The first family of Bollywood

Kapoor family is commonly known as the first of Bollywood. The family patriarch Prithviraj Kapoor led a group of artists that gave performances going from place to place and that became the cornerstone of the family’s foray into Bollywood and then its unbroken reign for more than last 7 decades after the eldest son of Prithviraj, Raj Kapoor set up his production house R K Studio. He produced and acted in some of the great movies, a few of which like Aawara and Sangam acquired almost cult status. His younger brothers, other 2 sons of Prithviraj, Shammi and Shashi also established themselves as highly popular and successful actors.

The next generation of the clan comprised three sons of Raj Kapoor – Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv and two sons of Shashi Kapoor – Kunal and Karan and also his daughter Sanjana. Of the above lot, barring Rishi Kapoor, who carried forward his illustrious father’s legacy by acquiring superstar status, others met with limited success. Shashi’s children busied themselves in managing the affairs of Prithvi theatre. Randhir after initial flashes of brilliance, settled for a reclusive life. The youngest son Rajeev had one super hit under his belt, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, directed by the showman Raj Kapoor himself. Thereafter , Rajiv or Chimpu as he was fondly addressed, couldn’t really climb the success ladder of Bollywood.

Unlike his elder brothers, Randhir and Rishi, who married popular Bollywood actresses Babita and Neetu and whose next generation comprising Randhir’s daughters Karishma and Kareena and Rishi’s son Ranbir are the flag bearers of the family tradition, little is known about Rajiv’s personal life. As it now transpired, he was married for a short period of time to one Aarti Sabharwal before getting separated and had no issue.

It’s so ironical that this first family of Bollywood that has been endowed by God with an overdose of beauty and talent has being seeing number of tragedies in the recent past. While Rishi’s death last year after his battle with cancer was a well covered event, the fact is that the family also lost Raj’s daughter Ritu Nanda and Matriarch of the family Krishna Kapoor, Raj’s wife, and with Rajiv’s death now, the life seems to have gone harsh on the family.

Hope the family now sees some pleasant and happy events, which it deserves after a spate of tragedies at close intervals.

2 thoughts on “The first family of Bollywood

  1. Kapoor Khandaan is producing Stars , now Ranbir from lineage of Raj Kapoor. After Rishi and now Rajiv , 2 big separated though both were not so aged.

    Sir, Nicely written column that is commemorative of era of Raj Kumar family.


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