Rajesh Khanna made his debut in 1966 with Aakhri Khat. Through his career he appeared in more than 170 feature films.He was a Super Star,his film Aradhna(1969) gave him this position,he gave 15 hit films in a row from 1969 to 1971.The films were Aaradhna, Do Raaste, Bandhan, Doli, Khamoshi, Ittefaq, Safar, Kati Patang, The Train, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Dushmun, Andaaz and Anand. In 1971, he acted in Haathi Mere Saathi, which became that year's highest grossing film and also the biggest grosser In the year 1972, Khanna acted 11 releases, including a guest appearance in Telugu movie called Bangaru Babu directed by V.B. Rajendra Prasad. His Hindi films Dushman,Amar Prem,Apna Desh and Mere Jeevan Saathi, together earned more than Rs.5 crore.
Rajesh Khanna's real name was Jatin.He was adopted and raised by Chunni Lal Khanna and Leela Wati Khanna, who were relatives of his biological parents.His adoptive parents belonged to a family of railway contractors who had moved from Lahore to Bombay in 1935.He attended St. Sebastian’s Goan High School with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the Film name Jeetendra.
Rajesh Khanna did his first two years of Bachelor of Arts in Nowrosjee Wadia College in Pune from 1959 to 1961.He later studied in K. C. College,Bombay.He had interest in theatre, did a lot of stage and theatre plays in his school and college days, and won many prizes in inter-college drama competitions.
After his studies he wanted to become a hero in films.Those days an All India Talent Contest used to be organised by United Producers and Filmfare.These United Producers were BR Chopra, Bimal Roy, GP Sippy, HS Rawail, Nasir Husain, J. Om Prakash, Mohan Saigal, Shakti Samanta and Subodh Mukherji and more,they were the leading Producers and Directors of that time.Rajesh Khanna was one of the eight finalists in the 1965 All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare from more than ten thousand contestants.He won that contest,that made his presence felt in the Industry.G.P. Sippy and Nasir Hussain were the first to sign Rajesh Khanna after he won the contest.
Though "Aakhri Khat" Produced and Directed by Chetan Anand was his first film, his first break as a leading actor was in Ravindra Dave's, "Raaz" in 1967.Being under contract with United Producers, he got projects like Aurat, Doli and Ittefaq. He was then noticed for his performances in films like Baharon Ke Sapne, Aurat (1967),Through Aradhana he rose to "instant national fame" and film critics referred to him as the first superstar of India.
During the peak of his career he would be mobbed during public appearances. Fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks, and lined the road, cheering and chanting his name. Female fans sent him letters written in their blood.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand to be Khanna’s most memorable film and character. The terminally ill Anand Sehgal’s kinship with the sober and reticent Babu Moshai (Amitabh Bachchan) was modeled on director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s friendship with Raj Kapoor. Anand’s role was first offered to Kapoor, then Kishore Kumar and Shashi Kapoor. In hindsight it’s inconceivable to imagine anyone but Rajesh Khanna as Anand.
He was at Peak from 1970 t0 1974,soon he was replaced by Amitabh Bachhan who became the No one hero after Zanzeer.
Music remained one of the biggest attractions of all Rajesh Khanna films throughout his career. Many of the musical scores for Khanna's films were composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal Sachin Dev Burman and R. D. Burman. The trio of Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar and R.D. Burman went on to make a number of popular films.
He fell in love with Dimple Kapadia, who was only 16 years old at the time, 15 years younger to him, and they got married after a whirlwind romance in 1973. The marriage lasted 11 years.Twinkle Khanna is his daughter,other daughter Rinkie Khanna also tried her luck in films but couldn't succeed ultimately she married and settled down in Delhi.
Rajesh khanna entered into politics,he joined Congress and became M P(1991-1996) from New Delhi seat,he defeated Shatrughan Sinha (BJP).He was braught in to politics by Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 when he campained for Congress.Amitabh Bachhan also entered in Politics the same year and was elected from Allahabad defeating H N Bahuguna.
After 1992, he appeared in only 10 films and declined most film offers. He made a comeback as a NRI in Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), and Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa (2002) and played the solo lead in films Sautela Bhai in 1996, Pyar Zindagi Hai in 2001, Kaash Mere Hote in 2009, Wafaa in 2008 and Riyasaat in 2013.
He died at his residence in suburban Bandra after battling ill health for past four months. He was 69.
He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards, one Filmfare Special Guest Actor Award in 1973, and received a Filmfare Special Award in 1991, after 25 years in the Hindi film industry. He received the Filmfare Life Time Achievement Award at the 50th anniversary Filmfare award ceremony in 2005.