Raj Kapoor life and biography

Raj Kapoor picture, image, poster

Raj Kapoor biography

Date of birth : 1924-12-14
Date of death : 1988-06-02
Birthplace : Peshawar, Pakistan
Nationality : Hindi
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2010-10-17
Credited as : Bollywood actor, film director and producer,

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Raj Kapoor was one of the most noted Bollywood filmmakers of the yesteryears and is remembered for Raj Kapoorhis all-time classics till date. Much before he entered the arena of direction, Kapoor had established himself as a talented actor. Apart from that, he also indulged in production and gave the industry a number of hit films. One of the most prominent members of the famous ‘Kapoor’ family of Bollywood, he continues to be held in the highest esteem by filmmakers of not only India, rather across the world.


Raj Kapoor was born as ‘Ranbir Raj Kapoor’ on 14th December 1924, in Peshawar, in the North West Frontier Province, (of what is now) Pakistan. He was the eldest of the four children of prominent stage and cinema actor Prithviraj Kapoor and his wife Smt. Ramsarni (Rama) Devi. He was the grandson of Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor and great-grandson of Dewan Keshavmal Kapoor. Raj Kapoor had three siblings, two brothers - Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, and one sister - Urmila Sial.

Personal Life

Raj Kapoor got married to Krishna Malhotra, in a traditional family-arranged wedding, in 1946, when he was hardly 22 years old. Krishna, a distant relative of Raj, was the sister of actors Prem Nath and Rajinder Nath. The couple had a son around a year after their wedding, in 1947, and he was named Randhir Kapoor. They had their second child, a daughter - Ritu Kapoor, the following year. Four years later, in 1952, Rishi Kapoor was born. Raj and Krishna had two more children - daughter Reema Kapoor in 1956 and son Rajiv Kapoor in 1962. Raj Kapoor is rumored to have had a romantic relationship with actress Nargis.


Raj Kapoor started his career in the film industry as a clapper boy, assisting Kidar Sharma. He made his debut as an actor in 1935 film ‘Inquilab’, at the tender age of eleven years. He continued coming in Bollywood movies for the next twelve years, none of them being a major one. It was in 1947 that Kapoor receive the first ‘big break’ of his career, when his movie Neel Kamal was released. In the movie, he was cast opposite the beautiful, and much talented, Madhubala. The following year, he set up his own studio, R. K. Films.

R.K. Films made Kapoor the youngest film director of his time, hardly 24 years old. His debut movie, as a director and producer, was ‘Aag’, which hit the theaters in 1948. It was his first movie with Nargis and failed to do well at the box office. The following year, he again paired with Nargis, in Mehboob Khan's ‘Andaz’, which went on to become his first major success as an actor. Amongst the most notable films of his career are Barsaat (1949), Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Chori Chori (1956) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960).

The year 1960 saw Raj Kapoor making ‘Sangam’ (which he produced, directed and starred in), the first color film of his career. The movie was also his last major success as an actor. A couple of years later, he started making ‘Mera Naam Joker’, a film that took around six years to complete. It was released in 1970 and bombed at the box office. However, in the later years, the movie was regarded as one of the finest films ever made in Bollywood. In 1971, he was seen in ‘Kal Aaj Aur Kal’, which also had Randhir Kapoor, Prithviraj Kapoor and Babita.

Starting from ‘Kal Aaj Aur Kal’, Kapoor shifted to roles as a character actor and focused on producing and directing films. In 1973, he produced and directed ‘Bobby’, through which he also launched his second eldest son Rishi Kapoor. The film was a huge success and served as the perfect start for not only Rishi Kapoor, but also Dimple Kapadia. The rest of 1970s and early 1980s saw him delivering successful films like ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ (1978), ‘Prem Rog’ (1982) and ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985).

Raj KapoorLater Life and Death

The last film of Raj Kapoor, in which he made an appearance, was ‘Vakil Babu’ (1982). Two years later, he was seen in a cameo appearance, in a British made-for-television film ‘Kim’. In the later years of his life, Kapoor suffered from asthma. It was asthma-related complications only that took away his life, enabling him to leave for the holy abode, in 1988. During his last days, he was working on the movie ‘Henna’. The movie was completed, after his death, by Randhir Kapoor and released in 1991. It went on to become a huge box-office hit.

Filmfare Awards

1985 - Best Movie for Ram Teri Ganga Maili
1985 - Best Director for Ram Teri Ganga Maili
1982 - Best Movie for Prem Rog
1982 - Best Director for Prem Rog
1970 - Best Director for Mera Naam Joker
1964 - Best Director for Sangam
1964 - Best Movie for Sangam
1960 - Best Actor for Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai
1959 - Best Actor for Anari

Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards

1964 - Best Director for Sangam
1964 - Best Editor for Sangam
1967 - WBest Actor for Teesri Kasam
1971 - Best Actor for Mera Naam Joker
1971 - Best Director Mera Naam Joker

Honors and Recognition

1955 - Conferred with an honorary degree in Tehran
1971 - Honored with Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, by Government of India
1987 - Awarded Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award for cinematic excellence
2000 - Raj Kapoor Film Festival held at the Cultural Centre of Russia
2001 - Honored with "Best Director of the Millennium" award by Hero Honda-Stardust
2002 - 55th Cannes International Film Festival comprised a Raj Kapoor Retrospective, Named "Showman of the Millennium" by Star Screen Awards
2007 - Conferred with a "Special Award" by Star Screen Awards
2008 - Raj Kapoor film festival held in The Netherlands city The Hague, Raj Kapoor film festival held in the Omani capital Muscat
Also Conferred with a "National Award" for cinematography, for contribution to Indian cinema


1935 - Inquilab
1943 - Hamari Baat, Gauri
1946 - Valmiki
1947 - Jail Yatra, Dil-Ki-Rani, Chittor Vijay, Neel Kamal
1948 - Gopinath, Amar Prem, Aag
1949 - Sunehre Din, Parivartan, Andaz, Barsaat
1950 - Sargam, Pyaar, Jan Pahchan, Dastan, Bawre Nain, Banwra
1951 - Awaara
1952 - Bewafa, Ashiana, Anhonee, Amber
1953 - Paapi, Dhoon, Aah
1954 - Boot Polish (uncredited)
1955 - Shree 420
1956 - Jagte Raho, Chori Chori
1957 - Sharada
1958 - Phil Subha Hogi, Parvarish
1959 - Main Nashe Men Hoon, Kanhaiya, Do Ustad, Char Dil Char Raahein, Anari
1960 - Shriman Satyawadi, Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai, Chhalia
1961 - Nazrana
1962 - Aashiq
1963 - Ek Dil Sao Afsane, Dil Hi To Hai
1964 – Sangam, Dulha Dulhan
1966 - Teesri Kasam
1967 - Diwana, Around the World
1968 - Sapnon Ka Saudagar
1970 - Mera Naam Joker
1971 - Kal Aaj Aur Kal
1973 - Mera Desh Mera Dharam
1975 - Do Jasoos, Dharam Karam
1976 - Khan Dost
1977 - Chandi Sona
1978 - Satyam Shivam Sundaram (voice)
1978 - Naukri
1980 - Abdullah
1982 - Gopichand Jasoos, Vakil Babu
1984 - Kim


1948 - Aag
1949 - Barsaat
1951 - Awaara
1955 - Shree 420
1964 - Sangam
1970 - Mera Naam Joker
1973 - Bobby
1978 - Satyam Shivam Sundaram
1982 - Prem Rog
1985 - Ram Teri Ganga Maili


1948 - Aag
1949 - Barsaat
1951 - Awaara
1953 - Aah
1954 - Boot Polish
1955 - Shree 420
1956 - Jagte Raho
1957 - Ab Dilli Dur Nahin
1960 - Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai
1964 - Sangam
1970 - Mera Naam Joker
1971 - Kal Aaj Aur Kal
1973 - Bobby
1975 - Dharam Karam
1978 - Satyam Shivam Sundaram
1981 - Biwi O Biwi
1982 - Prem Rog

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