Raj Kapoor, first superstar and showman of the Hindi cinema, died on June 2, 1988. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1971 and Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1987 for his stupendous work in the Hindi film industry. His best works include Awara, Aag, Shree 420, Barsaat, Mera Naam Joker, Teesri Kasam, and Sangam. The Joker actor was an asthma patient and passed away after an asthma attack.Also Read - When Dilip Kumar Met Dying Raj Kapoor in Hospital: 'Aaj Bhi Der Se Aaya, Maaf Kar De'
On his death anniversary, we bring you some of the interesting facts about the actor:
♦ Raj Kapoor at the age of nine acted in front of the camera for the first time in the film Inquilab. His first job was of Clapper Boy, for which he was paid Rs 10 per month. Also Read - Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor’s Rare Childhood Pic With Raj Kapoor is a Sight For Sore Eyes
♦ Raj Kapoor’s real name was Ranbir Raj Kapoor and the name Ranbir is now shared by his grandson Ranbir Kapoor.
♦ At the age of 24 in the year 1948, he established his own studios –RK Films. The first venture of the studio was Aag but it was a commercial failure and Barsaat (1949) was the first film to be produced by the studio.
♦ The Russian song ‘Song About Yogis’ (1967) by Vladimir Vysotsky describes Raj Kapoor as one of the best-known symbols of Indian culture.
♦ Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand are said to be the trilogy of the Indian cinema. They were also cast together by filmmaker Vijay Anand but it never got shelved due to date and ego clash.
♦ The scene from Bobby where Rishi Kapoor meets his lady love Dimple Kapadia is believed to be inspired by Raj Kapoor’s real-life meeting with Nargis.
♦ RK Studios Mera Naam Joker was of 244 minutes and was the first film with two intervals.
♦ When Raj Kapoor was in the process of finalising the lead actor for his film Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Zeenat Aman landed his office dressed as a village girl and even had the burnt face makeup. Raj was left impressed with her dedication and immediately finalised her for the film.
♦ On May 2, 1988, Raj Kapoor was conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award and attended the function with an oxygen mask. When his name was announced by President Venkataraman, he was unable to get up, and seeing his discomfort, he came down to present him the award and was then admitted to hospital. After battling with life for a month, he passed away on June 2.
♦ At the time of Raj Kapoor’s death, he was working on the film Henna, which was later completed by his sons Randhir and Rishi Kapoor and was released in 1991.