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Veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor dies at 67

Veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor died Thursday, after being admitted to a hospital in Mumbai the previous night. He was 67.

The news was confirmed by close family friend and veteran star Amitabh Bachchan, who took to social media to share his grief.

“He’s GONE .. ! Rishi Kapoor .. gone .. just passed away .. I am destroyed !,” he tweeted.

The Kapoor family in a statement said, “Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am IST 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. He was grateful for the love of his fans that poured in from the world over. In his passing, they would all understand that he would like to be remembered with a smile and not with tears. In this hour of personal loss, we also recognise the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time. 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. He would not have it any other way.”

Rishi Kapoor is survived by his wife Neetu, along with actor Ranbir Kapoor and daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahani.

From child star to top actor

Rishi made his debut as a child artist in his father Raj Kapoor’s 1970 film ‘Mera Naam Joker’, for which he also received an Indian National Award.

However, his first role as a lead actor was opposite Dimple Kapadia in 1973, when the duo starred in ‘Bobby’. Rishi bagged the Filmfare Best Actor trophy for his role in the film.

Over the years, Rishi went on to become one of the leading names in Bollywood, with notable films such as ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Karz’, ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’, ‘Saagar’, ‘Aap Ke Deewane’ and ‘Khel Khel Mein’. The last film also starred Neetu Singh, who would soon become his girlfriend and later, his wife.

Rishi starred in more than 50 films between 1973 and 2000, with notable films such as Damini – Lightning and Gurudev. He turned to direction in 1999 with ‘Aa Ab Laut Chalen’ starring starring Rajesh Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Akshaye Khanna in the lead roles.

Rishi  was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and went to New York City for treatment. After a treatment that last more than a year, the actor returned to India. He was set to star with Deepika Padukone in the remake of the Hollywood film, ‘The Intern’.

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