Neetu Singh

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Neetu Singh Kapoor
Neetu Singh.jpg
Kapoor in 2012
Harneet Kaur Chawla

8 July 1958 (1958-07-08) (age 63)
Years active1966–1983
(m. 1980; died 2020)
Children2, including Ranbir Kapoor
RelativesKapoor family

Neetu Singh Kapoor (born Harneet Kaur Chawla; 8 July 1958[2]) is an Indian actress who is known for appearing in Hindi films throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. In 2012, Singh was inducted into the Walk of the Stars, an entertainment hall of fame at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai.

Singh made her debut in the swashbuckler film Suraj (1966) when she was 6 years old, and thereafter played a dual role in the romantic comedy Do Kaliyaan (1968). She began her transition to mature roles with the vigilante film Rickshawala (1973) and had her breakthrough with Nasir Hussain's masala film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), where she appeared as a dancer. She rose to prominence with roles in the crime drama film Deewaar (1975), the thriller film Khel Khel Mein (1975), the musical film Kabhi Kabhie (1976), the masala film Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and the fantasy film Dharam Veer (1977). Her performances in the crime drama film Parvarish (1977), the horror film Jaani Dushman (1979), the disaster film Kaala Patthar (1979) and the musical film Yaarana (1981) were praised, and for Kaala Patthar, she was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on a hiatus after appearing in the thriller film Ganga Meri Maa (1983).

In 1980, she married actor and frequent collaborator Rishi Kapoor, which lasted until his death in 2020. With Kapoor, she had two children. Her son, Ranbir, also works in Hindi films. She later made her acting comeback with a minor role in the comedy film Love Aaj Kal (2009), and has recently led the comedy film Do Dooni Chaar (2010), which won her a Zee Cine Award, the action film Besharam (2013), and made a guest appearance in the romantic drama film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).

Early life[edit]

Singh was born as Harneet Kaur Chawla in New Delhi, Delhi to Punjabi Khatri Sikh parents, Darshan Singh and Rajee Kaur Singh. She began acting as a child artist shortly after her father's death.[3]


Singh entered films as an uncredited child artist in Suraj (1966) starring Vyjayanthimala and Rajendra Kumar. This was followed by appearances in other top-grossing films like Dus Lakh (1966), Do Kaliyaan (1968), and Waris (1969). She was particularly appreciated for playing the double role of twin sisters in Do Kaliyaan.[4] In most of these films, she was credited as Baby Sonia.

In 1973, she played her first lead role in Rickshawala opposite Randhir Kapoor. The film was a remake of the Tamil film Rickshawkaran (1971), but failed to match the success of this film. Later that year, however, Singh garnered mainstream attention for her appearance in a popular song “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil” from Nasir Hussain’s blockbuster film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973).

The romantic films Rafoo Chakkar (1975) and Khel Khel Mein (1975) established her and Rishi Kapoor as a popular on-screen pair, and they were subsequently cast in several more films together. Khel Khel Mein in particular was propelled by the success of R.D. Burman’s soundtrack. She gained further commercial success in Shankar Dada (1976) opposite Shashi Kapoor and Maha Chor (1976) opposite Rajesh Khanna.

Her two most prominent films in this time period were Deewaar (1975) and Kabhi Kabhie (1976), both ensemble films directed by leading filmmaker Yash Chopra. In the action drama Deewaar, she played the vivacious love interest to Shashi Kapoor.[5] The romantic drama Kabhi Kabhie, which featured her as an adoptee determined to find her birth mother, was one of the most acclaimed films of that time and continues to be remembered today for its soundtrack by Khayyam and Sahir Ludhianvi.[6]

Singh’s most successful release of 1977 was Amar Akbar Anthony, directed by veteran filmmaker Manmohan Desai, in which she played a young doctor in love with a singer played by Rishi Kapoor. In the same year, Desai also cast her in the adventure film Dharam Veer opposite Jeetendra and the crime drama Parvarish opposite Amitabh Bachchan. All three of these films ranked among the top five highest-grossing films of the year, with Amar Akbar Anthony taking the top spot.[7]

For the next few years, Singh achieved success as the solo female lead in films like Priyatama (1977), Maha Badmaash (1977), Dhongee (1979), and Chorni (1982). She was also featured in a number of popular ensemble films like Adalat (1977), Kasme Vaade (1978), Jaani Dushman (1979), Kaala Patthar (1979), The Burning Train (1980), Yaarana (1981), and Teesri Aankh (1982). In these films, her most successful associations were with actors like Jeetendra, Amitabh Bachchan, and Randhir Kapoor. For Yash Chopra's Kaala Patthar, she earned her first Filmfare Award nomination.

After her marriage in 1980, she retired from acting. Her last film to be released was Ganga Meri Maa (1983). 25 years later, Singh was seen in a cameo appearance in Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal (2009).

Singh's first lead role post-retirement was that of a middle-class Punjabi mother in Habib Faisal’s Do Dooni Chaar (2010), which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. She then made a special appearance in Yash Chopra’s final film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), and also co-starred with her son Ranbir Kapoor in the unsuccessful comedy Besharam (2013). In all four of these films, she was paired opposite her husband Rishi Kapoor. In 2020, she began filming for Jug Jugg Jeeyo opposite Anil Kapoor, also starring Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Kapoor with her husband Rishi Kapoor at Rakesh Roshan's birthday bash in 2017

During production of the film Kabhie Kabhie, Singh and actor Rishi Kapoor became romantically involved off-screen.[9] The pair married on 22 January 1980, after which she retired from acting. She dismissed allegations that this was part of the “Kapoor tradition” forbidding women from acting in films, saying that she made a personal choice to focus on her family after working consistently for a number of years.[10] The couple have two children, Riddhima Kapoor Sahni (born 15 September 1980) and Ranbir Kapoor (born 28 September 1982). Riddhima is a fashion designer who married Delhi-based industrialist Bharat Sahni in 2006. Through Riddhima, they have a granddaughter, Samara, born in 2011.[11] Ranbir is a Hindi film actor.

Following a recurring battle with leukemia and treatment in New York City, Rishi Kapoor died on 30 April 2020.[12] During the filming of Jug Jugg Jeeyo, she (along with Varun Dhawan and other crew members) tested positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh in December 2020.[13] However, she recovered after an isolation period, returning to the film's sets in early January 2021.


Year Film Role Notes
1966 Suraj Young Geeta


Dus Lakh
1968 Do Dooni Char Ban Devi
Do Kaliyaan Ganga/Jamuna Credited as Baby Sonia; Dual role
1969 Waris Credited as Baby Sonia
1970 Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani Roopa
Pavitra Paapi Vidya
1973 Rickshawala Kiran [15]
Yaadon Ki Baaraat Dancer Cameo[16]
1974 Shatranj Ke Mohre [17]
Zehreela Insaan Margaret
Hawas Herself
1975 Khel Khel Mein Nisha
Rafoo Chakkar Ritu
Zinda Dil Jyoti Chand
Deewaar Veera Narang
1976 Sharafat Chod Di Maine Radha
Shankar Dada Roopa Verma
Kabhie Kabhie Pinky Kapoor
Maha Chor Neetu
Bhala Manus Meena
1977 Aadalat Geeta Verma
Dharam Veer Roopa
Amar Akbar Anthony Dr. Salma Ali
Parvarish Neetu
Doosra Aadmi Timsi
Dhongee Neelima
Maha Badmaash Seema / Pinky Dual role
Ab Kya Hoga Chitralekha
Priyatama Dolly
1978 Kasme Vaade Neeta
Heeralal Pannalal Neelam
Anjane Mein
Chakravyuha Chhaya
1979 Jhoota Kahin Ka Anita Verma/Sheetal Khanna
The Great Gambler Mala
Aatish Shanno
Kaala Patthar Channo Singh Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
Duniya Meri Jeb Mein
Jaani Dushman Gauri
1980 Chunaoti
The Burning Train Madhu
Dhan Daulat
Choron Ki Baaraat
1981 Ek Aur Ek Gyarah
Khoon Ka Rishta
Yaarana Komal
Waqt Ki Deewar
1982 Chorni
Raaj Mahal Rajkumari Ratna
Teesri Aankh Nisha
1983 Ganga Meri Maa Neetu
Jaane Jaan Meena
2009 Love Aaj Kal Older Harleen Kaur
2010 Do Dooni Chaar Kusum Duggal
2012 Jab Tak Hai Jaan Pooja, Meera's mother Cameo
2013 Besharam Head Constable Bulbul Chautala
2021 Jug Jugg Jeeyo Film has yet to be released TBA Filming[18]


Year Award Category Work Result Ref
1980 Filmfare Award Best Supporting Actress Kaala Patthar Nominated [19]
2011 Zee Cine Award Best Lifetime Jodi (with Rishi Kapoor) Herself Won [20]

Other awards and honours[edit]

Singh was inducted into the Walk of the Stars, an entertainment hall of fame at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai, where her hand print was preserved for posterity under her married name Neetu Kapoor.[21]


  1. ^ Raheja, Dinesh (9 April 2003). "The unforgettable Neetu Singh". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ Kanyal, Jyoti (8 July 2020). "Neetu Singh turns 62: Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima host birthday dinner for mommy dearest". India Today. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  3. ^ Farook, Farhana (8 July 2018). "Diving deep into the stardom of the spice girl Neetu Singh". Filmfare.
  4. ^ Farook, Farhana (8 July 2018). "Diving deep into the stardom of the spice girl Neetu Singh". Filmfare.
  5. ^ Ayaz, Shaikh (17 January 2020). "Film of the Month: 1975's Deewaar". The Indian Express.
  6. ^ "40 years of Yash Chopra's 'Kabhie Kabhie'". News18. 27 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Top Bollywood Box Office Grossers of 1977".
  8. ^ Chaubey, Pranita (12 November 2020). "Jug Jugg Jeeyo: Neetu Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan And Kiara Advani To Begin Shooting". NDTV.
  9. ^ Madhuri V (4 May 2020). "Rishi Kapoor Almost Rejected Kabhie Kabhie & It Had To Do Something With Neetu Kapoor's Role!". FilmiBeat.
  10. ^ "Did you Know Neetu Singh retired at the age of 21 after doing over 20 films as lead actress?". The Indian Express. 15 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Kapoor's family day out - Times of India". The Times of India.
  12. ^ ऋषि कपूर का 10वर्ष की उम्र में निधन, अमिताभ बच्चन ने ट्वीट कर दी जानकारी
  13. ^ "Neetu Kapoor confirms she has tested positive for Covid-19, says she is 'feeling better' now". Hindustan Times. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Arjun Rampal's new co-star is little Munni from 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' - Bollywood's cutest child actors". The Times of India.
  15. ^ "The unforgettable Neetu Singh".
  16. ^ Farook, Farhana (8 July 2018). "Diving deep into the stardom of the spice girl Neetu Singh". Filmfare.
  17. ^ "Neetu Singh Complete Filmography". Bollywood. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  18. ^ Maru, Vibha (16 November 2020). "Neetu Kapoor feels Rishi Kapoor's love and presence as she starts Jug Jugg Jeeyo shooting". Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Filmfare Awards (1980)". IMDb. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Hrithik, SRK top Zee Cine Awards". Hindustan Times. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  21. ^ Saraswathy, M. (1 April 2012). "Walking with the stars". Business Standard India. Retrieved 24 November 2019.

External links[edit]