x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Top Bollywood director Yash Chopra dies after contracting dengue fever

Director famous for his Bollywood romances was 80.

NEW DELHI // Yash Chopra, the director of many of India's favourite love stories, died yesterday after contracting dengue fever.

Chopra passed away from complications arising from the mosquito-borne disease in Mumbai. He was 80.

The director's work helped define the movies that epitomised Bollywood.

Filled with the drama of romance and elaborate song and dance sequences shot against dramatic backdrops, Chopra's films were a commercial and critical success through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

He managed to capture the overseas market from 2000 onward, with stories about the struggles and nostalgia of Indians abroad.

He is credited with having launched the careers of several Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

"Today Indian cinema has lost one of its iconic personalities and a creative genius," said Ambika Soni, India's information and broadcasting minister.

"His untimely death is a void which will be difficult to fill."

Born in 1932 in Lahore, now in Pakistan, Chopra made his directorial debut in 1959 with the film Dhool ka Phool.

By 1973, he launched his own production company, called Yash Raj Films.

Chopra's 22nd film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, is slated for release next month.

It was to be his last film before he retired.

In an interview with Shah Rukh Khan last month, Chopra said: "I think I've had enough".

He is survived by his wife Pamela and two sons, Aditya and Uday.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae