New Delhi, July 18 (IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday condoled the death of Bollywood's first superstar Rajesh Khanna and said his legacy will live on in the form of numerous films that he left behind.
Khanna passed away in his Mumbai residence on Wednesday after prolonged illness. According to reports, he was battling cancer. He was 69.
The Prime Minister in his condolence message to Khanna´s daughter Twinkle recalled his fame saying that his popularity as a romantic hero in the 1960s and 1970s is a part of India´s film folklore.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of your father Shri Rajesh Khanna," Singh said in his message.
"Shri Rajesh Khanna was a celebrated artiste who entertained millions of Indians with his performance in a variety of films. He was called the first Superstar of the Indian cinema and his popularity as a romantic hero in the 1960s and 1970s is a part of our film folklore.
"His legacy will live on in the form of the numerous entertaining and acclaimed films that he leaves behind. The powerful roles he essayed in classics like Anand, Aradhana, Kati Patnag and Amar Prem stand testimony to his artistic genius," he said.
The PM said: "Shri Rajesh Khanna was also a colleague in the Congress Party and was a member of the Lok Sabha in the early nineties."
"In the passing away of Shri Rajesh Khanna the Indian film industry has lost one of its most successful and most charming heroes.
"On this sad occasion, I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and Shri Khanna´s countless fans and admirers. I pray for peace of the departed soul," he said.
According to reports, the superstar´s last rites will be performed at 11 am on Thursday.
Khanna gave India several memorable films that included ´Kati Patang´, ´Amar Prem´, ´Shehzada´, ´Apna Desh´, ´Mere Jeevan Saathi´, ´Aap Ki Kasam´, ´Ajnabee´, ´Namak Haraam´, ´Maha Chor´, ´Karm´, ´Phir Wohi Raat´, ´Aanchal´, ´Kudrat´, ´Ashanti´, ´Agar Tum Na Hote´, ´Awaaz, Hum Dono´ , ´Anand´ and ´Alag Alag´.
Pertinently, he had 15 consecutive solo superhits between 1969 to 1971, which is still an unbroken record in Indian film history.