Joy Mukherjee dies at 73

Was Indian actor, director

Indian actor and director Joy Mukherjee died in Mumbai on Friday, March 9, after being admitted to a hospital with respiratory issues. He was 73.

Mukherjee was born into a film family. His father was the producer Sasadhar Mukherjee, one of the founders of Mumbai’s Filmalaya Studios, and his uncles were thesp Ashok Kumar, multihyphenate Kishore Kumar and helmer Subodh Mukherjee. Joy Mukherjee debuted as an actor in 1960’s “Love in Simla,” produced by his father, and went on to act in a string of musical hits through the decade including “Ek musafir ek hasina,” “Phir wohi dil laaya hoon,” “Ziddi,” “Love in Tokyo” and “Shagird.”

Mukherjee found roles dwindling amid changing audience tastes in India and the rise of the immensely successful actor Rajesh Khanna, and he turned producer and director with 1968’s big-budget spy thriller “Humsaaya,” in which he played a double role. The film failed at the box office. Mukherjee’s career tailed off after that and sparked to life briefly with his 1977 directorial venture “Chhaila Babu,” starring Khanna.

Like many Bollywood leading men of the 1960s, Mukherjee is best remembered for the many hit songs that featured in his films.

Survivors include Mukherjee’s wife Neelam, two sons and a daughter; and his niece, the popular Bollywood actress Kajol Devgn.

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