Yash Chopra: Celebrated film director
Wednesday 07 November 2012
Yash Chopra, who died of dengue fever on 21 October at the age of 80, was one of India's best known film-makers. Director, producer and screenwriter, he was known as "The King of Romance" and also owned one of the industry's biggest production houses and studios, Yash Raj Films, which recently ventured into Hollywood film production. The depiction of love in Indian cinema owes much to Chopra.
Born in 1932 in Lahore, then in India but now in Pakistan, Chopra was favoured by leading Indian actors, who saw his films as a sure-fire way to become loved by the fans. Hits like Waqt (1965), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Silsila (1981), Lamhe (1991) and Veer-Zaara (2004) underlined his approach to film-making, with their dashing heroes and exquisitely groomed heroines. His trademark was song-and-dance routines in spectacular settings, such as the Swiss Alps, or even the Lake District.
His fortunes dipped in the 1980s, but Chopra sealed his comeback in 1989 with Chandni, a classic Bollywood romance which won India's National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. His career spanned five decades and his last film as director, Jab Tak Hai Jaan ('Til There is Life), opens in cinemas next week on the Indian festival of Diwali. At his birthday celebrations in September, he announced that he would not be directing any more films. He was diagnosed with dengue fever and suffered multiple organ failure.
"My mind is filled with hundreds of private and personal moments that we all spent together during my long association with him," the actor Amitabh Bachchan, who worked on several films with Chopra, wrote. "They shall ever remain stored within us, and like all other memories shall give value and belief to what we shared together."
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