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PRITHVIRAJ KAPOOR, HIS AGE, AND HIS FAMILY

PRITHVIRAJ KAPOOR, HIS AGE, AND HIS FAMILY

Prithvi Raj Kapoor, a legendary actor, was born on November 3rd, 1906 in Samundri, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. He completed his higher education at Edwards College in Peshawar. He passed away at the age of 65, on May 29th, 1972, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, due to cancer. Prithviraj was the actor with actual stardom and he was said to be the pioneer of the Indian Bollywood Industry. The year he was born was the time when child marriage was in vogue. He got married at the age of 18 in 1924, to Ramsarni Mehra who was 15 during the marriage. They moved to Mumbai with their three children, two died later at a very young age. They had three children after that, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, and Urmila Sial. Kapoor family is said to have given Bollywood the first family of Hindi films, almost five generations in the cinema world. Even Prithvi Raj’s father, Basheshwar Nath Kapoor who was a sub-inspector in Peshawar had a keen interest in acting but unfortunately, he did not get any offer. Although he acted in a cameo in his grandson’s, Raj Kapoor, movie “Awara”.

 

PRITHVIRAJ KAPOOR, HIS CAREER, AND AWARDS

Prithviraj Kapoor started his career from silent films but played the lead role in his third silent film “Cinema Girl” in 1929. After various silent films, he got the role in the first-ever taking film “Alam Ara” in 1931 but the movie didn’t achieve much appreciation. In 1944, Prithviraj founded his theatre, Prithviraj Theatre. He was always committed to theatre more than acting on big screens in the film industry. During the 1950s the theatre started to fall as many theatre actors went into the film industry, including his sons. Although Prithviraj Kapoor played significant roles in various Hindi movies like “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Sikandar-e-Azam”, “Kal Aaj Aur Kal” and “Harishchandra Taramati”. He played in some Punjabi movies as well like, “Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar”, “Mele Mitran De” and “Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai”. While shooting for the film “Paisa” he lost his voice in 1954, and that’s when he decided to quit acting altogether.

In 1954 he received Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship, in 1969 he received Padma Bhushan, the highest civilian honor of India. In 1972, he was posthumously awarded Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Shashi Kapoor and his wife Jennifer Kendel were running a company “Shakespeare Company”. Prithvi’s theatre “Prithviraj Theatre” was merged with “Shakespeare Company” and the company then was renamed as “Shakespeareana”. On November 5th, 1978, the company received its permanent existence in Mumbai.

India post issued a postage stamp of two rupees to celebrate the golden jubilee of Prithvi theatre(1946-1996) featuring its logo in 1996. It even had the image of Prithviraj Kapoor.

SOME OF THE NOTABLE FILMS OF PRITHVIRAJ KAPOOR

In chronological order- Cinema Girl (1929), Alam Ara (1931), Sikandar (1941), Awara (1951), AnandMath (1952), Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Jahan Ara (1964), Heer Ranjha (1970), Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971) and many more. He was highly appreciated for his role in the movie Mughal-e-Azam in which he appeared as Mughal emperor Akbar.

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Navneet S Karnani