Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor passed away on April 30, 2020 early in the morning after his long battle with leukemia. The actor, who was being treated in New York for almost a year, returned to India last year in September and was looking forward to getting back to work. His pillar of strength was his wife Neetu Kapoor who stayed with him in NYC throughout his treatment while his kids Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima Kapoor Sahni often visited him.
In the year 2017 during the promotions of his autobiography ‘Khullam Khulla’, the actor spoke highly of his wife with whom he shared screen space for years before they fell in love and got married. She had written an excerpt in the book. Speaking to Bollywood Hungama about Neetu and how crucial she has been in his life, Rishi joked, “She has also written some nasty things about me.”
He said, “We were made for each other. Well, all said and done! We met very early in our life. When I started my career, Dimple Kapadia got married (to Rajesh Khanna), so I had no heroines to work with. I was a 21-year-old man and with no heroines because Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, and Rakhee looked older to me. They may be a couple of years elder to me in age but they all looked elder to me. So, obviously I could not be paired opposite them. So there is this saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’! That is why it was necessary to actually cast new girls with me because there was no star only available to work with me. Either it was Neetu, Moushami Chatterjee, or a new girl.”
“That’s how I worked a lot with Neetu, sometimes two shifts a day, then we got closer and obviously, we fell in love. We wanted to get married. We decided amongst ourselves that one will be a homemaker and one will be a breadwinner. So, I decided to become the breadwinner and she was the homemaker. She gave me two lovely kids, thankfully. God has been kind. We’ve had a normal life, we have our share of fights and arguments which I think every normal couple has. It’s been quite smooth for us,” he further added.
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Both Neetu and Rishi made their debut in the Hindi film industry during their teen years. They went onto star in12 films together including Khel Khel Mein (1975), Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Duniya Meri Jeb Mein (1979) and their guest appearance in Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978).