, who was aptly titled "Bollywood’s first superstar,” has died. He was 69. The actor had been suffering from a prolonged illness since April and was discharged from hospital on Monday. The cause of his death has not yet been clearly stated.
Khanna rose to fame as a romantic lead in many movies, which turned out to be huge blockbusters. He starred in a total of 160 films, including hits such as "Kati Patang", "Amar Prem", "Anand" and "Aaradhna".
He was the first Bollywood hero to be given the title of a superstar due to his immense popularity. He was mobbed with fans wherever he went. During his prime days, he sparked frenzy among his women fans. Reports were abound that many of his women fans had married his photographs.
Khanna passed away at his family home in Mumbai in the presence of his ex-wife,, daughters and Rinkie Khanna, son-in-law and close relatives.
Fans rushed to his home located at Aashirwad on Carter Road in Mumbai’s Bandra area upon hearing the news of his demise.
"He has gone to a very nice and heavenly place. We are very happy that he had gone there," his actor son-in-law, Akshay Kumar, told reporters, according to a report on independent.co.uk.
"I hope everybody there, whoever is watching him, can just say a little prayer for him," he added.
Politicians, film fraternity and fans took to Twitter to share their sentiments and sadness.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tweeted, "I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and countless fans and admirers of Rajesh Khanna," according to the BBC.
Seasoned actorpaid his respects, saying, “He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eye that made us feel good about ourselves."
Karan Johar, director of some super hit movies, tweeted, "The magic... the mannerism... the mania of RAJESH KHANNA is inscribed in every archive of Indian cinema... Forever.... RIP SIR!!!"
Filmmakershared his condolences, saying, "When we lose a loved one, something within us dies. Our generation loved Rajesh Khanna. Today a bit of us dies with this enigmatic star."
"He was the SUPERSTAR like no other. Did 10 films with him. Met him last at Apsara awards. Pale shadow of himself but smile as winsome," tweeted actress.