Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor died on Thursday (April 30, 2020) after a two-year-long battle with cancer. The 67-year-old actor was admitted in H N Reliance hospital, where he breathed his last.
“He is no more. He has passed away,” a PTI report quoted his brother Randhir KapoorRandhir as saying.
Rishi Kapoor (4 September 1952 – 30 April 2020) was an Indian actor, director and producer known for his work in Hindi cinema. He received the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his debut role in his father Raj Kapoor’s 1970 film Mera Naam Joker. He had his first lead role as an adult, opposite Dimple Kapadia, in the film Bobby (1973), and won the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1974.
He played leading roles as the romantic lead in 92 films between 1973 and 2000. For his performance in Do Dooni Chaar, he won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor in 2011, and for his role in Kapoor & Sons, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2017.
He was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He appeared opposite his wife Neetu Singh (married 1980) in twelve films between 1973 and 1981.
His first ever role in a movie was for Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420, where in the song “Pyaar Hua, Iqraar Hua“, he is walking through the rain with 2 other small children. He was about 3 at the time, and he once stated Nargis had bribed him to do the scene with some chocolate.
Rishi Kapoor debuted in Raj Kapoor’s (his father) 1970 film Mera Naam Joker, playing a childhood role of his father. He had his first lead role as an adult, opposite Dimple Kapadia in the 1973 film Bobby. In an interview in 2012, he stated: “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”. Bobby was one of the decade’s biggest hits in India.
Subsequently, only 11 of his 51 solo hero films were successful at the box office, and 25 of the 41 multi-hero films were successful at the box office. Rishi Kapoor had 51 films as the solo lead hero from 1973 to 2000, but 40 of them were box office flops and only 11 managed to be hits. These were Bobby , Laila Majnu, Rafoo Chakkar , Sargam, Karz, Prem Rog, Nagina, Honeymoon, Chandni, Heena and Bol Radha Bol, Yeh Vaada Raha. He had the lead hero roles in two-hero films only 13 times, in Khel Khel Mein, Kabhi Kabhi, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, Badalte Rishtey, Aap Ke Deewane and Saagar, and then from 1989 with Ajooba, Chandni, Deewana (1992), Damini – Lightning (1993), Gurudev (1994), Daraar (1996) and Karobaar (2000).
In 1999 he directed the film Aa Ab Laut Chalen, starring Rajesh Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Akshaye Khanna in the lead roles. His last film as a romantic lead was the delayed Karobaar: The Business of Love (2000). Rishi Kapoor acted in Henna, directed by his brother Randhir Kapoor and his father, Raj Kapoor, and in Prem Granth, a movie produced by the three Kapoor brothers (Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor) and directed by Rajiv Kapoor.
He moved on to supporting roles in the 2000s. He has since appeared in films such as Yeh Hai Jalwa (2002), Hum Tum (2004), Fanaa (2006), Namastey London (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Patiala House (2010). He also appeared in the British films Don’t Stop Dreaming (2007) and Sambar Salsa (2008). He reunited onscreen with Neetu Singh in the film Do Dooni Chaar (2010).
He also acted in the movie Chintu Ji in which he played himself. In 2012 he appeared in a villainous role in Agneepath and in the multi-starrer Housefull 2 where he appeared with brother Randhir Kapoor for the first time after ‘Khazana’ in the mid-1980s. He made a cameo appearance in Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan along with his wife.
In 2018, he appeared in 102 Not Out, a comedy-drama film directed by Umesh Shukla. It brought Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor together again after 27 years. The film is adapted from a Gujarati play also titled ‘102 Not Out‘ written by Saumya Joshi. The film received mixed reviews.
In 2019, his two films were released Jhootha Kahin Ka a comedy-drama film directed by Smeep Kang and The Body with Emraan Hashmi, a mystery thriller film written and directed by Jeethu Joseph, which was released on 13 December 2019. Incidentally it was his last released film before his death on 30 April 2020. Sharmaji Namkeen directed by Hitesh Bhatia, with Juhi Chawla was under production at the time of his death.
Kapoor married actress Neetu Singh, his 15-time co-star, on 22 January 1980. The couple has two children—actor Ranbir Kapoor, born 28 September 1982, and designer Riddhima Kapoor Sahani, born 15 September 1980. Rishi is the paternal uncle of actresses Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, and maternal uncle of industrialist Nikhil Nanda.
Rishi Kapoor has been in controversies for his comments on being a “beef-eating Hindu”, social media. Rishi 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.
Kapoor was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2018 and went to New York City for treatment. After a successful treatment for over a year, Kapoor returned to India on 26 September 2019. Kapoor was admitted to Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai on 29 April 2020 after he complained of having difficulty in breathing. He died on 30 April 2020.