In the annals of Indian cinema, the name Rajesh Khanna reverberates as the original king of romance, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Born Jatin Khanna on December 29, 1942, in Amritsar, Punjab, India, he went on to become an iconic figure in the world of entertainment.

rajesh khanna

Early Life and Debut: Rajesh Khanna, affectionately known as Kaka, emerged from humble beginnings, marked by his birth into the Khatri caste. Raised by Chunnilal Khanna and Leelawati Khanna, his adoptive parents, he embarked on his acting journey under the birth name Jatin Khanna. His debut film, “Aakhri Khat” in 1966, paved the way for what would be an illustrious career.

The Rise to Stardom: Rajesh Khanna’s meteoric rise to stardom reached its zenith with the 1969 film “Aradhana,” which stands as his highest-grossing film. This marked the beginning of an era, earning him the nickname “The Original King of Romance.” His on-screen chemistry with leading ladies like Sharmila Tagore and Mumtaz created a cinematic magic that captivated audiences nationwide.

Personal Life: Off-screen, Rajesh Khanna was a vegetarian who stood at 173 cm and weighed 72 kg. His love for vegetarian food reflected not only in his dietary preferences but also in his lifestyle choices. His personal life became the subject of public fascination when he married Dimple Kapadia, and the couple had two daughters, Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna.

Multi-Faceted Talent: Beyond acting, Rajesh Khanna dabbled in politics, aligning himself with the Indian National Congress. His foray into production began with “Aakhir Kyon?” in 1977. Not confined to the silver screen, he ventured into television with “Antariksh” in 1995, showcasing his versatility.

Turbulent Times: While the ’70s saw him riding the crest of success, the actor faced setbacks with films like “Aap Ki Kasam,” “Prem Nagar,” and “Aaj Ka M.L.A.,” which were considered his biggest flops. However, his ability to bounce back and reinvent himself kept him relevant.

Circle of Influence: Rajesh Khanna’s social circle included close friends like Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Rakesh Roshan, and Shatrughan Sinha. His camaraderie with Amitabh Bachchan, in particular, became legendary, creating an enduring friendship that transcended the screen.

Favorites and Influences: His artistic influences were evident in his favorite director, Yash Chopra, and favorite actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar. The confluence of these influences was manifest in his favorite film, “Aradhana,” which showcased the epitome of his cinematic journey.

Legacy and Lasting Impact: Rajesh Khanna’s love for cricket, penchant for reading, passion for chess, and a collection of watches added layers to his charismatic personality. His deep-rooted connection with music was evident in his favorites like R.D. Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and Kishore Kumar.

Final Act: Rajesh Khanna’s net worth, approximated at ₹1000 crore, speaks volumes about the lasting impact he made not only as an actor but also as a cultural icon. His demise in 2012 marked the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and shape the future of Indian cinema.

In retrospect, Rajesh Khanna, with his winsome smile and magnetic screen presence, will forever be remembered as the original king of romance, etching his name in the golden history of Bollywood.

Full NameJatin Khanna
Birth NameJatin Khanna
Nick Name (s)Kaka, R. K., Shehzada, The Original King of Romance, Pasha of Passion
ProfessionActor, Politician
Date of BirthDecember 29, 1942
Birth PlaceAmritsar, Punjab, India
Zodiac SignCapricorn
Height173 cm
Weight72 kg
Food HabitsVegetarian
Political ProximityIndian National Congress
HobbiesReading, playing chess, collecting watches
SpouseDimple Kapadia
ChildrenTwinkle Khanna, Rinke Khanna
ParentsLala Hiranand Khanna (biological father), Chandrani Khanna (biological mother), Chunnilal Khanna (adoptive father), Leelawati Khanna (adoptive mother)
SiblingsKamla (sister)
Close FriendsAmitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Rakesh Roshan, Shatrughan Sinha
Debut (Actor)Aakhri Khat (1966)
Debut (Producer)Aakhir Kyon? (1977)
Debut (TV)Antariksh (1995)
Highest Grossing FilmAradhana (1969)
Biggest Flop(s)Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Prem Nagar (1974), Aaj Ka M.L.A. (1977)
Favourite DirectorYash Chopra
Favourite ActorsAmitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Rajesh Roshan
Favourite ActressesWaheeda Rehman, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore
Favourite FilmAradhana (1969)
Favourite MusiciansR.D. Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kishore Kumar
Favourite SportCricket
Favourite FoodVegetarian
Net Worth (approx.)₹1000 crore