Bollywood star Rishi Kapoor dies of leukaemia

Leading Indian actor Rishi Kapoor has died of leukaemia at the age of 67.

Kapoor, part of a famous Bollywood family, was admitted to hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday and died on Thursday, according to a family statement.

He had returned to India last September after undergoing treatment in the US for almost a year, and was admitted to hospital twice in February.

Rishi Kapoor, left, with Amitabh Bachchan
Rishi Kapoor, left, with Amitabh Bachchan (Rafiq Maqbool/PA)

His father Raj Kapoor and grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor were doyens of Bollywood, the vast Hindi-language film industry based in the western coastal city of Mumbai.

He received the National Film Award for his debut role as a child artist in his father’s 1970 film Mera Naam Joker. He went on to act in more than 90 films.

His wife, Nitu Singh, co-starred in several of his films, and his son Ranbir Kapoor is a current top Bollywood actor.

Kapoor’s death was revealed the day after fellow Bollywood star Irrfan Khan, star of Slumdog Millionaire, died at the age of 53.

Fellow Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Thursday: “Rishi Kapoor gone… Just passed away… I am destroyed.”

Actress Priyanka Chopra said Kapoor’s death was the end of an era, adding: “#Rishisir your candid heart and immeasurable talent will never be encountered again.”

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor was a powerhouse of talent: “I will always recall our interactions, even on social media. He was passionate about films and India’s progress.”

Kapoor’s popular hits included Laila Majnu, a story of legendary Indian lovers, Debt, Moonlight, Sometimes, Sea and Lightning. In 1999, he directed Let’s Go Back.

He switched to supporting roles in the 2000s and popular movies included Namastey London and Love Aj Kal, or Love Today And Tomorrow. He acted until recently and his last movie, The Body, was released in 2019.

Kapoor is survived by his wife, son and daughter.