Born on April 7, 1942, in Amritsar, Punjab, Jeetendra's real name is Ravi Kapoor. His parents Amarnath and Krishna Kapoor were into the imitation jewellery business. (All photos/mid-day archives)
Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna attended the same school - St. Sebastian's Goan High School in Girgaum and later went to the same college as well - K.C. College, Churchgate.
Rajesh Khanna is believed to have encouraged and tutored Jeetendra during his early days in the film industry.
Jeetendra joined the film industry in 1959 with V Shantaram's Navrang. There is a very interesting tale about Jeetendra's first on-screen appearance. He was supplying jewellery to V. Shantaram, who ended up casting him as actress Sandhya's double in the 1959 film Navrang.
He went on to star in movies like Parichay and Kinara, and over-the-top commercial outings like Mawaali, Himmatwala and Tohfa.
Pictured: Amitabh Bachchan and Jeetendra share a joke with bride and groom Rakhee and Gulzar during their wedding in April 1973.
Though Jeetendra's first feature film was V. Shantaram's Navrang, his big Hindi film debut is considered as the 1964 movie - Geet Gaya Patharon Ne, directed by V. Shantaram!
Do you know Jeetendra has done nearly 200 films as the main lead? It's a feat matched by just a handful of his peers since the inception of Hindi cinema.
Even though he was popular as the dancing star, Jeetendra did a number of restrained roles in Gulzar's films - namely Parichay (1972), Khushboo (1975) and Kinaara (1977).
Jeetendra's popular films of the 80s include Justice Chaudry (1982), Mawaali (1983), Himmatwala (1983), Jaani Dushman and Tohfa (1984). Pictured: Jumping Jack in a still from Santaan (1992).
In the 1980s, Jeetendra starred with either Sridevi and Jaya Prada in remakes of popular South films. Talking to mid-day about his equation with Sridevi, Jeetendra had said in an interview, "I first met Sridevi at the 100th day jubilee function of one of her Tamil films. I walked up to this bright-eyed girl and congratulated her on her performance. Little did I know that we would be working together in a few months' time.
Himmatwala, starring Jeetendra and Sridevi, was a turning point for both the stars. He revealed further, "I was going through a low phase after Deedar-E-Yaar (1982) – the film suffered heavy losses, and brought me back to square one as an actor and producer. Sridevi, too, was coming out of Solva Saawan (1979), her debut film as a full-fledged heroine in Bollywood. The film didn't fare well and almost put her out of the Hindi film industry. So Himmatwala, directed by K Raghavendra Rao, was a turning point for both of us."
Not many know that Rekha was the original choice for Himmatwala. Jeetendra had revealed in an interview, "I guess Sridevi was destined to do Himmatwala – she bagged the role and the film became one of the biggest grossers of the year. And with it, Bollywood woke up to the magic of Sridevi."
Pictured: Jeetendra with Rekha on the sets of the film Mother 98
Jeetendra's 1990 fantasy film, Hatim Tai remains popular among his ardent fans even today. The film starring Jeetendra and Sangeeta Bijlani, was based on the true-life story of Hatim al-Tai, a renowned Arabian poet from the Ta'i Arabian tribe. He is still an icon to Arabs for being extremely generous and brave.
On the personal front, in 1974, Jeetendra married his childhood sweetheart Shobha Kapoor, who is now the MD of Balaji Telefilms. In an interview with mid-day, Jeetendra was quoted saying, "I remember sending a telegraph to my wife Shobha that time saying 'I love her' and in return, she had said 'fake'."
Pictured: Tusshar Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor as little kids with dad Jeetendra and mom Shobha Kapoor
Jeetendra and Shobha Kapoor have two kids - daughter Ekta Kapoor and son Tusshar Kapoor. While Ekta is known to be a successful Indian television and film producer, Tusshar tried his hands in acting, just like his father.
Pictured: Jeetendra with daughter Ekta Kapoor
Jeetendra also acted in daughter Ekta Kapoor's most popular show Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in which he played the role of an elderly man. Well, it was not really a full-fledged role though.
Jeetendra had a brief role in the 2002 film Kucch To Hai which starred his son Tusshar Kapoor and was produced by daughter Ekta Kapoor.
Jeetendra and Sohail Khan and Anita Hassanandani on the sets of Krishna Cottage. The film was produced by mother-daughter duo Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor.
He is 77 but continues to look young and fit. It won't be wrong to say that Jeetendra could give actors half his age a run for their money. Known as Bollywood’s Jumping Jack, much of his healthy glow thanks to his personal nutritionist.
Jeetendra is now a grandfather to Laksshya Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor's son and Ravie Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor's son. In a recent interview, Jeetendra had expressed that he wanted to see his grandchildren on the reality show Super Dancers. "It's my wish to see Lakshsya and the younger one Ravie to perform on Super Dancer. Ravie is still too small but once he turns 5-6 years old I want both my grandsons to come here and dance. My only wish is to stay alive to watch that day."
Legends of the industry like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor have come with their autobiographies. But Jeetendra feels he won't be able to pen an autobiography of himself. "My life is very simple, it is not worth being written into a biography, for that 'masala' is required," said Jeetendra.
Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Jeetendra ji!
Considered a sensation in the "80s in his trademark white boots, he was known to combine knee-clapping to leapfrogging to PT exercises in his dance routines. As the 'jumping jack' of Bollywood, Jeetendra, celebrates his 77th birthday, we bring you a collection of some rare pictures of the veteran actor