The Kapoors of Filmistan
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Filmistan is Indpaedia's word for the world of commercial Hindi-Urdu films. We do not use the word Bollywood, except while citing or quoting someone who had used that slavish expression.
The first family of Filmistan?
The clan was founded by Prithviraj Kapoor, a successful actor of the 1940s. Since the mid-1960s the Kapoor family has often been referred to as the first family of Filmistan because by then Prithviraj’s son Raj Kapoor was Filmistan’s pre-eminent director and as an actor for many years he was among the Top Three. His brother Shammi Kapoor was an even bigger commercial star by then. Their youngest brother, Shashi, was an A list star in Filmistan, with a number of international, English-language films to his credit. Shammi married an A list film star and Shashi a respected stage- and arthouse- film actress.
Raj’s children and grandchildren are films stars, mostly successful ones. Shammi’s son and Shashi’s children had brief careers in Filmistan. Those of Prithviraj’s direct descendants who did not join the films either married into Filmistan—or their children entered or married into Filmistan .
Hence the ‘first family’ tag.
The descendants of Prithviraj Kapoor
Prithviraj Kapoor, actor –son of Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor. He married Ramsarni Mehra
Prithviraj Kapoor’s father, brother and brother in law
Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor: made a guest appearance in grandson Raj Kapoor's Awara
Trilok Kapoor, actor: younger brother of Prithviraj Kapoor
Actor Jugal Kishore Mehra was Prithviraj Kapoor’s wife’s brother. Jugal married actress Anwari Begum and adopted her daughter Zarine ( Nasreen) who became an actress. Nasreen’s daughter Salma Agha is an actress and singer. Salma's daughter Sasha Agha made her film debut with Aurangzeb. So, the Aghas of Pakistan are related through adoption to the Kapoors of India
Children of Prithviraj Kapoor
Prithviraj Kapoor had three sons when he moved to Mumbai from Peshawar, Ranbirraj, Devinder (Devi) and Ravinder (Nandi). Devi succumbed to pneumonia sometime in 1930, while Nandi passed away a week later when he accidentally swallowed rat poison pills.
Prithviraj married Ramsarni (aka Rama, referred to as Chaiji) in 1923. Their eldest son Ranbirraj (Raj Kapoor) was born in 1924. Shamsherraj (Shammi) was born in 1931, followed by Urmila two years later and then Balbirraj (Shashi) in 1938.
Raj Kapoor, actor/ director-- married Krishna Malhotra, sister of actors Prem Nath and Rajinder Nath. Prem Nath was married to actress Bina Rai. Krishna's sister Uma married actor Prem Chopra. Prem Nath’s son is actor/ filmmaker Prem Kishan, whose daughter Akanksha Malhotra acted in a film in 2002.
Raj Kapoor The eldest of Prithviraj’s children, Raj Kapoor dropped out of school and spent five years learning the trade of films and theatre. He joined Prithvi Theatre in 1944. Even though he debuted with Neel Kamal in 1947, he first made a mark under the RK banner with Aag. His second film Barsaat established his name as a producer/director/actor par excellence.
Shammi Kapoor, actor/ director --married Geeta Bali and, on her death, Neila Devi. Geeta Bali’s niece was actress Yogita Bali. Shammi Kapoor Shammi Kapoor used to refer to himself as the first Kapoor born on Indian soil. He was born in 1931 and forayed into films in 1952. He had moderate success till 1961, when Junglee released and turned him into a sensation.
Neila Devi- Neila Devi is the second wife of Shammi Kapoor. They married after the untimely death of his first wife Geeta Bali. He was last seen in ‘Rockstar’ with grandson Ranbir Kapoor before he passed away. Geeta Bali did not have any kids of her own so that she could pay attention to his two kids Aditya and Kanchan. She is often seen in the company of her sister-in-law Krishna Raj Kapoor and son Aditya Raj Kapoor.
Urmila Kapoor Urmila is Prithviraj’s only daughter. She was older to Shashi by three years. In their younger years, the brothers used to tease her for not having as fair a complexion as the brothers. Urmila Kapoor. Urmila married a Sial. Their son Justin Sial is a lesser-known actor.
Shashi Kapoor, actor/ producer--married to Jennifer Kendal, a stage and film actress, She came from the Shakespearewallah family of Kendals, who staged Shakespeare plays. Shashi Kapoor was born in Calcutta. His childhood was spent in the backstage of Prithvi Theatre, the travelling theatre group that used to tour eight months every year all over India. He started off as a child artiste in RK films like Aag and Awara. He made his lead debut in 1961 with Dharmputra.
Shammi and Shashi Kapoor
Mayank Shekhar , The Kapoor Brothers “India Today” 27/6/2016
It's hard, if not impossible, to grow and flourish under a banyan tree. The Kapoor brothers, Shashi and Shammi, had two gigantic figures looming over them. Father Prithviraj Kapoor had dominated the theatre scene for decades before his two boys grew up, having shone in silent cinema equally, before starring in India's first talkie, Alam Ara. Then there was siblingRaj Kapoor-older than Shammi by seven years and Shashi by 14-who had perched himself at the top, with his much-loved star persona of the tramp, and as a solid boss of RK Studio.
Not surprisingly, Shammi, when he started out, was written off by audiences and the film industry alike as a boring, goody two shoes "Raj Kapoor clone", with 18 box-office flops in a row.
Much as the Bombay film industry is reviled for being nepotistic, it is actually replete with stories of famous star-sons and star-siblings failing to make it. The Kapoor brothers are notable exceptions simply because each of them grew sideways as smaller plants from under the banyan, coming out of the shadows to find their place under the sun.
As far as family trees go, Shammi's stylised urban hero was more a natural extension of Dev Anand's. It is not a coincidence that his breakthrough hits- Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Junglee- were movies Dev had first turned down.
The movie projection of Shammi as a mirror image of his off-screen persona-goofy, funny, full of restless energy and an unabashed Casanova-was something his new wife Geeta Bali helped him draw out, both in the choice of films and roles. Was Shammi merely an actor? No. Rauf Ahmed's biography calls him Bollywood's 'Game Changer' and through this painstakingly detailed biography, you can adequately sense why.
The term Bollywood, with its connotations of the romantic musical genre, owes its origins to Shammi from the swinging '60s. As do some of the typically 'Bollywood' films-starring Amitabh Bachchan (in the '70s), Aamir/Salman/Shah Rukh Khan (in the '90s) to Ranbir Kapoor(post-millennial)-thereafter.
What did Shammi get so right? The script, as he admits, was roughly the same-boy likes girl, who doesn't respond to him first but eventually gives in, which is when the villain steps in. It was really about the music. Shammi collaborated closely with his friend Jai (of the composer duo Shankar-Jaikishen); and Mohammed Rafi, his playback voice. And man, he knew his music. Most don't know, for instance, that Shammi had composed the lilting Amitabh song Neela aasman so gaya from Silsila (1981) a decade before.
That's not all. Shammi took a personal interest in song visuals and choreographed his own tracks. He saw dance as an uninhibited physical expression of music rather than a series of well-planned steps. There is a wonderful episode in the book of the cast and crew of Junglee trooping from Bombay to Pahalgam (in Kashmir) and Kufri (near Shimla) looking for 12 inches of snow to shoot a song. When they reached the final location, no one knew what Shammi was going to do. Neither did Shammi. The next morning he slid down the snow-peak screaming "Yahoo", a moment frozen in movie history.
Shashi, in contrast, seems to be the understated sibling. If being third in a line of hugely popular brothers wasn't hard enough, he was also the less aggressive, genteel half of 'Shashitabh'-the 'angry young man' Amitabh Bachchan's foil in the '70s (in Trishul, Deewar, Kaala Patthar, Shaan?).
Shashi (inarguably the handsomest Kapoor) was a major star in his own right. But more significantly, he pursued an alternative career in relatively minimalist movies aimed at both international and locally more discerning audiences.
Aseem Chhabra's account neatly divides Shashi's career into three phases. His Merchant Ivory and other international productions, which even picked up top gongs, at Berlin (Heat and Dust) or Venice (Siddhartha). As the overworked mainstream superstar in cookie-cutter mode, often doing "really bad movies", he would show up at multiple shoots the same day, remembering neither his own lines nor the film's inconsequential storylines, a trait that prompted Raj Kapoor to label him "taxi". But, the book also looks closely at Shashi's work as filmmaker, where he persistently strived to break free from the mainstream clutter, producing Junoon, Kalyug, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Vijeta-gems, all of them.
Shammi, we learn from Rauf's biography, was a hunter (literally and figuratively), an inveterate traveller and an impulsive man, prone to occasional bouts of arrogance. Shashi used to call him "Santa Claus", in an obvious reference to his generosity as brother. Shashi, we gauge from Chhabra's monograph, was very much a Santa figure too-a benevolent businessman or producer, who'd throw open 5-star hotel rooms, passing on his hard-earned money to pamper his 'art-house' cast and crew, making losses all through.
Both come across as very Punjabi, 'dildar', larger-than-life figures, which is a big part of their charm, making you want to meet and know them better. Sometimes (and this is a lament as a Mumbai journalist), before you know it, people turn into books. Sadly, Shammi is no more, and Shashi is not keeping well.
If journalism is its first draft, then history, you can tell through these two accounts, is going to remember them very fondly, alongside their towering brother Raj Kapoor, for their distinctly unique contribution to films.
Chhabra's severely slim volume, in that sense, is a marvellously produced/packaged/edited tribute. But Rauf's is a better book. For one, because it is almost wholly in the voice of the subject. The author spends hours talking to Shammi-"first in the family after Papaji (Prithviraj) to pass matric and enter college"-reminiscing about his glory days.
Shammi is devastatingly candid about his emotional highs and lows, relationships and breakups. The book goes deeper to examine his rollickingly promiscuous rock-star life. Many of these anecdotes, at least ones relating to film shoots and professional collaborations, could hugely enliven Annu Kapoor's radio pravachans on Bollywood.
In fact, there is even a germ of a script in there that can only be titled 'Rockstar'. That was ironically the movie where we saw grand old man Shammi on screen for the last time.
Prithviraj Kapoor’s grandchildren
Raj Kapoor’s children
Raj Kapoor married Krishna, in 1946. They had five children, three sons and two daughters. Krishnaji was Prithviraj’s cousin, so she was also Raj’s aunt in addition to being his wife. Raj Kapoor became the central figure of the Kapoor legacy after Prithviraj. His RK Studio banner established the showbiz dominance of their family.
Randhir Kapoor , actor/ director –married Babita (Shivdasani), who came from a line of cineastes, including father Hari Shivdasani and aunt Sadhana. Randhir Kapoor was born in 1947. He started off as a child artiste in RK’s films. He had a brief stint as an assistant director in the late ’60s, after which he made his acting and directorial debut with Kal Aaj Aur Kal in 1971. The film featured three generations of the Kapoor family. He enjoyed considerable success through the ’70s as a comedy star.
Ritu Kapoor , later Ritu Nanda, –married industrialist Rajan Nanda. Raj Kapoor’s elder daughter, Ritu was born in 1948. She wrote a book on Raj Kapoor in the ’90s. This biography was originally written in Russian and it reportedly sold more than a crore copies around the world.
Rishi Kapoor, actor –married actress Neetu Singh Rishi Kapoor Arguably, Raj Kapoor’s most successful son, Rishi was younger to Randhir and Ritu. He was born in 1952. He made his debut as a leading man at the age of 20 with Bobby. Since then, he’s worked in close to 150 films. Between the ’70s and ’90s he was one of Bollywood’s leading romantic heroes. Since his late 50s carved a niche for himself as a supporting actor. He’s the most popular Kapoor on social media. His 2016 film was Kapoor & Sons.
Rima –married Manoj Jain. Rima Kapoor Raj Kapoor’s younger daughter, Rima and her sister Ritu did not take to acting because of the Kapoor family diktat where their women couldn’t work in movies. Manoj Jain is Rajiv Kapoor’s best friend. One of Raj Kapoor’s last wishes was to have Rima tie the knot with Manoj.
Rajiv Kapoor, actor. The youngest of Raj Kapoor’s children, Rajiv, was born in 1962. He made a splash with Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985. He later turned producer with films like Henna and Premgranth. - Rajiv Kapoor is the youngest son of Raj Kapoor and he is often seen hanging around with his brother Randhir Kapoor . He is known for his role in the film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ but that proved to be his only big break in Filmistan. He married architect Aarti Sabharwal in 2001 but divorced two years later. He has worked as a producer, director, writer, editor and was seen in several films like Ek Jaan Hai Hum, Aasmaan, Lover Boy and Zimmedaar. He also produced Henna and Aa Ab Laut Chalen and directed Prem Granth which had his brothers’ presence as director or producer.
Shammi Kapoor’s children
Shammi Kapoor: The second son of Prithviraj, he married Geeta Bali in 1955. She was already an established star, while he was still finding his feet as an actor. They had two children Aditya and Kanchan. Adtiya was born in 1956 while Kanchan was born in 1961. Geeta passed away due to a bout of small pox in 1965. He then married Neila Devi in 1969. Neila Devi, with her grace and maturity, held the family together.
Aditya Raj Kapoor – married Priti. Aditya Raj Kapoor is Shammi Kapoor’s son. He had his Filmistan stint as an assistant director in Rishi Kapoor’s film Bobby, Dharam Karam and controversial blockbuster ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’. He is married to Priti (technically his first cousin as she is the daughter of Neila’s Devi’s sister). He has two kids - Vishwapratap Raj Kapoor and Tulsi Kapoor. Giving up films, he later joined Escorts with Rajan Nanda who is married to Shammi’s niece Ritu Nanda.
Kanchan Kapoor – married Ketan Desaii, son of the hit filmmaker Manmohan Desai. They have two daughters Pooja and Rajeshwari.
Kanchan Desai- Kanchan Kapoor is the daughter of Shammi Kapoor. She is married to businessman Ketan Desaii who is the son of popular late producer-director Manmohan Desai. They have two daughters - Pooja and Raj Rajeshwari who are very close to their cousin Tulsi (Aditya Raj Kapoor]]'s daughter).
Urmila and Charanjit Sial Urmila married businessman Charanjit Sial from Nagpur. They have three daughters, Anuradha, Priti and Namita and a son Jatin.
Jatin SialHe’s the only member of the Sial family who’s made a career in showbiz. Jatin is a popular face having worked in TV shows like Kasam Se and movies like Vivah and Aa Ab Laut Chalein.
Shashi Kapoor’s children
Shashi Kapoor married Jennifer Kendall in 1958. Jennifer was five years older to Shashi. They’d met during the touring of Prithvi theatre in Calcutta. Their courtship lasted for two years. Jennifer’s father Geoffrey Kendall opposed their relationship initially but with the help of Shammi and his then wife Geeta Bali, the two managed to get hitched.
Kunal Kapoor –married Sheena Sippy, daughter of Ramesh Sippy, the legendary director of Sholay Ramesh Sippy They have two children, Zahaan and Shaira. Eldest son of Shashi and Jennifer, Kunal Kapoor made his acting debut in 1972. Kunal Kapoor- Kunal Kapoor is the oldest son of his grandfather Shashi Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor was married to English actress Jennifer Kendal who passed away at the age of 51 due to cancer. Kunal was married to filmmaker Ramesh Sippy's daughter Sheena but the two are now separated. They have two kids - Zahan Prithviraj Kapoor and Shaira Laura Kapoor. Before moving to ad film direction, he starred in the English film Siddhartha and in the Shyam Benegal film Junoon which also had his parents and siblings among the cast members. He was also seen in Ahista Ahista, Vijeta, Utsav and Trikal and currently runs one of the leading production houses - Adfilm- Valas.
Karan Kapoor, model. Second son of Shashi Kapoor, Karan featured in action flicks like Sultanat and Loha in the ’80s. He’s now a photographer living in London with wife Lorna and children Aliya and Zach. Karan Kapoor- In the huge family of all faiths and races, is handsome Karan Kapoor. Karan draws his English looks from his late mother Jennifer Kendal and made it big in the modeling world by endorsing Bombay Dyeing's Vivaldi shirts. He did try his luck in films and featured in films like Junoon, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Sultanat, Loha and Afsar. He also played a prominent role in British television series The Jewel in the Crown. Karan is married to Lorna and has two kids - Aliya Kapoor and Zachary Kapoor.
Sanjana Kapoor, stage and film actress –married to tiger conservation expert Valmik Thapar. They have a son Hamir. Youngest child of Shashi and Jennifer, Sanjana featured in movies like Hero Hiralal and Salaam Bombay. She gave up her career in films to manage and revive Prithvi Theatre. In 2011 she separated from Prithvi.
Sanjana Kapoor- Shashi Kapoor’s daughter Sanjana Kapoor took charge of Prithvi Theater and kept it alive till today before giving up the responsibility in 2012. After divorcing director Aditya Bhattacharya, the gorgeous Sanjana married wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar and has a son Hameer. As a brief stint in Filmistan, she also starred in films like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Utsav, Salaam Bombay besides playing the leading lady in Hero Hiralal.
Prithviraj Kapoor’s great-grandchildren
Randhir Kapoor and Babita’s children
Randhir married actress Babita, who’s actor Hari Shivdasani’s daughter. She’s also the late actress Sadhana’s cousin. They married in 1971 and have two daughters Karisma and Kareena.
Karisma Kapoor, actress —married Sanjay Kapur, divorced. Karisma Kapoor was responsible for the big watershed moment in the Kapoor family history. In the ’90s she became the first woman from the family to act, defying her grandfather’s age-old diktat. Her younger sister Kareena followed suit and became just as successful.
Karisma was a top star for 12 years. She made headlines for her roles and friendships, and tied the knot with industrialist Sanjay Kapur on September 29, 2003. They filed for divorce in 2014. As of now, they’re in court fighting for the custody of their children, Samaira and Kiaan.
Samaira and Kiaan Samaira was born in 2005. She was in 2016 in the news for making a short film titled Be Happy, which won raves at a film festival in Hyderabad. She acted in the film and was credited as a cinematographer too. Kiaan is currently in school.
Kareena Kapoor, actress —married to Saif Ali Khan. Saif comes from an erstwhile ruling and famous sporting family. However, his mother is the famous 1960s actress Sharmila Tagore. His sister is actress Soha Ali Khan. Soha, in turn, married Kunal Khemmu, whose father was a lesser-known actor. Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu tied the knot on January 25, 2015, after living-in together for quite some time, and by 2016 were said to be on the verge of a break-up.
Kareena and Saif confirmed their relationship in 2007. They married on October 16 2012 in a five-day wedding extravaganza that was described as [one of] India’s biggest wedding and social event.
Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh’s children
Rishi married Neetu Singh in 1979. They were a hit romantic pair having featured in a dozen films together, most notably in Khel Khel Mein (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). Rishi had reportedly proposed to Neetu via a telegram from Paris. They’d got engaged in a hush hush ceremony in Delhi.
Riddhima and Ranbir Riddhima was born in 1980 while Ranbir was born two years later. Riddhima has her own designer jewellery label. Ranbir made his acting debut in 2009 with Saawariya.
Riddhima Kapoor- Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh’s daughter Riddhima Kapoor is Ranbir Kapoor’s sister. While Ranbir and her parents are actors, Riddhima chose interior designing and is now married to Delhi based businessman Bharat Sahani. She also has a three-year-old daughter Samara. Beautiful like her cousins Karisma and Kareena, Riddhima however keeps away from the limelight and is currently endorsing a jewellery brand with her mom Neetu Singh.
Ranbir Kapoor, actor + Katrina Kaif- Ranbir Kapoor: the relationship
Riddhima Kapoor - married Bharat Sahni
Riddhima married businessman Bharat Sahni in 2006. She’s is a regular in Delhi’s party and fashion circuit. She met Bharat in London. Their courtship lasted for three years. They have a daughter Samara.
Samara She’s barely five but Samara has already made headlines for her Dubsmash videos with uncle Ranbir Kapoor.
Ritu Nanda’s children
Nikhil Nanda—married Shweta Bachchan, daughter of actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan
Ritu Nanda is Raj Kapoor’s daughter the CEO of life insurance company Escolife. She stands out in a family of Bollwood actors and filmmakers and has been named in the Guinness Book of Records for selling 17,000 pension policies in one day. She also runs other companies - Ritu Nanda Insurance Services and Rimari Corporate art services. Married to prominent journalist Rajan Nanda, Ritu Nanda is the mother of Nikhil Nanda and Natasha Nanda. She is the mother-in-law of Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Nanda.
Ritu married Rajan Nanda an established industrialist but she chose to carve out her own career. Her insurance firm, Ritu Nanda Insurance Services is one of India’s largest insurance providers and advisors. Ritu has a daughter Natasha and son Nikhil.
Natasha Nanda She started her career with ANZ Grindlays Bank to later join Escorts Finance. She then founded Rimari Corporate Art Service.
Reema Jain’s children
Armaan Jain, actor
Rima Jain- Rima Jain is Armaan Jain’s mother and youngest daughter of Raj Kapoor. She highly resembles her brother Randhir Kapoor and is married to investment banker Manoj Jain (Filmfare)/ Mohan Jain (another source). Besides Armaan, they have another son Aadar Jain who is younger to Armaan. While Armaan is all set for the release of his debut film ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, Aadhar is also in line to make his career in films and is gearing up for a break in Filmistan.
Armaan Jain The fourth grandchild of the legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor ventured into Filmistan with his film ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’ in 2014.. As the whole Kapoor clan came to cheer up Armaan Jain at the music launch of his film, it was evident that the Kapoors will continue to rule the Indian film industry for ages. Saluting the biggest filmy family of Filmistan which boasts of daughter-in-laws and sons-in-laws from all faiths and walks of life, we introduce the lesser known members of B-town’s Kapoor khandaan.
Armaan assisted for three years at Dharma Productions having worked on I Hate Luv Storys, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Student Of The Year.
Armaan Jain and Ranbir Kapoor Ranbir was instrumental in bringing his cousin Armaan on board for Saif Ali Khan’s home production Lekar Hum Deewana Dil. Ranbir played a promotional football match to promote the film in 2014.
Aadar learnt the trade as an assistant director.
Prithviraj Kapoor’s great-great-grandchildren
Karisma Kapoor’s children
Kiaan Raj Kapoor
Nikhil Nanda’s children
Nikhil Nanda- Nikhil Nanda is the son of Ritu Nanda and heads the leading agricultural machinery company Escorts Limited. He is married to Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Bachchan since fifteen years and is the father of two kids: Agastya Nanda and Navya Naveli. While he hails from a family of actors, he is a contrast by being among five Indians who were selected as the Global Leaders of Tomorrow by World Economic Forum, Geneva in 2001.
Navya Nanda -
Nikhil Nanda Nikhil is a graduate of the Wharton School of Management, USA Nikhil, son of Ritu and Rajan Nanda; married Shweta Bachchan, daughter of actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan on February 16, 1997. Nikhil reportedly fell in love with Shweta at a wedding in Mumbai. They have two children, Navya Naveli and Agastya.
Navya Naveli She recently turned 18 and she has a major fan following on social media. Her pictures on Instagram and Twitter make headlines almost every day.
Agastya In 2016 he turned 15 and his grandfather Amitabh Bachchan tweeted a picture of Agastya and Abhishek Bachchan together. The young boy is schooling in London.
This page was expanded in Sept 2016 to incorporate materials from
Rachit Gupta’s Meet the Kapoor family of Bollywood, Filmfare, and
Know less popular members of the Kapoor Khandaan, The Times of India