RACHIT GUPTA PROFILES FIVE GENERATIONS OF THE LEGENDARY KAPOOR FAMILY
our generations of superstars. And the fifth generation is but a few years away from making its mark in showbiz.
There’s no family like the Kapoor family. Prithviraj Kapoor laid its foundation and Raj Kapoor was the man
who catapulted the family’s success through the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. His siblings Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor did more. Raj Kapoor’s sons Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor ruled the roost till the ’80s. Come ’90s Randhir’s daughters Karisma and Kareena took the world of movies by storm. Ranbir Kapoor has now stamped his authority over the realm of superstars. A new breed, starting with Rima Jain’s son Armaan is trying to break through.
The Kapoor khandaan has been prominent movies for almost nine decades. It’s their aura that’s defined the Indianfilm industry’s status as one big happy family. Their family ties extend to other prominent film families. Big
names like Premnath, Amitabh Bachchan, Ramesh Sippy and Saif Ali Khan are connected to the Kapoors thanks tomatrimonial alliances.
Prithviraj Kapoor relocated to Mumbai from Peshawar (now in Pakistan) in the ’20s. In the early ’40s he founded the theatre company Prithvi, while in the late ’40s his son Raj Kapoor established the RK Studio brand. The Kapoors, truly are the first family of Indian cinema. Here’s a full count of five fantastic generations:
Prithviraj married Ramsarni (aka Rama, referred to as Chaiji) in 1923. Their eldest son Ranbirraj (Raj Kapoor)
was born in 1924. Shamsherraj (Shammi) was born in 1931, followed by Urmila two years later and then Balbirraj (Shashi) in 1938.
The eldest of Prithviraj’s children, Raj Kapoor dropped out of school and spent five years learning the trade of
films and theatre. He joined Prithvi Theatre in 1944. Even though he debuted with Neel Kamal in 1947, he first
made a mark under the RK banner with Aag. His second film Barsaat established his name as a producer/
director/actor par excellence.
Shammi Kapoor used to refer to himself as the first Kapoor born on Indian soil. He was born in 1931 and forayed into films in 1952. He had moderate success till 1961, when Junglee released and turned him into a sensation.
The youngest of Prithviraj’s children, Shashi was born in Calcutta. His childhood was spent in the backstage of
Prithvi Theatre, the travelling theatre group that used to tour eight months every year all over India. He
started off as a child artiste in RK films like Aag and Awara. He made his lead debut in 1961 with Dharmputra.
Urmila is Prithviraj’s only daughter. She was older to Shashi by three years. In their younger years, the
brothers used to tease her for not having as fair a complexion as the brothers.
DID YOU KNOW? Prithviraj Kapoor had three sons when he moved to Mumbai from Peshawar, Ranbirraj, Devinder (Devi) and Ravinder (Nandi). Devi succumbed to pneumonia sometime in 1930, while Nandi passed away a week later when he accidentally swallowed rat poison pills
RAJ KAPOOR & KRISHNA MALHOTRA
Raj Kapoor married Krishna, sister of actors Premnath and Rajendranath. They married in 1946. They had five
children, three sons and two daughters. Krishnaji was Prithviraj’s cousin, so she was also Raj’s aunt in addition
to being his wife. Raj Kapoor became the central figure of the Kapoor legacy after Prithviraj. Under his RK
Studio banner and under his tutelage, his brothers and his children established the showbiz dominance of their
The eldest son of Raj Kapoor, Randhir was born in 1947. He started off as a child artiste in RK’s films. He had a
brief stint as an assistant director in the late ’60s, after which he made his acting and directorial debut with
Kal Aaj Aur Kal in 1971. The film featured three generations of the Kapoor family. He enjoyed great success
through the ’70s as a romantic star.
Arguably, Raj Kapoor’s most successful son, Rishi was younger to Randhir and Ritu. He was born in 1952. He madehis debut as a leading man at the age of 20 with Bobby. Since then, he’s worked in close to 150 films. Between the ’70s and ’90s he was one of Bollywood’s leading romantic heroes. Today he’s carved a niche for himself as a supporting actor. He’s the most popular Kapoor on social media. His latest film Kapoor & Sons is up for release.
Raj Kapoor’s younger daughter, Rima and her sister Ritu did not take to acting because of the Kapoor family
diktat where their women couldn’t work in movies. Rima married Manoj Jain, who’s Rajiv Kapoor’s best friend.
One of Raj Kapoor’s last wishes was to have Rima tie the knot with Manoj.
Raj Kapoor’s elder daughter, Ritu was born in 1948. She 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.
The youngest of Raj Kapoor’s children, Rajiv, was born in 1962. He made a splash with Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985. He later turned producer with films like Henna and Premgranth.
SHAMMI KAPOOR & NEILA DEVI
The second son of Prithviraj, he married Geeta Bali in 1955. She was already an established star, while he wasstill finding his feet as an actor. They had two children Aditya and Kanchan. Adtiya was born in 1956 while Kanchan was born in 1961. Geeta passed away due to a bout of small pox in 1965. He then married Neila Devi in 1969. Neila Devi, with her grace and maturity, held the family together.
ADITYA RAJ KAPOOR AND KANCHAN
Aditya married Priti, niece of Neila Devi, they have a son Vishwapratap Kapoor and daughter Tulsi. Kanchan
married Ketan Desai, son of Manmohan Desai, they have two daughters Pooja and Rajeshwari.
URMILA & CHARANJIT SIAL
Urmila married businessman Charanjit Sial from Nagpur. They have three daughters, Anuradha, Priti and Namita and a son Jatin.
He’s the only member of the Sial family who’s made a career in showbiz. Jatin is a popular face having worked in TV shows like Kasam Se and movies like Vivah and Aa Ab Laut Chalein.
SHASHI KAPOOR & JENNIFER KENDALL
Shashi Kapoor married Jennifer Kendall in 1958. Jennifer was five years older to Shashi. They’d met during the
touring of Prithvi theatre in Calcutta. Their courtship lasted for two years. Jennifer’s father Geoffrey Kendall
opposed their relationship initially but with the help of Shammi and his then wife Geeta Bali, the two managed to get hitched.
Eldest son of Shashi and Jennifer, Kunal Kapoor made his acting debut in 1972. He’s married to Ramesh Sippy’s daughter Sheena. They have two children, Zahaan and Shaira.
Second son of Shashi Kapoor, Karan featured in action flicks like Sultanat and Loha in the ’80s. He’s now a
photographer living in London with wife Lorna and children Aliya and Zach.
Youngest child of Shashi and Jennifer, Sanjana featured in movies like Hero Hiralal and Salaam Bombay. She gave up her career in films to manage and revive Prithvi Theatre. In 2011 she separated from Prithvi. She’s married to tiger conservation expert Valmik Thapar. They have a son named Hamir.
RANDHIR KAPOOR & BABITA
Randhir married actress Babita, who’s actor Hari Shivdasani’s daughter. She’s also the late actress Sadhana’s
cousin. They married in 1971 and have two daughters Karisma and Kareena.
KARISMA AND KAREENA
Karisma Kapoor was responsible for the big watershed moment in the Kapoor family history. In the ’90s she became the first woman from the family to act, defying her grandfather’s age-old diktat. Her younger sister Kareena followed suit and became just as successful.
RIMA & MANOJ JAIN
Rima is married to investment banker Manoj Jain. They have two sons Armaan and Aadar.
ARMAAN AND AADAR
Armaan, the older sibling, made his acting debut with Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014. He assisted for three years at Dharma Productions having worked on I Hate Luv Storys, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Student
Of The Year. Aadar is currently learning the trade as an assistant director.
RISHI KAPOOR & NEETU SINGH
Rishi married Neetu Singh in 1979. They were a hit romantic pair having featured in a dozen films together, most notably in Khel Khel Mein (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). Rishi had reportedly proposed to Neetu via a telegram from Paris. They’d got engaged in a hush hush ceremony in Delhi.
RIDDHIMA AND RANBIR
Riddhima was born in 1980 while Ranbir was born two years later. Riddhima has her own designer jewellery label. Ranbir made his acting debut in 2009 with Saawariya.
RITU & RAJAN NANDA
Ritu married Rajan Nanda an established industrialist but she chose to carve out her own career. Her insurance
firm, Ritu Nanda Insurance Services is one of India’s largest insurance providers and advisors. Ritu has a
daughter Natasha and son Nikhil.
Nikhil is a graduate of the Wharton School of Management, USA
She started her career with ANZ Grindlays Bank to later join Escorts Finance. She then founded Rimari Corporate Art Service.
KARISMA KAPOOR & SANJAY KAPUR
Karisma was a top star for 12 years. She made headlines for her roles and friendships, and tied the knot with
industrialist Sanjay Kapur on September 29, 2003. They filed for divorce in 2014. As of now, they’re in court
fighting for the custody of their children, Samaira and Kiaan.
SAMAIRA AND KIAAN
Samaira was born in 2005. She was recently in the news for making a short film titled Be Happy, which won raves at a film festival in Hyderabad. She acted in the film and was credited as a cinematographer too. Kiaan is
currently in school.
SHWETA BACHCHAN & NIKHIL NANDA
Nikhil, son of Ritu and Rajan Nanda; married Shweta Bachchan, daughter of actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya
Bachchan on February 16, 1997. Nikhil reportedly fell in love with Shweta at a wedding in Mumbai. They have two children, Navya Naveli and Agastya.
She recently turned 18 and she has a major fan following on social media. Her pictures on Instagram and Twitter
make headlines almost every day.
He recently turned 15 and his grandfather Amitabh Bachchan tweeted a picture of Agastya and Abhishek Bachchan together. The young boy is schooling in London
SAIF ALI KHAN AND KAREENA KAPOOR
Kareena and Saif confirmed their relationship in 2007. They married on October 16 2012 in a five-day wedding
extravaganza that was described as India’s biggest wedding and social event.
BHARAT SAHNI & RIDDHIMA KAPOOR
Riddhima married businessman Bharat Sahni in 2006. She’s is a regular in Delhi’s party and fashion circuit. She
met Bharat in London. Their courtship lasted for three years. They have a daughter Samara.
She’s barely five but Samara has already made headlines for her Dubsmash videos with uncle Ranbir Kapoor.