Date of Birth : 14 December 1924
Place of Birth : Peshawar, British India (now Pakistan)
Average Movie Rating for all Raj Kapoor Movies 0
Raj Kapoor Trivia
Ranbir Raj Kapoor was born the son of Prithvi Raj Kapoor, the son of Basheshwarnath Kapoor in a village now in Peshawar in Pakistan. Shammi and Shashi were his younger brothers. The Kapoors left Peshawar before partition but the house they were born in still stands and is a centre of attraction for all those who know anything about the Kapoor family and specially about Raj Kapoor.
His father Prithviraj Kapoor who was involved in theatre in Pakistan started his own Prithvi theatre in India. He made Bombay his centre and traveled all over India during the time India was struggling for freedom. His plays tackled topical subjects which appeared to Indian. Ranbir Raj Kapoor played the little boy wherever there was a need for a character his age. He was a part of Prithvi theatre who stood out side theatre after every show with ?jholis? (bags) in their hands to collect money who carry on their activities. They never sold tickets for their shows.
Prithviraj Kapoor made it as an actor in film in Calcutta first. He made it in Bombay with some very powerful roles. His handsome looks, his booming voice and the way he carried himself made him a major star-actor. His popularity and success inspired the young Ranbir Raj. He too wanted to be an actor like his father. He told father about his ambition. Father ask him to start as an ordinary helper in Bombay Talkies. The leading filmmaking company in India than.
Ranbi Raj Kapoor started as a sweeper in the studio. He was till working as a sweeper when young actor called Dilip Kumar was making his debut in ?Jwar Bhata? after he was selected by Devika Rani, the first lady of Indian cinema who was also the owner of the studio.
Ranbir Raj Kapoor?s father tried his best to make him study and finished at least his matriculation. Ranbir was obsessed by the making of film. He failed his matric. His disgusted father got him to work as an assistant with a very tough task master, a director called Kidar Sharma just to scare him out of his obsession. Sharma lived up to his reputation. He treated the young Ranbir, Raj worse than a spot boy. He made him do the most menial job. There was a time when Sharma found him looking into the mirror used by the stars all the time. Sharma caught him red handed and slapped him while the entire unit watch the son of the great Prithvi Raj Kapoor being slapped first Ranbir took it in his stride. Sometime better luck played its own game and the same Sharma to gave Ranbir Raj a slap also gave him his first break as an actor and Raj Kapoor the actor was born.
Raj Kapoor played many other role after his first break but he came into his own and found recognition when he played the jealous husband of Nargis in Mehboob Khan?s ?Andaaz?. It was a major triumph for him because he was pitted against the invincible Dilip Kumar and Nargis who were much bigger name than him but Raj Kapoor always wanted to be a director first. He was only twenty three when he directed his first film, ?Aah? which was an artistic victory but a failure at the box-office. His father and his friend advised him to continue acting and give up his ambition to direct film but Raj Kapoor had made up his mind. He would not give up his ambition for anything.
Ranbir Raj Kapoor launched R.K. Films? ?Barsaat? which had many firsts to its credit. It was produced and directed by Raj Kapoor under his own banner. He introduced the beautiful Nimmi as one of the leading ladies. Nargis was the main leading interest in the story. He introduced two young musicians, Shankar from Andra Pradesh and Jaikishan, a Punjabi. He brought them together as a team. He also found a railway employee who was also a progressive poet with radical thoughts which were the thoughts and feeling of the common man, Shailendra and another poet Hasrat Jaipuri who was popular at kavi sammelans and mushairas and they too found a team. The film was a big block-buster. R.K. Films was established. Raj, Nargis and Nimmi together with Premnath were major stars and the music was a National craze. Shankar-Jaikishan and Shailendra-Hasrat were the men who would be an essential part of all the film made by Raj Kapoor till ?Mera Naam Joker? flopped and in their places came Anand Bakshi and Laxmikant Parelal for the first in ?Bobby?. For his last film, ?Ram Teri Ganga Maili? he had Ravindra Jain as his music director. Raj had a very strong feel for music. He himself had a good command over various musical instruments which helped in getting the kind of music he wanted, who ever the music director was.
The singer Mukesh was always his voice in all the film he made under his own banner and also for film he did with other directors. Manna Dey was the only exception once in a way.
Raj Kapoor invested all the money he earned as an actor into buying a plot of land in the then God-forsaken suburb of Chembur. He built both his studio and his cottage in Chembur while all the other stars of his time were building and buying bungalows on Pali Hill and later on in Juhu.
Raj Kapoor may not have passed his matric but he had a fantastic flair for languages. He pick-up chaste Hindi and Urdu and spoke the kind of English which could give the English man a massive complex. His speeches made in English sometimes made some of the best speakers of the language hide in the shade.
Raj Kapoor had a great knack of selecting writers. He always consider K.A. Abbas, his writer of ?Awaara, Shri 420 and Mera Naam Jokar? as the voice of his soul and conscience. Abbas also wrote ?Bobby? for him which saved him from being declared bankrupt and tempted him to mortgage his dream studio. It was the first three films written by Abbas that gave Raj the image of the tramp, the common man and the everyday Indian fighting for a place of his own in his own country. He had other writers who work for him but it was always Abbas who came first for him because it was Abbas who made him an international figure all over specially in all the Communist countries. He was worshipped in Soviet Russia after ?Awaara? and ?Shri 420? and Mao Tse Tung, the architect of modern China when on record to say that ?Awaara? was the only film he had seen in his entire life.
Raj Kapoor believed in falling in love with all his heroines because he felt he could get the best work from them only when he was obsessed with then. Son of his love stories have grown into myths, specially the one with Nargis. He wanted all his favorite women dressed immaculate white. He too always wore white and white chappals except at formal functions.
Raj Kapoor was always the first to raise his voice when the industry face a crises and his voice was heard. Raj was also the first to lead the industry whenever the country faced a calamity or a war.
Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand were known as the famous trio. They brought dignity and honour to the industry. They were personal friend of the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The three traveled to various film festival all over the world where they shared a common room and talked about things they couldn?t when they were at home. They never considered themselves competitor but always as friends.
Raj Kapoor was a very good boss. He always paid all those who worked with him what he felt they deserve. Soon after the success of ?Bobby? every spot boy was gifted a bonus and a brand new bicycle and every technician with brand new Ambassador car. It was a privilege to be seen and be a part of his Holi celebrations where every one in the industry participating. It was only years later that Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan had their Holi celebration but non of them could celebrate Holi the way Raj did.
Raj Kapoor was a very lovable man but he could also be very nasty and an angry old man as he grew holder. His friends sometime say it was difficult to know who the real Raj Kapoor was. He was sometimes at his worst when he said him like ?you know, who I am, I am Raj Kapoor, I can make you and I can break you. What do you want me to do with you??
Raj Kapoor loved to live a full life. He loved beautiful woman. He loved the best brand of Scotch and cigarettes and he loved would best next to woman. He had his own personal cook, John who knew all the likes and dislikes of his master. He could eat at the best hotels in the world and he could also eat idlis and dosas at Geeta Bhuwan, Udupi Hotel where he sat cross-legged and ate with his figures and even licked them in public.
Raj Kapoor loved traveling in white Ambassador car whatever the occasion. His son, Randhir once ask him why he did not travel in a limousine for the Chevrolet and he told Randhir ?those flashy car are for people who have nothing else to show. I am Raj Kapoor. I am known by my work and not by my cars?
Raj had always been an asthma patient. His in disciplined lifestyle, his drinking heavily, his chained smoking finally took a toll on his life. He was a sick and tired old man who was carried to the shooting of his last film ?Ram Teri Ganga Maili? the last time he was seen active was during the recording of a song for ?Henna?. He was soon declared the winner of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award. He was to sick to make it to the Vigyan Bhawan to received the award. His family made all arrangements to take him to see his most glorious moment. All eyes were on the showman who was panting for breath. His name was called out but he was not able to rise from his chair. It was the first time that the President of India, then, Mr. R.Venkatraman walked down the dais and reached Raj Kapoor, presented the award to him and Raj Kapoor collapsed never to rise again. He was rushed to the Escorts Hospital in New Delhi own by his son-in-law where he struggled for life for several days till he finally gave up his spirit and Ranbir Raj Kapoor became a part of history. His funeral in Mumbai, frankly can be compared to the funerals of great men and women of modern history like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. Raj Kapoor is no longer a part of this industry in the body but his spirit is so strong that it will guide or should guide generation after generation to come.