The Indian cinema, in less than 24 hours received double shocker as it lost two of its most renowned and legendary actors–Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan. Rishi Kapoor immortalised his on-screen characters with sheer brilliance. Irrfan Khan was a true on-screen chameleon who smoothly transformed from a top athlete to a bandit to a common man looking for a bride to a doting dad in films.
The romantic star of many a Bollywood film, 67-year-old Rishi Kapoor, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2018 and died in a Mumbai hospital on Thursday. Rishi, a third-generation actor of the famous Kapoor dynasty, is survived by his wife Neetu Kapoor, actor son Ranbir and daughter Ridhima. Rishi was taken to the H N Reliance hospital by his family on April 29.
His notable films as a romantic hero are “Laila Majnu”, “Rafoo Chakkar”, “Karz”, “Chandni”, “Heena” and “Saagar”. He was, however, more proud of his second innings as an actor, which he found more satisfying. His notable films as a character artiste are “Do Dooni Chaar” with wife Neetu, “Agnipath” and “Kapoor & Sons”.
The actor was in New York for nearly a year to undergo treatment from 2018. He returned to India in September 2019 after recovering. Post return to India, Kapoor`s health has frequently been in focus. The actor was admitted to hospital in quick succession in February. Amid speculations about his health, he had been hospitalised in New Delhi in early February, while on a visit to New Delhi.
“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 am IST in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukaemia. 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,” the family said in a statement.
One of India’s finest and most versatile actors, Irrfan Khan breathed his last on April 29 leaving behind a legacy unparalleled. The 53-year-old actor was rushed to Kokilaben hospital due to colon infection on April 28. The actor par excellence battled a rare form of cancer – Neuroendocrine Tumour for two long years and had shared the news of his illness first on social media. Irrfan’s last rites were performed today at the Versova Kabrastan in Andheri, Mumbai. His relatives and close ones paid their last respects.
Irrfan was that rare actor who straddled multiple worlds, making his mark in both international and Indian cinema in roles intense and light-hearted. The self-effacing National Award winner, who acted in films as diverse as Maqbool, Life In A… Metro, Madaari, Life of Pi, The Namesake, Paan Singh Tomar, Haasil, The Lunchbox, Piku, and Hindi Medium among others, had stayed away from the public eye after his diagnosis in 2018 when he went to the UK for treatment.
He returned home in 2019 and shot for “Angrezi Medium”, the sequel to his 2017 hit “Hindi Medium”. However, his health condition prevented him from promoting the movie, which hit the theatres in March.
Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan’s powerhouse talent and contribution to cinema remain unmatched and unparalleled. Their death has created a void, leaving behind a cinematic legacy which the generations will witness and re-live through their brilliant masterpieces. People across all fraternity and borders paid their tribute these two brilliant actors.