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Yash Chopra Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (19)

Overview (4)

Born in Lahore, Punjab, British India [now Pakistan]
Died in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India  (dengue fever)
Birth NameYash Raj Chopra
Nickname Yashji

Mini Bio (1)

Labeled the eternal romantic and with one of the best musical senses in the business, Yash Chopra is arguably India's most successful director of romantic films. Although he made action-oriented films like the ever-popular Deewaar (1975), it is in tackling love and its various aspects that he has been at his best. One of the few remaining commercial Indian directors who started their careers in the 1950s, he has successfully moved with the times from the socially significant Dhool Ka Phool (1959) to the young and cool Dil To Pagal Hai (1997).

Yash Chopra was born in Lahore in 1932, to an accountant in the PWD division of the British Punjab administration, the youngest of eight children. He began as an assistant director to I.S. Johar before working with his elder brother, the legendary B.R. Chopra; while another brother, Dharam Chopra, worked as his cameraman. He was given his first directorial opportunity with Dhool Ka Phool (1959), a melodrama about illegitimacy; it became a hit and even now remains popular today. Encouraged by this success, the Chopra brothers made a few more movies together, the most notable being Waqt (1965), India's first multi-starrer; and Ittefaq (1969), a thriller. On the personal front, Chopra married Pamela Chopra (née Singh) in 1970, and they had two children, Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra, both working in the film industry today.

In 1973, the Chopra brothers separated, with Yash Chopra founded his studio, Yash Raj Films, and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), a successful melodrama about a polygamous man. He then entered one of his best phases with two Amitabh Bachchan classics: Deewaar (1975) and Kabhie Kabhie (1976). These movies set the standard for the 1970s and 1980s, establishing Bachchan as the greatest and most beloved Indian film star of all time. His respective roles--a bitter criminal and a sensitive, brooding poet--are considered to be his greatest performances, although complete opposites of each other.

In the 1980s, Chopra went through a rough time. Two of his melodramas, Silsila (1981) and Faasle (1985); and two action-oriented films, Mashaal (1984) and Vijay (1988), flopped at the box office, although the latter became a critically acclaimed classic years later. However, he made a comeback with his musical love triangle Chandni (1989). The film was a huge success, with great performances by established heroine Sridevi and action hero Vinod Khanna. Then came what critics and Chopra himself considered his best film, Lamhe (1991), a beautiful film about cross-generational love. It couldn't survive the box office, however, due to its incestuous nature.

Parampara (1993), done for an outside producer, was a misfire, but then came the box-office hit and trend setter Darr (1993). Starring the then-débutant Shah Rukh Khan, it showed a sympathetic look at obsessive love and an emotion often overlooked in love--fear--and its success catapulted Khan to super-stardom. In 1995, Chopra turned to production and Aditya Chopra made his directorial debut with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), which had the longest-running initial release in cinema history. He directed one more film, Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), a love story set against the theater, which became a huge success and a cult hit, before he retired from directing. However, in 2004, he made a grand comeback with Veer-Zaara (2004), a touching cross-border love story, which he said would be his last directorial effort.

The ages of the director and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, his muse, proved you need to be young, as well as crazy, at heart, to be a true romantic....

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Q. Leo Rahman

Spouse (1)

Pamela Chopra (1970 - 21 October 2012) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

His films are always romantic films, with shots from foreign locations and having high-quality music.

Trivia (18)

Younger brother of B.R. Chopra and Dharam Chopra.
He decided to leave his brother's studio to form Yash Raj Films after returning from his honeymoon. It is unclear what influenced him to do so.
He has a habit of repeating his actors in his films and frequently casts Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji.
Father of Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra.
Member of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006.
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.
Son Aditya Chopra's first wife Payal Khanna, is the granddaughter of producer, director Ramanand Sagar.
Uncle to late director Ravi Chopra.
Elder brother named Hans Raj Chopra. Hans Raj had a son named Lalit Chopra who has passed away. Lalit was married to Suman Chopra. Suman and Lalit Chopra have two daughters. Their names are Bhakti Mehta and Aradhna Bhandari.
Gulshan Kumar had launched a film titled " Mohabbatien" in the 1990's. This was to be directed by Yash Chopra. The film was eventually shelved.
Elder brother named Kuldip Raj Chopra.
Brother in law Gava produced the film Karobaar in 2000.
Brother in law of producer Gurdip Singh .
Was involved with actress Mumtaz briefly.
In 1995, Yash Chopra had planned a TV serial titled "Karam" Starring Preeti Sapru and Gurdas Mann. The serial got shelved.
In 1986, Yash Chopra was planning on producing a television serial titled Khazana. He wanted Moushami Chatterji for it. The plans were eventually dropped.
Yash Chopra had planned a big budget African film in 1983. This was even before he started shooting for Mashaal. He signed Dilip Kumar,Sunny Deol and Anil Kapoor. The project was going to on the level of Hollywood. Yash Chopra had to shelve the film due to the government not giving him the required permission needed.
Brother of cinematographer Dharam Chopra (Father in law of producer Shabban who produced the film Aaja Re O Sajana).

Personal Quotes (19)

We're making all kinds of films - English, Hinglish, sex, horror... this and that. It's a healthy trend. But for a film to run it has to have Indian values. For a film to be a blockbuster it has to be rooted to our culture.
I'm the sentimental sort. I cry easily. I cry when I see poignant films made by other directors.
You can always make a good film but for it to be successful, you need God's blessing.
About Veer-Zaara (2004): "Though it's a film about cross-border love, there isn't a word of politics in it. Forget politics, there isn't slap, not even a raised voice in Veer-Zaara (2004). It's a very intense, humane and emotional story. Veer-Zaara (2004) is a humble tribute to my home in Punjab. It's my tribute to the one-ness of people on both sides of the border. Every religion preaches peace. Then why the bloodshed for the sake of religion? Why are we destroying each other?"
I always believe that my films should give some hope to the man who comes to watch them for those three hours. If he goes home on an optimistic note, I would feel satisfied at having done my duty.
Films have been my only passion in life. I have always been proud of making films and will continue taking pride in all my films. I have never made a movie I have not believed in. However, though I love all my films, one tends to get attached to films that do well. But I do not have any regrets about making films that did not really do well at the box office.
On singer Lata Mangeshkar: "Lataji has always been so kind to me. She can never say no to me. As long as I am there and she's there she'll continue to sing for my films. When others sing they follow music, but when she sings, music follows her. I truly believe that. When she sang for Dhool Ka Phool (1959) the first film I directed, I was in awe of her. Today I'm much closer to her. But the awe remains."
The reason for his seven-year hiatus in direction: "My son Aditya made Mohabbatein (2000), which took a lot of time and energy. Then we started looking for a script for me to direct. Nothing seemed to excite us both. There's a complete bankruptcy of screenwriting in our cinema. I wanted a very earthy and Indian subject. I was tired of the promos on television. With semi-clad girls, they all looked the same. Of course Dhoom (2004) has them too. But I'd personally not make a film like that."
Relationships interest me because man is one creature who is capable of sane as well as insane behaviour. It's this nature of human beings that inspires and gives room for innumerable plots. Like in _Daag (1973)_, Raakhee, who played the other woman, created all the drama, as did Rekha in Silsila (1981). In Aaina (1993) it was the jealous sister while in Darr (1993) it was the obsessive lover. So unlike other movies where a villain is added to create the problems, in my films villainy is substituted by a third angle.
I believe in my old style of making films. I think I have it in me to make a different film in my own area of romance. Films on human relationships never go out of fashion. Everyone says 'I love you' these days. But it's about how you say it.
Though, technically, I'm shooting on location, my films are actually based inside a woman's heart. I think women are more emotional than men, and that's a thread I've explored in all my films. When I see TV these days, I'm shocked at how all the main women characters are portrayed as evil. Women are the foundation of everything, and they deserve to be treated that way on camera.
I think songs enhance romance and sometimes, even drama, when you have to comment on a society, like Guru Dutt did in Pyaasa (1957). Songs are a great way of conveying the director's imagination. People in this era don't like to see lip-syncing and prefer songs in the background, but I feel that an emotion can be conveyed better if it comes through the person singing it.
What is the point of making the film if the man doesn't marry the girl?
My technicians are my most important tools. Once I establish a rapport with them, then they would understand me in my next film. I wouldn't have to train anyone new. I give a lot of respect to all my technicians, because I'm a technician too. I wouldn't be able to convey a feeling if the writer didn't write it well, and the cameraman didn't shoot it well.
I was in Lahore before the partition, so I don't believe that a border can truly separate Punjab. I still think of it as one.
There are only two types of cinema - good or bad.
I've always worked with big stars, but they know that I am only honest to the script. It is my Gita and I never changed it to please film stars or their egos. We spend months in writing a film, so I wouldn't like it if someone asks me to change it. That's why I like to finish a film as fast as possible once I start. But as far as performances are concerned, I give full liberty to the artistes. I have full faith in them.
These days, most films are sensible. The young whiz kids are doing a wonderful job. Their films are different, and most are good. A Wednesday (2008), for example, was a wonderful film. And that's why we are taking a lot of chances at Yash Raj Films, by giving breaks to new actors, directors and musicians.
My personal favorites among my directorial ventures are Ittefaq, Daag, Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie, Lamhe and Mashaal.

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