Annu Kapoor

Active - 1982 - 2019  |   Born - Feb 20, 1956 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

A native of Mumbai, India, born December 24, 1959, Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor grew up in the thick of show business, with an executive assistant-turned-film producer father and a homemaker mother. Kapoor signed for his first acting role at seven years old, in a feature entitled Tu Payal Main Geet that eventually went unreleased; the experience nevertheless revealed Anil's true passion and his life's calling to him. He attended the local OLPS school, then St. Xavier's College, where he participated in dramatic competitions and netted a Best Actor trophy at an intercollegiate drama contest. At the same time, however, Kapoor felt a marked lack of commitment to his general studies and was expelled from college after two years due to non-attendance; reportedly "relieved" by this occurrence, the blossoming actor used that apparent step backward as a step up, confounding his distraught parents in the process by focusing all of his attention and energy on aggressive dramatic training. When an application to the esteemed Pune Film Institute failed to generate admission, Kapoor instead teamed up with fellow upstart Mazhar Khan and enrolled in famed acting coach Roshan Taneja's drama classes, training aggressively at a breakneck pace to make it in Indian cinema. He also studied singing and dancing, and got a foothold in the local film industry by working as a casting director and assistant producer.

Film roles then began to arrive; Kapoor signed for his debut with a part in Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya, and followed it up with roles in such features as Woh Saat Din and Laila, but only achieved stardom thanks to his lead billing in Yash Chopra's film Mashaal (1984), alongside Dilip Kumar. Subsequent projects included Rakhwala (1989), Loafer (1996), Armaan (2003), and Tashan (2008). Kapoor returned to producing with Gandhi, My Father, Shortkut - The Con Is On, Aisha, and No Problem. Kapoor would also continue to act, appearing in movies like Slumdog Millionaire and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and playing the President of the fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan on the series 24.

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  • Was born to a Bengali Brahmin mother and a Punjabi father who had migrated from Peshawar (Pakistan).
  • Descendent of the late Lala Ganga Ram Kapoor, his great grandfather, who was hanged by the British government for being a revolutionary.
  • Dropped out of school after X standard (aged 15) due to his family's financial crisis.
  • Ran a tea stall and a fire cracker shop, sold churan ke note and lottery tickets, and joined a theatre company before becoming a celebrity.
  • Joined the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India, in 1976.
  • Was a batchmate of popular celebrities Alok Nath, Dolly Ahluwalia and Nina Gupta at the National School of Drama.
  • Made his film acting debut in Mandi (1983) after being cast by Shyam Benegal who had watched him in a play sponsored by Shabana Azmi's IPTA in Mumbai.
  • Changed his name to Annu Kapoor from his original Anil Kapoor to avoid confusion with the Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor.
  • Became a popular household name after hosting the musical game show Close-Up Antakshari (1993-2006) on television.
  • Met Arunita Mukherjee on the sets of the television show Close-Up Antakshari in 1994 and married her on February 15, 1995.
  • Married Anupama in 2008, an American who is 13 years younger to him.