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Bollywood’s heartthrob Rishi Kapoor passes away at 67

Actor starred in classics like Bobby, Kabhi Kabhi

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 30, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Apr 30, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Bollywood’s heartthrob Rishi Kapoor passes away at 67

Photo: File

Legendary actor Rishi Kapoor passed away at the age of 67 in Mumbai. He had been battling leukemia since 2018. He returned to India last year after treatment in the US.

Rishi’s brother Randhir said that he was taken to the hospital on Wednesday morning after he complained of breathing difficulties.

His death come a day after the passing away of another Bollywood legend, Irrfan Khan. Rishi and Irrfan also costarred in a film called D-Day in 2013.

The Bollywood star was known for his romantic roles in classics such as Saagar (1989), Naseeb (1981), Kabhi Kabhi (1976) and Chandani.

Rishi and his siblings are considered Bollywood royalty. Their grandfather, Prithviraj Kapoor cemented the family’s star status when he played the role of Emperor Akbar in the Bollywood classic Mughal-e-Azam (1960) starring Dilip Kumar and Madhubhala.

His father, Raj Kapoor, was another legend. Rishi’s son, Ranbir, and nieces, Karisma and Kareena, have also made a name for themselves in the film industry.  

Rishi aka Chintoo made his first appearance as a child actor in his father’s masterpiece Mera Naam Joker in 1970. He also made a special appearance as a child in ‘Pyaar Hua, Iqrar Hua’, in his father’s film Shree 420.

Three years later, he made his debut with Dimple Kapadia in Bobby, a teenage love story. After his big break, Rishi played the romantic hero in several films such as Prem Rog, Sargam (1979), Saajan ke Ghar (1994), Eena Meena Deeka and several others.

Rishi Kapoor did around 138 feature films with around 98 of them as a leading man. He was predominantly known for his romantic and dramatic roles and was the only actor of this genre to survive the reign of Amitabh Bachchan’s action and violence driven era for nearly two decades. From 2000 onwards he started doing supporting roles.

His wife, Neetu Singh, starred with him in 12 films (11 of them before their wedding) before she gave up films in 1980.

He had a unique distinction for having as many as 13 leading ladies make their debut opposite him, Pakistani actor and director, Zeba Bakhtiar, being one of them.

In 1991, he starred in Henna with Zeba Bakhtiar, which narrated the love story of a Kashmiri girl and an Indian man, who loses his memory after falling into a river that carries him to Pakistan.

In a Twitter Q/A in 2015, the actor revealed that he had visited Pakistan in 1990 while shooting Henna in Islamabad. He shared that he had visited Lahore, Karachi and his family’s hometown Peshawar.  

Rishi and Zeba worked together again a few years later in Mohabbat ki Arzoo. Actor Javed Sheikh co-starred with Rishi Kapoor in two films; Namaste London (2007) and Sadiyaan (2010). Singer and songwriter, Ali Zafar, also co-starred with him in Chashme Buddoor (2013).

Back in 2016, actor and singer Fawad Khan worked with Rishi in Kapoor & Sons as well.

According to a statement from the family, Rishi kept doctors and medical staff at the hospital entertained to the last.

“He remained jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents. Family, friends, food and films remained his focus and everyone who met him during this time was amazed at how he did not let his illness get the better of him,” said the family.  

Rishi is survived by his wife, Neetu, son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima.

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