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14 December


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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Raj Kapoor


Raj Kapoor (pronounced [raːdʒ kəˈpuːɾ]; born Shrishti Nath Kapoor;[14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor, was an Indian actor, film director, and producer, who worked in Hindi cinema. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential actors and filmmakers in the history of Indian cinema, has been referred to as The Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema, and as the Charlie Chaplin of Indian Cinema.


Born in Peshawar as the son of Prithviraj Kapoor of the Kapoor family, Raj Kapoor starred in and produced many films for which he received multiple accolades, including three National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards in India. He was inspired by Charlie Chaplin and played characters based on The Tramp in films such as Awaara (1951, also as producer) and Shree 420 (1955). 


His performance in Awaara was ranked as one of the "Top-Ten Greatest Performances of All Time in World Cinema" by Time magazine in 2005; both that and his other produced film Boot Polish (1954) competed for the Palme d'Or grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival.


His films were global commercial successes in parts of Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Soviet bloc. The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 1971 for his contributions to the arts. India's highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, was bestowed on him in 1987 by the Government of India.


Raj Kapoor was born as Shrishti Nath Kapoor on 14 December 1924 at Kapoor Haveli, a large house then owned by his grandfather in the Qissa Khwani Bazaar neighborhood of Peshawar, British India into a Punjabi Hindu family of the Kapoor clan, who belonged to the Dhai Ghar Khatri community. 


His parents were Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarni Devi Kapoor (née Mehra). The Kapoor family hailed originally from Samundri, Samundri Tehsil, Lyallpur District, Punjab Province, British India. He was the eldest sibling of six children in the family. 


He was the grandson of Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor, great-grandson of Dewan Keshavmal Kapoor, great-great-grandson of Dewan Murli Mal Kapoor, and was part of the famous Kapoor family. His brothers were the late actors Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. He also had a sister named Urmila Sial.


 Two other siblings died in infancy. Kapoor's family later on moved from Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province to Bombay, Bombay Presidency for residence and for education. He is the nephew of actor Trilok Kapoor, who is the younger brother of his father Prithviraj Kapoor. His first cousin was actor Subbiraj who was his father's sister's son. His father's cousin was film producer Surinder Kapoor, whose children are producer Boney Kapoor and actors Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor.


 His father's maternal first cousins were actors Kamal Kapoor, Ravindra Kapoor, and Nandkishore Kapoor. Kamal Kapoor's grandson is filmmaker Goldie Behl. His maternal first cousin, Juggal Kishore Mehra, was a singer, whose step-granddaughter, Salma Agha, later became an actress and singer.


As Prithviraj moved from city to city early in his career during the 1930s, the family had to move too. Raj Kapoor attended several different schools like Colonel Brown Cambridge School in Dera Doon, St Xavier's Collegiate School in Calcutta, and Campion School in Bombay.


On 12 May 1946, Raj Kapoor married Krishna Malhotra. Krishna was one of nine siblings, and following her marriage, many of them joined the Hindi film industry. Her brothers, Rajendra Nath, Prem Nath, and Narendra Nath, later became actors, and her sister Uma is married to actor Prem Chopra


Anari as Raj Kumar