Known as the son of one of the greatest entertainers of all times in Indian Film Industry- Raj Kapoor-it wasn’t difficult for Rishi Kapoor to create his own niche in Bollywood. Hailing from a family of fine actors and theatre artists, Rishi Kapoor has played diverse roles from that of a romantic lover in ‘Bobby’ to a negative role of ‘Rauf Lala’ in ‘Agneepath’. He is one of the few veteran actors who can make the audience laugh, or cry with their acting skills on screen till date.
With Rishi Kapoor turning 61 today, let’s take a look at his journey.
Rishi Kapoor is the second son of actor Raj Kapoor and his wife Krishna Raj Kapoor. He has four siblings- Randhir Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, Ritu Nanda and Rima Nanda. After completing his schooling in Campion School, Mumbai, Rishi Kapoor debuted at the age of 18 in his father’s movie ‘Mera Naam Joker’. It was this movie which gave him his first National Award in 1971.
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After entering the showbiz world as a child artist in Raj Kapoor’s movie, Rishi Kapoor made his debut as a lead actor with ‘Bobby’ in 1973. Not only the movie turned out to be a blockbuster, but it also started a new trend of polka dots in 1970’s. Interestingly, in one of the interviews, Rishi Kapoor revealed that ‘Bobby’ was just made by Raj Kapoor to pay the debts of ‘Mera Naam Joker’. The movie which had Dimple Kapadia playing his love interest helped Rishi Kapoor bag his first Filmfare Best actor Award.
Rishi Kapoor was undoubtedly an established actor, but he restrained his acting prowess only to romantic roles. He did almost 92 films in which he played a romantic lead from 1973-2000. With movies like ‘Rafoo Chakkar’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Sargam’ it was evident that Rishi Kapoor did more of romantic and multi-starrer flicks. However, in 1980, Subhash Ghai’s ‘Karzz’ — which came with a plot of reincarnation and revenge — gave Rishi Kapoor a break from his monotonous roles.
In his days, just like his son Ranbir Kapoor, even Rishi Kapoor was linked to his co-stars. It was his co-star in12 movies, Neetu Singh, whom he finally settled down with in 1981.
The two were later blessed with a daughter, Riddhima Kapoor Sahani, and son Ranbir Kapoor.
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Rishi Kapoor was back doing at what he is best at — romantic flicks. In 1982, Raj Kapoor came up with a romantic Bollywood movie ‘Prem Rog’ starring his son Rishi Kapoor, and Padmini Kolhapure. The different storyline- in which Rishi Kapoor, who is playing a lead role, falls in love with Padmini, who is a widow. Rishi Kapoor does justice to the role of a poor orphan, who can’t express his love for a rich Thakur’s daughter.
Yash Chopra’s ‘Chandni’ starring Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi is still remembered as one of the iconic movies. This movie not only bagged a National Award but it also gave Rishi Kapoor’s then fading career a much-needed boost. Rishi Kapoor’s performance was also appreciated and he was honoured with Filmfare Best Actor Award.
Love Aaj Kal
Rishi Kapoor never took a break from his acting career. He did many movies be it a supporting role, a multi-starrer etc. Rishi Kapoor effortlessly carries out the role of a Sikh man ‘Veer Singh’- who narrates his love story to Saif Ali Khan.
Do Dooni Chaar
In 2010, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor made a comeback as a lead pair in Habib Faisal`s comedy flick ‘Do Dooni Chaar’. Rishi Kapoor plays the role of a teacher who comes from a middle class family. Both Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor were appreciated by the critics. Kapoor skillfully portrays the character of a man who tries to keep his family happy in inflationary times. Rishi Kapoor was awarded with Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for this movie.
First time in his career, Rishi Kapoor played a raw negative character in Karan Johar’s ‘Agneepath’. Rishi plays the role of an underworld Don named ‘Rauf Lala’. More than the kohl rimmed eyes, and Kurta Pajama, it was his acting prowess which left the audience spell bound. Rishi Kapoor charmed one and all by his action sequence and received numerous encomiums for this different avatar.