Yash Chopra, one of Bollywood's most well-known filmmakers, died of dengue fever Sunday. He was 80 years old.
Over the course of his five-year career, Chopra became known as the "King of Romance" for producing some of Bollywood's best-known romantic films, including “Deewar” (Wall), “Dil To Pagal Hai” (The Heart Is Mad) and “Chandni” (Moonlight), the Associated Press reported. He leaves behind a 22-film oeuvre.
Chopra was born in 1932 in Lahore, India, and made his first film, "Dhool ka phool," in 1959, according to Variety. He eventually founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, in 1973—it is now one of India's largest movie studios.
His work is so iconic that the term "Yash Chopra romance" is used to describe a certain subgenre of romantic film his work pioneered.
In his tribute to Chopra, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the artist had entertained many generations "with his rare creativity," BBC News reported.
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"His flourish to essay romance and social drama was unmatched," the prime minister added.
"I always believe that my films should give some hope to the man who comes to watch them for those three hours," Chopra said of his movies, according to Variety. "If he goes home on an optimistic note, I would feel satisfied at having done my duty."
Chopra's work garnered him six National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare awards, the Hindustan Times reported.
His final movie, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (As Long As I Am Alive), is scheduled for release in India in November; the director reportedly said before his death that it would be his last, Variety reported.
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