Rishi Kapoor

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Rishi Kapoor
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar presenting the Giants Award to Shri Rishi Kapoor for films field, at the “44th Giants Day Celebration”, in Mumbai on September 17, 2016 (cropped).jpg
Kapoor in 2016
Born
Rishi Raj Kapoor

(1952-09-04)4 September 1952
Died30 April 2020(2020-04-30) (aged 67)
Girgaon, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India[1]
OccupationActor
Years active1970–2020 [2]
Spouse(s)
(
m. 1980)
Children2, including Ranbir Kapoor
Parents
RelativesSee Kapoor family

Rishi Raj Kapoor (4 September 1952 – 30 April 2020)[3] was an Indian actor known for his work in Bollywood.[4] Born into the Kapoor family,[5] he made his debut, as an adolescent, in his father Raj Kapoor's film Mera Naam Joker (1970), for which he won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist.[6] As an adult, his first lead role was opposite Dimple Kapadia in the teen romance Bobby (1973), which won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Kapoor is considered to be one of the most successful actors in the history of Bollywood.[7][8]

Between 1973 and 2000, Kapoor starred as the romantic lead in 92 films.[9] Some of his notable films during this period include Khel Khel Mein (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Sargam (1979), Karz (1980), and Chandni (1989). Since the 2000s, he played character roles to critical acclaim in such films as Do Dooni Chaar (2010), Aurangzeb (2013), and Mulk (2018).[10][11][12] For his performance in Do Dooni Chaar (2010), he won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor, and for his role in Kapoor & Sons (2016), he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.[13] He was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.[13] His final film appearance was in The Body (2019).[10]

Kapoor often collaborated with his wife, actress Neetu Singh, with whom he had two children, including Ranbir Kapoor. He died of leukaemia on 30 April 2020, aged 67.[14][15]

Personal life and family[edit]

Kapoor (right) in 1978

Family and early life[edit]

Rishi Raj Kapoor was born on 4 September 1952 at his family's home in Matunga, Bombay, in the then Bombay State of India, into a Khatri Punjabi Hindu family.[16][17][18][19] Being part of the Kapoor dynasty, he was the second son of legendary actor-director Raj Kapoor and Krishna Raj Kapoor (née Malhotra).[20] Likewise, his family encompasses a successful line of actors, including brothers, Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor; grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor; maternal uncles Prem, Rajendra, and Narendra Nath, as well as Prem Chopra; paternal uncles Shashi and Shammi Kapoor; and paternal once removed cousins Anil and Sanjay Kapoor.[21][22] Rishi Kapoor's two sisters, on the other hand, include late Ritu Nanda, who was an insurance agent, and Rima Jain.[23] The actresses Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor and the actors Armaan Jain and Adarsh Jain are his nieces and nephews.

Kapoor attended Campion School, Mumbai and Mayo College, Ajmer.[24]

Later life[edit]

Kapoor with his wife Neetu Singh and son Ranbir Kapoor

Kapoor married actress Neetu Singh, who he had worked with in several films, in 1980.[10] The couple had two children— son, actor Ranbir Kapoor, and daughter, Riddhima Kapoor Sahni.[25]

Kapoor's autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored, was released on 15 January 2017. Kapoor wrote the book along with Meena Iyer, and the title was published under Harper Collins.[26][27] Kapoor's comments on being a "beef-eating Hindu" became controversial.[28][29][30]

Kapoor was known to make controversial socio-political comments. In March 2016, he criticized the Nehru–Gandhi family over naming of roads, buildings and national assets in the name of Gandhi and Nehru.[31] In September 2017, he again took on the Gandhi family by slamming Rahul Gandhi over dynastic politics.[32]. In March 2020, he expressed anger and criticized the Indian Judiciary with the "Tareekh Pe Tareekh" dialogue of his film Damini over the delay in execution of the four perpetrators who were convicted in the Nirbhaya case due to loopholes in the laws.[33] The convicts were finally executed on 20th March at 5:30 am in Tihar Jail after it was deferred thrice.[34]

Career[edit]

Around the age of three, Kapoor's first on-screen appearance was a cameo in his father Raj Kapoor's film Shree 420 (1955),[10] where he would appear in the musical sequence of "Pyar Hua, Iqrar Hua Hai".[22] Likewise, Raj Kapoor would direct the film that provided Rishi his debut role, the 1970 film Mera Naam Joker, in which the actor would portray the young version of the lead character (played by Raj Kapoor).[35][10]

Rishi Kapoor's first leading role would come in adulthood, opposite Dimple Kapadia, in the 1973 film Bobby, also directed by his father.[10] Bobby went on to become one of the decade's biggest hits in India,[36] and earned Rishi Kapoor the Filmfare Best Actor Award.[22] Regarding the film, he would say in a 2012 interview:[13]: "There was a misconception that the film was made to launch me as an actor. The film was actually made to pay the debts of Mera Naam Joker. Dad wanted to make a teenage love story and he did not have money to cast Rajesh Khanna in the film". Following Bobby (1973), he starred in several light-hearted comedies within that decade, including, among others: Rafoo Chakkar (1975), with Neetu Singh; Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), with Amitabh Bachchan; and Khel Khel Mein (1975) and Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977) with Zeenat Aman.[10]

Kapoor with wife Neetu Singh at Rakesh Roshan’s birthday bash in 2017

He worked with actress Neetu Singh for the first time in Zahreela Insaan (1974). The two would go on to share the screen in multiple projects, including Kabhi Kabhi (1976) and Doosra Aadmi (1976), and would eventually marry in 1980.[25] In 1980, Kapoor starred along with Tina Munim in director Subhash Ghai's reincarnation thriller Karz (1980), which went on to become a cult classic with popular music. In a role considered as one of his best works, Kapoor played an idealistic Devdhar in the 1982 film Prem Rog, a film based on the concept of widow remarriage, co-starring Padmini Kolhapure[37] Another highlight of his career, was Saagar in 1985, directed by noted director Ramesh Sippy, which saw Kapoor reunite with Dimple Kapadia, 12 years after they made their debuts in Bobby.[38] He appeared as the second lead in several multi-starrer films in the 1980s such as Naseeb (1981), Kaatilon Ke Kaatil (1981), Coolie (1983), Dosti Dushmani (1986), Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1988) and Gharana (1989). In the 1986 drama Ek Chadar Maili Si, adapted from Rajendra Singh Bedi's novel of the same name, Kapoor would play a man forced by customs to marry his widowed sister-in-law, played by Hema Malini.[22][39]

In 1991, Kapoor starred along with Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiyar in Henna, a tale of love across national borders, which was envisioned by his father, Raj Kapoor, and directed by his elder brother Randhir Kapoor.[40] Henna was India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Kapoor also had a leading role in the 1993 film Damini, co-starring Meenakshi Seshadri and Sunny Deol, that went on to be considered a classic socially-oriented film[41] Between 1973 and 2000, Kapoor's other film roles (mainly as the romantic lead)[15] include:[35][22] Raaja (1975), Laila Majnu (1976), Sargam (1979), Bade Dilwala (1983),[10] Chandni (1989),[12] Bol Radha Bol (1992), Deewana (1992) and Karobaar (2000).

Kapoor debuted as a director in Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999) which starred Rajesh Khanna, Akshaye Khanna and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles. This remained his sole directorial venture.[10]

Kapoor felicitated by Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and General V. K. Singh at the inauguration of the BRICS Film Festival.

Kapoor successfully transitioned to character acting in the mid 2000s, going on to appear in several supporting roles, such as in Hum Tum (2004), Fanaa (2006), Namastey London (2007), and Love Aaj Kal (2009).[22][15] In 2007, he appeared in the British English-language films Don't Stop Dreaming and Sambar Salsa.[42] In the 2010s, he played diverse roles such as the villain in Agneepath (2012), Aurangzeb (2013) and Kaanchi (2014)[43]; in Student of the Year (2012), as a gay character; and in D–Day (2013), as real-life mobster Dawood Ibrahim.[22] He appeared with his brother Randhir for the first time in the multi-starrer comedy Housefull 2 (2012).[44] He won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role in Do Dooni Chaar (2010), playing a middle-aged father trying to buy his own car. He also bagged a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his work in Kapoor & Sons (2016).[22] He also appeared in an action comedy movie Besharam (2013) along with his wife Neetu Kapoor and son Ranbir Kapoor.[45][circular reference]

After two decades, he had his on-screen reunion with actor Amitabh Bachchan in 102 Not Out (2018), in which the two play an old-aged father-son duo. In 2018, he appeared in the Netflix drama Rajma Chawal[10] and was critically acclaimed for his portrayal of a Muslim in Mulk.[22] In 2019, two films of Kapoor's were released: Jhootha Kahin Ka, a comedy-drama film directed by Smeep Kang; and The Body, co-starring Emraan Hashmi, a mystery-thriller written and directed by Jeethu Joseph.[46] Released on 13 December 2019, The Body would be Kapoor's last film.[15] Hitesh Bhatia's Sharmaji Namkeen (2020), co-starring Juhi Chawla, was under production and four day schedule was pending at the time of Kapoor's death.[47] Producer Honey Trehan on May 08, 2020 confirmed that the film will be released in theatres.[48]

Awards[edit]

Kapoor (right) receiving the Giants Award from Union Minister Prakash Javdekar in 2016.


Illness and death[edit]

Kapoor was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018 and went to New York City for treatment.[14] After successful treatment for a year, he returned to India on 26 September 2019.[56]

However, he was admitted to Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital on 29 April 2020 owing to breathing difficulties.[57] He died on 30 April 2020 from leukemia. His death came less than 24 hours after Irrfan Khan, another well-regarded actor and his co-star from D-Day died due to colon infection.[58]

Kapoor's last rites were performed at Chandanwadi Crematorium and his ashes were immersed in Banganga.[59]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]