born Dec. 14, 1924, Peshawar, India
died June 2, 1988, New Delhi
Indian film actor and director.
In the 1930s Kapoor worked as a clapper boy for Bombay Talkies and as an actor for Prithvi Theatres, two companies owned by his father. Kapoor's first major screen role was in Aag (1948; "Fire"), which he also produced and directed. In 1950 he formed his own Bombay (now Mumbai) film studio, RK, and the next year he achieved romantic stardom in Awara (1951; "The Vagabond"). He wrote, produced, directed, and starred in many successful films. Although he portrayed romantic leads in his early movies, his best-known characters were based on Charlie Chaplin 's tramp. His use of sexual imagery often challenged traditionally strict Indian film standards, and many of his film songs became musical hits.