Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla express sorrow over frequent co-star Rishi Kapoor's demise

Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 13:21 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Rishi Kapoor's frequent co-stars Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Juhi Chawla and Hema Malini took to social media to express their shock and sorrow at his passing.

Madhuri Dixit shared this photo on Twitter
Madhuri Dixit shared this photo on Twitter

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor passed away on the morning of April 30, 2020, after a two-year battle with cancer. The actor passed away peacefully in a hospital in Mumbai with wife Neetu Kapoor by his side. The Indian film industry has witnessed another dark day after the demise of Irrfan Khan, who passed away yesterday, April 29.

Rishi Kapoor's frequent co-stars Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Juhi Chawla and Hema Malini took to social media to express their shock and sorrow at his passing. Madhuri Dixit, who worked with Kapoor in several films including Sahibaan, Yaraana, and Prem Granth, tweeted, "I've had the honour of working with Rishi Ji. A larger than life person, so outspoken yet so warm. We have lost a brilliant actor today. Still can't believe it... absolutely heartbroken. My prayers are with the family during this tough time."

Another one of Rishi Kapoor's 90s co-stars, Juhi Chawla, couldn't believe the news that he passed away. The actress, who worked with Kapoor in films like Eena Meena Deeka, Saajan Ka Ghar, Daraar, Bol Radha Bol, among others, tweeted this:

In fact, Rishi Kapoor was working on a film with Juhi Chawla titled Sharmaji Namkeen before he passed away.

Veteran actress Hema Malini, too, expressed grief over the demise of Rishi Kapoor who passed away at the age of 67. "I am deeply saddened. I woke up and got the news and I was shocked because we thought that Rishi Kapoor is recovering. His departure is a very big loss," the Dream Girl told ANI.

Hema Malini and Rishi Kapoor worked together in some hits film in the late 70s and 80s, like Ek Chadar Maili Si, Naseeb, among others.

Rishi Kapoor was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday. The actor is known for his many iconic roles in blockbuster hits like Bobby, Chandni, Karz and many others.

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    The son of late legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor was born on September 4, 1952, in Chembur, Mumbai. The veteran actor had his big breakthrough in Bollywood with the 1973 film Bobby opposite Dimple Kapadia. He was the leading man in a number of popular films like Khel Khel Mein, Rafoo Chakkar, Do Premee and many more. In the latter part of his career, Rishi Kapoor went on to play a mixed bag of positive and negative characters in movies like Karz, Prem Rog, Chandni, Bol Radha Bol, Do Dooni Chaar, Agneepath and Kapoor & Sons. (All photos/mid-day archives and Instagram)

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    Rishi Kapoor's ancestral house was in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was constructed between 1918 and 1922 by Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor, the father of Prithviraj Kapoor, the first member of the family to enter the film industry. The Kapoors shifted to India after the 1947 partition.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with a 'dafali' a musical instrument he made popular.

  • 3/29

    Satisfied as an artiste, Rishi Kapoor, a couple of years ago had said the only dream he harbours is to visit his ancestral home in Peshawar. "I have been fortunate enough to visit Pakistan [he shot Heena there in 1990], but I would love to go there again. It's been 70 years and we are still fighting over Kashmir. Pakistan should realise India will never give Kashmir to them," told Rishi to media.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Amjad Khan's son Shadab Khan.

  • 4/29

    Talking about his career, you will be amazed to know that from 1973 to 2000, out of 51 solo hero films that Rishi Kapoor starred in, only 11 were successful at the box office, though his success rate was better in multi-starrers as he gave 25 hits out of 41.

  • 5/29

    Tracing his journey, Rishi Kapoor was quoted saying in an old interview with mid-day, "I am not typecast as an actor. I am ready for everything. I have done negative, positive and even funny roles. That's what every actor needs to do to bring variety. Then only he will be called a good actor - he should be able to tackle any kind of role."

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor looks rather pensive in this picture.

  • 6/29

    Rishi Kapoor has hit films to his credit such as Bobby, Laila Majnu, Rafoo Chakkar, Sargam, Karz, Prem Rog, Nagina, Honeymoon, Chandni, Heena and Bol Radha Bol.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Madhuri Dixit and David Dhawan.

  • 7/29

    Rishi Kapoor's Heena was a commercial as well as critically acclaimed film. Heena was one special film for Rishi Kapoor as the film's project was planned and started by legendary director Raj Kapoor. However, after he passed away during the filming stage, the remaining portions were directed by his son Randhir Kapoor.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Heena co-stars Ashwini Bhave and Zeba Bakhtiar.

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    In 1999, Rishi Kapoor directed the film Aa Ab Laut Chalen, starring Rajesh Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Akshaye Khanna in lead roles. Though the music of the film became popular during its time, the film failed to shine at the Box Office. It is R.K. Films' last movie to date and also remains the only film Rishi Kapoor directed in his career.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Indian cricketer Tiger Pataudi. Rishi's niece Kareena is now married to the former cricketer's son Saif Ali Khan.

  • 9/29

    While the actor loves to entertain those turning up at cinema halls with his acting prowess, he said they will never be witness to his abilities as director again. After wielding the directorial baton with Aa Ab Laut Chalen, he confessed recently that he'd rather leave the stress on set when working on a film.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with son Ranbir Kapoor, wife Neetu Singh and brother Randhir Kapoor.

  • 10/29

    Talking about his stint in direction, Rishi Kapoor told mid-day, "An actor is a king. People will do salaam to you when you enter and exit the set. Directors or producers have to endure many hassles. I don't want to go through the stress of acquiring great box office collections. I am 66 and have been working for over four decades. Why would I take on something more challenging than I can handle?"

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Govinda and Randhir Kapoor and other guests at a party.

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    Rishi Kapoor's collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan has given the industry masterpieces like Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Naseeb (1981) and Coolie (1983). His recent venture, 102 Not Out, saw him collaborate with Big B yet again. This one too did wonders at the Box Office.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor in one of his iconic songs.

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    Rishi Kapoor considers Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) as a film that's special to him. "People tell me today that even children love watching it. It is a timeless film, it is like watching Charlie Chaplin. You can watch it over and over again," said Rishi Kapoor in a recent interview with mid-day.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Dilip Kumar.

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    Acting, he said in the interview, was his passion, even if he never permitted his parents to notice how excited he was when he first harboured the thought of being an actor.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla in a still from a film.

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    When his father, the late Raj Kapoor casually spoke about including a young Rishi Kapoor in his project 'Mera Naam Joker', he was thrilled. "I ran into my room, took a sheet and started practising signing autographs. Cinema has his own charm. Movies are magical," said Rishi Kapoor to mid-day.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Annu Malik, Saroj Khan and Madhuri Dixit.

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    It's probably this admiration that Rishi Kapoor has for the industry that kept him going. He was also invested in the stage play based on his autobiography, Khullam Khulla.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. The Kapoor family's Ganapati celebrations at R.K Studio was among the grandest in Bollywood.

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    Rishi Kapoor, who had written his autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored, was asked if writing has crossed his mind again after it. "No, it really hasn't. I am an actor. Autobiography is different than writing, but yes I am very happy to let everyone know that 50,000 plus copies have been sold of my autobiography. Considering the fact that people in our country aren't crazy about reading books or autobiographies, still, we have reached such a high number. I am very happy with the result that my book has become a top seller. I am thankful for all the love that it has received since I wrote everything from my heart," he said.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with Nana Patekar in Hum Dono.

  • 17/29

    Rishi Kapoor was a name known across age groups. Though the above 40 folks know him for his films and lineage, younger folks on Twitter also know him as the man who speaks his mind.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla starred together in Bol Radha Bol (1992).

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    It seemed as if Rishi Kapoor had mastered the art of tackling trolls. He had told mid-day, "I keep taking panga on social media. But, what I tweet is straight from the heart."

    In picture: Rishi with Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor.

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    Talking about his personal life, Rishi Kapoor married his 15-time co-star Neetu Singh on January 22, 1980. The couple has two children - daughter Riddhima Kapoor, who is now an acclaimed jewellery designer and son Ranbir Kapoor, who is one of the A-listers in Bollywood.

    In picture: Rishi Kapoor with wife Neetu Kapoor.

  • 20/29

    Rishi Kapoor, in a recent interview, had opened up on parenthood, saying, "I'm a loving father now but there was a time when my son and I didn't get along because I was so busy. I've never given my son the liberty of being on back-slapping terms with me. There was this invisible glass pane between us... It's like history repeating itself as it seems almost like my equation with my father. Now, I want Ranbir to get married, have some kids, so I can be a grandfather and make up for everything there."

    In picture: An old photograph of Rishi Kapoor and wife Neetu Singh.

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    Rishi Kapoor said his son Ranbir Kapoor always wanted to be an actor but the latter had told his mother that he wouldn't wear a twisted cap on his head and have 40 dancers suddenly appear behind him. 

    In picture: A young Rishi Kapoor with his son Ranbir Kapoor.

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    Said Rishi to mid-day, "He wanted a different career graph and took on serious films like Wake Up Sid and Rocket Singh. Some films, like Jagga Jasoos and Bombay Velvet, failed, but no actor has a 100 per cent track record. But as the saying goes, 'Form is temporary, class is permanent'."

  • 23/29

    While everything was going smoothly, in 2018, Rishi Kapoor and his family went through a tough phase, when Rishi was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, following which the actor was in New York for nearly a year to undergo treatment. His wife Neetu Kapoor was in NYC with him, during his treatment.

  • 24/29

    A day after he took off to New York after being diagnosed with cancer, his mother, Krishna Raj Kapoor also passed away. "That was very unfortunate. I left for the US on September 29, and my mother passed away on October 1. She knew that I had contracted a serious disorder. That entire period was traumatic for me. I was caught up with my problem. I didn't know what to do, and I didn't have an option because I had to be here in New York. My brother told me that by the time I would get back, it would be too late. Also, I didn't have the stamina or strength to come back," said Rishi Kapoor.

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    Meanwhile, Neetu Kapoor constantly kept Rishi Kapoor's fans updated about his health and whereabouts while in NYC. Rishi and Neetu returned to India in September 2019. But, post his return to India, his health was frequently in focus.

    In picture: Neetu Kapoor shared this adorable throwback picture and captioned: 1989 Jaipur... toosh shawl sweater 10 p.m... eyes shut... by the look of it he definitely had something funny to say.

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    Rishi Kapoor was admitted to hospital in quick succession in February 2020. Amid speculations about his health, he had been hospitalised in New Delhi in early February, while on a visit to the capital.

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    But God had some other plans! A day after the demise of Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor passed away at H.N Reliance Hospital early morning on Thursday - April 30, 2020.

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    A message from Kapoor family, after Rishi's demise, read: Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am IST in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukaemia. 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. In picture: Rishi Kapoor in a still from 'Karz' (1980).

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    Rest in peace, Rishiji! 

    In picture: (L-R) Bharat Sahni (Rishi Kapoor's son-in-law), Riddhima Kapoor Sahni, Neetu Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Samara Sahni (Rishi Kapoor's granddaughter), Rishi Kapoor, Krishna Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor's mother).

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