In today’s segment of ETimes BFFs (Big Filmy Families), we take you through the four generations of Kapoors most of whom have been entertaining the film and television enthusiasts for years and the fifth generation that is just a couple of years away from making their big Bollywood debut.
Prithviraj Kapoor was the son of Dewan Basheswarnath Singh Kapoor from his first marriage. Prithviraj married Ramsarni Mehra in 1923. They had three sons when they moved to Mumbai from Peshawar – Ranbirraj (Raj), Devinder (Devi) and Ravinder (Nandi). While Devi died of pneumonia around 1930, Nandi passed away a week later after accidentally consuming rat poison pills. Later Shamsherraj (Shammi) was born in 1931, followed by Urmila and then Balbirraj (Shashi).
It won’t be wrong to say that Prithviraj gave birth to 30-40% of the Indian film industry. He was a college graduate who wanted to take up drama while he was still in Peshawar. At the time of partition, he decided to move to Calcutta which was the Hollywood of India at that time. He started working and then brought his family to Calcutta. The film Awara features three generations of Kapoors. While Prithviraj plays the lawyer, his father Basheswarnath was the judge, while Raj Kapoor essayed the defendant, the guy under trial.
He made his acting debut as an extra in Be Dhari Talwar in the year 1928 and thereafter had an exhaustive filmography with evergreen films like Alam Ara, Boot Polish, Shree 420, Mughal-e-Azam among many others.
The eldest son of Prithviraj, Raj Kapoor was a school dropout who spent five years learning the trade of films and theatre. He joined Prithvi Theatre in 1944. He made his debut with Neel Kamal in 1947. Thereafter, he did the film Aag under the banner of RK Studios. But it was Barsaat that established him as a producer, director and an actor par excellence. With the kind of roles and films he did, he went on to be known as the Showman of Indian cinema. He was also known as Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema and Clarke Gable of Indian film industry.
Raj Kapoor married Krishna, sister of actors Premnath and Rajendranath, in 1946. They had five children – three sons and two daughters. Krishna was Prithviraj’s cousin, so she was also Raj’s aunt in addition to being his wife.
Raj Kapoor’s eldest son Randhir was born in 1947. He started off as a child artiste in RK Films movies. He also had a brief stint as an AD, after which he made his acting and directorial debut with Kal Aaj Aur Kal in 1971. This film too featured three generations of Kapoors. In the 70s, he came ot be known as a romantic star.
Randhir married actress Babita, who is actor Hari Shivdasani’s daughter in 1971. They have two daughters – Karisma and Kareena.
Karisma became the first woman in the Kapoor family to act in films in the 90s. Kareena followed suit and became one of the most successful actresses of present times.
Karisma tied the knot with industrialist Sanjay Kapur in 2003. They got divorced in 2016. The custody of their children, Samaira and Kiaan lies with Karisma and Sanjay has visitation rights.
Samaira and Kiaan
Samaira was born in 2005 and has made a short film titled Be Happy. She has acted in the film and has been credited as a cinematographer too. Kiaan is currently pursuing his studies.
Kareena Kapoor Khan
A mother of two kids Taimur and Jeh, Kareena is perhaps one of the busiest actresses of current times with a host of films, series and endorsements in her kitty. She married Saif in 2012.
Rishi Kapoor made his Bollywood debut at the age of 20 with Bobby. Thereafter, he had a huge filmography of over 150 films. He married Neetu Singh in 1979. They acted in several films together and were a hit romantic pair on screen as well. Khel Khel Mein, Kabhi Kabhie, Amar Akbar Anthony are some of their most popular films. They have two kids – Riddhima and Ranbir.
Riddhima Kapoor Sahni
Riddhima is an established jewellery designer and owns a label too. She married businessman Bharat Sahni in 2006 after dating him three years. They have a daughter Samara.
Samara recently turned 12. She often hits the headlines and especially her Dubsmash videos with uncle Ranbir Kapoor had become a rage on the internet.
Ranbir Kapoor is the chocolate boy of Bollywood. He enjoys a massive fan following and has had some very successful films like Wake Up Sid, Rockstar, Barfi!, Tamasha, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Brahmastra among many others. he will soon be seen in Animal. He married actress Alia Bhatt last year and they have a daughter named Raha Kapoor.
Rima and her sister Ritu did not take to acting following the Kapoor family diktat. Rima married investment banker Manoj Jain, the best friend of Rajiv Kapoor. They have two sons Armaan and Aadar.
Armaan made his acting debut with Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014. Ranbir was instrumental in bringing him on board for the film which was Saif Ali Khan’s home production. Armaan was earlier an assistant with Dharma Productions for three years and has worked on films like I Hate Luv Storys, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Student Of The Year. He married Anissa Malhotra in 2020 and they have a baby boy named Rana.
Aadar too started as an assistant director and later turned an actor. He is know for films like Qaidi Band, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Hello Charlie.
Ritu wrote a book on Raj Kapoor in the 90s. This biography was originally written in Russian and it reportedly sold more than a crore copies around the world. She married industrialist Rajan Nanda and she runs her own insurance firm. Together they have a daughter Natasha and son Nikhil.
Nikhil studied in USA and married Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Bachchan in 1997. They have two children, Navya Naveli and Agastya.
Navya Naveli Nanda
Navya enjoys a major fan following on social media. She may not be interested in a career in Bollywood, but she recently launched her podcast What The Hell Navya that featured her along with mom Shweta and grandma Jaya Bachchan. She is also the co-founder of Aara Health that works towards women’s health.
Agastya completed his schooling in London and is currently making headlines for his much awaited Bollywood debut with Zoya Akhtar’s The Archies.
Natasha has a prolific career in banking and finance. She has founded Rimari Corporate Art Service.
Rajiv’s claim to fame was the 1985 film Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Later, he turned producer with films like Henna and Premgranth. He married Aarti Sabharwal but later they parted ways and got divorced.
Shammi Kapoor made his Bollywood debut in 1952, but it was only after Junglee in 1961 when he became a Bollywood sensation. He married actress Geeta Bali in 1955. They had two children Aditya and Kanchan. After Geeta passed away in 1965 due to a bout of small pox, Shammi married Neila Devi in 1969. Neila never had kids of her own, but she held the entire family together.
Aditya Raj Kapoor
Aditya Raj Kapoor got into films just to enjoy himself. He spent 5-6 years there doing some television serials and something or the other, but he stopped acting after his dad expired. He married Neila Devi’s niece Priti. They have two kids – Vishwapratap and Tulsi.
Kanchan married Manmohan Desai’s son Ketan Desai. They have two daughters Pooja and Raj Rajeshwari.
Urmila is Prithviraj’s only daughter. She married businessman Charanjit Sial and has four kids – Anuradha, Priti, Namita and Jatin.
Jatin is the only member of the Sial family who’s made a career in showbiz. He is a popular face having on television having worked in shows like Kasam Se. He was also seen in films like Vivah and Aa Ab Laut Chalein.
Shashi Kapoor started as a child artiste in RK Films movies like Aag and Awara. He made debut as a lead actor in 1961 with the film Dharmputra. He married Jennifer Kendall in 1958. He’d met her during one of the tours of Prithvi Theatre in Calcutta. They have three kids – Kunal, Karan and Sanjana
Shashi Kapoor’s eldest son Kunal Kapoor made his acting debut in 1972 with the English film Siddhartha. He made his mainstream Bollywood debut with Shyam Benegal’s Junoon. He was last seen in 2019 film Panipat. He’s married to Ramesh Sippy’s daughter Sheena. They have two children – Zahaan Kapoor and Shaira Laura Kapoor. Zahaan made his acting debut with Hansal Mehta’s Faraaz.
Karan featured in action flicks like Sultanat and Loha in the 80s. He’s later turned to photography and lives in London with his wife Lorna Tarling Kapoor and two kids children Aliya Kapoor and Zak Kapoor.
Sanjana featured in film like Hero Hiralal and Salaam Bombay. Later she gave up her film career to revive Prithvi Theatre. She first married Aditya Bhattacharya, but they got divorced. She later married to tiger conservation expert Valmik Thapar. They have a son named Hamir Thapar.