The Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema (Part 1)

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There is no film family quite like the Kapoors. A family of professional actors and directors, they span almost eighty years of film-making in India, from the twenties to the present. Each decade in the history of Hindi films has had at least one Kapoor - if not more - playing a large part in defining it. Prithviraj came to Bombay in the twilight era of silent movies and went on to straddle both theatre and the silver screen like a colossus, starring in the first full-length talkie, "Alam Ara" (1931), setting up Prithvi Theatres, and giving life to memorable characters like "Akbar" and "Sikandar" on-screen. His three sons Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor - have earned secure and distinct places in the celluloid pantheon, dominating Hindi cinema throughout the fifties and sixties. Over the next decade and a half, Raj Kapoor's sons Randhir and Rishi Kapoor survived the Amitabh Bachchan-spawned age of the action hero. Later, just when it looked like the family's fortune in tinsel town was finally in decline, Karisma Kapoor, the first daughter of the clan put it right back in the lead. Originally hailing from the city of Samundri, District Lyallpur, Punjab origin, five generations of the Kapoor family have acted, directed or produced in the Bollywood industry, starting from Dewan Basheshernath Kapoor right down to Ranbir Kapoor. It was founded by actor Prithviraj Kapoor, whose eldest son Raj Kapoor became a superstar in the Hindi film industry, and his two other ...

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