29 Years
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'Jumping Jack' Jeetendra turns 72

Friday, April 04, 2014

Ravi Kapoor aka Jeetendra, who is gearing up to celebrate his birthday on April 7, got candid with Rajesh V. Gaur and Suneel V. Gaur recently.

But before we let you in on that conversation, here's a bit about the hits that brought Jeetendra to the limelight.
Jeetendra made his debut in 'Geet Gaaya Patharon Ne' in 1964. However, he earned his first major success with Ravi Nagaich's 'Farz' (1967) which became a Golden Jubilee Hit. His energetic dances in 'Farz', 'Humjoli' (1970) and 'Caravan' (1971) won him the epithet: Jumping Jack.

Why have you stopped acting altogether?
When I feel like acting again, I'll definitely do a film. Right now I'm just not in the mood.

Is it true that you are the brains behind Balaji? We hear that it was you who led it to its present stature...
That's not true at all. Till today, I have not seen a full episode of any programme made by Balaji Telefilms. Does that answer your question well? Ekta and Shobha (my wife), literally slogged to make things happen. By the grace of god, their painstaking efforts paid off; it is totally their effort. They worked very hard and whatever little I did, I did as a father and husband.

You acted in over 200 films and co-starred with some of the biggest heroines of your time...yet, you were never really in the league of heroes like Amitabh Bachahan. Why do you think that is?
Let me tell you, I survived beautifully the way I wanted to. I think I led a very, very successful life, from the beginning to the end of my career. And then phased my way out and joined my daughter's company. My films were fairly successful–almost all of them–except for a few.

Is it true that Rajesh Khanna was your childhood buddy and it was he who coaxed you into becoming an actor?
Rajesh Khanna and I lived in the same area of Bombay (now Mumbai). He lived in Thakurdwar and I lived in Girgaon, only five minutes away. We both studied in the same school – St Sebastian Goan High School. I got together with Rajesh in the K.C. College canteen and he made me learn some lines for a play. As for my being in touch with Rajesh, all I can say is, after school when we got into films we drifted apart. We got busy with our lives.

What are your views on your son Tusshar?
I am very, very proud of of him. I am sure Tusshar is going to be a huge success one day. He has not received any support from us. His achievements are entirely his own. Hard work never goes waste and that's what I keep telling my kids.

Your performances were always panned by the critics?
I always acted for my audience instead of critics. In almost all of my films, I catered to the masses and was always at ease while performing such roles which required running around the trees and teasing the beautiful heroines. I also played serious roles with grace and élan. I never won any major award [laughs], but the love and respect of my fans is bigger than any award.

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