RAJ KAPOOR Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Raj Kapoor was born on 14th December 1924, in Peshawar in the North West Frontier Province of what is now Pakistan. He was named Ranbirraj Kapoor at birth, and was the eldest of the four children of renowned stage and cinema actor Prithviraj Kapoor and his wife Smt. Ramsarni (Rama) Devi nee Mehra. His younger brothers were the actors Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. He also had a sister by name Urmila Sial.


Raj Kapoor and Krishna’s eldest son Randhir Kapoor was born the following year, followed by their elder daughter Ritu the year after, in 1948. The second son Rishi Kapoor was born in 1952, and second daughter Rima in 1956. Their youngest son, Rajiv Kapoor was born in 1962. Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor have all been associated with the Hindi film industry as actors, directors or producers.


Raj Kapoor began his career as a clapper boy assisting Kidar Sharma. At age eleven, he appeared in films for the first time, in the 1935 film Inquilab.


Raj Kapoor’s big break, however, came when he played the hero’s role in Neel Kamal (1947) by Kidar Sharma. In 1948, at the age of twenty-four, he established his own studio, R. K. Films, and became the youngest film director of his time.


His first movie as a producer, director and star was Aag which was also the first of his many films with Nargis. The following year he once again starred with Nargis alongside Dilip Kumar in Mehboob Khan’s Andaz which had the record for the highest grossing film ever at the time.


Thereafter, Raj Kapoor directed several films. He also acted in most of them. Some of the famous films directed by Raj Kapoor are Barsaat (1949), Awaara (1951), Shri 420 (1955), and Sangam (1964). He formed a hit pair with Nargis. Raj Kapoor depicted the story of common man in his films and his films appealed to every section of the society.


Raj Kapoor had great sense of music and the music of his films was very popular not only in India but in countries like Russia too. Film historians have characterized Raj Kapoor as the “Charlie Chaplin of India,” since he often himself played a tramp-like figure who, despite adversity, could still be cheerful and honest.


He died on June 2, 1988 due to asthma related complications. At the time of his death he was working on the film Henna, based on a love story between an Indian boy and Pakistani girl .The film was later completed by his son Randhir Kapoor and was a major commercial success.