Part of Bollywood’s Kapoor acting dynasty, Rishi Kapoor made his film debut in 1970 as a child actor in his father Raj Kapoor’s movie, Mera Naam Joker.
Three years later, Kapoor landed his first lead role in the 1973 hit Bobby. It led to a string of romantic lead roles Kapoor played in dozens of films for over two decades. Later in his career, Kapoor transitioned to become a character actor.
Kapoor famously married his on-screen romantic partner Neetu Singh. The couple’s son Ranbir Kapoor would also go on to become a successful Bollywood star.
The actor’s family confirmed his death in a message reported by the BBC:
“The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said he kept them 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. 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. He was taken to hospital on Wednesday after experiencing breathing difficulties.
Tributes have flooded in from Indian luminaries. Actor Akshay Kumar described Kapoor as a “legend and a good friend”:
Priyanka Chopra shared an image with Rishi and his wife Neetu Kapoor, and said, “My heart is so heavy. This is the end of an era. #rishisir your candid heart and immeasurable talent will never be encountered again. Such a privilege to have known you even a little bit. My condolences to Neetu maam, Ridhima, Ranbir and the rest of the family. Rest in peace Sir.”
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My heart is so heavy. This is the end of an era. #Rishisir your candid heart and immeasurable talent will never be encountered again. Such a privilege to have known you even a little bit. My condolences to Neetu maam, Ridhima, Ranbir and the rest of the family. Rest in peace Sir. #rishikapoor
Shah Rukh Khan’s production company tweeted “Accepting your loss isn’t going to be easy”:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Kapoor a “powerhouse talent”:
Kapoor’s death comes a day after the passing of another Bollywood star, Irrfan Khan.