Friday, July 12, 2024

Neetu left films at the age of 21: Before marriage, she completed shooting in three shifts, kept distance from stardom on the advice of Rishi Kapoor


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Veteran Bollywood actress Neetu Kapoor is celebrating her 66th birthday today. Neetu, who became a star with films like 'Kabhi Kabhie', 'Amar Akbar Anthony', 'Adalat', 'Parvarish' and 'Great Gambler', entered the industry as a child artist at the age of 6 with the film 'Sooraj'.

At the age of 15, she was launched as a heroine in the film 'Rickshawwala'. In a film career spanning 6 decades, Neetu worked with many big actors, but her pairing with Rishi Kapoor was liked the most. While working together, both of them fell in love and got married in 1980.

At that time, Neetu was 21 years old and was a top actress of her time. After marriage, Rishi Kapoor did not want Neetu to work in films, so the actress completed the shooting of the remaining films in three shifts.

After the death of Rishi Kapoor in 2020, Neetu became lonely, but she did not let herself break down. She reinvented herself and focused on films. In 2023, she was seen in the film 'Jug Jug Jio' which proved to be a hit.

Let's take a look at some interesting stories related to Neetu's life…

Story No. 1: Neetu's mother was born in a brothel

Neetu was born on July 8, 1958 in a Jat family in Delhi. Her real name is Harneet Kaur. She was the only daughter of her parents Darshan Singh and Raji Kaur. Neetu's mother Raji Kaur struggled a lot in her life.

In fact, Raji's mother Harjeet was left in a brothel after her parents died when she was 10 years old. After this, she could never get out of this quagmire.

She got married to Fateh Singh, who also worked at the brothel, and had a daughter named Raaji. When Raaji grew up, she was also pushed into prostitution, but one day she ran away and started working in a mill.

It was here that she met a man named Darshan Singh and married him. They had a daughter, Harneet Kaur i.e. Neetu Singh. After Neetu's birth, her parents brought her to Mumbai. Here she was admitted to Hill Grange High School for her studies.

Neetu in the film 'Sooraj'.

Neetu in the film 'Sooraj'.

Story No. 2: Father died, she entered films at the age of 6

Neetu lost her father when she was five years old. It became difficult for Raji to raise Neetu as she had no work. Raji was beautiful so she thought of trying her luck in films. She visited many film studios, but nothing worked out.

Finally, Raazi realized that she would not be able to become a heroine. In such a situation, she intensified her efforts to get her daughter Neetu a role in films.

Initially, there were a lot of difficulties in this too, but one day their efforts paid off and 6-year-old Harneet Kaur i.e. Neetu got a chance to work as a child artist in the film 'Sooraj'.

As a child artist, Neetu was named 'Baby Sonia' in the film industry. Neetu's character in 'Sooraj' was liked very much, after which she got work in films like 'Das Lakh', Do Kaliyan. Neetu's acting was especially appreciated in 'Do Kaliyan'. She played a double role in the film. Neetu appeared in the song 'Bachche Man Ke Sachche' of this film, which became very popular.

Neetu with mother Raazi.

Neetu with mother Raazi.

Story No. 3: Neetu's mother was not happy with her popularity

Neetu's popularity as a child artist skyrocketed, but her mother was not happy with this. In fact, she was afraid that her daughter might remain a child artist only, whereas she wanted to make her a heroine.

Due to this fear, Raji brought Neetu from Mumbai to Punjab. After staying in Punjab for three years, Raji returned to Mumbai with Neetu in 1973. By this time Neetu was 14-15 years old. Raji again intensified her efforts to make her daughter a heroine in films.

At the age of 15, Neetu got the film 'Rickshawwala' opposite Randhir Kapoor. The film flopped, but impressed by Neetu's beauty, the makers offered her many films. At that time, Neetu's mother used to take decisions related to her career.

Neetu would only sign films for which her mother said yes. In 1973 itself, Neetu got the film 'Yaadon Ki Baaraat' which was a superhit and Neetu's career as a heroine also started.

Neetu Kapoor in the first photoshoot of her career.

Neetu Kapoor in the first photoshoot of her career.

Story No. 4: Neetu was scared when she first met Rishi

Neetu worked with many big actors in her career, but her pairing with Rishi Kapoor was liked the most. While working together, both of them fell in love and got married in 1980. However, their love story was quite interesting, an anecdote related to which was shared by Neetu herself in an interview. She had told that she was very scared of Rishi Kapoor during the first meeting.

Neetu had told that when she met Rishi for the first time, the actor commented on her clothes and makeup, which made her very angry. Even later, whenever Rishi used to meet her, he used to threaten her, which made her very angry.

Neetu also said that after 'Bobby' became a superhit, Dimple Kapadia got married and Rishi was left with no heroine because most of the actresses looked older than him. In such a situation, Rishi approached her to become his heroine. Gradually the fights turned into love.

Rishi Kapoor had mentioned his first meeting with Neetu in his biography Khullam Khulla. He had said, 'Actually my first meeting with Neetu was on the sets of the film 'Bobby'. Our love blossomed during the shooting of 'Amar Akbar Anthony'.

In those days, dating was limited to holding hands, going to parties or slow dancing. Until I got married to Neetu, my parents kept getting wedding proposals for me. I never told my parents openly that I was dating someone, but they knew that Neetu was in my life. That is why whenever a proposal came for me, they would refuse it saying that I was dating someone.

Story No. 5: Rishi Kapoor did not want to marry Neetu

Rishi further said, 'I was not sure that I would marry Neetu, I was 27 years old then and lived with my parents in Chembur (Mumbai). Neetu and I were committed to each other, but no one could understand why I was not talking about marriage. Actually, many thoughts were coming to my mind. I used to think what effect marriage would have on my life as an actor.

Actually this was because I had seen the fate of Rajesh Khanna after marriage. His career was on the downfall, I was afraid that what would happen if the same happened to me because I was also a romantic hero and wanted to marry a heroine.

I used to think that I would never marry Neetu or if I do, I will marry her very late. If it was left to me, I would never have taken my relationship with Neetu to the next level, but because of my sister Ritu, we got engaged.

Rishi Kapoor with Neetu and Raj Kapoor during their wedding in 1980.

Rishi Kapoor with Neetu and Raj Kapoor during their wedding in 1980.

Story 6: Neetu left films at the age of 21

Rishi Kapoor had written in Khullam Khulla, 'Neetu and I may have been in a relationship, but we were always very professional on the set. When Neetu decided that she would not work in films after marriage, she clearly told the producers about it in advance.

She had completed all her assignments before her marriage on 22 January 1980. Neetu used to complete her shooting in three shifts and also used to do wedding preparations in the little time she had left.

Rishi Kapoor also wrote that when Neetu stopped working in films at the age of 21 after marriage, she was one of the top actresses. He did not want Neetu to work in films after marriage because his male ego would come in the way. He wanted his wife to stay at home after marriage and not go to work.

Story No. 7: When Rishi Kapoor blamed Neetu for the failure of the film

Rishi Kapoor had also talked about the ups and downs in his life after marriage. He had said, like other couples, there were fights and misunderstandings in our relationship too. In a new marriage, there are always problems in adjusting to each other.

After marriage, we lived with our parents in Chembur where our daughter Riddhima was born on 15 September 1980. After Ranbir was born on 28 September 1982, we started living in Neetu's mother's house Kesar Villa in Pali Hill. After marriage, I started worrying more about my career. My doubts grew more after the film Karz flopped. I blamed Neetu for the failure of the film.

Rishi and Neetu Kapoor with daughter Riddhima and son Ranbir.

Rishi and Neetu Kapoor with daughter Riddhima and son Ranbir.

I had a lot of expectations from that film. It was released the same year when Neetu and I got married. I blamed Neetu for the failure of the film and said that my charm ended after marrying you. I went into depression. I did not have the courage to show my face or face the public.

Neetu was worried seeing my condition. Slowly I came out of depression, but later I thought how difficult this time must have been for Neetu. It is not easy to handle me. My mother and sisters often used to say that Neetu should be given a medal for handling me and I agree with this.

Story No. 8: Made a comeback after 26 years in 2009

Talking about leaving Bollywood at the age of 21, Neetu Kapoor told Karan Johar's talk show, 'I started working as a child artist at the age of 5. I saw a lot of success in my career, so working later became a job for me. I have worked a lot from the age of 5 to the age of 21. I have done about 70-80 films. Then I had children and I dedicated myself to my home and children.'

Neetu Kapoor and Anil Kapoor in the film 'Jug Jug Jio'.

Neetu Kapoor and Anil Kapoor in the film 'Jug Jug Jio'.

Neetu got a chance to make a comeback in films in 2009. In her second innings, which began after a gap of 26 years, she worked in 'Do Dooni Chaar' (2010), 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' (2012) and 'Besharam' (2013).

Meanwhile, Rishi Kapoor fell ill. He underwent a long treatment. After his demise in 2020, Ranbir got married. Neetu's biggest hit movie in films was the 2022 film 'Jug Jug Jio' which had a box office collection of Rs 100 crore.

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