The veteran actor, who made his screen debut in a V Shantaram film, was born on 7 April 1942.
Top 10 songs filmed on Jeetendra – 80th birthday special
Mumbai - 07 Apr 2022 11:52 IST
Updated : 13:36 IST
Jeetendra, born Ravi Kapoor, made his film debut in Geet Gaya Patharon Ne (1964) after coming into contact with filmmaker V Shantaram thanks to his family's jewellery business. The actor was born on 7 April 1942 in Amritsar, Punjab, but grew up in Mumbai.
In his six-decade career as a performer, Jeetendra, despite being a mainstay in the film industry, was never recognized by way of major awards. He found stardom playing a secret agent in Farz (1967) and was called ‘Jumping Jack’ for his energetic dance moves. Soon, he was seen romancing the top actresses of the 1960s and 1970s on the silver screen.
The artiste headlined the Hindi remakes of numerous South films in the 1980s and 1990s and revived his career through them. In the 1990s, his children Ekta and Tusshar Kapoor also got into show business. While Ekta is a big-name producer in television and cinema, Tusshar followed in their father's footsteps and became an actor.
Jeetendra, who has performed in over 200 films, makes a few cameos here and there now, usually in his daughter’s productions. Even today, he is remembered for his animated, dynamic performance, especially in film songs. We look at 10 numbers that showcased his talents.
1. ‘Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq’ — Farz (1967)
Jeetendra first displayed his dancing skills and boisterous character in Raveekant Nagaich's Farz in which he played a spy, Agent 116. While he also romanced Babita in the thriller, in the hit song 'Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq' he went toe to toe with Aruna Irani.
Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, the Mohammed Rafi track was penned by Anand Bakshi. Wearing white pants and shoes, Jeetendra showed why the Jumping Jack sobriquet was apt in this lively track. Farz ended up being a golden jubilee hit and made the actor a star.
2. ‘Aane Se Uske Aaye Bahar’ (Version II) — Jeene Ki Raah (1969)
There are two versions of this Mohammed Rafi solo in LV Prasad’s Jeene Ki Raah. Jeetendra's character Mohan sings the first one as moves from the village to the big city to support his family. In trying to find a job, he lies that he is single, hiding his marital status.
But he becomes the only one who can soothe his employer’s daughter Radha (Tanuja) and she soon fancies herself in love, not knowing about his family. The songs of Jeene Ki Raah were a big hit and fetched composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal their third Filmfare trophy for music direction. The lyrics by Anand Bakshi are poignant and everlasting.
3. ‘Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Sham’ — Humjoli (1970)
The romantic duet 'Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Sham' sung by Rafi and Asha Bhosle is set around a badminton court. The composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal were once again in good form, working with lyricist Bakshi.
In Humjoli, Jeetendra was paired with Leena Chandavarkar and played a young man who woos his employer’s daughter. The actor was again seen wearing white shoes — and a matching outfit — for a tryst with his on-screen love interest.
A portion of the song was lovingly re-created in Farah Khan’s Hindi film homage Om Shanti Om (2007) wherein Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone step into Jeetendra and Chandavarkar’s shoes, literally.
4. ‘Goriya Kahan Tera Desh’ — Caravan (1971)
In the Nasir Husain road movie Caravan (1971), composer RD Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri outdid themselves. The film sees Jeetendra play a lorry driver, Mohan, who travels with performing nomads. An heiress Sunita (Asha Parekh), who is running away from her villainous husband, seeks refuge with the troupe.
'Goriya Kahan Tera Desh' is a colourful number that shows off the vibrancy and free nature of the itinerant group. It also shows Mohan's affection for the new addition, much to the dismay of the jealous Nisha, played by Aruna Irani.
5. 'Musafir Hoon Yaaron' — Parichay (1972)
In a more sober, mature role in Gulzar’s Parichay, loosely inspired by The Sound Of Music (1965), Jeetendra played the bridge between a grieving man (Pran) and his grandchildren. Hired as a tutor for the unruly grandchildren, he makes both generations see their differences and come together despite them.
The beautifully penned 'Musafir Hoon Yaaron' still strikes a chord and is a wonderful demonstration of composer RD Burman and Gulzar's alchemy. The pensive number about life and its musings reached #25 on Binaca Geetmala’s annual list of 1973.
6. ‘Haseen Dilruba’ — Roop Tera Mastana (1972)
In the lavish thriller Roop Tera Mastana, directed by Khalid Akhtar, Jeetendra is the fiancé of Princess Usha (Mumtaz in a dual role). However, the princess's assistant Ajit (Pran) has her murdered and replaced with a doppelganger to seize her wealth.
Does her soon-to-be husband realize Usha has changed? From the looks of the wedding night song 'Haseen Dilruba', it doesn't seem so. The newlyweds seem madly in love in this romantic number, written by Asad Bhopali and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
7. ‘Tere Sang Pyar Main Nahin Todna’ — Nagin (1976)
The cult classic Nagin, directed by Rajkumar Kohli, featured Reena Roy and other artistes such as Sunil Dutt, Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan, Rekha, Mumtaz, Vinod Mehra and Kabir Bedi. However, Jeetendra played a key role as the Naag, the other half of Roy’s Naagin.
The duet 'Tere Sang Pyar Main Nahin Todna' sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mahendra Kapoor underscores their deep connection. The Laxmikant-Pyarelal composition plays in the backdrop of the serpents shape-shifting into human form as they profess their love.
8. ‘Jaane Kya Sochkar’ — Kinara (1977)
Another Gulzar venture, Kinara, takes its lead characters Inder (Jeetendra) and Aarti (Hema Malini) and puts them through the wringer. The critically acclaimed feature took the actor through an emotional journey as his character is responsible for Aarti’s deepest sorrows in the story.
Both Jeetendra and Hema Malini were terrific in this angsty drama; though only the actress received a Filmfare nomination for her performance. The songs in Kinara, thanks to the Gulzar-RD Burman combo, remain evergreen.
9. ‘Naino Mein Sapna’ — Himmatwala (1983)
Set against a massive beach scene, with background dancers and large props, this Bappi Lahiri composition from Himmatwala, written by Indivar, quickly became a hit. The pairing of Jeetendra and Sridevi, along with the dancing skills, was a sure-fire combo.
This Hindi remake of the Telugu film Ooruki Monagadu (1981), directed by K Raghavendra Rao, gave Sridevi her breakthrough in the industry and boosted her career. The duet ‘Naino Mein Sapna’ sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar was recreated for the 2013 Himmatwala remake, but the original stands as the superior product.
10. 'Pyar Ka Tohfa Tera' — Tohfa (1984)
Besides Sridevi, Jeetendra was often paired with Jaya Prada. In fact, all three appeared in a few love triangles together, including in this drama directed by K Raghavendra Rao. The actresses were reprising their roles from the Telugu film Devata (1982).
Tohfa is the story of a grand sacrifice between sisters. 'Pyar Ka Tohfa Tera', composed by Bappi Lahiri and written by Indivar, was a hit that got both the composer and the lyricist Filmfare nominations for their work. The popular duet, which featured the two stars dancing amid a plethora of colourful saris, was sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar.