Just one day after the death of Bollywood icon Irrfan Khan, another prolific Indian actor has passed away. Rishi Kapoor, who rose to fame playing the romantic lead in dozens of Hindi cinema projects, died on April 30 at the age of 67.
His family noted that the cause of death was not COVID-19. Here’s what we know about the tragic loss.
What happened to Rishi Kapoor?
The father of two’s PR team confirmed on Wednesday, April 29 that Rishi had been admitted to HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai earlier that day. "He’s not well and so he’s hospitalized," an official statement read. "His wife Neetu Kapoor is by his side."
In a post on her Instagram page published shortly after Rishi’s death, Neetu revealed that her husband succumbed to cancer. "Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45 a.m. IST in [the] hospital today after a two-year battle with leukemia," a message from the family states.
"He remained jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents," the letter continues. "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 Kapoors took this opportunity to urge fans to continue practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak. "In this hour of personal loss, we also recognize the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time," the family writes.
"There are numerous restrictions around movement and gathering in public. We would like to request all [Rishi’s] 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."
The Bobby star was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and received treatment in NYC for almost a full year. Neetu announced the couple’s return to India in September 2019. "Where did these last 11 months go?? Was a long road!!!" she wrote at the time. "It was a phase that taught and changed me a lot."
Rishi’s son and daughter paid tribute to their father on social media.
Both Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima Kapoor Sahni shared photos of their dad following his death on Thursday morning. "Powerhouse of talent. always be remembered and loved," Ranbir, who’s an actor as well, captioned a picture of Rishi's arm draped over his shoulder.
The 37-year-old also shared images from his father’s last rites, which show the performer wrapped in a white sheet and covered in orange and yellow marigolds.
In a separate post, Riddhima, a fashion designer, revealed that she wasn’t with her dad when he died because she’s currently quarantining in Delhi. "Papa I love you. I will always love you — RIP my strongest warrior. I will miss you everyday. I will miss your FaceTime calls everyday!" Rishi’s oldest child wrote on Instagram.
"I wish I could be there to say goodbye to you! Until we meet again papa, I love you — your Mushk forever."
Our thoughts are with the Kapoor family as they mourn the loss of their patriarch.