The Kapoors’ Starry Marriages

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt celebrated their first wedding anniversary on April 14. Photo: Hype PR

The First Family of Hindi Cinema—the Kapoors, are a charismatic parivaar that continues to shine through four generations. On April 14, the youngest of them all—Ranbir Kapoor, celebrated his first marriage anniversary with Alia Bhatt, and this is perhaps the right occasion to look at the romantic side of the Kapoors that saw them mingle with luminaries from other clans.

A poster of one of Shammi Kapoor’s and Geeta Bali’s films, Mohar. Photo: Publicity Photo

Shammi Kapoor-Geeta Bali

The first Kapoor to marry within the profession was Shammi Kapoor, who wed top star Geeta Bali, already a big name when Shammi began his career, and a year older to him. Geeta came from a non-film Amritsar Punjabi family, though later, her niece, Yogeeta Bali, turned actress. The couple married in 1955 at 4 a.m. one morning at the famous Banganga Temple in Mumbai in pouring rain, with Shammi’s friend filmmaker Hari Valia as sole witness. And Geeta’s lipstick was used in place of sindoor! They had not informed even their respective families!

Shammi had done several flops with her (Coffee House, Coca-Cola, Rangeen Raaten and Mohar), on the sets of one of which they had met and fallen for each other. The wedding took place because Geeta issued an ultimatum—“Today or never!” after years of dating. Geeta continued to act after their wedding, but sadly, died of smallpox in 1965. The couple has two children—Aditya Raj Kapoor, who turned actor at 54 for a while, and Kanchan, who has married filmmaker Ketan Desai, son of Manmohan Desai.

Shashi Kapoor-Jennifer Kapoor

Shashi Kapoor once revealed that though Jennifer was British, she was his father Prithviraj Kapoor’s favorite daughter-in-law and they got along famously with each other. The actor saw Jennifer backstage during one of her father, Geoffrey Kendall’s, performances in Mumbai (according to Geoffrey, however, this happened in Kolkata) and lost no time in coming to know her. Though her family was against her marrying an actor, Jennifer defiantly left her father’s drama company.

The two got married in 1958. Of course, after marriage, her family patched up with her and Shashi even did his second English film, Shakespeare-Wallah with his sister-in-law Felicity Kendall and father-in-law as co-actors, while Jennifer was the movie’s costume designer. The couple have three children, all of whom tried to be actors—Kunal, Karan and Sanjana, and Sanjana now manages Prithvi Theatres, the drama company set up by her parents in 1978 in honor of Prithviraj Kapoor.

Jennifer never quit acting and did Bombay Talkie and Junoon (which Shashi produced) with her husband, while delivering a compelling performance in his production, 36 Chowringhee Lane. She passed away in 1984.

Randhir Kapoor-Babita

The eldest son of Raj Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, fell in love with actress Babita on the sets of Raj’s Sangam. For Randhir, it was still not a very serious affair, so his family decided to “propose” to Babita! Meanwhile, Randhir was making his debut as both actor and director with Kal Aaj Aur Kal and Babita had been signed for it. A month after the release of the film (which did not do well!), the couple married, and Babita quit films.

However, trouble loomed after Randhir’s career started declining in the 1980s and he took to alcohol. Now parents to two lovable daughters, Karisma and Kareena, the couple began to live separately from 1988, though they never divorced. “Why should we?” asked Randhir once. “I know my bad habits led to all this, but neither of us wanted to marry anyone else!” The two have been perfect parents throughout.

The Rishi Kapoor family with mother Krishna Raj Kapoor. Photo: Publicity Photo

Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh

A fairy-tale romance and a lovely wedded life—Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh had the perfect union that ended when Rishi died in 2020. As co-stars in 11 films before marriage—with a 12th in joint cameos—and 4 much later, the couple fell in love because most of the time, post-Rishi’s sensational debut in the 1973 Bobby, they were shooting for films together!

The late director Ravi Tandon recalled their cute romance on the sets of his Khel Khel Mein. But they had first met on the sets of Zehreela Insaan, and Rishi was a prankster and would irritate his future wife. She therefore detested him as a bully! In 1975, all his four releases (his first after his 1973 lead debut!) were with her—Rafoo Chakkar and Zinda Dil being the others. They finally wed in 1980.

Riddhima and Ranbir are their two children and Neetu was a strict disciplinarian for Rishi all along, taking care of his weight and lifestyle as much as she could.

Kareena Kapoor Khan-Saif Ali Khan

Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan took time to fall in love, which finally happened on the sets of Tashan (2008) despite the earlier film, Omkara (2006)—they had also done LOC Kargil. After Saif’s divorce in 2004 from actress Amrita Singh, he took the plunge. Reportedly, Kareena too had had affairs with Hrithik Roshan and, more importantly, Shahid Kapoor earlier. The two got married in 2012 and have two children—Taimur and Jehangir.

Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt

The couple was going steady for a long while, though Ranbir was involved earlier with Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif (both of whom later went on to marry other actors!). Their story, being too recent, is well-known. They are already parents to little Raha. Their first film together, also his co-production, Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva was a money-spinner last year.

The misses:

If these marriages were like ‘hits’, there were two ‘misses’ too: Rajiv Kapoor was dating actress Naghma for a while, and Karisma Kapoor was in a relationship with Abhishek Bachchan. But these were not to be.



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