Today is the death anniversary of Prithvi Raj Kapoor, an eminent personality of Indian Theatre and Hindi Cinema. Theatre was his first love and he started acting in plays in Peshawar and Lyallpur. Later he moved to Bombay and started acting in films in the era of silent movies and acted in nine such movies , the three better known of which are Do Dhari Talwar, Sher-e-Arab and Prince Vijay Kumar. With the advent of talkies in 1931, Prithvi Raj Kapoor appeared in a supporting role in Alam Ara , the first ever talkie of Indian Cinema.Later his role in Vidyapati was much appreciated . However it was his outstanding performance in Sikander in the title role that earned him accolades and established him as a fine actor.Associated with the Indian Peoples Theatre Association , he devoted equal time to both theatre and cinema and excelled as an actor in both.
He also founded Prithvi Theatre in 1944 and his moving troupe staged many plays giving memorable performances at many places.Some of the plays were patriotic content and flavour and inspired the young generation of the times. . However, the theatre did not remain a viable proposition in the ‘50s and ‘60s due to increasing popularity of cinema.Prithvi Raj Kapoor , meanwhile did very well in films and gave stellar performances . In a career spanning four decades , he acted in almost as many films . His films include Alam Ara, Manzil, Milap, President, Vidyapati, Dushman, Sikandar, Dahej, Awara, Ishara , Anand Math , Pardesi, Mughal-e Azam , Ghazal, Zindagi, Jaanwar, Sikandar-e-Azam, heer Ranjha and last but not the least Kal Aaj Aur Kal , featuring three generations of his clan.His role of Emperor Akbar in Mughal-e Azam remains a bench mark to this day.
As for Prithwi Theatre, later in 1978, the Kendals’ theatre company Shakespearana was merged with it and the new Prithwi Theatre was inaugurated.
A legendary actor that Prithwi raj Kapoor was, many awards and honours came his way.
He was a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award as also its feloowship.he was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award . A commemorative stamp was also issued in his honour.
He also remained a nominated MP of Rajya Sabha for eight years.
Our humble tributes to the doyen of Theatre and Hindi Cinema !