Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor died on Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer. He was cremated at the Chandanwadi crematorium in south Mumbai in the presence of close family. He was 67.

The third generation of the Kapoor dynasty, Rishi is survived by his wife Neetu, actor son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima.  The Bollywood giant was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2018 and underwent treatment for two years in Mumbai and New York. He returned to India in September last year.

Rishi Kapoor

He was admitted to HN Reliance hospital in south Mumbai on Wednesday morning and breathed his last at 8.45 am on Thursday.  The quintessential Bollywood romantic hero, who made his lead-role debut with ‘Bobby’ in 1973, entertained the Indian audience for over four decades.

An actor transcending generations, Rishi Kapoor personified romantic roles but also acted in films like thriller ‘D-Day’ in 2013 and political ‘Mulk’ in 2018. In a career spanning over four decades, Kapoor earned many accolades including Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his debut lead-role in Bobby.

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“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45am IST in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukaemia. The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said he kept them entertained to the last,” the family said in a statement on Thursday.  He remained jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents, it said.

“Family, friends, food and films remained his focus and everyone who met him during this time was amazed at how he did not let his illness get the better of him,” the statement said.

“He was grateful for the love of his fans that poured in from the world over. In his passing, they would all understand that he would like to be remembered with a smile and not with tears,” it said.

“In this hour of personal loss, we also recognise the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time. There are numerous restrictions around movement and gathering in public. We would like to request all his fans and well-wishers and friends of the family to please respect the laws that are in force. He would not have it any other way,” it added.

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Due to the restrictions imposed on large gatherings during the coronavirus lockdown, only close relatives and friends were allowed to attend the last rites. His mortal remains were brought to the crematorium in an ambulance at around 3.45 pm directly from the hospital amid tight police security.

His wife Neetu Singh, son Ranbir, elder brother Randhir, niece Kareena Kapoor Khan and her husband Saif Ali Khan and actor Abhishek Bachchan and Ranbir’s girlfriend Alia Bhatt and industrialist Anil Ambani were among the few present at the funeral.