Rishi Kapoor no more, but his films are forever

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor is no more, confirmed his family on Thursday.

“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45am 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.

“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.

“In this hour of personal loss, we also recognise the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time. There are numerous restrictions around movement and gathering in public. We would like to request all his fans and well-wishers and friends of the family to please respect the laws that are in force.

He would not have it any other way,” went the statement from Kapoor’s family.

Rishi Kapoor belongs to the illustrious Kapoor family of Bollywood, widely known as first family of Hindi films. Son of late iconic actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor, his uncles Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor were stars, too, as have been his brothers Randhir and Rajeev Kapoor in their time.

Rishi Kapoor is survived by wife, actress Neetu Kapoor, daughter Riddhima and son Ranbir.

His death was first announced by colleague and Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday morning.

“T 3517 – He’s GONE .. ! Rishi Kapoor .. gone .. just passed away .. I am destroyed!,” Amitabh tweeted on Thursday,” tweeted Big B.

Rishi was hospitalised on Wednesday morning after complaining that he was not feeling well.

According to reports, the 67-year-old actor was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai. Wife Neetu Kapoor was at his side.

The hospitalisation had been confirmed by Rishi’s elder brother, actor Randhir Kapoor.

In 2018, Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, following which the actor was in New York for nearly a year to undergo treatment. He returned to India in September 2019 after recovering.

Post return to India, his health has frequently been in focus. The actor was admitted to hospital in quick succession in February. Amid speculations about his health, he had been hospitalised in New Delhi in early February, while on a visit to New Delhi.

Rishi Kapoor had once said that “cinema as a medium is so universal that it touches thousands of hearts”. Though the evergreen romantic hero, who made wearing a sweater cool and chic, is gone now, he has left behind numerous movies that will stay forever in the hearts of many.

A day after he was hospitalised here, Rishi Kapoor is no more.

IANS has listed his top films that will keep him alive forever:

“Bobby”

The 1973 romantic film was the perfect way to launch a star kid in a leading role. It had love, fun, drama and songs that could be heard on a loop. Produced and directed by Rishi’s famous father Raj Kapoor, “Bobby” was about teenage romance with the financial status of the couple’s families playing the villain. The film made Rishi and Dimple Kapadia the ‘it couple’ on the big screen.

“Khel Khel Mein”

In the 1975 movie, his pairing with now wife Neetu Singh was loved by one and all. It saw them and actor Rakesh Roshan as college students, who play a prank. Soon, the film turns to a gripping thriller.

“Amar Akbar Anthony”

The Manmohan Desai 1977 multi-starrer is widely considered one of the best examples of Bollywood masala entertainment ever. It told the story about three brothers, played by Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi, each raised in different religious households later reunite in a chance encounter.

“Sargam”

The 1979 film was about a young woman, who was unable to hear or speak and ill-treated by her stepmother, had a passion for classical dancing. Rishi played a musician, who helped her in becoming a dancer. His pairing with Jaya Prada was loved by many.

“Karz”

The 1980 reincarnation story, directed by Subhash Ghai, had Rishi playing Monty, who discovers that in his past life he was killed by his gold-digger wife (Simi Garewal).

“Chandni”

Another romantic film, released in 1989, saw him playing Chandni’s (Sridevi) fiance, Rohit, who gets paralysed in an accident and she is forced to relocate to Mumbai where her boss, Lalit, falls for her.

“Do Dooni Chaar”

The 2010 comedy-drama was about a middle-class school teacher (Rishi) who tries to keep his wife (Neetu) and children happy in inflationary times and dreams of buying a car.

“Agneepath”

The audience got to see him in a villainous avatar in the 2012 film. Rishi was cast as Rauf Lala, a kohk-eyed underworld don, in the story of crime and revenge that also starred Sanjay Dutt and Hrithik Roshan.

“Kapoor & Sons”

In the 2016 movie, he played a 90-year-old grandfather, who lusts after a cardboard cutout of Mandakini, watches porn and makes nasty remarks at people including nurses attending to him.

“102 Not Out”

The 2018 film brought Rishi and Amitabh Bachchan together on the big screen as son and father. While Amitabh played a 102-year-old who enjoys life, Rishi’s character, a 76-year-old, believed that he was too old to enjoy life.

“Mulk”

The 2018 film raised questions about religion and patriotism.It revolved around the struggles of a Muslim joint family from a Hindu majority town in India, who fight to reclaim their honour after a member of their family takes to terrorism. Rishi played Murad Ali Mohammed, a respected lawyer.