Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor, who starred in celebrated movies such as Bobby and Mera Naam Joker, died on Thursday after a two-year battle with leukemia, his family said.
Kapoor, 67, the scion of the famed Kapoor family, is survived by wife Neetu Kapoor, son Ranbir and daughter Ridhima. He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
His death comes a day after after his “D-Day” co-star Irrfan Khan passed away, also of cancer. Three months ago, the disease claimed his sister Ritu Nanda.
“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukemia. The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said he kept them entertained to the last. He remained jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents. Family, friends, food and films remained his focus and everyone who met him during this time was amazed at how he did not let his illness get the better of him,” the family said in a statement.
Kapoor was part of hit films such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Laila Majnu, Rafoo Chakkar , Sargam, Karz, Prem Rog, Chandni, Henna, Bol Radha Bol, Saagar and others.
Kapoor’s family urged his fans, who under normal circumstances would have been expected to pour onto the streets to mourn him, to follow coronavirus social-distancing rules.
“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 family said.
Kapoor came from a family of actors.
His grandfather, Prithviraj Kapoor, father Raj Kapoor, brothers Randhir and Rajeev, and his son, nieces and nephews have all played roles in films.
He made his debut at the age of 16, playing a younger version of his father’s character in the 1970 film Mera Naam Joker (My Name is Joker), and later made a name for himself as a fresh-faced romantic hero.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by Kapoor’s death. “Multifaceted, endearing and lively … this was Rishi Kapoor Ji. He was a powerhouse of talent,” Modi said on Twitter.