This week, on April 7, veteran star actor Jeetendra will turn a year older and celebrate his 77th birthday.
The Bollywood legend starred in blockbusters and cult classics spanning decades during one of the most prolific cinematic careers in the world.
Jeetendra is also the father of producer Ekta Kapoor and actor Tusshar Kapoor. To mark the acting legend’s birth anniversary, Eastern Eye presents 20 fun facts about him.
Born Ravi Kapoor, his first job was working for the family’s business and he was discovered while selling imitation jewellery at a film studio.
The actor was rechristened as Jeetendra and launched as a leading man in director V Shantaram’s Geet Gaya Patharon Ne (1964), where he starred opposite the director’s daughter, Rajshree.
His star-making hit Farz (1967) was heavily inspired by the James Bond movies and was a remake of Telugu film Gudachari116. It spawned sequels Keemat (1983) and Raksha (1982). The super spy movie also inspired his 1985 film Bond 303.
Farz song Baar Baar Din Ye Aaye that he performed is regarded as the greatest birthday song in Bollywood’s history and is still popular.
The actor’s high-energy dance style earned him the nickname Jumping Jack Jeetendra.
Jeetendra went to the same school and college as close friend Rajesh Khanna, whom he helped during his early days in Bollywood. They starred together in films including Dharam Kanta (1982), Nishaan (1983) and Maqsad (1984).
His 1971 film Caravan became the highest grossing overseas Bollywood film when it was released and its song Piya Tu Ab To Aaja is regarded as one of the greatests of all time.
His highly-acclaimed movie Parichay (1972) was inspired by Bengali novel RangeenUttarain and the Hollywood film The Sound Of Music (1965).
Two of 1970s Bollywood queen Hema Malini’s personal favourite film roles are Khushboo (1975) and Kinara (1977), which both starred Jeetendra opposite her.
The hardworking star had seven or more movies released every year from 1977 to 1987. This included 12 film releases in 1981, 14 in 1982 and 11 in 1986.
The legendary star-studded Naseeb (1981) song John Jani Janardhan was celebrating the success of Jeetendra-starrer Dharam Veer, which was the second highest grossing film of 1977.
Jeetendra’s Himmatwala not only became the highest-grossing Bollywood release of 1983, but also helped young actress Sridevi take her first big step towards becoming the queen of Bollywood.
He would go onto star in 16 films with Sridevi and 13 among those were hits. Their successes included Jaani Dost (1983), Justice Chaudhury (1983), Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Balidaan (1985), Dharm Adhikari (1986), Aulad (1987) and Sone Pe Suhaaga (1988).
Hit film Justice Chaudhury was a remake of Telugu blockbuster Justice Chowdary (1982), which also starred Sridevi in the same role.
He was paired opposite Jaya Prada 24 times and Rekha 26 times.
Khal-Naaikaa (1993) was a remake of 1992 Hollywood film The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.
The actor’s last major release Mother (1999) was inspired by the hit West End musical Mamma Mia.
He has won a number of lifetime achievements honours, including at the Filmfare, Zee Cine and Screen awards.
Jeetendra is the uncle of Bollywood filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor, who has directed movies including Rock On, Kai Po Che and Kedarnath.
The actor’s last appearance in a commercial Bollywood film was in the star-studded title song of Om Shanti Om (2007).