Cinema left poorer twice in two days: Rishi Kapoor dies
Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and went to New York for treatment. He returned to India after what he called “11 months, 11 days” in September last year and announced that he was in remission.Updated: May 01, 2020 06:09 IST
Rishi Kapoor, the versatile and outspoken actor from Hindi cinema’s illustrious first family of the Kapoors, died aged 67 at a hospital in Mumbai on Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer -- the second such death in two days that shook the country’s artistic fraternity and fans alike.
Kapoor was admitted to the HN Reliance Hospital on Wednesday night after he complained of breathing problems. Actor Amitabh Bachchan was the first to tweet about Kapoor’s death. “T 3517 - He’s GONE..! Rishi Kapoor..gone.. just passed away.. I am destroyed!” Bachchan wrote.
Kapoor’s family issued an official statement, saying: “...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. He was grateful for the love of his fans that poured in from the world over. In his passing, they would all understand that he would like to be remembered with a smile and not with tears... ”
Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and went to New York for treatment. He returned to India after what he called “11 months, 11 days” in September last year and announced that he was in remission. He was cremated at the Chandanwadi crematorium at 4pm on Thursday.
Kapoor is survived by wife Neetu, actor son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni. His daughter got special permission to travel to Mumbai from Delhi but couldn’t make it in time for the funeral.
Leading the tributes to the veteran actor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor was “multifaceted, endearing and lively” and “a powerhouse of talent”. The PM wrote on Twitter that “...He was passionate about films and India’s progress. Anguished by his demise...”
Kapoor left behind a rich legacy from a career spanning over 50 years. His first-ever brush with the camera was when he was three years old in his father Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420. He appeared in the iconic song Pyaar Hua, Iqraar Hua featuring Raj Kapoor and Nargis.
He had an important role in Mera Naam Joker (1970), for which he received a national award as the best child artist. Kapoor’s big moment of stardom came in his lead role in the 1973 hit Bobby. After that there was no looking back for the man film magazines referred to as the original chocolate boy hero.
He starred in successful films such as Khel Khel Mein (1975), Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Karz (1980), Prem Rog (1982), Coolie (1983), Saagar (1985), Nagina (1986), Chandni (1989), Henna (1991), and Damini (1993), among others.
In the second innings of his career, Kapoor reinvented himself from a romantic lead to a character actor and essayed memorable parts in Kapoor & Sons (2016) and Mulk (2018). Friends recalled fondly how the actor had great zest for life and never shied away from airing his views.
“I’ve had the honour of working with Rishi ji. A larger than life person, so outspoken yet so warm. We have lost a brilliant actor today. Still can’t believe it.. absolutely heartbroken. My prayers are with the family during this tough time,” said Kapoor’s co-star Madhuri Dixit Nene.
“My heart is so heavy. This is the end of an era...” actor Priyanka Chopra tweeted, summing up the feelings of many.