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Raj Kapoor Birthday: When actor burnt himself with cigarette butts for Nargis; 5 lesser-known facts of Bollywood’s ‘ShowMan’

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 December 2019, 14:11 IST
Raj Kapoor

Bollywood’s veteran actor, director, producer, singer Raj Kapoor is popularly known as ‘showman’ of the industry. Today the Kapoor family and the whole B-town is celebrating the birth anniversary of the legendary and the multi-talented actor. On this occasion let us dish the dirt about Raj Kapoor’s life’s untold chapter.

The Name Mystery


Raj was born in Peshawar in a Pathan-Hindu family to Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarni Devi Kapoor. As per the reports his real name is not Raj rather its Ranbir which is now adorned by his grandson and popular actor Ranbir Kapoor. Raj was the middle name of the Kapoor brothers however, when he stepped in the industry he was popularly known as Raj only.

From Acting debut to being young Director


Not many know that Raj made his acting debut at the age of 10 in 1935’s ‘Inquilab’ and then after 12 years, he bagged a big break as a lead in 1947’s Neel Kamal opposite Madhubala. In 1948 Raj Kapoor wrote history by becoming the youngest film director at the age of 24. He established his studio RK films and debut as director with the film 'Aag' starring Nargis Dutt, Premnath, and Kamini Kaushal and since then he never looked back an went to give many amazing films such as Awaara, Shree 420, Teesri Kasam; characters such as Joker (Mera Naam Joker) among others to Bollywood.

Gloomy End of Love

Raj Kapoor’s love life is not something which is not known to people and that too when it comes to Nargis. Their affair was the talk of the town and the love between the two was very much evident with their movies. However, their 9-year long relationship took an ugly turn when Nargis went on to marry Sunil Dutt leaving Raj all broken. As per the reports, it is said that Raj promised Nargis many a time he would marry her but after nine years Nargis felt that Raj’s attention towards her has decreased.

As soon as Raj got the news of Nargis marriage with popular and versatile actor Sunil, he cried bitterly and would burn himself with cigarette butts to see if he was dreaming. Since then only Raj started drinking heavily. As per Madhu Jain’s book, the irony of Raj Kapoor’s life was, his first meeting with Nargis was only four months after his marriage and this is the only reason why he was so fond of her after being a married man.

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The Film turns Destiny


Raj Kapoor was on the verge of getting bankrupt when he released the cult-classic film Mera Naam Joker where he was a director, producer and an actor. At the film took almost 6 years to complete and when it was released it failed miserably on the box-office. However, they didn't leave the hope and for the second time they released the film and this time it was a super-duper hit film. This film also marked the debut of his son Rishi Kapoor as his young version.

The End of GOAT Hero


Raj Kapoor has introduced many alien concepts which were sometimes a hit and flop just like film Mera Naam Joker and for this, he has also received many awards including National Award and the prestigious award Dadasaheb Phalke Award, however, there is a sad story behind the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. On the day when he was to receive the award, he collapsed at the event due to asthma and was immediately taken to AIIM for treatment.

Also, he was set to direct the film Henna however his sudden death on 2nd June 1988 took away the most versatile person from industry leaving Randhir as the only option to direct the film.

Well, he was not just popular in India rather throughout the world like Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, China, Turkey and Southeast Asia where his songs are remembered till date.

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First published: 14 December 2019, 13:28 IST