Director, Producer, Actor Hindi

Yash Chopra

Yash Chopra Biography

Birth Name: Yash Raj Chopra

Born : 27 September 1932, in Lahore, Punjab, British India

Death : 01 January 1970, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Death : Dengue

Yash Chopra started making films in the 1950s, in the same year that Doordarshan was launched, Bajaj Auto started manufacturing scooters, and Sanjay Dutt and Anil Kapoor were born. He made his directorial debut with Dhool Ka Phool (1959) and remained at the helm for over five decades. His last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), was released a month after his death. Yash Chopra was born in Lahore, capital of undivided Punjab, as the youngest of eight children. His father worked as an accountant in the public works department of the government of Punjab. His older brother Baldev Raj Chopra migrated to Bombay before Partition. Later, Yash followed him there and worked as an assistant on his films. Although his name is firmly identified with romances, Chopra experimented with different genres, including social subjects, in the course of his long career.

His epic family drama Waqt (1965) saw a spectacular cast of some of the top stars of the era. He followed it up with the song-less thriller Ittefaq (1969), which was set in a single location. Chopra launched his own banner Yash Raj Films in 1971, but continued to direct for other producers as well. Two of his biggest hits were made for the movie mogul Gulshan Rai – Deewar (1975) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Parveen Babi, and the multi-starrer Trishul (1978), with Bachchan, Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Rakhee and Hema Malini. Both films were written by the successful duo Salim-Javed.

With Kabhi Kabhie (1976), however, Chopra found his groove as a teller of love stories. A tale of unrequited love, mesmerising lyrics (Sahir Ludhianvi in this case), awe-inspiring landscapes (Kashmir in this film), a mature love triangle offset by another frolicky, youthful one; were to become his hallmarks. Later, Chopra took popular Hindi films to international audiences and chose the landscapes of Europe as the backdrop for his love stories. In his best films, however, the narrative complemented the landscapes in beauty and complexity.

Chandni (1989) was a lush, upper-class romance which featured a spirited heroine (Sridevi). Two years later, in Lamhe (1991), a film that bombed at the box office but was one of Chopra’s favourites, Sridevi excelled in a double role, as a mother and a daughter in a complicated relationship with a business tycoon (Anil Kapoor). A few years later, Chopra launched his son Aditya as director with the NRI romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), one of the most popular Hindi films of all time.

Many filmmakers have been launched under the YRF banner in the past decade, notably Shaad Ali, Kunal Kohli and Maneesh Sharma. Chopra himself stepped behind the megaphone after a long gap of eight years for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012). Unfortunately, he did not live to see the film's release and success. He died in Mumbai's Lilavati hospital of dengue on 21 October 2012.

Family Tree

Pamela Chopra (1970 - 21 October 2012)