Rajesh Khanna in "Aradhana" (1969)
Known as the "King of Romance", Rajesh Khanna’s impressive career saw him take the lead romantic role in 170 Bollywood films. Earlier this week, Khanna’s family announced that he had died in Mumbai of undisclosed causes, aged 69.
Following the announcement, thousands of fans and colleagues have expressed their deep sadness over the news. Thousands also gathered to view his funeral procession and pay their last respects to the famous actor.
"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," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote
in a condolence message to the actor’s family.
Others took to Twitter to express their sadness over the news, including Indian actor Anupam Kher.
"Rajesh Khanna taught us how to smile. He added dignity to our concept of romance," he wrote. "His songs made us forget our daily struggles of life."
Khanna began his long and successful career in the 1966 film "Aakhri Khat" ("The Last Letter"), but he truly found fame playing an attractive pilot in the 1969 film "Aradhana" ("Worship").
From then on, he played the romantic lead in a string of romantic comedies, which won him thousands of admirers. Many of these admirers would scream in public when they saw him, and some even went as far as writing him love letters in their own blood.
During the 1980s his career took quite a different turn, as he decided to focus his attention on politics. In 1992, he was elected to the lower house of Indian parliament, but left his political career behind by 1996.
Since then, he has led a very quiet life and has not been seen in public for some time. Although several newspapers reported that the actor has been in and out of hospital for the last few months, there has not been a definitive cause of death released to the public.
His most recent film was the 2008 feature "Waafa" ("Loyalty"), but he is most likely to remain known for some of his most popular films which include "Safar" (1970), "Anand" (1971) and "Haathi Mere Sathi" (1971).
Among the many who came to pay tribute to the actor at his funeral was his former wife, Dimple Kapadia, and his two daughters, Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna. A string of celebrities were also present, including directors Sajid Khan, Vipul Shah, Abbas-Mustan, Randhir Kapoor, Rajeev Kapoor and actor Shakti Kapoor.