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September 22, 2017

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India bids farewell to Bollywood 'king of romance'

MUMBAI--Tributes poured in on Monday for the renowned Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, dubbed Bollywood's "king of romance," who died in Mumbai aged 80 after suffering from dengue fever.

With Chopra's cremation due later in the day, newspapers and TV channels dedicated coverage to the Hindi cinema legend who made his name over several decades of directing, producing and screen-writing.

The Mumbai Mirror and Mid Day tabloids published full front-page tributes to Chopra, who died on Sunday, while the Indian Express remembered "The Maker of Dreams," describing him as "one of Bollywood's most successful enterprises."

Some of the industry's biggest names took to Twitter to remember Chopra, including superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan, who recently turned 70.

"Yash Chopra — 44 years of association .. of creativity, friendship, fun and family ties," wrote Bachchan, who starred in some of Chopra's biggest hits including "Deewar" (The Wall), "Kabhi Kabhie" (Sometimes) and "Silsila."

Famous playback singer Asha Bhosle, whose daughter committed suicide earlier this month, described Chopra as a family member.

"Just as I was getting over the grief of my daughter, my brother Yash Chopra ... has left me," she wrote.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quick to honor the late director on Sunday night, describing him as "an icon of Indian cinema" who would be remembered by millions.

"He entertained many generations with his rare creativity," Singh said. "He had an aesthetic talent to make his films look larger than life. His flourish to essay romance and social drama was unmatched."

Chopra worked until the final months of his life and his last film "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (As Long As I Am Alive), featuring A-listers Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, will be released on Nov. 13.

Chopra told Khan in a televised interview to mark his 80th birthday in September that he was retiring.

He was admitted to Lilavati hospital in Mumbai on Oct. 13 after being diagnosed with dengue fever — a common mosquito-borne viral infection for which there is no cure, and which is fatal in a small number of cases.

His funeral is to take place in Mumbai at 3 p.m. (0930 GMT) on Monday.

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