Rishi Kapoor, Bollywood leading man, dies of leukaemia aged 67

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Kapoor family urge fans not to publicly mourn star of numerous musical romances and patriarch of starry film dynasty, who has died in Mumbai

Leading Indian actor Rishi Kapoor has died of leukaemia at the age of 67.

Kapoor, part of a famous Bollywood family, was admitted to hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday and died on Thursday, according to a family statement.

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World news | The Guardian

Leading Indian actor Rishi Kapoor has died of leukaemia at the age of 67.

Kapoor, part of a famous Bollywood family, was admitted to hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday and died on Thursday, according to a family statement.

His death was confirmed by his brother Randhir who told Indian news agency PTI: “He is no more. He has passed away.”

He had returned to India last September after undergoing treatment in the US for almost a year, and was admitted to hospital twice in February.

His father Raj Kapoor and grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor were doyens of Bollywood, the vast Hindi-language film industry based in the western coastal city of Mumbai.

He received the National Film Award for his debut role as a child artist in his father’s 1970 film Mera Naam Joker. He went on to act in more than 90 films.

His wife, Nitu Singh, co-starred in several of his films, and his son Ranbir Kapoor is a current top Bollywood actor.

Colleagues took to Twitter to mourn the actor’s loss, which came a day after that of Irrfan Khan at the age of 53.

Fellow Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Thursday: “Rishi Kapoor gone… Just passed away… I am destroyed.”

Priyanka Chopra said Kapoor’s death was the end of an era, adding: “#Rishisir your candid heart and immeasurable talent will never be encountered again.”

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor was a powerhouse of talent: “I will always recall our interactions, even on social media. He was passionate about films and India’s progress.”

With India currently under lockdown, the Kapoor family issued a statement to urge fans not to publicly gather to pay their respects to Kapoor as is the tradition in the country.

“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,” the statement said.

Kapoor’s popular hits included Laila Majnu, a story of legendary Indian lovers, Debt, Moonlight, Sometimes, Sea and Lightning. In 1999, he directed Let’s Go Back.

He switched to supporting roles in the 2000s and popular movies included Namastey London and Love Aj Kal, or Love Today And Tomorrow. He acted until recently and his last movie, The Body, was released in 2019.

Kapoor is survived by his wife, son and daughter.


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