By: John Lester, NewsOXY Reporter
10/22/2012 07:56 AM ET
Yash Chopra has died in Mumbai more than a week after he contracted dengue fever, a doctor said. He was 80. In his tribute, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as an "icon of Indian cinema."
"It is sad news that Yash is no more among us," close family friend Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment, told AFP news agency.
Known as the "King of Romance," Chopra had a Hindi-language movie-making career that spanned five decades with major hits including "Deewar" (Wall), "Dil To Pagal Hai" (The Heart Is Mad) and "Chandni" (Moonlight).
Chopra, who died in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital, was also suffering from kidney ailments, according to Dr. Prakash Jiyavani.
"He passed away due to dengue and multiple organ failure," the Press Trust of India news agency reported, quoting hospital spokesman Sudhir. The spokesman uses only one name.
Chropra's latest Hindi movie, "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (As Long As I Am Alive), is scheduled for release across India next month.
His elder son, Aditya Chopra, also is a successful film director and a younger son, Uday Chopra, runs the international branch of the family's production house.
Singer Lata Mangeshkar said: "He made me sing in all his films. He was a jovial person... Even when he was angry, he simply kept quiet."
"His flourish to essay romance and social drama was unmatched," the prime minister said, adding that the filmmaker had established the international reputation of Indian cinema.
On his birthday last month, the Bollywood movie mogul said Jab Tak Hai (Till I am Alive) - being released next month - would be his last movie as a director.
Chopra started his film career working for his brother before establishing Yash Raj Films and going on to produce more than 40 movies - 12 of them as director.