Rajesh Khanna is the first Indian actor for whom the word "Superstar" was coined for and thus is referred to as the First Superstar of Indian Cinema and also of Hindi Film Industry.
Rajesh Khanna holds the record for consecutive 15 superhits in the period 1969-1972 and also has done BOTH the maximum critically acclaimed movies and more solo hero projects in comparison to his contemporaries till 1991 and in comparison to other actors of other eras in the age bracket of 24-55. He has had minimum of atleast 2 releases each year from 1967-1991 with him as the lead hero and did not allow himself to be typecasted with same genre of films or characters even after getting the superstar status and acquiring romantic image.When compared to other stars who subsequently got superstar status, it can be seen that he was the most Versatile Superstar of Indian Cinema.His tally of giving 15 successive superhits is a world record and an unbroken record in Indian film industry by itself.
Rajesh Khanna gave minimmum of 2 superhit films from 1968-1977 and 1979-1987.He did most of verstaile roles from his age of 24-55 itself.He left films in 1991 to join politics and later on did 3 serials and occasionally accepted film offers.
Rajesh Khanna accepted roles of different kinds and since the start of his career itself even after gaining the Superstar status even though he had acquired romantic image since Aradhana and even in the multistar film era from 1975 till 1991 he kept doing films of different genres romantic, suspense, horror, action, political, social, fantasy,comedy , suspense , adventurous films with him as the solo hero of the project and each of the hits were critically acclaimed.
In fact even before the films with lower class frontbench class Hindi lingo became common scenario in movies with dialogoues like Bachpanse aajtak , he played the role of a con man in Mahachor(1976) and after films with this same plot got repeated with other stars like Mithun and Amitabh and later Govinda, he never accepted such roles. He occasionally accepted multi star films and even in those he had the main central character – the films were Ashanti, Kudrat and Dil E Nadaan and did three commercial potboilers with childhood and college friend Jeetendra - Dharam Kanta, Nishaan and Maqsad and with Rajnikanth in Bewafai and Zamana with Rishi Kapoor - all of which were blockbusters.
In the films he acted as the solo lead hero, other actors who were by themselves a star acted in supporting roles in his films with Khanna overpowering them in performance and footage in the movie – like Vinod Khanna in Aan Milo Sajna , Sachcha Jhuta , Kudrat and Rajput, Dharmendra in Khamoshi Dharam Aur Kanoon (In Rajput ,Dharam did share equal footage as Khanna), Amitabh Bachchan in Aanand and Namak Haram( Amitabh became a star only in 1973 although and has supporting roles only in these films), Raj Kapoor in Naukri, Vinod Mehra in Amar Prem, Anurodh, Chakravyuha and Amardeep , Shashi Kapoor in Prem Kahani and Alag Alag , Sanjeev Kumar in Aap Ki Kasam and Bandhan , Raajkumar in Kudrat and Dharam Aur Kanta and Amol Palekar in Aanchal. Also Khanna never had a problem in sharing space with his seniors like Ashok Kumar , Om Prakash and Pran.
Khanna enjoyed 100% box office success ratio with Mumtaz as all the consecutive eight films of the pair were superhits. Khanna formed legendary on-screen hit pairs with Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh , Mumtaz ,Hema Malini, Tina Munim , Smita Patil , Shabana Azmi and Poonam Dhillon. The actress with whom Rajesh Khanna has done maximum films(ie.15 movies) is with Hema Malini and they had together ten classic box office superhits namely Andaaz, Premnagar, Bandish, Dard , Kudrat, Rajput, Hum Dono, Babu, special appearances of Khanna in Durga, Sitapur Ki Geeta both which were woman oriented films and rest like Vijay were not a success in the box office although Janata Hawaldaar, Palkon Ki Chaon Me,Mehbooba are regarded as classic films which flopped unexpectedly and undeservingly flopped. His pairing with Tina Munim was hugely popular among the audience in the eighties both on and offscreen with Fiffty Fiffty , Souten , Bewafai , Adhikar becoming hugely successful and Insaaf Main Karoonga being a average grosser and the musical Alag Alag produced by Khanna himself.His pairing with Sharmila was artistically satisfying for him with Aradhana, Safar ,Chhoti Bahu , Amar Prem, Daag , Aavishkar and Tyaag as blockbusters to the credit of the pair. Poonam Dhillon was paired with Khanna in the eighties hits like Nishaan, Dard , Zamana and Awam and the unexpected box office dud Redrose. Asha Parekh had the musical hits like Baharoan Ke Sapne, Aan Milo Sajna, Kati Patang and Dharam Aur Kanoon with Khanna. Its not that Khanna did not taste success with other heroines but his chemistry and pairing with these specific heroines resulted in blockbusters more often. Even opposite Zeenat Aman, Khanna has Ajnabee and Chhailla Babu as superhits and Jaanwar as semi hit.The pair Rajesh Khanna- Shabana Azmi also gave box office hits like Karm, Amar Deep, Thodisi Bewafaii, Ashanti, Avtaar and Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar and with Smita Patil ,Khanna had Dil E Nadan , Akhir Kyun, Angaarey, Nazrana, Amrit as superhits ie commercial successes. In the mid eighties Khanna delivered superhits with Sridevi like potboiler Maqsad, critically acclaimed Naya Kadam, Masterji and Nazrana.