The personality of Prithviraj Kapoor (Prithviraj Kapoor), who was honored as Pitamah in Hindi film world, was huge and irrational like Himalayas. Four generations of his family have been associated with the cinema business and all have achieved unprecedented success in their respective fields. In Hindi films, the new-old generation honored Prithviraj Kapoor and affectionately called him Papaji.
Prithviraj Kapoor was born on 3 November 1906 in the capital city of North West Frontier Province (now Pakistan) to Vishveshwarnath. His early education took place in a town called Samundari, where his father was a tehsildar. He was interested in acting in drama from the very beginning. In 1927 Prithviraj did his BA from Edwards College, Peshawar and went to Lahore to study law. Staying in the city of art, literature, beauty and fashion, Lahore, Prithviraj’s attraction became more vocal in film and acting.
The result was that he failed the law examination in 1929. In September this year, he moved to Bombay, the undeclared capital of films, and was admitted to Imperial Irani’s Imperial Film Company. That era was of silent films. In a silent film called Challenge, he worked without any remuneration but received Rs 70 as remuneration for another film Cinema Girl. By 1930, the era of silent films came to an end and speaking films started moving.
In 1931, when Ardharan Irani made the first film “Alam Ara”, Prithviraj got the role of a villain in it. In 1932 Prithviraj Kapoor joined Anderson Theater Company and toured various places in the country with its team. Staying in this company, Kapoor’s passion for acting in Natco was definitely fulfilled. When the Anderson Company closed, Prithviraj Kapoor moved to the New Theater Company set up by BN Government in Calcutta. Here he got the opportunity to work in many films as a hero.
In 1933 New Theaters produced “Rajarani Meera” in which Prithviraj Kapoor played the role of Bhojraj, the main character. Meera’s role was given to Durga Khote. In 1935, she worked with Durga Khote in “After the Earthquake”. In 1936, New Theater made the film “Manzil” with the novel “Ghardah” by famous Bengali storyteller Sharat Chandra. It featured the legendary actress Jamuna along with Prithviraj. Who got the fame of Paro in “Devdas” a year ago.
In 1937 he came to “Vidyapati” and “Orphan Ashram”. She was accompanied by famous singer Kanan in “Vidyapati” and Uma Shashi, another noted artist in “Orphan Ashram”. Prithviraj stayed in Calcutta till 1939 and meanwhile his films Abhagin (1938), Sapera (1939) and Dushman (1939) were released. In the year 1939, the charm of Bombay again brought him there. This time he started working in Ranjit Studios and worked in films titled Adhuri Kahani, Chingari, Pagal and Aaj Hindustan.
His acting, influential dialogue, expression and idealistic ideology were respected in the film world. In the following years, his famous films continue to fascinate the audience. In 1941 Minerva Movietone produced the film “Sikandar”, taking the famous historical plot. Prithviraj Kapoor played the role of Alexander, the Greek ruler who dreamed of conquering the world. Pandit Sudarshan’s songs and dialogue plan made the film reach the heights of success.
In 1942, he appeared in Shalimar Pictures’ Ek Raat. When the famous singer and actress Naseem Bano’s husband Mohammad Ehsan formed the Taj Mahal Pictures Company and announced the making of the film titled “Ujala”, the pairing of Naseem and Prithviraj played a memorable role. In 1943, Suraiya was his heroine in “Ishara”. Well-versed in bringing the golden pages of history to the silver screen, Vijay Bhat created “Vikramaditya” in 1945 and Prithviraj played the role of the mighty Emperor Vikramaditya. Prithviraj Kapoor’s work in Bhalji Pendarkar’s religious film “Valmiki” was also commendable.
Her acting journey continued after achieving the independence of the country. His performances in films such as “Dahez”, “Awara” and “Mughalajam” were considered to be top-notch due to his superb acting, effective dialogue scheme and the art of establishing identity with the characters. Prithviraj Kapoor had a special attachment to the theater. He considered the staging of NATCO as a means of bringing change in the social and public life of the country.
With this goal in mind, he formed the Prithvi Theater Namak Natya Company on 15 January 1944 and associated many artists with his sons in the theater. The dramas, characters, plans and dialogues staged from Prithvi Theater came out of Prithviraj’s mind. He staged dramas titled Wall, Pathan, Gaddar, Ahuti, Shakuntala, Paisa, Artist and Farmer from his company.
He played these plays in 130 cities of the country and he himself had to appear as the characters of these dramas 2662 times. Through these dramas, he wanted to communicate new social and political consciousness in the country. He also made effective changes in the technique of theater. Actually Prithviraj Kapoor wanted to build a national theater on his Prithvi theater model. When his stage was finished, he used to stand at the theater hall gate with his kurta spread like a bag and ask the audience for help for the national theater.
His plan did not succeed and in 1960 the Prithvi theater had to be closed. Years later, his junior son Shashi Kapoor revived him. Prithviraj Kapoor was not only an actor and artist but he was always associated with the national movements and social concerns of the country. Prithviraj Kapoor, who wore the dress of Shubhra Khadi, was always loyal to the Congress. He was a favorite character of national leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
In 1952 and 1954, he was nominated as an artiste to the Rajya Sabha. He was also honored with the Padma Bhushan title and posthumously awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. On 29 May 1972, this great Vibhuti of the Hindi film Sansar took his final breath and left behind a large family known as the Kapoor family, who are still active in films even 50 years after his death.
Prithviraj Kapoor life at a glance. Prithviraj Kapoor Facts
|Birth||03 November 1906|
|birth place||Samundri Tehsil, Lailpur, Punjab (Present Pakistan)|
|Death||29 May 1971 (age 64)|
|Place of death||Bombay, Maharashtra|
|Scope of work||Actor, producer, director, writer|
|wife||Ramsarani Mehra (1923–1971; lifetime)|
|children||Raj Kapoor (son) (actor, producer, director)|
|Shammi Kapoor (son) (actor, producer)|
|Shashi Kapoor (son) (actor)|
|husband||Basheshwar Nath Kapoor (Police officer in Peshawar)|
|Film graduation||Dodhari Talwar (1928)|
|Hot Films||Cinema Girl (1929) (debut in lead role)|
|Alam Ara (1931)|
|Sikandar (1941) (Most talked about career)|
|Awara (1951) (first film with son Raj Kapoor)|
|Mughal-Azam (1960) (Memorabilia of Akbar)|
|Kal aaj aur kal (1971) (film with son and grandson)|
|The award||Padma Bhushan (1969)|
|Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1972) (posthumously)|