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B.R. Chopra.

Veteran Bollywood multihyphenate B.R. Chopra, who made socially relevant pics as well as serialized Hindu epic "Mahabharat" for TV, died Nov. 5 in Mumbai. He was 94.

Baldev Raj Chopra started out as a film journo and then moved to writing for the screen. While the first pic he produced, 1949's "Karwat" was a box office disappointment, his soph effort, which he also directed, "Afsana" was a success.

In 1955 Chopra founded BR Films where he could release his own films, which mixed sentiment with social messages. Beginning in 1956 he made a string of hits such as "Ek hi raasta," centered on widow remarriage--a taboo among Hindus; and "Kanoon," a courtroom drama that unusually for Bollywood had no songs.

In 1959, Chopra gave his younger brother Yash the chance to direct "Dhool ka phool," centered on illegitimate birth, which started him off on his career. After a few decades of working together though the brothers split and Yash Chopra founded his own very successful Yash Raj Films in 1973.

In his later years Chopra turned to television, serializing Hindu epic poem "Mahabharat," which aired on pubcaster Doordarshan beginning in 1988-89. With its 98% world viewership the serial has entered the Guinness Book of Records. Survivors include his filmmaker son Ravi; two daughters; and his brother Yash.

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Title Annotation:MULTIHYPENATES
Author:Dore, Shalini
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 10, 2008
Words:218
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