Arts & Entertainment

Veteran Indian actor Rishi Kapoor dies after battle with cancer

New Delhi, Apr 30 (efe-epa).- Veteran Indian actor Rishi Kapoor died Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 67.

The scion of a famed film dynasty spanning several generations was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday, after he complained of feeling unwell.

“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am IST in (the) hospital today after a two-year battle with leukemia (a blood cancer),” the family said in a statement.

Kapoor was born on Sep. 4, 1952 in Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital, to Bollywood’s legendary actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor and Krishna Raj Kapoor.

The chubby kid, who grew up as an iconic romantic hero of his time, began his career with roles in his father’s movies.

He played a young version of his father in the much-acclaimed 1970 film “Mera Naam Joker”, winning the National Award for Best Child Artist for his performance.

Three years later, he made his debut as a male lead in the teenage romance “Bobby”, which was followed by other popular films such as “Rafoo Chakkar” (1975) and “Karz” (1980), making him a heartthrob of moviegoers.

He delivered many multi-star hits in the 1980s and early 1990s, such as “Khel Khel Mein” (1975), “Kabhie Kabhie” (1976), “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977), “Pati Patni Aur Who” (1978), “Duniya Meri Jeb Mein” (1979), pairing with Neetu Singh, whom he married in 1980.

Some of the most critically acclaimed performances in his career spanning five decades came in later films like “Agneepath” (2012) and “Mulk” (2018), reflecting the evolution of an artist from a romantic hero to more complex and intense characters with the passage of time.

In 2018, doctors diagnosed Kapoor with cancer. He underwent treatment at New York for nearly a year before returning to India in September 2019.

Kapoor was scheduled to feature in a Bollywood adaptation of 2015 Hollywood comedy, “The Intern”, with actress Deepika Padukone.

“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,” the family statement said.

Tributes poured in from people across the country after the news of his demise broke.

“He’s GONE .. ! Rishi Kapoor .. gone .. just passed away .. I am destroyed,” tweeted Amitabh Bachchan, one of Bollywood’s top actors, who shared screen space with Kapoor in multiple projects over the decades.

Kapoor is survived by his wife Neetu, and his son Ranbir – also a popular Bollywood actor – and daughter Riddhima.

This is the Indian film fraternity’s second loss in as many days, after Irrfan Khan, 54, – known internationally for his roles in “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) and “Life of Pi” (2012), among others – also succumbed to cancer on Wednesday. EFE-EPA


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