Bollywood director Yash Chopra dies

He passed away on Sunday (21Oct12) at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, India due to multiple organ failure following a battle with dengue fever.

Chopra, known as the King of Romance in India, made his directorial debut in 1959 with Dhool ka Phool (Blossom in the Dust) and 14 years later he founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films.

Since then he has produced, written or directed more than 50 films over the last five decades, including Deewar (Wall), Dil To Pagal Hai (Heart Is Mad), Vijay (Victory), Kabhie Kabhie (Sometimes…), and Chandni (Moonlight).

Considered one of the greatest Hindi filmmakers of all time, he has won a total of six National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards. He was also twice honoured by members of the Indian government – he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions to the arts.

His last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long as I am Alive), will hit theatres next month (Nov12).

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has released a statement in the wake of his death, which reads, “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 is set to be cremated on Monday (22Oct12).