By Ranita Ray Last Updated:
The Hindi Film Industry aka Bollywood has seen mega families, where generations after generations, the family members take up acting in legacy. One such grand name is that of Kapoors.
With scions like Karishma, Kareena and latest of the clan Ranbir, this famed family has been the torch bearer of every generation of Hindi Cinemas. It is beyond argument that most of them are proved to be ace actors, directors and producers in their own rights.
However, in this piece of the story, we are not going to discuss their latent talents. Our focus is on the Kapoor sons and the women behind their success sagas, i.e. their significant others. So let us explain from where it all started!
Prithviraj Kapoor was the first from the Kapoor family to pursue acting. He entered Hindi cinema in 1929. His father, Basheshwarnath Kapoor, was a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police in Peshawar. Prithviraj Kapoor was married to Ramsarni (Rama) and had three sons, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, and Shashi Kapoor and all of them took up acting as a legacy from their father. They also have a daughter, named Urmi.
The eldest born, Raj Kapoor, known to all of us was an equally brilliant actor as well as director. In 1946, he married Krishna Malhotra, his father’s maternal uncle’s daughter. A famous magazine of that time passed comments, as Raj ended his career by marrying his first cousin. This wedding was fixed by the family as they wanted a traditional girl. In later years, Raj Kapoor was rumoured to be linked up with many heroines like Nargis, Vyjayantimala and even southern actress Padmini. However, none admitted publicly to these. Raj and Krishna Kapoor have three sons and two daughters. While the elder two sons, Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor, became successful actors, the youngest one, Rajiv Kapoor did not taste success at the Box-Office. Raj and Krishna's two daughters, Ritu Nanda and Reema Kapoor Jain are happily married.
The second son of Prithviraj, Shammi Kapoor was a heartthrob of many girls of his time. He found his lady love, Geeta Bali in 1955, on the sets of Rangeen Raaten. It did not take them much time to say those three magical words to each other and within four months, they got married at Banganga Temple, Mumbai. The very next year, they were blessed with a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor. Kanchan, their daughter was born five years later. Unfortunately, it was just 10 years of their marriage, Geeta Bali succumbed to smallpox in 1965. On January 27, 1969, Shammi got married to Neila Devi.
This good-looking debonair was one of the leading romantic heroes of his time. When all the pretty damsels were swooning over him, he lost his heart to a girl from England. In 1956, while working in theatre groups, he met English actress Jennifer Kendal in Calcutta. Shashi was working as an assistant stage manager and also as an actor for Prithvi Theatre, his father’s theatre group. At the same time, Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespearean group was also present there and Jennifer was Geoffrey’s daughter. Following a few consequent meetings, Shashi and Jennifer realised that they were in love with each other. There was initial disapproval from Jennifer’s family. But, with Shashi’s sister-in-law Geeta Bali’s support, Jennifer became Mrs. Shashi Kapoor in July 1958. Later they were seen acting together in a few movies too. They had three children Kunal, Karan and Sanjana Kapoor. In 1984, Jennifer died of cancer, leaving Shashi emotionally shattered. At the age of 79, Shashi Kapoor also passed away on December 5, 2017.
The eldest born of Raj Kapoor, Randhir had a fair amount of success in the B-town. While shooting for the film Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Randhir fell for his co-star Babita. On November 6, 1971, the couple tied the knot. Three years later, they were blessed with their first child, Karisma Kapoor. In 1980, their second daughter, Kareena Kapoor was born. Things started turning sour between the two when Randhir’s acting career began to witness downfall mostly after 1983. Adding to their differences, Babita’s wish to enter Karishma into acting worked as fuel to the squabble. All these things led to irreversible differences between the couple and in 1988, Babita left Randhir with their daughters. However, later Randhir supported the idea of their daughters’ Bollywood career. In October 2007, Babita and Randhir reconciled. Though they did not divorce each other but lived separately for almost two decades.
The Chintu boy of Bollywood, i.e. Rishi Kapoor fell for actress Neetu Singh with whom he was paired in numerous movies. Apparently, Raj Kapoor visited the Singh family, asking for the alliance and despite the initial denial, they agreed to the match. The couple got into the wedlock on January 22, 1980, and are blessed with two children, Riddhima and Ranbir. Ranbir Kapoor has established himself as a leading Bollywood actor and is one of the most eligible bachelors. Riddhima is married to a Delhi-based businesman and she is a renowned jewellery designer.
Recommended Read: The Endearing Love Story Of Neetu Singh And Rishi Kapoor
The youngest son of Raj Kapoor, Rajiv aka Chimpu too got into acting. With just a couple of hits like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, his acting career almost doomed. He later tried his luck at producing and directing movies. In 2001, he got married to architect Aarti Sabharwal but got divorced two years later. Later he was linked with a few actresses like Divya Rana, Nagma, but more or less he refuted those rumours.
The son of Shammi and Geeta, Aditya who was nicknamed as Miki on his birth has been living a very different life. His stepmom Neila was a dotted mother and never had children for the sake of rearing Aditya and Kanchan. She renamed him Ladoo. Aditya has been a dedicated devotee of Spiritual Guru Haidakhan Baba. His guruji arranged his marriage with Priti which took place in 1982, at guruji’s ashram in the Himalayas and it was graced by all the Kapoors in full attendance.
Shashi Kapoor’s son Kunal had a short stint in Bollywood with just 6 films in his kitty, but could not fetch much luck. He got married to Sheena Sippy, daughter of famous filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. They have two children together, a son named Zahan and a daughter named Shaira. However, in 2004 the couple got divorced amicably.
The younger son of Shashi, Karan debuted in Bollywood in 1978 with Shyam Benegal's film Junoon and then did just 4 films in Bollywood. His European looks came in the way of his film career in this industry. His fame remained limited to a top model for Bombay Dyeing. He was last seen on the silver screen in the film 'Loha'. After his stint in Bollywood, he turned to photography as his profession and lives in London with his wife Lorna, his daughter Aliya and son Zach.
The Kapoors are there in every bit of Bollywood. Be it on the reel or in real life as a spouse to another big clan of this industry. The more we explore, the more we get mesmerised with their magnanimity.
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