Another Famous Actor Dies_ Rishi Kapoor’s age was 67
The famous actor whose career spanned a half-century died in Thursday, Rishi Kapoor’s age was 67.
The news came as a significant blow to the Hindi film industry and film lovers, still reeling from the death of 53-year-old internationally acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan Wednesday.
Kapoor was cremated under heavy security Thursday at a private ceremony in Mumbai, with his family urging fans to follow India’s restrictions on public gatherings to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
Raised on September 4, 1952, he made his debut in the 1970’s epic “Mera Naam Joker” (“My Name is Joker”) in the prolific Kapoor family, which produced four generations of stars along with his son, Ranbir.
For his performance in the film, which his father Raj produced, directed and starred in, he received the Indian National Award for best child actor. But what earned him legions of fans was his later persona as a romantic lead.
His signature look — a sweater wrapped around his neck as he was courting sari-clad chiffon leading ladies in the Swiss Alps — became a metaphor for glamorous Bollywood romance. He was also cast in front of Neetu Singh, who he later married and raised two children with Riddhima, the jewelry designer, and Ranbir, the heart-throb of Bollywood.
In the 1976 romance “Laila Majnu” and a rockstar in the 1980 musical thriller “Karz” (“Debt”), Bona fide Bollywood royalty, Kapoor churned out hits as a solo hero. But he also felt reasonably secure to take second billing in blockbusters like the 1977 comedy “Amar Akbar Anthony” — starring Bachchan and Vinod Khanna — though he would always steal the stage.
He enjoyed male and female co-stars, playing Bachchan’s younger brother in the 1981 drama “Naseeb” (“Destiny”) and his child in the 2018 movie “102 Not Out”
When Kapoor grew older the dried up romantic roles allowing him to show greater versatility. In 2012’s “Agneepath” (“Path of Fire”), he frightened viewers as a human trafficker and received acclaim for his depiction of a cantankerous, porn-watching grandfather in “Kapoor & Sons”. His behind the camera forays have been less effective.
Critics also panned a 1999 directorial debut, “Aa Ab Laut Chalen” (“Come, Let’s Go Back Now”), becoming the last film made under the R.K. His father set up film banner. He lauded the younger generation of Bollywood in an interview with talk-show host Simi Garewal in 2016 for taking up more chances with their work.
He was never afraid to talk honestly, whether about his films — most of which deserved to be forgotten, he joked at Garewal — or about his alcohol problems. With his frank, and sometimes humorous, tweets he has gained a legion of new and younger fans in recent years.
He was undergoing care in New York after being diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He was forced to go back to hospital this month, as, his family said, “the doctors and medical staff said he kept them happy to the last.” He was thankful for the love of his fans that they would all understand he would like to be remembered with a smile and not with tears.