By Monisha G Kumar Last Updated:
We swear by the lives of celebrities and envy their king-size lifestyles. But to make a mark in the hearts of the audience is one of the most difficult tasks as it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Thousands of people come to Mumbai every day with a million dreams in their eyes to make it big in Bollywood. But a very few are lucky to accomplish their dream and make a name for themselves.
The rulers of the Hindi cinema, The Kapoors, also known as ‘The First Family of Indian Cinema’ has been ruling the industry for more than 93 years. With five generations devoted to acting, they are the blue blood of Bollywood. From ‘The patriarch’, Prithviraj Kapoor to the youngest actor of the clan, Aadar Jain, the Kapoors have the largest impact with the longest history in Bollywood and their contribution to Indian cinema is untameable. While Prithviraj Kapoor was the pioneer of Indian theatre, his son, Raj Kapoor was the most influential actor and director of Bollywood.
The gems of Kapoor family like Shammi Kapoor, Shahshi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor are prominent names in Bollywood. But there are some other members of the Kapoor clan, who are not well known to the netizens but are an integral part of the family.
The second son of Basheshwarnath Kapoor and the brother of Prithviraj Kapoor, Trilok Kapoor was a character actor, who had ventured into Bollywood in 1930s. Seen mostly in mythological films, Trilok Kapoor had starred in 18 films with Nirupa Roy, usually portraying the role of Lord Shiva. Their popularity rose with the 1950 film, Har Har Mahadev.
Urmila Siyal Kapoor is the daughter of Prithviraj Kapoor and the only sister of three brothers, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. As customary, she was married at an early age and it was Raj Kapoor’s wife, Krishna Raj Kapoor, who had played Cupid in her alliance with Charanjit Sial, a coal mine owner from Nagpur. Urmila has three daughters, Anuradha Sial, Priti Sial and Namita Sial. Her son, Jatin Sial is a known face in film and television and had done shows like, Sanjeevani, Kasamh Se, Saans, Parampara.
The youngest son of Raj Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor is known for his role in the film, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and had done a couple of other films too. But none of them had faired at the box office and his career as an actor had doomed. He had also tried his luck in production and direction. In 2001, Rajiv had gotten married to an architect, Aarti Sabharwal but had gotten divorced two years later. On February 9, 2021, Rajiv Kapoor had passed away after suffering a massive heart attack. He was rushed to the Inlaks hospital, where he was declared brought dead. His brother and actor, Randhir Kapoor had confirmed the news of Rajiv’s untimely death in a conversation with the Times Of India and had said, “I have lost my youngest brother, Rajiv. He is no more. The doctors tried their best but could not save him.”
Son of Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali, Aditya Raj Kapoor was nicknamed Miki. Aditya had shared a very warm rapport with his stepmother, Neila Devi. Aditya had started his professional career as an assistant director with his uncle, Raj Kapoor and had assisted him movies like, Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Saajan etc. He has been a dedicated devotee of Spiritual Guru, Haidakhan Baba, who had arranged his marriage with Priti in 1982 at his ashram.
Daughter of Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali, Kanchan Kapoor is married to a businessman, Ketan Desai, who is the son of late producer and director, Manmohan Desai. Kanchan and Ketan have two daughters, Pooja Desai and Rajrajeshwari Desai.
After the death of Geeta Bali, Shammi Kapoor had tied the knot with Neila Devi in 1969. She hailed from the royal family of Bhavnagar and had helped Shammi overcome the loss of his first wife, Geeta. Neila never had her own children and had devoted herself in taking care of Shammi and Geeta’s kids, Aditya Raj Kapoor and Kanchan Kapoor.
Wife of Shashi Kapoor and co-founder of Prithvi Theatre, Jennifer Kendal was an English actress. In 1956, Shashi Kapoor had met Jennifer in Calcutta, where he was working as an assistant stage manager and actor for Prithvi Theatre. After consequent meetings, Shashi and Jennifer had fallen in love but Jennifer’s family was not quite happy with their relationship. But with the support of Shashi Kapoor’s sister-in-law, Geeta Bali, Shashi and Jennifer had gotten married in 1958. They had three children, Kunal Kapoor, Karan Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. In 1984, Jennifer had passed away after succumbing to cancer and in December 2017, Shashi Kapoor had bid adieu for his heavenly abode.
Daughter of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor had a brief stint in Bollywood, starring in movies like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Utsav, Salaam Bombay and Hero Hiralal. She had quit acting and had focussed on theatre in the 1990s. Sanjana had taken the charge of Prithvi Theatre from 1993 to 2012. Sanjana was first married to actor and director, Aditya Bhattacharya and after their divorce, she had later married tiger conservationist, Valmik Thapar. Sanjana and Valmik have a son, Hamir Thapar.
Eldest son of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal, Kunal had starred in films like Junoon, Ahista Ahista, Vijeta, Utsav, Trikal and is currently running the production house Adfilm-Valas. He had gotten married to Sheena Sippy, daughter of the filmmaker, Ramesh Sippy. They have two children, Zahan Kapoor and Shaira Kapoor. In 2004, Kunal and Sheena had gotten divorced.
Younger son of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal Kapoor, Karan had gotten his English looks from his late mother. He had made it big in the modelling world by endorsing Bombay Dyeing. He had made his acting debut in Shyam Benegal’s film, Junoon and was later seen in movies like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Sultanat, Loha and Afsar. But his English looks had come in the way of his Bollywood dreams and he couldn’t establish himself as an actor. After quitting acting, Kunal had taken photography as his profession. He had gotten married to Lorna and lives in London with their kids, Aliya Kapoor and Zach Kapoor.
The Kapoors are the biggest family of Indian cinema and are also associated with other renowned families from the business and glamour world. From the Nandas to Pataudis, one or another member from the Kapoor clan is a part of them.