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Farewell Chintuji! Film industry mourns the loss of its lover boy and actor par excellence

The 67-year-old Rishi Kapoor died in Mumbai today after a two-year battle with cancer.

Our Correspondent

Actor Rishi Kapoor's demise has sent shockwaves through the Indian film industry. Kapoor died early today after a two-year battle with leukaemia. He was rushed to the intensive care unit of the Sir Hurkissondas Nurottamdas Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai last evening after complaining of breathing trouble. 

The news shocked the film industry, particularly as it came just a day after the death of celebrated actor Irrfan Khan on Wednesday. Kapoor's long-time co-star and close family friend Amitabh Bachchan was among the first to share the news.

Director Karan Johar, a close friend of the family, defined the 1970s heartthrob with a simple statement, 'He was my childhood.'

Singer Lata Mangeshkar, the voice for many of Kapoor's heroines, called the loss a "difficult time for the industry". The singer also shared an image of herself holding Kapoor as a baby.

Akshay Kumar summed up the mood, saying, "It seems we are in the middle of a nightmare''.

Ajay Devgn shared the thought as he called it 'a stab to the heart'.

Director Nikkhil Advani, whose D-Day (2013) had featured both Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, remembered the late actor's zest for life.

Actor Manoj Bajpayee was among the many who felt the demise of two great actors in the span of 24 hours was unfair and a tragedy.

Even Southern star Rajinikanth took to Twitter to share his condolences for his Dosti Dushmani (1986) co-star. 

Director Hansal Mehta was among the mourners who took their messages online.

Director Nandita Das and actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar were among the mourners as they bid farewell to the actor fondly known in the industry as 'Chintuji'. 

Mulk (2018) director Anubhav Sinha was heartbroken at the news of his actor's passing. The film remains one of the finest performances by Kapoor in the past decade.

Kapoor's Mulk co-star Taapsee Punnu could not figure out if the news was real. She praised Kapoor's "sense of humour and honesty" as she remembered him. The actress also shared a moving picture of herself with Kapoor on the sets of the Anubhav Sinha film.​

Like Irrfan Khan, Kapoor's demise touched people from across human endeavours. Whether it was former Indian cricket stars Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman or politician Shashi Tharoor, who was also a schoolmate of the actor, messages poured in.

Actor Aamir Khan also shared his condolences on Twitter.

Imtiaz Ali, who directed Kapoor in Love Aaj Kal (2009), shared a touching memory of the actor on his first day on the set.


Time is passing. The other day he was on my set. I was nervous, he was the biggest actor I had worked with. I touched his feet and asked him to guide me. He guided me. Another day I invited him to my brother’s wedding in Kashmir. Nobody comes so far, these are formalities. He came. And when the baraat was entering the venue he said -“you guys go in front, I will come in the end”. I understood later that he did not want the attention to shift from the groom to himself. And today he left. Something precious became past today. But this time will not take him away. I haven’t met him for so long anyway, I will think he is still there, smiling. And I can still think of the little time I could spend with him, and smile with him.

A post shared by Imtiaz Ali (@imtiazaliofficial) on

Actor Vicky Kaushal, who visited Kapoor while the latter was undergoing treatment in New York, shared an image of the family in good times. 

Even as the messages continue to come in through the day, it is certain that the loss will be immeasurable for the film industry.