Iconic film maker Yash Chopra passes away

MUMBAI: On 21 October, one of the most respected and iconic film makers from Bollywood, Yash Chopra, breathed his last, leaving behind a legacy of some of the best made films in Indian cinema. Chopra was being treated for dengue at Lilavati Hospital where he was admitted on 13 October after complaining of weakness and difficulty in breathing.

According to media reports, Chopra was not responding to treatment well and given his age, battling a disease like dengue was always an uphill task. He celebrated his 80th birthday on 27 September when he announced that the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan will be his last movie as a director. Chopra is survived by wife Pamela Chopra and sons Aditya and Uday Chopra.

The illustrious film maker was born in pre-independence Lahore in 1932 and is the younger brother to noted film maker B R Chopra. He came to Mumbai with Rs 200 on him and began his career by assisting I S Johar. He debuted as a director with Dhool ke Phool, a social drama starring Mala Sinha and Rajendra Kumar and dealt with the trials of a single unwed mother. He went on to make 22 films as a director across genres like social dramas, romance, action and suspense thrillers.

Waqt, Silsila, Kabhi Kabhi, Daag, Deewar, Trishul, Chandni, Lamhe, Darr and Veer Zaara are among his most remembered and successful directorial ventures. Chopra has also been credited for moulding the screen images of Amitabh Bachchan as the ‘angry young man‘ (with Deewar) and Shah Rukh Khan as the quintessential romantic leading man (Dil Toh Paagal Hai and Veer Zaara).

Chopra is the force behind one of the biggest production houses in the country - Yash Raj Films (YRF) which he started in 1971. Till then his movies were produced by elder brother B R Chopra and movie mogul of that time Gulshan Rai. Rajesh Khanna starrer Daag was the first movie produced under the banner. YRF is perhaps the most successful privately held studio in the country and has also been instrumental in changing the overseas distribution business in India.

The production house has produced some of the highest grossing movies of their times like Chak De India! (Rs 1.04 billion worldwide in 2007), Ek Tha Tiger (Rs 3.07 billion in 2012), Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Rs 1.58 billion worldwide in 2008) and Dhoom and its sequel Dhoom 2 (in 2004 and 2006 respectively; combined worldwide collection of Rs 2.23 billion).

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