He had to live up to a name which ruled Hindi cinema for decades.
Today, Rishi Kapoor can sit back and reflect on a career which made the audiences appreciate and his family proud.
Used as a younger Raj Kapoor in his father’s Mera Naam Joker, the chubby lad became a smart man who faces issues in the tale of young love Bobby. He never looked back after the success of Bobby. He switched to character roles later in life.
He was a bankable star, who endeared himself to the audience with generally romantic roles. His good looks, gentleness and overall appearance attracted a great following. But it was actress Neetu Singh with whom he choose to spend his life.
Here are some of his early works:
Zehreela Insaan (1974)
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Moushumi Chaterjee, Neetu Singh, Ambareesh, Pran
Director: Puttanana Kanagal
An ill-tempered youth Arjun (Rishi Kapoor) is disliked by many except his guru Masterji (Pran). Arjun falls in love with Aarti (Moushumi Chaterjee) but her parents get her married elsewhere because of Arjun’s reputation.
Arjun then falls in love with Margaret (Neetu Singh) and their affair blooms. However, during a business trip he meets Aarti and to his horror learns that she has become a prostitute. This angers him and his life becomes worse when his intended marriage with Margaret is cancelled. He asks her to run away with him. But life gets tough.
Khel Khel Mein (1975)
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Rakesh Roshan, Aruna Irani, Iftekhar, Aruna Irani
Director: Ravi Tandon
Ajay (Rishi Kapoor) joins a college in Shimla and comes across two pranksters Vikram (Rakesh Roshan) and Nisha (Neetu Singh). He becomes friendly with them after initial problems. Unfortunately, a prank on a businessman goes awry and the three land up in trouble.
The businessman is dead and a stranger is stalking them. Then Vikram is found dead. They go to the police and Inspector Bhupendra Singh (Iftekhar), who is investigating the case, tells them Vikram and his friend Sherie (Aruna Irani) were involved with a smuggler called Black Cobra. Bu who is the killer?
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Jaya Prada, Shashikala, Shreeram Lagoo, Om Shivpuri, Dheeraj Kumar, Rajni Sharma, Shakti Kapoor
Director: K Vishwanath
A deaf mute dancer Hema (Jaya Prada) lives with her father (Shreeram Lagoo) but is ill-treated by her stepmother (Shashikala) who wants to sell her to an old man for money. Hema has a dream to become a top dancer.
Help comes in the way of a musician Raju (Rishi Kapoor) who becomes her partner. But the path to success is not easy and there are many family problems which come in Hema’s way. But she fights resolutely along with Raju to make her dream come true.
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Tina Munim, Raj Kiran, Premnath, Pran, Durga Khote
Director: Subhash Ghai
Ravi Verma (Raj Kiran) wins a legal battle against Sir Judah (Premnath) who was his father’s business partner. His father was a rich businessman from Coonoor whose property was usurped by Sir Judah. Ravi falls in love with Kamini (Simi Garewal) but the latter, a stooge of Sir Judah, kills him.
Twenty years later, a singer Monty (Rishi Kapoor) falls in love with Tina (Tina Munim) and goes to meet Rani Sahiba who looks after her. But something stirs in his memory when he sees the mother who is really Kamini. And as he roams around Coonoor his memory takes him back to Ravi Verma and what happened to him. And he sees many connections.
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Ashwini Bhave, Zeba Bakhtiar, Saeed Jaffrey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Mohnish Behl
Director: Randhir Kapoor/Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor’s last film (he died during the filming) deals with the story of two lovers who live on opposite sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. Chander (Rishi Kapoor) is about to be engaged to Chandni (Ashwini Bhave) when he meets with an accident and strays across the border into Pakistan.
He is nursed to good health by Henna (Zeba Bakhtiar) a gypsy who lives near the Jhelum river. She falls in love with Chander, who has lost his memory. Chander is suspected to be an Indian spy. But the truth is revealed on the day Chander is to wed Henna and the tribe helps him cross over the border with a lot of hitches.
#Originally curated by the late Babu Kalyanpur in 2018.
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