While the cine-lovers were mourning the death of Irrfan Khan, another star of the glorious Indian cinema industry left the people again into tears. The legendary actor Rishi Kapoor took his last breath at 8:45 a.m. in Mumbai. And with this ended an era of Bollywood.
Rishi Kapoor aka 'Chintu Ji', was born on 4 September 1952 in the cinematic family of Kapoors, which gave India the best of the all-time actors - Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor, father-son duo. Thus, having the acting traits in the blood, Rishi Kapoor didn't pay any heed to academics and failed in Class 8th at Campion School, Mumbai, thus carrying the never- school passing legacy of Kapoor lineage. However, his mother Krishna Raj Kapoor wanted her son to keep the feet in acting only after completing the education. But Rishi had made his debut from the very famous song Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua Hai of the movie Shree 420 as a toddler aging 3years old. Rishi was notorious since his childhood, and refused to give a shot for the song. But then Nargis, the female protagonist in the song, bribed the boy with a chocolate, and thus the shot was recorded in a single take.
Rishi Kapoor got his nickname Chintu from his elder brother Randhir Kapoor, who kept this name while reciting a riddle. Further, while having lunch at noon one day, father Raj Kapoor asked Krishna Kapoor, that he wants to showcase Rishi as a young boy in one of his dream project Mera Naam Joker, which was released in 1970. Krishna Kapoor agreed with the condition that this will not affect the studies of the boy. This, Rishi Kapoor got his first movie as an actor at the age of 18, playing his father Raj Kapoor's younger age role, for which he received he received National Film Award for Best Child Artist. However, the movie flopped and Raj Kapoor feared of getting bankrupt. Thus, he took another chance and projected his son Rishi in the movie Bobby, released in 1973, as the protagonist of the story. The film proved to be a blockbuster, and Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia starring movie rephrased stereotype of the love between a man and a lady to the love between a boy of 21 and a girl of 16. This awarded Rishi Kapoor with Filmfare Award for best actor. From here, Rishi Kapoor was typecasted with an image of a Chocolate Boy, suitable for movies having a plot surrounding romance and love. Thus, he played lead roles in 92 films as a romantic hero from the year 1973 to 2000- including the movies Chandni, Karobaar, Damini and Kabhi Kabhi. During this period, Rishi was so high in demand for roles, so high that 23 actresses made their debut with his films. But, only 51 of these movies played him as a solo hero, out of which 40 flopped and only 11 were the all-time hits. Rishi Kapoor also appeared as a second lead in various films with actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, including the hits - Amar Akbar Anthony, Coolie, Khel Khel Mein and Hum Kisi Se Kum Nhi.
Rishi Kapoor encountered his present wife Neetu Kapoor on the sets of Zahreela Insaan, released in 1974. The duo further acted in a total of 14 films like Rafuchakkar of 1975 and Amar Akbar Anthony of 1977. After 5 years of relationship, both tied the knot in 1980, and completed their family with son Ranbir Kapoor and daughter Riddhima Kapoor.
The man with a chubby physique and cute face was ruling the hearts of millions of audience. However, he also tried different genres such as one played in Karz of 1980, and Ek Chadar Maili Si, both of which weren't able to attract a larger audience.
In 1999, Kapoor stepped in the field of direction and directed the film Aa Ab Laut Chalein, starring Akshay Khanna, which received a mixed response from the audience. In early 2000, Rishi Kapoor initiated playing supportive roles with Ye Hai Jalwa of 2002. He further took and played similar roles in films like Fanaa, Namastey London, and Patiala House. He grabbed Filmfare Critics Award for best actor for the movie Do Dooni Char, in which he shared the screen with his wife Neetu Kapoor after a gap of 27 years. Chintu Ji also received Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He also received the Filmfare award for the best supporting role in Kapoor and Sons in 2016.
Chintu Ji, was considered to be an impatient, but a perfect artist. His short and anguish temper owing to his soft-heartedness usually used to broke out on the sets of movie Kapoor and Sons, for which it took 5 hours for him for the makeup. However, he never compromised with the shot and always gave his best in the very first take.
Chintu Ji shared the screen with his friend and real-life relative Amitabh Bachchan in 2018 after a period of 3 decades in the film 102 Not Out, a comedy-drama, in which his performance was praised even by the critics. He also appeared in the film Mulk, an action thriller in the same year.
Everything was going well, but suddenly he was diagnosed with Bone Marrow Cancer in late 2018 and thus went to London for his treatment and arrived back in September 2019 after a long battle with cancer. He last appeared in the film The Body and Jhootha Kahin ka in 2019. His fans were further waiting for his various web series productions and cameo roles, but then came the sad news of his demise, and gave a thundershock.
But, it is well said that An Artist Never Dies. All his works and lessons will always enlighten a new path for the upcoming generation of entertainers. Long live Chintu Ji !!