Rajesh Khanna dead

Mumbai, July 18 (IANS) Bollywood's first superstar Rajesh Khanna passed away Wednesday following prolonged illness. His actor son-in-law Akshay Kumar says he has gone to a "nice and heavenly place".

"I regret to inform everybody my father-in-law Mr. Rajesh Khanna is no more. He has gone to a nice and heavenly place, we are happy about that. I hope everybody who is watching this can just say a small little prayer for him," Akshay told reporters here.

Kaka, as he was popularly known, is survived by wife Dimple Kapadia and daughters Twinkle and Rinke. He was 69.

He had been battling with health issues for a long time, and was admitted to the hospital in the last one month. His funeral will be held 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The film fraternity, country's political leaders and fans remembered with great fondness the "phenomenon" that he was.

Several celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Rishi Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan, Anu Malik, Vindu Dara Singh, Sajid Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan turned up at the actor's Bandra residence Ashirwad.

The news of Rajesh Khanna's death came in just a week after veteran wrestler-actor Dara Singh's demise July 12.

Veteran actor Manoj Kumar told IANS on phone: "I could not believe that he is no more with us. Earlier it was Dara Singh, now it is Rajesh. I feel god is upset with the industry. Rajesh was a different personality. He made a mark for himself through his hard work."

Rajesh began his career with "Aakhri Khat" in 1966. He became a superstar like no other with his work in hits like "Aradhana", "Do Raaste", "Safar" and "Anand". He was last seen in a TV commercial for Havells fans earlier this year.

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