One of the greatest and most beloved stars of the movie making machine known as Bollywood has passed away. Thousands of mourners took to the streets of Mumbai to honor the memory of Rajesh Khanna, the first true superstar on the Indian silver screen.
Khanna won a nationwide talent contest in 1965, besting over ten thousand participants. He parlayed that fame into a career in movies that saw him star in over 150 films. His work was highly regarded by critics and he was nominated a record 25 times for the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards winning the Best Actor prize four times.
However, much like American actor George Clooney, it was not enough for Khanna to simply play all these characters for a living. He wanted to have some sort of real impact on the world. That's why he ran for, and won, a seat as a member of Parliament in the Indian National Congress in 1992.
Khanna was diagnosed with cancer around 18 months ago, and while his friends and family knew that the actor's time was short, his death at the age of 69 nevertheless hit them hard.
While many celebrities seem to care only about their own lives and spend much of their fortune making their own lives luxurious, Khanna was truly a man who gave back to the same people who helped make him a star in the first place.
That respect he gave his fans and his countrymen was never more evident than by the outpouring of love that paraded the streets of Mumbai as Khanna's remains were transported to their final resting place.