Raj Kapoor, also known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor, was an Indian actor, producer, and director who worked in Hindi cinema. Raj Kapoor was born Shrishti Nath Kapoor on December 14, 1924, and passed away on June 2, 1988. He has been called The Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema and the Charlie Chaplin of Indian Cinema. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most important actors and filmmakers in the history of Indian cinema.
Raj Kapoor was born in Peshawar and is the son of Prithviraj Kapoor. He produced and featured in several films for which he won numerous awards, including three National Film Awards and eleven Filmfare Awards in India. Charlie Chaplin served as his inspiration, and he went on to play Tramp-like roles in films like Shree 420 (1955) and Awaara (1951). Time magazine named his performance in Awaara and his other produced films among the "Top-Ten Greatest Performances of All Time in World Cinema" in 2005. Awara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954) were contenders for the Palme d'Or award at the 1951 and 1955 seasons of the Cannes Film Festival, respectively.
In portions of Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Soviet bloc, his films were huge box office hits. In recognition of his services to the arts, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1971. The Government of India awarded him the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest honour in film, in 1987.
He made his screen debut in a Hindi movie at the age of eleven in 1935's Inquilab. The main part in Neel Kamal (1947), alongside Madhubala in her first leading lady role, was Raj Kapoor's major break. At the age of twenty-four, he founded R. K. Films in 1948 and made his directorial debut with Aag, starring himself, Nargis, Kamini Kaushal, and Premnath. This made him the youngest film director of all time. His first major hit as an actor was Andaz, directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Dilip Kumar and Nargis in 1949. Later that year, he had his first triumph as an actor, director, and producer with the huge hit film Barsaat.
He went on to feature in and produce a number of successful films released under his R. K. Banner, including Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960), directed by his longtime cinematographer Radhu Karmakar, and Awaara (1951). The latter movie received the Filmfare Award for Best Film. These films created a character for him on screen that was based on Charlie Chaplin's most well-known character, The Tramp. His other noteworthy roles as a prominent actor, aside from his home productions, were in Dastan (1950), Anhonee (1952), Chori Chori (1956), Phir Subah Hogi (1958), Parvarish (1958), Anari (1959), and Chhalia (1960). In addition, he made the popular social pictures Ab Dilli Door Nahin (1957) and Boot Polish (1954).
Raj Kapoor wed Krishna Malhotra on May 12, 1946. Nine siblings total, including Krishna, entered the Hindi film business after their marriage. Her sister Uma is married to actor Prem Chopra, while her brothers Rajendra, Prem, and Narendra Nath all went on to become actors.
Five children were born to Raj and Krishna Kapoor: two daughters, Ritu Nanda (1949–2020) and Rima Jain (1955–), and three boys, actors Randhir Kapoor (1947–), Rishi Kapoor (1952–2020), and Rajiv Kapoor (1962–2021). Karishma and Kareena Kapoor are actors, and Randhir is the father of both of them. He was previously married to Babita. Rishi is the father of two children: actor Ranbir Kapoor, who is an actor, and actress Riddhima Kapoor, who was married to former actress Neetu Singh until her death. Ritu Nanda, the oldest daughter of Raj Kapoor, was married to entrepreneur Rajan Nanda, a scion of the family that owns and promotes the Escorts group, until their deaths. Together, they had two children.
Later in life, Raj Kapoor struggled with asthma; at the age of sixty-three, he passed away in 1988 from asthma-related problems. After collapsing during the Dadasaheb Phalke Award ceremony in New Delhi, he was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the same city for medical attention. Before passing away from issues related to his asthma, he was admitted to the hospital for almost one month. He was working on the film Henna, which is an Indo-Pakistani love story, at the time of his death. Later, his sons Rishi and Randhir Kapoor finished the movie, which was eventually released in 1991.