Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Born Ravi Kapoor in Amritsar, Punjab in 1942, Jeetendra got his foot into the Hindi film industry whilst supplying imitation jewellery, from his family business, to director V. Shantaram. The filmaker offered him a role and cast him as a double for famous actress Sadhana, in the hit movie Navrang (1959). However, Jeetendra’s major break came when Shantaram cast him in two of Shantaram’s movie, Sehra in 1963 and Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne in 1964. He has since acted in over 200 movies. He last appearance (cameo) was in the hit movie Om Shanti Om, in 2007.
Jeetendra developed his own fashion and dancing style and this unique flair paid off in the movie Farz. Wearing a t-shirt, drain pipes and white shoes he picked up from a retail store, he started a fashion sensation within the male youth of India. The song "Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq", sung by Mohammad Rafi, became a superhit and his signature style. Also, his vigorous and extremely stylized dance routines in Farz, Banphool and Humjoli won him the epithet ‘Jumping Jack’. Jeetendra however never won an award, except for Lifetime Achievement Awards, due mainly because of the tough competition in Bollywood during his acting career.
He was frequently paired with actresses Mumtaz and Leena Chandravakar in the early 70’s, along with Hema Malini, Babita, Jaya Bhaduri, Saira Banu, Rekha, Neetu Singh and Moushumi Chatterjeej. Whilst most of his fellow male peers were aging quite quickly and putting on a lot of weight in their 30’s and 40’s, Jeetendra managed to maintain his youth into the 1980's, continued acting and was frequently paired with younger actresses (such as Sri Devi, Jaya Prada, Madhavi, Reena Roy and Anita Raaj) and in remakes of South Indian potboilers.
Jeetendra is married to childhood sweetheart Sobha, whom he met when she was only 14. She went on to college and became an Air Hostess with British Airways. It was not until the release of 'Bidaai" (opposite Leena Chandavarkar) on 18 October 1974, that Jeetendra and Shobha decided to get married. They have two children, daughter Ekta (a TV producer), and son Tusshar (also an actor).
He is one of the few Bollywood actors that have not been plagued with controversies in his acting career.