Mumbai, Mar 9 (PTI) Veteran actor Joy Mukherjee, who starred in several Bollywood hits in the '60s, passed away this morning after prolonged illness at a hospital here. He was 73. "He passed away today morning at 9.30 am. He died due to prolonged illness and old age. His lungs were not functioning and he could not breathe, hence he was on ventilator. His condition was critical since last three days," Joy Mukherhee's spokesperson told PTI. The actor was admitted to the Leelavati hospital on Monday. "He was running with high fever and was unconscious and his overall condition was critical since three-four days," spokesperson said. Mukherjee comes from a film family. His father Sashadhar Mukherjee was married to legendary actor Ashok Kumar's sister Sati Devi and was the co-founder of Filmalaya Studios. His brothers are Deb Mukherjee and Shomu Mukherjee. Shomu is married to actress Tanuja & their daughters are actresses Kajol and Tanisha. Incidently, his father was skeptical about Mukherjee's movie career. He agreed only after Agha jani Kashmeri convinced him. Agha jani wrote the script of 1"Love in Simla", Mukherjee's debut film opposite Sadhana in 1960. He went on to delivered several hit films like hits like "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon", "Love in Tokyo", "Ziddi", "Ek Musafir Ek Hasina" to name a few. After his career dried up with the emergence of stars like Dharmendra, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna, Mukherjee ventured into direction with films like "Love in Bombay" (1974), "Chhaila Babu" (1977), "Saanjh Ki Bela" (1981) and "Umeed" (1989). The actor is survived by wife Neelam and they have three children - two sons and a daughter. Veteran actor Dilip Kumar with his wife Saira Banu and music composer-singer Bappi Lahiri had visited the ailing actor-filmmaker yesterday.
With love from Simla to Tokyo: Bollywood hero Joy Mukherjee left the mark
It is hard to define Joy Mukherjee. You could call him a chocolate-boy hero with an infectious smile. Or you could look at that strapping frame to realise why many in the sixties felt he was the closest Bollywood had to Rock Hudson machismo.
Co-stars would define him as the ultimate prankster who never left space for a dull moment on the sets.
Joy Mukherjee was an enigma in ways more than one. His meteoric rise thanks to sixties jubilee hits such as Love In Tokyo, Ziddi, Shagird and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon was as abrupt as his bowing out of the limelight after around a decade of glory.
For the record Joy breathed his last in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Friday after a prolonged illness at the age of 73. The man, who made broad-shouldered athleticism a fashionable image for the Bollywood hero long before the Khans and the Kumars discovered the gym, spent his last days on the ventilator.
'His wife Neelam Mukherjee was by his side when he passed away at 9.30 am on Friday. We are yet to decide the time and venue of the cremation,' said the actor's spokesperson R.R. Pathak.
Joy is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Hailing from a film family, Joy made his debut at the age of 21 in the 1960 hit Love In Simla opposite Sadhana. His father Sashadhar Mukherjee, a noted filmmaker who co-founded Filmalaya Studios, produced the film. A series of hits followed.
Joy Mukherjee was leading star of 60s: Amitabh Bachchan
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has paid homage to the veteran actor JoyMukherjee, saying he was a leading star of 1960s.
Bachchan tweeted his grief over the sudden demise of Mukherjee.
"Joy Mukherjee passes away. Leading man and a star during his time. Condolences to members of his family and prayers," he posted.
Mukherjee passed away this morning after prolonged illness atLilavati hospital. The 73-year-old actor was not keeping well for quite sometime.
Deb, younger brother of Joy, said his brother was a moral strength in his life.
"He was a great brother, a good friend and a brilliant actor. He has been my support system. He was my moral strength," said Deb.
Deb Mukherjee has acted in few films alongside his elder brother, Joy, including, Haiwan (1977), Ek Bar Mooskura Do (1972).
"We have grown up together there are lots of small moments and we are all going to definitely miss him a lot," he said.