Rajesh Khanna, 69 | First Bollywood star

Posted: July 20, 2012

Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of the Indian film industry, whose romantic turns in Bollywood movies during the late 1960s and early 1970s drew love letters written in blood from swooning fans, has died. He was 69.

The actor, who looked frail and gaunt in recent TV and public appearances, died Wednesday of cancer, his family said.

Khanna started his career, spanning about four decades and 150 films, with Aakhri Khat, or Last Letter, in 1966 after winning a nationwide talent contest the previous year. In 1969, Aradhana, or Worship, in which he played an air force pilot, made him the heartthrob of millions of female fans, some of whom were known to leave the imprint of their lipstick on his car to make up for being unable to get close to their idol. - Bloomberg News

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