The veteran Bollywood film director-producer Yash Chopra, widely regarded as the King of Romance, passed away this evening, days after being discharged from suburb Mumbai Lilavati hospital. The 80-year-old filmmaker was admitted to the Bandra hospital on October 13 after being diagnosed with dengue. He was 80 and was suffering from Dengue and died of multiple organ failure after a week's stay at the hospital. Chopra is survived by his wife of 42 years Pamela and two sons.
Yash Chopra whose directorial venture Jab Tak Hai Jaan is set to release this month had already handed over the film to his son Aditya Chopra to shoot few last portions of the film. The late director had to cancel his shoot in Switzerland after he was admitted to the hospital. The founder of production company Yash Raj Films, he was also instrumental in launching superstar Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man in his action thriller Deewar in 1973. The cult director had many hits which include Lamhe, Trishul,Chandni, Silsila, Veer Zaara and others.
Chopra had announced his retirement from film direction last month. He was looking forward to the release of his latest directorial venture Jab Tak Hai Jaan that stars Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the lead. The film is set to hit the screens on November 13. Chopra had given several hits in his more than five decade old career like Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie, Trishul, Silsila, Chandni and Veer Zaara. He had last appeared in public in a television interview with Shahrukh Khan on september 27 this year.
Chopra was born on September 27 1932 in Lahore to a Punjabi family. The youngest of eight children, the oldest of whom was almost 30 years his senior,and 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), a successful melodrama about a polygamous man. His success continued in the seventies, with some of Indian cinema's most successful and iconic films, including the action thriller Deewar (1975) which established Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of Bollywood, the romantic drama Kabhi Kabhie (1976) and Trishul (1978).
The eighties marked a professional setback 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. Considered by critics and Chopra himself as his best work to date. The film was critically acclaimed and became one of the biggest Bollywood hits in the overseas market. Chopra followed it with the box-office hit and trend setter Darr (1993). Starring the then-débutant Shahrukh Khan, it showed a sympathetic look at obsessive love and defied the image of the conventional hero. 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) before he announced his retirement from directing in 2012.
Chopra was chairman and founder of both the motion picture production and distribution company Yash Raj Films which ranks as India's biggest production company as of 2006 and the Yash Raj Studios. Chopra's career has spanned over five decades and over 50 films. He is considered among one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of Hindi cinema.
Chopra won several film awards, including six National Film Awards and eleven Filmfare awards including four Filmfare Award for best director. The Government of India honoured him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions towards Indian cinema.
Yash Chopra promoted genuine feelings in films and opposed corruption in the field in boosting actor’s image and ratings by immoral means. With the demise of Chopra an the curtains have fallen on an important era in Indian movie-making. Movie goers not jsut in India or its neighboring nations like Nepal or Pakistan but even elsewhere have reason to mourn his death.