September 27, 1932
Yash Chopra born in Lahore (British India) to an accountant in the PWD division of the British Punjab administration, the youngest of eight children.
Makes his directorial debut with Dhool Ka Phool, a hit Bollywood drama reflecting on how society treats single mothers and a Muslim bringing up an ‘illegitimate’ Hindu child. The film was produced by BR Chopra.
The 60s were the best years for produce-director team of Chopra brothers who gave some of the biggest hits of the decade. The most notable was Waqt (1965), India’s first multi-starrer. Ittefaq (1969), a critically acclaimed thriller, marked the end of their partnership.
Chopra married Pamela Singh. They went on to have two children, Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra — both well-established in Bollywood today
Chopra brothers officially part ways, with Yash Chopra setting up his own studio, which we know today as Yash Raj Films.
He turns a struggling, awkwardly tall actor named Amitabh Bachchan into an angry young superstar with cult classic Deewaar.
Chopra’s next two films Kabhi Kabhie makes Amitabh Bachchan the most loved Indian actor in the country.
The King of Romance hits a rough patch. His films Silsila (1981), Faasle (1985), Mashaal (1984) and Vijay (1988) crashed at the box office. In 1989, he bounced back with a musical love triangle Chandni (1989) starring Sridevi, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor.
• This was the decade when Chopra redefined Bollywood and gave films like Lamhe (1991, director), Darr (1993, director), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995, producer) and Dil to Pagal Hai (1997, director).
• Lamhe: According to YR and critics, Lamhe is his best work in 53 years as a producer-director. Incidentally, it flopped at the Indian box office because of its controversial subject.
• Shah Rukh Khan: Basically, a decade after Amitabh Bachchan’s rise to superstardom, it was now the turn of SRK, and both actors have never hesitated in crediting YR for it.
• In 2004, YR returned to film direction after a brief sabbatical with Veer-Zaara (2004). He was currently directing Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), when he announced his retirement just weeks before his death.
For the die-hard YR fans
• Yash Chopra’s first stint in films was under I.S. Johar. His first foray into direction, however, was as an assisstant director with elder brother BR Chopra in Black and White Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari starrer classic Ek Hi Raasta (1956).
• He has more films with love triangles than any other Bollywood director.
• Lamhe flopped in India but went on to become one of the biggest Bollywood grossers in the overseas market.
• His films are mostly romantic films, with shots from foreign locations and having high-quality music. In fact, he has shot in Switzerland so many times that a lake in the Alpenrausch, a favourite shooting spot of his, has been christened Chopra Lake.
• He had a habit of repeating his actors in his films. Over the years he had frequently cast Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji.
Honours and recognition
• Padma Bhushan in 2005.
• France's highest civilian honour, Legion of Honour
• Honoured by the Swiss Government for rediscovering Switzerland and recently, he was presented a Special Award by Ursula Andress on behalf of the Swiss Government
• Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Millennium Lifetime Achievement award in 2001
• A lifetime membership to BAFTA for his contribution to the Indian film industry. He is the first Indian to be honored at BAFTA in 59-year history of the academy
• Two national awards — Dil To Pagal Hai (1998) and Veer Zaara (2005) — and 11 Filmfare awards.
22 shots: Filmography
• Dhool Ka Phool (1959)
• Dharmputra (1961)
• Waqt (1965)
• Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969)
• Ittefaq (1969)
• Daag (1973)
• Joshila (1973)
• Deewaar (1975)
• Kabhie Kabhie (1976)
• Trishul (1978)
• Kaala Patthar (1979)
• Silsila (1981)
• Mashaal (1984)
• Faasle (1985)
• Vijay (1988)
• Chandni (1989)
• Lamhe (1991)
• Parampara (1992)
• Darr (1993)
• Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
• Veer-Zaara (2004)
• Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
The industry mourns the loss of an institution
► The film industry is a tribe which has its own ways of living. Accept it or not, he was the head of our tribe. He contributed to our cinema in every decade, and reinvented himself. Nothing can be more ironical than the fact that he titled his last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
- Mahesh Bhatt
► I will miss him terribly. To me, he was first a friend. Like me, he loved food. Sridevi is in a state of shock. Hindi cinema has lost its most versatile filmmaker. One should also never forget that he was a trendsetter; he made the first multi-starrer Waqt.
- Boney Kapoor
► Yashji was always for the industry. It's a big, irreparable loss to the industry. I worked with him on many issues. When I was the President of AMTPP (The Association of Motion Pictures & TV Programme Producers of India), he was the guiding force.
- Pahlaj Nihalani
► Very sad news… I can’t believe that the Father of Indian Cinema is no more with us. I last met him on October 10 at Amitji’s birthday bash. He was so full of life. Bollywood will never be the same again.
- Ramesh Taurani