Rishi Kapoor (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Some people are born in the lap of luxury and some, like Rishi Kapoor, in the spotlight of fame. As Raj Kapoor's son and Prithviraj Kapoor's grandson, the stardom was destined but the legacy of good acting was very much his own.High-spirited, sometimes irascible and always outspoken, the talented Mr Kapoor died after a two-year battle with leukaemia on Thursday, his acting boots still firmly on at age 67.
The third generation of the famed Kapoor dynasty that fused stardom with a tradition of acting, Rishi marked three innings in cinema ? child actor, romantic hero over three decades and finally character artiste when he transformed from chocolate boy lover to malevolent villain (Agneepath), harried tutor (Do Dooni Chaar) and potty-mouthed grandfather (Kapoor & Sons).
One of Hindi mainstream cinema's most enduring stars, Rishi did almost 150 films over five decades six if you count his walk on part when he was just a toddler during the song ?Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua? in his father's film Shri 420.
Of these, almost 90 were as a romantic hero. In an age dominated by action stars, he was the eternal lover boy, dancing and serenading actresses from his contemporary Dimple Kapadia (?Bobby and Saagar?) to a much younger Urmila Matondkar in Shreeman Aashique.
Almost always the urban hero from an upper crust family, Rishi could be seen twisting and shouting in scenic locales, strumming a guitar, driving trendy cars and dressed in colourful sweaters that became his trademark.
Some of the films were fun, good and live on in memory (Chandni,Karz, Doosra Aadmi?) and some quite forgettable, even bad.He made the most of the hackneyed roles offered to him as the poster boy of romance, often turning up as part of an ensemble cast in films such as Kabhi Kabhie, Amar Akbar Anthony and Naseeb.
By his own admission, Rishi, or Chintu as he was known, said he was slotted as a romantic hero and could never have done experimental films.
"Ranbir did a 'Barfi'. I could never do 'Barfi', 'Sanju' or 'Rocket Singh' in my time. I could never do these kinds of experimental films, which worked big time,? he told PTI in an interview last year.
Later in life came experimental roles in films such as Mulkand Luck By Chance.Rishi was flipping how the world saw him, from star-actor to actor-star, his star status finally being subsumed.This, his final innings in cinema, was cut short by his devastating illness.
His latest cinematic appearance was in "The Body", with Emraan Hashmi, in December 2019. The next, a remake of the Hollywood film The Intern? with Deepika Padukone was announced but alas never got off the ground.
Acting was his lifeblood, and his love for food, family, friends, and films his raison d'etre just as it was for the rest of the Kapoors.
With his grandfather, father and uncles Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor he was to cinema born. There was almost nothing else he could have done.