Yash Chopra

Actor, Director, Writer, Producer

Born: Lahore, Punjab, India

BIOGRAPHY

Yash Chopra was born in Lahore to an accountant in the PWD division of the British Punjab administration, the youngest of eight children. He began as an assistant director to I.S. Johar before working with his elder brother, the legendary B.R. Chopra; while another brother, Dharam Chopra, worked as his cameraman. He was given his first directorial opportunity with Dhool Ka Phool (1959), a melodrama about illegitimacy; it became a hit and even now remains popular today. Encouraged by this success, the Chopra brothers made a few more movies together, the most notable being Waqt (1965), India's first multi-starrer; and Ittefaq (1969), a thriller. Chopra married Pamela Chopra in 1970, and they had two children, Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra both of whom went on to work in the film industry as well. In 1973, the Chopra brothers separated, with Yash Chopra founded his studio, Yash Raj Films and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), a successful melodrama about a polygamous man. He then entered one of his best phases with two Amitabh Bachchan classics: Deewaar (1975) and Kabhie Kabhie (1976). Lamhe (1991), a beautiful film about cross-generational love, was considered one of his best films. Then came the box-office hit and trend setter Darr (1993). Starring the then-débutant Shah Rukh Khan. In 1995, Chopra turned to production, launching his son Aditya as a director. Chopra directed three more romantic films, all starring Khan; Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Veer-Zaara (2004), and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), before he announced his retirement from directing in 2012. Chopra founded and was chairman of the motion picture production and distribution company Yash Raj Films, which ranks as India's biggest production company as of 2006, as well as Yash Raj Studios. Chopra's career has spanned more than five decades and 50 films; he is considered one of the leading filmmakers in the history of Hindi cinema. He came to be known as the "King of Romance" of the Indian cinema. Chopra has won several film awards, including six National Film Awards and eleven Filmfare awards, including four Filmfare Best Director awards. The Government of India honoured him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions towards Indian cinema. BAFTA presented him with a lifetime membership for his contribution to films, making him the first Indian to receive the honour.

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