With 40 years in the film making industry, Yash Chopra, who needs no introduction has carved a distinct identity for himself and the films he directs. The central theme of his movies being love, it attracts a universal audience. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Yash Chopra has created a strong foothold in an industry for as long as four decades.
Starting his career with his brother B.R. Chopra of the TV serial 'Mahabharat' fame, Yash Chopra soon started off under his own banner 'Yash Raj Films' in 1970. Since then we have been witness to the numerous films artistically crafted and implemented by the legend in movie making. A hint of this directorial superiority can be gauged by the huge fan following as well as the recognition received from those in the movie industry in the form of awards.
Yash Chopra was born in 1932 in Lahore, to an accountant in the PWD of the British administration in Punjab. The youngest of eight children, the oldest of whom was almost 30 years his senior, he was largely brought up in the Lahore house of his second brother, B R Chopra, then a film journalist, but subsequently one of India's great movie moghuls, known for his films on social topics, and later maker of the record-breaking TV serial, 'Mahabharata'.
Yash Chopra went to Jullunder in 1945 to continue his education while B R Chopra stayed on in Lahore, migrating to Bombay just weeks before partition in August 1947. A large part of the Lahore-based Punjabi film industry also migrated and B R Chopra used his contacts among these people to set himself up as a leading director in Bombay and soon became an independent producer. He made some of the great classics of the Indian cinema, including 'Ek Hi Raasta', 'Naya Daur' and 'Sadhana' among others. He is known to a younger generation as the maker of the TV serialisation of the Mahabharata, whose place in the history of television is assured. Yash Chopra soon joined him and worked as his assistant, while another brother, Dharam Chopra, worked as his camera-man.
Over the years, Yash Chopra produced and directed a number of highly successful films like 'Waqt', 'Deewar', 'Silsila', 'Kala Patthar', 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', 'Dil To Pagal Hai' and 'Veer Zaara', to name a few. The veteran director's last film 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' starring Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif, released in Diwali 2012 and turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year.
Chopra, however, could not live to enjoy the success of his last directorial venture, as he passed away on October 21, 2012.
Incidentally, Chopra is the only Indian to be honored at BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) in the 59-year history of the academy.
Yash Chopra also won the Padma Bhushan in 2005.