One of the renowned Bollywood actors Rishi Kapoor took his last breath in Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai on April 30, a day after the industry lost another remarkable actor Irrfan Khan. He was hospitalized on Wednesday morning after complaining that he was not feeling well. He is survived by his wife Neetu his son Ranbir, and his daughter Ridhima and her family. The ‘Kapoor’ family issued a statement that read, “Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am IST in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukemia. The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said he kept them entertained to the last.” Fondly called Chintu, the actor a very prominent line in the world of Bollywood.
Rishi Kapoor, who was an offspring of India’s oldest filmy family was a perfect blend of angelic looks and wit. He began his career as a child actor in his father’s film Mera Naam Joker (1970), for which he also won a Filmfare Award. Later, he made his debut as a lead in the film Bobby opposite Dimple Kapadia. The good boy charm on his face made him popular as Bollywood’s first chocolate boy. The choice of roles played by Rishi spanned romances, comedies, socially themed dramas, thrillers, historicals, and melodramas. Moreover, his movies had impassioned declarations of love, innocence, humour, chart-topping songs, trendy dancing, and vibrant costumes.
Rishi Kapoor’s charming smile, his perfect stature, and his impeccable dialogue delivery made women weak in their knees and this is what will be remembered by everyone now that the actor has gone. He has played a romantic lead in 92 films between 1973 and 2000. Let’s remember him once again through roles which embodied the words romance and love:
1. Raj in Bobby (1973)
Rishi played the character Raj Nath that made ladies swoon over him. The teenage love story was set against the backdrop of rich vs poor and was a trendsetter in the truest meaning of the word. His chemistry with actress Dimple Kapadia set screens on fire and the actor even won the Filmfare award for best actor for the film.
During an interview about ‘Bobby’, Rishi exclaimed, “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.”
2. Vicky in Kabhie Kabhie (1976)
For those who thought, this Yash Chopra movie was about the uncompleted love story of Amitabh Bachchan and Rakhee, you are wrong. The movie revolves around the love of Vikram (Rishi Kapoor) and Pinky (Neetu Singh).
Vikram, who is smitten by Pinky, was the perfect boyfriend any girl would wish for. He did not leave her when she needed him the most and went through a lot of ordeals just to be with her.
3. Akbar in Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
The ‘Akbar’ of the trio, Rishi Kapoor turned to be one of the biggest reasons this movie was a super duper hit. If Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were the strong brooding actors, Rishi lend just the amount of delicacy the movie required. He was again seen romancing his real life wife, Neetu Singh in this one.
Akbar was this stubborn young man who understood that his love’s father will make it difficult for them to be together. He sorted to ways like singing “Taiyabali Pyar Ka Dushman” in front of his home and openly confessing his feelings in “Parda Hai Parda.
If there was one hero that pointed out, ladka ladki raazi to kya karega qazi, it was Rishi Kapoor as Akbar.
4. Dev in Prem Rog (1982)
In a poll by magazine Cosmopolitan, ‘Prem Rog’ featured as one of their top ten ‘Most Romantic Films Ever’. Treated as one of the best classics directed by the showman Raj Kapoor himself, ‘Prem Rog’ can drive you to tears and make you smile at the same time.
The soul of the movie lay with Chintu Kapoor, obviously. As Dev, the lover who sacrificed his love for a better life for (Rama), Rishi struck the right chords with the viewers. On learning that his forfeit did not ensure a better life for Rama, he takes steps to change her life from worse to good.
He depicted all shades of love, from being unable to express his love in the song, “Bhanware Ne Khilaya Phool” to the emotion of being separated from her in “Meri Qismat Men Tu Nahin Shayad”. His phenomenal acting earned him the Filmfare award for best actor.
5. Chaand in Heena (1991)
Directed by Rishi Kapoor’s brother actor Randhir Kapoor, this movie was a critical and commercial success. A love story between an Indian boy who accidentally reaches Pakistan and loses his memory was considered the most epic love story of all times.
As Chaand, Rishi Kapoor gives a convincing performance. He tells you that you need not be in your complete senses to experience affection towards someone. Even though, he gets entwined between cross border enmity his love doesn’t fade away.
Heena was India’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film that year and Chaand became the romantic hero who taught you the true meaning of love.
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