This actor did films to repay father's loans, became superstar with one film, quit Bollywood at peak when wife said...

This actor entered films to help father repay his debts and became a superstar at 20, but later quit films after his wife asked him to

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This actor did films to repay father's loans, became superstar with one film, quit Bollywood at peak when wife said...
The actor who entered films to repay father's debts


The notion that star kids are born with a silver spoon is long held, largely because of the perception that actors from film families have it easier in the industry. But there still are many who go through their fair share of struggle while entering the film industry. This one particular star kid, who debuted over 50 years ago, entered the industry when his father was buried in debt.

The star kid who did films to repay father’s loans

Rishi Kapoor was the son of the great Raj Kapoor, called the Showman of the Millennium. Having been one of the biggest stars of Bollywood in the 50s, Raj Kapoor moved primarily to direction after the mid-60s, starring mostly in only his own films. But his ambitious film Mera Naam Joker, released in 1970, was a box office bomb, burying him in massive debt. At this juncture, he made Bobby, getting his son Rishi to star in it in his debut as a lead actor. Rishi was already a popular face and Raj Kapoor bet on him to revive his production house. Bobby, which also marked Dimple Kapadia’s debut, was a massive hit, becoming the year’s highest-grosser.

Rishi Kapoor’s superstardom in his 20s

At 20, Rishi Kapoor became a superstar with his first film itself. He went from strength to strength after that in the 70s and 80s with hits like Khel Khel Mein, Amar Akbar Anthony, Prem Rog, Saagar, and Chandni. But by the time the 90s arrived, Rishi Kapoor, who was now close to 40, had gained weight and no longer fit the mould as a romantic hero to actresses 15-20 years younger. Despite hits like Deewana and Bol Radha Bol, Rishi Kapoor moved to supporting roles in films such as Karobaar before making his debut as a director with Aa Ab Laut Chalein in 1999.


When Rishi Kapoor quit Bollywood

In the late-90s, Rishi Kapoor’s wife, actress Neetu Kapoor (nee Singh) urged him to spend more time with her and their two then-teenage kids Ranbir and Riddhima. Despite being a highly sought-after name in Bollywood then, Rishi promptly heeded the advice and quit Bollywood for a while. He only returned with character roles years later when his kids had grown up and embarked on their careers. In his second innings, he appeared in films like Fanaa, Namastey London, Love Aaj Kal, before taking on negative roles in Agneepath, Aurangzeb, and D-Day.

In 2018, Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with leukemia and went to New York for treatment. The illness was treated but recurred in 2020. The actor passed away from complications owing to the illness in April 2020 at the age of 67. His last film Sharmaji Namkeen was released posthumously in 2022.

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