Rishi Kapoor: An Evergreen Heartthrob Fades Away
Bollywood is going through a dark phase. Before the news of Irrfan Khan’s death could sink in, another nightmarish newsflash hit Bollywood and its fans. Rishi Kapoor, the legendary actor has left the Indian film industry this morning. This is the film’s fraternity second loss in two consecutive days. Loved for his romantic dramas, he starred in almost 120 films during his career span of more than four decades. The phenomenal actor presented the best iterations of youthful lover. He was preternaturally exceptional at his craft. His smile was enough to steal hearts and make any girl go weak in the knees. After winning our hearts, the shy ‘shayar’ went to eternal rest. Let us remember him with an abridged version of his journey on earth through which he made his mark in Bollywood.
Rishi Kapoor was born in Chembur, Bombay in a Punjabi family on 4th September, 1952. He was the second son of actor-film director Raj Kapoor and the grandson of actor Prithviraj Kapoor. His lineage has been of actors. Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor (brothers) are actors, Prem Nath and Rajendra Nath (maternal uncles), and Shashi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor (paternal uncles) all were actors.
After doing multiple films with Neetu Singh, he tied the knot with her on 22 January 1980. He is survived by his wife and two children – actor Ranbir Kapoor and designer Riddhima Kapoor Sahani.
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The silver screen witnessed his charm for the very first time in Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420, where he appeared in the song “Pyaar Hua, Iqraar Hua” with two other small kids. Rishi Kapoor played the teenager role of Raj Kapoor in his film Mera Naam Joker in 1970.
It was in 1973 when he was noticed for his charisma in his debutant blockbuster Bobby as the lead. Since then, he was looked upon as one of the top film stars and enjoyed the status for more than two decades. His irresistible charm, magnetism, and acting prowess, and spontaneity earned him love of his huge fan base.
Celebrated mostly for his romantic roles, he delivered back to back hits such as Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Laila Majnu (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Sargam (1979), Karz (1980), Prem Rog (1982), Saagar (1985), Nagina (1986), Chandni (1989), Heena (1991), Bol Radha Bol (1992), and Deewana (1992).
In 1999 he directed the film Aa Ab Laut Chalen.
Aging gracefully, he infused life to various character roles in movies Yeh Hai Jalwa (2002), Hum Tum (2004), Fanaa (2006), Namastey London (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Chintu Ji (2009), Do Dooni Chaar (2010), Patiala House (2010), Housefull 2 (2012), Kapoor and Sons (2016), 102 Not Out (2018), Mulk (2018), and many more.
He played a convincing villain in Agneepath (2012). Contrary to his gentle looks and pleasing personality, he successfully carved out a treacherous and unwelcoming persona in this movie, and was appreciated immensely by the audience. His cameo appearance in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) was also powerful.
Kapoor’s upcoming projects included the Bollywood remake of The Intern. It was supposed to go on the floor this year co-starring actress Deepika Padukone.
His last movie turned out to be The Body, which was released on 13th December 2019.
Rishi Kapoor made his way to Hollywood silver screen with the British films Don’t Stop Dreaming (2007) and Sambar Salsa (2008).
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The virtuoso’s autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored was released on 15th January 2017. He wrote the book along with Meena Iyer and the title was published under Harper Collins.
Awards and Accolades
The charmer, the saleable star, the defining performer, and a powerhouse of acting; Rishi Kapoor bagged a good number of awards that proved his mettle. Let’s have a look at the same:
- Mera Naam Joker – Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards: Special Award, and National Film Award in 1970
- Bobby – Filmfare Award for best actor in 1974
- Filmfare Award on completing 25 years in film acting in 1998
- Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008
- Honoured by Russian Government for contribution to cinema in2009
- Love Aaj Kal – Apsara Film and Television Producers Guild Awards: best actor in a supporting role in 2010
- Zee Cine Awards: Best lifetime jodi along with Neetu Singh in 2011
- Do Dooni Chaar – Filmfare Critics Award for best actor in 2011
- Agneepath – IIFA Award for the best performance in a negative role in 2013
- Agneepath – The Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) for best actor in a negative role in 2013
- Aurangzeb – IIFA Award for the best performance in a negative Role in 2014
- Screen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016
- Kapoor & Sons – Screen Award for best supporting actor in 2017
- Kapoor & Sons – Filmfare Award for best supporting actor in 2017
- Kapoor & Sons – Zee Cine Award for best actor in a supporting role (Male) in 2017
- Kapoor & Sons – Zee Cine Award for best actor in a comic role in 2017
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Illness and Death
Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and went to New York City for treatment. After a successful treatment for over a year, Rishi Kapoor returned to India in September, 2019. After he complained of having problems in breathing, he was immediately admitted to H. N. Reliance Hospital, Mumbai on 29th April, 2020. He passed away on 30 April, 2020 at 5:20 AM (IST). The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said that he kept them entertained to the last. His last rites took place at Chandanwadi crematorium, Mumbai.
The entertainer, the bold and the frank, the enchanter is no more among us. There will be no new releases of him, no attention grabbing tweets, and no entertaining interviews anymore where we used to get a glimpse of the charismatic Kapoor’s personality. He sang in his movie Bade Dilwala –
“Jeevan ke din chhote sahi,
Hum bhi bade dil wale.
Kal ki hame fursat kahan,
Sochein jo hum matwale.”
Likewise, he lived life kingsize, never wasted time in worrying, and stayed delighted in today’s precious moments.
A star who epitomized love, who made people fall in love, is no more. He fell to cancer at the age of 67. But his style, his smile, his suaveness, and his stories will continue to live among us. He successfully completed his journey from a romantic legend to nailing character roles, and now has completed another journey from this world to the other world on 30th April, 2020. Adios to Bollywood’s lovable lover-boy. Peace be with him.