Indian cinema, across industries, languages and communities, has seen several families contribute to its progress over the years. In Hindi cinema, the largest family that has had a lasting legacy is The Kapoors, with five generations of filmmakers, theater and film actors. They span nearly eighty years of filmmaking in India, from the 1920s to the present day. They are also linked to other major families of films. Surinder Kapoor, Bollywood producer and father of actors and producers Anil, Boney and Sanjay Kapoor, was a cousin of Prithviraj Kapoor. Kareena Kapoors ‘marriage to Saif Ali Khan tied them to the Pataudis, while Raj Kapoors’ daughter, the late Ritu Nanda, was Shweta Bachchan’s mother-in-law.
Here is an overview of the family tree of the Kapoors 5 generations of direct descendants over 93 years in the film industry, with Prithviraj Kapoor as patriarch. His brother Trilok Kapoor was also an actor.
Prithviraj Kapoors’ father Basheshwarnath Kapoor made his acting debut in the 1951 film Awaara, which was produced, directed and starred by his grandson Raj Kapoor, making him the first linear generation of Kapoor’s family tree to have never played in the movies.
Prithviraj Kapoor came to Bombay during the silent movie era. He was active in both theater and film, starring in the first feature film, Alam Ara (1931). He created the Prithvi theaters and brought memorable characters like Akbar (Mughal-e-Azam, 1960) and Alexander (Sikandar, 1941) to life on screen. His three sons, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, dominated Hindi cinema throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Prithviraj’s brother, Trilok Kapoor, Basheshwarnath Kapoor’s second son, entered the nascent Hindi film industry in the 1930s and was one of the most commercially successful players of the time. He had 2 sons, Vicky Kapoor, lawyer, and Vijay Kapoor, director.
Raj Kapoor: Among Kapoors of all generations, Raj Kapoor has been the most distinguished and prolific contributor as an actor, producer, director and in enhancing the international reach of Bollywood. He is widely regarded as the greatest showman in the history of Indian cinema. Raj and Krishna Kapoor had five children: three sons, actors Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv, and two daughters, Ritu Nanda and Rima Jain.
Shammi Kapoor: He was one of the most entertaining and successful actors in Indian cinema. With films like Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Junglee, he rose to fame as a stylish playboy and dance hero in the 1950s and 1960s. He married Geeta Bali in 1955. They had a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor, and a daughter, Kanchan.
Shashi Kapoor: He was active from the late 60s to the mid 80s, delivering several blockbusters like Sharmelee, Waqt, Haseena Man Jayegi and Satyam Shivan Sundaram. He made a popular pairing with Amitabh Bachchan and the two starred in a total of 12 films. He was also known internationally for having starred in British and American films. He was married to English actress Jennifer Kendal from 1958 until her death in 1984, and had three children Kunal Kapoor, Karan Kapoor and Sanjana Thapar.
Randhir Kapoor: After working as a child in Shree 420 (1955) and Do Ustad (1956), Randhir made his acting and directorial debut with a starring role in the family drama Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971). He starred in several films in the 1970s, but his career declined in the mid-1980s, after which his film appearances declined. Randhir married actress Babita and had two daughters, Kareena and Karisma Kapoor.
Rishi Kapoor: He was the most successful of Raj Kapoors’ children. His notable films include Bobby (1973), Khel Khel Mein (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Sargam (1979), Karz (1980) and Chandni (1989). Since the 2000s, he has played the roles of critically acclaimed characters in films such as Love Aaj Kal (2009), Agneepath (2012), Kapoor and Sons (2016), 102 Not Out (2018) and Mulk (2018) . Rishi Kapoor and his wife Neetu Singh were one of the most beloved yodis onscreen in the late 1970s. The couple married in 1980 and had two children, Riddhima and Ranbir Kapoor.
Ritu Nanda: She was a businesswoman and an insurance advisor. She was married to industrialist Rajan Nanda and had two children. Their son Nikhil Nanda is married to Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta.
Rima Jain: She is married to investment banker Manoj Jain. His sons Armaan Jain and Aadar Jain both made their Bollywood debuts.
Rajiv Kapoor: He made his debut in Ek Jaan Hain Hum in 1983. He starred in his father’s last directorial adventure Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985). He has acted in other films like Aasmaan (1984), Lover Boy (1985), Zabardast (1985) and Hum To Chale Pardes (1988). He made his last film appearance in Zimmedaaar in 1990, after which he turned to production and directing. Rajiv was married to architect Aarti Sabharwal from 2001 to 2003.
Aditya Raj Kapoor: He is best known for his work as an assistant director in several Hindi films and his English directorial films like Shamaal, Don’t Stop Dreaming (2007) and Sambar Salsa (2007).
Kunal Kapoor: Son of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal, Kunal made his debut with the 1972 English-language film Siddhartha, later starred in Shyam Benegal’s Junoon and his first mainstream Bollywood film, Ahista Ahista. He also starred in the art films Utsav (1984) and Trikal (1985). In 1987, he gave up acting to start his own commercials company. Kunal was married to filmmaker Ramesh Sippy’s daughter, Sheena. They had two children together – a son named Zahan Prithviraj Kapoor and a daughter named Shaira.
Karan Kapoor: At the start of his career, he was a popular model made famous by a Bombay Dyeing commercial. He also performed in Sultanate (1986) and in Loha (1987) with Dharmendra. Karan now runs a photography company in the UK.
Sanjana Kapoor: She appeared in films like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Utsav, Hero Hiralal, and Salaam Bombay before leaving cinema, focusing on theater in the 1990s. She ran the Prithvi Theater in Mumbai until 2011 and launched the Junoon Theater in 2012. Her first husband was actor and director Aditya Bhattacharya, son of filmmaker Basu Bhattacharya. She is now married to tiger defender Valmik Thapar.
Karisma Kapoor: She is the first daughter of the Kapoor family to enter Bollywood. From blockbuster romances like Raja Hindustani and Dil Toh Pagal Hai, to heart-wrenching comedies with Govinda and Salman Khan, Karisma showed her full range of talent during the 90s. She is also known for her dancing skills and has been acclaimed by criticism for films like Zubeidaa and Fiza. She is currently estranged from businessman Sanjay Kapur, whose daughter she has daughter Samaira and Son Kiaan Raj.
Kareena Kapoor: She followed her sister into film with Refugee in 2000. Despite less than impressive beginnings, Kareena went on to win major projects like Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, Yuva, Omkara, Jab We Met, 3 Idiots and Heroine . Kareena is one of the most successful actresses in Bollywood, with over 20 years of hard work and counting. She married actor Saif Ali Khan and mother of two sons. She continued to stay at the top of her game even after marriage and motherhood.
Ranbir Kapoor: The descendant of the Kapoor family is currently one of the biggest stars in the country. His debut was also a flop, but Ranbir more than made up for it with skillful performances in Wake Up Sid, Barfi, Raajneeti and Rockstar. In 2018, he portrayed Sanjay Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic Sanju, one of the highest grossing Indian films of all time. He is currently in a relationship with Alia Bhatt, the two are planning a wedding soon.
Riddhima Kapoor: Ranbirs’ sister is a jewelry designer married to businessman Bharat Sahni. They have a daughter named Samara.
Nikhil Nanda: Ritu Nandas’ son is married to Shweta Bachchan. They have together their son Agastya and their daughter Navya Naveli.
Armaan Jain: Rima Jain and Manoj Jain’s eldest son made his acting debut in Lekar Hum Deewana Dil. He is married to Anissa Malhotra.
Aadar Jain: Armaans’ brother made his debut with the 2017 Hindi film Qaidi Band. He is currently dating actress Tara Sutaria.
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