Google pays tribute to ‘Show Man of All Times’

  • December 14, 2014 is Raj Kapoor’s 90th birth anniversary
  • Google Doodle is dedicated to the showman

(P Ravi)

Today is the 90th birth anniversary of the great show man of Hindi film industry, Raj Kapoor. Born to a legendary film and theatre actor and founder of Prithvi Theatres, Prithviraj Kapoor, it was but obvious for young Raj Kapoor to find his calling in films quite early in his life. His first film as a child actor was at the age of 10 before making his debut in a lead role for a film, ‘Neel Kamal’ with Madhubala as his leading lady. He launched RK films and also became the youngest director at the age of 24 and made the film ‘Aag’ with Kamini Kaushal and Nargis as leading ladies. His film “Andaz’ turned out to be his first success as an actor. The landmark films from RK films stable include ‘Barsaat’, ‘Shree 420’, ‘Awara’, ‘Chori Chori’, ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’,  ‘Anari’ and several others. His films like ‘Awara’ and ‘Shri 420’ went on to gain international acclaim as people would sing songs like “Awara Hun” in USSR though they did not know the language. Such was the charm of his characters like the one that got him the name of ‘Charlie Chaplin of India’ in ‘Awara’.

He was a trendsetter. His film ‘Sangam’ with Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayanthi Mala was the first Hindi film to be made in colour. He received two national awards in addition to several Filmfare awards in India and his films also gained international acclaim and were much sought after at film festivals across Asia and Europe. Time Magazine listed his performance of ‘Awara’ as one of the top ten performances of the world. His major success after the film ‘Sangam’ came with ‘Mera Naam Joker’. The film took six years to make and it also marked his youngest son Rishi Kapoor’s debut. His other famous films include ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’, ‘Prem Rog’ and ‘Raam Teri Ganga Maili’ that introduced the popular actress Mandakini and another hero of Kapoor clan Rajiv Kapoor.

Few of his films also flopped at box office. But the great actor, director and producer always made sure that his films had soulful music. Eminent playback singer Mukesh gave life to most of Raj Kapoor’s songs. In addition, his canvas – be it outdoor locations or indoor sets- was always chosen with much care. The costumes too almost always had his touch, especially for his lead ladies. Whenever he made a film, he was led by the demands of the box office of those times. He knew the pulse of his audience. He was the recipient of Padma Bhushan and when he was receiving Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1987, he had a stroke of Asthma and later died of complications.

In a way Raj Kapoor carried on the legacy of his father Prithviraj Kapoor. His brothers Shashi Kapoor and late Shammi Kapoor were both actors. His sons Randhir and Rishi Kapoor are actors and his grandchildren Karisma, Kareena and Ranbir are all popular actors.

Google, today, pays tribute to Raj Kapoor  – the ‘Show Man Of All Times’with its doodle.

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