Rishi Kapoor, Leading Man From a Bollywood Dynasty, Dies at 67

Rishi Kapoor, a widely popular film actor from one of Bollywood’s most celebrated families, died on Thursday in Mumbai. He was 67.

The family confirmed his death in a statement, which did not list a cause. Mr. Kapoor learned he had leukemia in 2018 and was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The news rocked India just a day after the death of another Bollywood figure, the character actor Irrfan Khan.

[Read the obituary for Irrfan Khan here.]

Mr. Kapoor was best known as a romantic hero, and his charm and charisma quickly made him one of Bollywood’s leading men of the 1970s and ’80s. He later began taking on more supporting roles and character parts.

He came from a long line of Bollywood actors. His grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor was a pioneer of Indian theater and film who founded a traveling theater company. His father, Raj Kapoor, was one of the most influential actors and directors in Hindi cinema.

Mr. Kapoor first appeared onscreen as a child actor in his father’s film “Shree 420” in 1955; in his second film, “Mera Naam Joker” (1970), he played his father’s character as a young man. He won the Filmfare Award (given by Filmfare magazine) for best debut for his first leading role, in the 1973 film “Bobby.”

He went on to star in nearly 100 films and received a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. At of his death, he had been shooting the film “Sharmaji Namkeen.”

His family requested that his fans honor social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic and avoid gathering to honor him.

“In this hour of personal loss, we also recognize the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time,” the statement said. “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.”

Rishi Raj Kapoor was born in Mumbai on Sept. 4, 1952, the second son of Raj Kapoor and Krishna Raj Kapoor. His brothers, Randhir and Rajiv, and his uncles, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, Prem Nath and Prem Chopra, were all well-known actors.

In 1980 Mr. Kapoor married his frequent co-star, Neetu Singh, who survives him, as do his son, Ranbir, who is also an actor; his daughter, Riddhima Kapoor Sahni; and a granddaughter.

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