for Indian cinema.
Chopras cinematic vision and business acumen made Yash Raj Films the countrys leading film production company. His dream was to make a world-class film studio,and he was very happy to have achieved it.
After watching Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge directed by son Aditya,Chopra famously said,I am reassured that the future of Yash Raj Films is in safe hands.