In less than 24 hours, Indian Cinema lost two of its gems—Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor.
The actors, apart from there flawless talent, had a fatal disease in common; both felled by cancer, leaving behind the entire country mourning.
Bollywood giant, Rishi Kapoor(67 years) breathed his last at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital on April 30. Mr. Kapoor was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2018 in the United States and since then Kapoor spent about a year being treated in New York before returning to India last September. He remained jovial and lived to the fullest right through these years of treatment across two continents.
Rishi Raj Kapoor, famously known as Chintoo, was born on September 4, 1952 in Matunga, Bombay into a Khatri Punjabi Hindu family. Being part of the Kapoor Bollywood dynasty, he was the second son of Bollywood’s showman, Raj Kapoor and Krishna Raj Kapoor.
When Kapoor was three years old, his first on-screen appearance was a cameo in his father’s film Shree 420 (1955). It was in 1970, the legendary art-director Raj, lifted the curtains on his film, Mera Naam Joker where adolescent Rishi performed the young role of the lead character and grabbed the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. His first lead role as an adult was in the teen romance Bobby (1973), which went on to become one of the decade’s biggest hits in India and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
Chintoo had a huge fan following across generations.
Between 1973 and 2000, the gem starred as the romantic lead in more than 90 films. Some of his remarkable films during this period include Khel Khel Mein, Kabhi Kabhie, Sargam, Karz, Chandni, Laila Majnu, and Amar Akbar Anthony. He played character roles to critical acclaim in films like Do Dooni Chaar, Aurangzeb, and Mulk. D-Day is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film where Kapoor acted as co-star with Versatile Irrfan and won IIFAA in the category of Best Performance In A Negative Role. His latest onscreen appearance was in The Body, co-starring Emraan Hashmi, written and directed by Jeethu Joseph which was released on 13 December 2019. Rishi Kapoor’s final film, Sharmaji Namkeen, that had a few days of filming remaining, will be completed using advanced VFX technology.
He received Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performance in Do Dooni Chaar. His role in Kapoor & Sons earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He was honored with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the next year, Kapoor was esteemed by the Russian Government for contribution to cinema.
Rishi and Neetu Kapoor’s love story inspired generations. The couple did several films together. Both the stars tied knot on 22 January 1980. Neetu started acting at the age of 8 under the name Baby Sonia and made her acting debut in 1966 with the film Suraj. Later their marriage they were blessed by son Ranbir Kapoor, one of the highest-paid actors of Hindi cinema in today’s era and daughter Ridhima Kapoor Sahani, an Indian Fashion designer.
Kapoor wrote his autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored along with Meena Iyer, which released on 15 January 2017, and the title was published under Harper Collins.
In his career spanning 40 years in Hindi Cinema, with almost 150 films and several awards, he was a living legend.
Due to pandemic lockdown, Rishi Kapoor was taken straight to Chandawadi Crematorium from the hospital where his last rites where performed in the presence of his family and friends.