NEW DELHI – Top Indian actor Rishi Kapoor, a scion of a famous Bollywood family, has died. He was 67 and had leukemia.
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Thursday, “Rishi Kapoor gone….Just passed away… I am destroyed.”
Kapoor was hospitalized in Mumbai on Wednesday and died on Thursday, according to a family statement.
He returned to India last September after undergoing treatment in the United States for almost a year. He was hospitalized twice in February.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor was a powerhouse of talent.
“I will always recall our interactions, even on social media. He was passionate about films and India’s progress," he tweeted.
His father Raj Kapoor and grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor were doyens of Bollywood, the vast Hindi-language film industry based in the western coastal city of Mumbai.
He received the National Film Award for his debut role as a child artist in his father’s 1970 film “Mera Naam Joker” ("My Name is Joker"). He acted in more than 90 films.
His wife, Neetu Singh, co-starred in several of his films. His son Ranbir Kapoor is a current top Bollywood actor.
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter.
Rahul Gandhi, a Congress party leader, said this was a terrible week for Indian cinema as another top actor, Irrfan Khan, died on Wednesday, also of cancer. He said Kapoor had a huge fan following across generations.
Film star Priyanka Chopra said Kapoor’s death was the end of an era.
"#Rishisir your candid heart and immeasurable talent will never be encountered again,” she tweeted.
Kapoor’s popular hits included “Bobby"; “Laila Majnu,” a story of legendary Indian lovers; “Karz” (“Debt"); “Chandni” (“Moonlight”); “Kabhi Kabhie” (“Sometimes”); “Saagar” (“Sea”). In 1999, he directed “Aa Ab Laut Chalein” (“Let’s Go Back”).
He switched to supporting roles in the 2000s and popular movies included “Namastey London” and “Love Aaj Kal” (“Love These Days”). He acted until recently and 2019's “The Body” was the last of films that has been released.
This story corrects the name of Rishi Kapoor's wife as Neetu Singh, not Nitu Singh, and the title “Love Aaj Kal,” not “Love Aj Kal.”