Bollywood yesteryear actor and dancing legend Jeetendra is a man of many talents. In the good old days, Jeetendra was a top leading man, who had a fan following to be envied. The handsome superstar was in direct competition with heroes like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and others.
Jeetendra is an award-winning actor, producer and chairman of Balaji Telefilms and Balaji Motion Pictures. He also had a very successful stint on television in the recent past.
Born as Ravi Kapoor, Jeetendra changed his name in the early 1960’s, when he entered the film industry. He was born in the small town of Amritsar, Punjab, but the man had big dreams. Like so many others, he made the journey to Bombay, but not with the aim to become an actor.
Jeetendra was assisting his father in his imitation jewelry business, when he was spotted by V. Shantaram, and was cast as Sandhya’s double in 1959, in the film Navrang. He then went on to star in many films in the 1960’s, cementing his position as an actor to reckon with.
He was most frequently cast opposite heroines like Sridevi and Jaya Prada, and his career mostly consisted of South Indian film remakes of makers like Rama Rao Tatineni, K Bapayya and K. Raghavendra Rao. Among them, the most noteworthy were: Sanjog, Aulad, Majaal, Justice Chaudhry, Mawaali, Himmatwala, Jaani Dushman and Tohfa.
In the 1980’s, he diversified, so to speak, and starred in films with Reena Roy, Neetu Singh, Hema Malini, Bindiya Goswami, Moushumi Chatterjee and Rekha. He gave back-to-back hits like Himmatwala, Patal Bhairawi, Sarfarosh, Haqeeqat, Mawaali, Insaan and several others, during this period.
He did have his fair share of linkups in the industry, and was allegedly almost married to superstar Hema Malini, which, according to her; she backed out at the last minute. He then went on to marry his childhood sweetheart Shobhaa Kapoor. He has two grown-up children, Ekta Kapoor and Tusshar Kapoor.
Ekta is the czarina of Indian television, and is the founder of TV production company Balaji Telefilms. The company then diversified into film production too, and is enjoying a very successful run at the box office today.
Jeetendra also appeared on TV, as a celebrity judge of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, in its early seasons.