wiki:Prithviraj Kapoor

Prithviraj Kapoor (1906-72)

Revered actor born in Peshawar (now Pakistan) as Prithvinath Kapoor. Son of a police officer. Earned a major reputation on the amateur stage in Lyallpur and Peshawar. Interrupted law studies to join Imperial (1929). Acted in several B.P. Mishra adventure and love stories (e.g. [[Cinema Girl[[, opposite Ermeline, India’s version of Clara Bow). Starred in India’s first sound film, Alam Ara. He impressed with a perfect speaking voice (he never sang). Then joined the Grant Anderson theatre company and performed Shakespeare in English, with special acclaim for his Laertes in Hamlet. Worked in New Theatres (1933-9), playing the hero in Hindi versions (Durgadas Bannerjee often playing the same role in Bengali) of its hit bilinguals. Broke through with Debaki Bose’s Rajrani Meera and as Rama in Seeta opposite Durga Khote.? Vidyapati? was his crowning achievement in Calcutta. Chandulal Shah hired him for the Ranjit Studio (1938-40) in Bombay, where he acted in some remarkable melodramas with Kardar (e.g. Pagal) and Chaturbhuj Doshi (Adhuri Kahani). Bestknown performance as freelance actor was in the title role of Alexander the Great in Sohrab Modi’s military epic Sikandar?. The film heightened his enduring reputation, enhanced by the role of Emperor Akbar in Mughal-e-Azam, as the embodiment of Mughal royalty in Hindi-Urdu cinema (spoofed by K. Shankar’s Rajkumar). Invested his earnings in the Hindi theatre, setting up Prithvi Theatres (1944) where he produced plays while shooting films at night. Mounted a major play against Partition, Inder Raj Anand’s Deewar (1945) which earned him death threats from Islamic fundamentalists. He persisted with antisectarian politics, producing the technically and artistically masterful plays Pathan (1947) and Gaddar (1948). Launched many new talents through Prithvi Theatres, including Ramanand Sagar (Kalakaar, 1952), music directors Shankar-Jaikishen and Ram Ganguly (who scored Aag, 1948), all of whom were later key members of Raj Kapoor film units. Also launched his sons Raj, Shammi and Shashi. His main performances of the 50s: in Shantaram’s Dahej and in his son’s Awara?, which ended on a dramatic confrontation between the fictional father and son played by a real father and son. Kal Aaj Aur Kal featured three generations of Kapoors in a celebration of feudal patriarchy. While directing Paisa, adapted from a Prithvi Theatres play of 1954, he lost his voice, which never regained its full sonorousness. Had to close his theatre and reduce his film work. In the late 60s and 70s acted in several Hindi and some Punjabi mythologicals. Played the patriarchal lead in the Saint film Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai, credited with the revival of the Punjabi film industry. Died of cancer in 1972.

FILMOGRAPHY (* also d): 1930: Cinema Girl; Prince Vijaykumar; Sher-e-Arab; 1931: Namak Haram Kon; Bar Ke Pobar; Golibar; Toofan (all St); Alam Ara; Draupadi; 1932: Dagabaaz Ashiq; 1933: Rajrani Meera; 1934: Daku Mansoor; Ramayan; Seeta; 1935: Inquilab; Josh-e-Inteqam; Swarg Ki Seedhi; 1936: Grihadah/Manzil?; 1937: Milap; President; Vidyapati; Jeevan Prabhat; Anath Ashram; 1938: Abhagin; Dushman; 1939: Adhuri Kahani; Sapera; 1940: Aaj Ka Hindustan; Deepak; Chingari; Pagal; Sajani; 1941: Raj Nartaki/Court? Dancer; Sikandar; 1942: Ujala; Ek Raat; 1943: Aankh Ki Sharam; Bhalai; Gauri; Ishara; Vish Kanya; 1944: Maharathi Karna; Phool; 1945: Devadasi; Nala Damayanti; Shri Krishnarjun Yuddha; Vikramaditya; 1946: Prithviraj Samyukta; Valmiki; 1947: Parashuram; 1948: Azadi Ki Raah Par; 1950: Dahej; Hindustan Hamara; 1951: Awara; Deepak; 1952: Anandmath; Chhatrapati Shivaji; Insaan; 1953: Aag Ka Dariya; 1954: Ehsan; 1957: Paisa*; Pardesi; 1958: Lajwanti; 1960: Mughal-e-Azam; 1961: Senapati; 1963: Harishchandra Taramati; Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya; Rustom Sohrab; Gujree; 1964: Ghazal; Jahan Ara; Rajkumar; Zindagi; 1965: Aasmaan Mahal; Jaanwar; Jahan Sati Wahan Bhagwan; Khakaan; Lutera; Shri Ram Bharat Milap; Sikandar-e-Azam; 1966: Daku Mangal Singh; Insaaf; Lal Bangla; Love And Murder; Shankar Khan; Sher Afghan; Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi; 1967: Shamsheer; 1968: Balaram Shri Krishna; Teen Bahuraniyan; 1969: Insaaf Ka Mandir; Nai Zindagi; Sati Sulochana; Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai; 1970: Ek Nannhi Munni Ladki Thi; Gunah Aur Kanoon; Heer Ranjha; 1971: Kal Aaj Aur Kal; Padosi; Sakshatkara; Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar; 1972: Mele Mitran De; Bankelal; Naag Panchami; 1973: Naya Nasha; 1976: Bombay By Nite.

Actor

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Jul 4, 2013, 8:50:56 AM