Mumbai: During his career of close to five decades that has been predominantly defined by a loverboy image, Rishi Kapoor has romanced over 45 actresses on screen. He struck magic with each romantic shot and managed to weave a dream with each song, opposite each of his leading ladies.
Yet, there are the ones who have seemed a little more special than the others, facing the camera with him.
Rishi Kapoor’s first role as a hero in Bollywood was in “Bobby” opposite Dimple Kapadia and he nailed it at the first chance. He proved he could be the lover boy every girl craves for! His rocking chemistry with 16-year-old Dimple Kapadia in the film remains etched in the songs and romantic scenes.
They would carry their romance onto real life, but not before delivering films like “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Khel Khel Mein”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Zehreela Insaan” among others. Their sizzling on-screen chemistry transpired into off-screen romance and Neetu Singh eventually quit acting to become Rishi Kapoor’s wife Neetu Kapoor. Their song “Ek main aur ek tu” in “Khel Khel Mein” continues to be a favourite across generations.
Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi will perhaps go down in Bollywood as one of the best-looking pairs! Although “Nagina”, “Chandni” and “Banjaran” were heroine-centric films with Sridevi in title roles, their chemistry was worth applauding. Their song “Chandni o meri Chandni” – incidentally the only song Sridevi sang — is a timeless hit.
She was a frequent co-star. Jaya. like Dimple Kapadia, made her Bollywood debut opposite Rishi Kapoor. Their first film together was in 1979, titled “Sargam”. Rishi and Jaya Prada have together appeared in several movies including “Sindoor”, “Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani”, “Gharana” and “Dhartiputra”. The song “Dafaliwale default baja” in “Sargam” was a huge .
“Karz” cast Rishi Kapoor opposite Tina Munim. Each song of the film is a superhit. And the film itself emerged a blockbuster. Movies featuring this pair include “Yeh Vaada Raha”, “Bade Dil Wala” and “Aap Ke Deewane” among others.
Some of the popular movies featuring the Rishi Kapoor-Moushumi Chatterjee pair include “Zehreela Insaan”, “Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan” and “Do Premee”. “Zehreela Insaan” also starred Neetu Singh. The Kishore Kumar track “O hansini” featuring Rishi and Moushumi became an instant hit and is still counted among one of Bollywood’s best romantic numbers. Moushumi Chatterjee later in her career has also worked in Rishi Kapoor’s one and only directorial flick “Aa Ab Laut Chalen”.
Poonam Dhillon and Rishi Kapoor made another very popular pair of the eighties. They starred together in movies like “Sitamgar”, “Yeh Vaada Raha”, “Zamana”, “Biwi O Biwi”, “Ek Chadar Maili Si”, and “Tawaif”.
Apart from the multiple award-winning “Damini”, Rishi Kapoor and Meenakshi Seshadri have together appeared in movies like “Ghayal”, “Hero”, “Shahenshah” and “Ghatak”. The actress, who currently resides in the US, paid a surprise visit to Rishi Kapoor a few years ago. The actor took to Twitter to admit that he could not recognize his Damini co-star for a moment! The songs “Jab se tumko dekha hai sanam” and “Gawah hain chand taare” in “Damini” featuring this jodi remain evergreen.
Madhuri Dixit and Rishi Kapoor have appeared in movies like “Sahibaan”, “Yaraana” and “Prem Granth”. The song “Dil dene ki ruth ayee” from “Prem Granth” enjoys a huge number of views on YouTube even today. Last year when Madhuri Dixit tweeted wishing Rishi Kapoor on his birthday, the actor had replied: “Thank you Madhuri. I have to make a super hit film with you that’s my mission. Love to the family.”
Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla have featured together in several movies like “Bol Radha Bol”, “Rishta To Ho Aisa”, “Ghar Ki Izzat” and “Saajan Ka Ghar” among others. This jodi deserves a special mention because Rishi Kapoor was shooting the last film of his life with Juhi, which he could not complete. The film titled “Sharmaji Namkeen” was being directed by Hitesh Bhatia. The actor fell sick while shooting for the movie in Delhi recently.
Rishi Kapoor has worked with many other popular actresses including Rakhee, Rekha, Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi, Raveena Tandon, Divya Bharti, Manisha Koirala and Tabu. The actor with his looks and divine smile won the hearts of ladies from eight to eighty.