Bollywood movie mogul Yash Chopra, whose classic love tales made him the Indian film industry’s "King of Romance", has died after contracting dengue fever. He was 80.
Chopra’s earliest major hits included the 1975 action film Deewar (Wall) and the romance Kabhi Kabhie – Love is Life in 1976, both of which helped establish Amitabh Bachchan as Bollywood’s biggest star. The popular 1989 film Chandni (Moonlight) had Chopra’s signature touches: romance, music and a European setting.
He also directed Dil To Pagal Hai (The Heart Is Mad), Lamhe (Moments) and Veer-Zaara, which won the popular award at the International Indian Film Academy and the Golden Lotus award at India’s National Film Awards. His final film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As I Am Alive), is scheduled for release across India next month.
Chopra died on Sunday in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital. In addition to dengue, he suffered kidney ailments, according to Dr Prakash Jiyavani.
“He passed away due to dengue and multiple organ failure,” the Press Trust of India quoted a hospital spokesman, Sudhir, as saying.
Chopra started his film career in the 1950s under the tutelage of his elder brother, late filmmaker BR Chopra. He founded his own studio Yash Raj Films and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love in 1973, which won him one of his four Filmfare Awards for best director.
He is survived by his wife and two sons. Elder son Aditya Chopra is a successful film director, and Uday Chopra runs the international branch of the family’s production house.