Famous as "Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema”, Raj Kapoor was one of the great entertainers known to Indian films. By the age of 24 he established his own studio, R.K Films, and began his directorial career, starting with Aag. He went on to produce and star in several hit films made under his RK banner including Barsaat (1949), Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Chori Chori (1956), Jagte Raho (1956) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960).

At the age of 11, Raj Kapoor, winner of nine Film Fare awards, appeared in film Inquilab for the frst time. After acting in several films over the next 12 years, Raj Kapoor's big break came with the lead role in Neel Kamal (1947) opposite Madhubala.

With much expectation he produced, directed and starred in his ambitious film Mera Naam Joker (1970) which took six years to complete. Though it was a box office disaster and put Kapoor and his family into a financial crisis, Raj Kapoor’s performance as a joker brought tears into everyone’s eyes.  In later years it was acknowledged as a classic movie.

For a star like Raj Kapoor whose life seemed to be an open book, had many incidents hidden in its pages which is unknown to us.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF CINEMA edited By Ziya Us Salam offers some interesting facts associated with the life of the biggest showman of Bollywood.

The book informs that Raj Kapoor loved her daughter Ritu so much that following the tradition that a father of the bride does not eat or drink water till the bride leaves her father's place for her new abode, he did not touch water till her daughter reached Delhi. The book says that Raj Kapoor had signed Khwaja Ahmed Abbas for a whopping of Rs. 1 lakh to write SHREE 420.

Five unknown facts about Raj Kapoor:

Raj Kapoor began his career as a clapper-boy. When Kidar Sharma was filming Vishkanya (1943), Raj would always comb his hair and pose in front of the camera before giving the clap.

Raj's real name was Ranbir, shared by his grandson. Raj was the middle name of all the Kapoor brothers. Shammi's real name was Shamsher Raj and Shashi was actually Balbir Raj.

. Raj Kapoor became the youngest film director at 24.

8. The scene where Rishi meets Dimple in her house in Bobby was inspired by the real life meeting between Raj Kapoor and Nargis.

Awaara (1951) was the first movie to feature three generations of Kapoors in its cast - Diwan Basheshwarnath (Raj Kapoor's grandfather), Prithviraj and Raj Kappor.


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