"He was most certainly the first superstar and with due respect to other actors, nobody created that kind of a craze after him," Sharmila told PTI.
Recalling that she was a witness to that phase of his career when the actor's stardom was at its peak in the '70s, she said wherever she went with him they found long queues of excited fans waiting to have a glimpse of him.
"I am very upset at the news of his death," she said. Khanna,
she said, had an inherent enigma in him and his appeal went beyond age groups.
"Elderly woman would want to mother him. Younger women wanted to fall in love with him. And the men also liked him because he had a lot of energy and style. He brought together people from nine-year-olds to ninety-year-olds," Sharmila said.
After the 1969 hit film Aradhana, she recreated her chemistry with Khanna in films like Safar, Avishkaar and Amar Prem.
"Most of my films with him have been hits. Aradhana was a very big hit while Avishkaar is a cult film. I have very positive memories of him. He was a wonderful actor, had a wonderful voice and came from a theatre background," Sharmila, herself a National Award winning actress, said