In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today

Updated: September 27, 2013 08:24 IST

Director Yash Chopra, who died of multiple-organ failure in Mumbai on October 21 last year, would have been 81 today. In his five decade long journey in Bollywood, Yashji directed 22 films including Darr, Dil To Pagal Hai, Veer-Zara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. All turned out to be mega-hits. From actors romancing their sweethearts on the Swiss Alps to dancing on train tops to walking on Zurich's cobbled streets, Yash Chopra's films were a romantic's delight.

Here's a pictorial look at his journey on his 81st birth anniversary.

In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Director Yash Chopra, who died of multiple-organ failure in Mumbai on October 21 last year, would have been 81 today. In his five decade long journey in Bollywood, Yashji directed 22 films including Darr, Dil To Pagal Hai, Veer-Zara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. All turned out to be mega-hits. From song sequences shot in the Swiss Alps to dancing on train tops to walking on Zurich's cobbled streets, Yash Chopra's films were a romantic's delight.

Here's a pictorial look at his journey on his 81st birth anniversary.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Yash Chopra was born on September 27, 1932 in Lahore. He was the youngest of eight children and, like his elder brother B R Chopra, he wanted to become a director and producer. Yash Chopra moved to India after partition and studied at Jalandhar's Doaba College. His plan was to go to London to study engineering, but cinema proved a stronger attraction.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
A young Yash Chopra went to Mumbai with Rs 200 in his pocket and his mother's blessing to forge a career in the film industry. He worked first as an assistant director to I S Johar, and later for his director-producer brother B R Chopra.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
He married Pamela Chopra in 1970.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Yash Chopra has two sons – Aditya and Uday. Aditya Chopra has directed many hit films while Uday Chopra is a Bollywood actor. His nephew Ravi Chopra, who is the son of late producer-director B R Chopra, is also a director and producer.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Yash Chopra's first film as a director was Dhool Ka Phool in 1959. The social drama featuring Rajendra Kumar became a criticial and commercial hit.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
In 1965, Yash Chopra directed Waqt, produced by his elder brother, featuring Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Raj Kumar, Sadhana and Sharmila Tagore. The movie became a hit and set the trend for ‘lost and found' films in Bollywood. It fetched Mr Chopra his first Filmfare award. Aye Meri Zohrajabeen picturised on Balraj Sahni and Achala Sachdev, and Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu were hit songs from the movie.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
In 1971, Yash Chopra left brother B R Chopra's home as well as production company. His first independent film, Daag featuring Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Raakhee — released in 1973. The film was a love triangle and proved to be a hit.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
In 1976, Mr Chopra founded Yash Raj Films (YRF), which meant that he could now independently produce the films he directed. Among his earliest successes with YRF was 1975's Deewar featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Parveen Babi. Deewar broke many stereotypes of that time and catapulted its cast and its director to the top of the box office charts. Deewar won Mr Chopra another Filmfare award. The film also established Amitabh Bachchan's angry young man's image. The iconic line mere paas maa hai from the film is still remembered even today.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Despite Deewar's< enormous success, Yash Chopra began moving away from drama and action to romance, with 1976's Kabhi Kabhie. Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor once again came together for the film which also starred Waheeda Rehman, Neetu Singh, Rishi Kapoor and Raakhee. The movie was a huge hit. It followed up with Trishul(1978), Kaala Patthar (1979).
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
In 1981, Yash Chopra pulled off what is acknowledged to be a casting coup of sorts with Silsila, starring Amitabh Bachchan, his wife Jaya and Rekha. Rekha played the ‘other woman' in the movie, a role she was popularly believed to have assumed in real life as well.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
He then made films every two or three years, including Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini starrer Vijay in 1988. Sridevi's Chandni in 1989 was a blockbuster movie. The song Chandni, o meri Chandni was a rage. 1991's Lamhe featured Sridevi and Anil Kapoor.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Shah Rukh Khan played an anti-hero and an obsessed lover in Yash Chopra's superhit film Darr in 1993. The film won National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Then came the superhit musical Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) which featured Shah Rukh Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. The film won 3 National Awards and 7 Filmfare awards.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Veer-Zaara in 2004, set against the backdrop of India and Pakistan, featured Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta. The film marked the comeback of Yash Chopra, as a director, after a long gap.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
In between directing, Yash Chopra produced films such as Mohabbatein (2000), Saathiya (2002) , Hum Tum (2004), Bunty Aur Babli (2005) and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (2008) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008).
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Yash Chopra's 22nd film as director, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma released on November 13 and was shot in the Kashmir valley. In an interview with Shah Rukh Khan on his 80th birthday last year, Yash Chopra had announced his retirement from directing saying that Jab Tak Hai Jaan, his 22nd film, would be his last one.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Yash Chopra was posthumously conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award for his services to the Indian film industry. Politician T Subbarami Reddy announced the National Yash Chopra Memorial Award in memory of the late filmmaker and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar will be the first awardee.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
The luxurious Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel in Interlaken has a suite named after Yash Chopra, and Jungfrau Railways has a Yash Chopra Train as part of the Jungfrau Railway network in Switzerland. He was honoured with by the Swiss authorities in 2011, naming him the "Ambassador of Interlaken". He was also felicitated with the Swiss Ambassador's Award in October 2010 for his contribution in promoting 'Brand Switzerland' through his movies.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
A statue of the filmmaker, which was unveiled by wife Pamela and younger son Uday, will be installed at Bandra's Bandstand as part of the 'UTV STARS- Walk of the Stars' initiative.
In memoriam: Yash Chopra would have been 81 today
Today, Bollywood celebrates Yash Chopra's birth anniversary with a special function, organised by wife Pamela. Celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Katrina Kaif will walk the ramp for a fashion show that will launch a Bollywood-inspired fashion label called Diva'ni. Yash Raj Films has also announced that they will co-finance a movie on legendary Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman.

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