Malayalam film industry mourns Rajesh Khanna’s death

Thiruvananthapuram, July 18 (IANS) The Malayalam film industry mourned the death of Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna who passed away Wednesday in Mumbai after prolonged illness.

Mourning the death of ‘Kaka’, thespian actor from Kerala Madhu said they met on a few occasions during his heydays and he closely watched Khanna’s acting skills.

“Yes, I remember he was always seen as a heart throb and many in the industry here, then used to closely watch his progress. Certainly he was a good actor,” pointed out Madhu, a heart throb in the industry here in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Ace comedian and character artist Jagdeesh pointed out that when he was a college student, everyone wanted to dress and have a hair style similar to Khanna.

“I remember that after a series of his films became blockbusters, he was ordained with the status of India’s first superstar. Until then, all were known as just stars and he became a superstar,” said Jagdeesh.

Popular actor Mukhesh said that Khanna reigned supreme in Bollywood and it was only after Amitabh Bachchan took over that he lost his number one status there.

Khanna, who was a former Congress parliamentarian, was also remembered by Kerala Congress president Ramesh Chennithala who recalled his association with the star when they sat together in the Lok Sabha during 1991-96.

“We were friends and knew one another well. He always carried himself well even though he was a popular film star. We used to interact then and also it continued even when he was not a Lok Sabha member. He did what he was asked to do for the Congress party,” said Chennithala.

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