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Chopra’s earliest major hits included the 1975 action film Deewar (Wall) and the romance Kabhi Kabhie — Love is Life in 1976, both of which helped establish Amitabh Bachchan as Bollywood’s biggest star. The popular 1989 film Chandni (Moonlight) had Chopra’s signature touches: romance, music and a European setting.
Bachchan posted a remembrance to his “friend first, a creative legend later” on his blog early Monday and recalled his 44-year association with Chopra.
“…all that shall remain will be that which he gave life to — his creativity, his emotion, his poetry on film and above all his humanity,” the entry said.
He also directed Dil To Pagal Hai (The Heart Is Mad), Lamhe (Moments) and Veer-Zaara, which won the popular award at the International Indian Film Academy and the Golden Lotus award at India’s National Film Awards. His final film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As I Am Alive), is scheduled for release across India next month.
Chopra died Sunday in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital. In addition to dengue, he suffered kidney ailments, according to Dr. Prakash Jiyavani.
“He passed away due to dengue and multiple organ failure,” the Press Trust of India quoted a hospital spokesman, Sudhir, as saying. The spokesman uses only one name.
Chopra started his film career in the 1950s under the tutelage of his elder brother, late filmmaker B.R. Chopra. He founded his own studio Yash Raj Films and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love in 1973, which won him one of his four Filmfare Awards for best director.
Chopra’s films of the 1980s were shot in what were exotic locales for millions of Indians who had few opportunities to travel abroad. Chopra had the main protagonists of his films traipsing through tulip fields in the Netherlands or singing and dancing near Switzerland’s idyllic lakes.