Yash Chopra, one of the best known players in the Hindi film industry, died in Mumbai Sunday night at the age of 80. He was one of the pioneers of the now world famous ‘Bollywood’ film industry and his success at romantic films earned him the moniker “King of Romance”. He created the blueprint of romantic yet comedic filmmaking that has become synonymous with India’s film industry.
‘Bollywood’ actors, producers and writers were quick to pay tribute to Chopra. Amitabh Bachchan, who starred in a number of films directed by Chopra, became close friends with the director. Chopra’s last public appearance was a month or so ago at Bachchan’s 70′s birthday party and he lamented his friend’s passing on his blog:
“An association of 44 years abruptly comes to an end. He went away too soon and too suddenly. He deserved to be with us longer. Yash ji, your contribution to the millions that had the privilege to witness your creativity shall be immortal … may we all savour it till our end.”
Actor Shah Rukh Khan took to Twitter to express his grief saying: “I keep u with me Yashji and I miss u too Yashji…lots.” Khan starred in Chopra’s final film “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” which will be released for Diwali–India’s biggest and most significant holiday of the year.
Akshay Kumar, another well known actor, also shared his thoughts on Twitter:
“I’m in shock and numb, can’t believe the news, the man who immortalised love, Mr. Yash Chopra is no more. May his soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to the family.”
Calling Chopra an ‘icon of Indian cinema’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh memorialized him via this statement:
“He entertained many generations with his rare creativity. He had an aesthetic talent to make his films look larger than life. His flourish in essaying romance and social drama was unmatched. He will be remembered by millions of his fans around the world and his work as a director and producer will be treasured by the nation for many more generations.”
Chopra’s death was front page news on most Indian newspapers where he was remembered with affection and reverence. One writer said simply that Chopra “taught India how to fall in love.”