Anil Kapoor, better known as Annu Kapoor, is an Indian actor, television anchor, film director, and a film producer. He is best known for hosting the music reality show “Antakshari” (1993-2006).
Annu Kapoor was born on Monday, 20 February 1956 (age 64 years; as in 2020) in Itwara, Bhopal. His zodiac sign is Pisces. As a child, Annu desired to become a surgeon or an IAS officer. However, he had to quit his studies after class 10 due to his family’s poor financial condition. Soon, Annu started doing odd jobs like selling tea at a tea stall, selling dummy currencies, running a small fire-cracker shop, and selling lottery tickets. Later, his father insisted him to join his theatre company. After working at his father’s theatre company for a while, Annu joined the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi, where his elder brother, Ranjit Kapoor, was already a student. In 1981, Kapoor played the role of a 70-year-old man in the stage play “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.” The film director Shyam Benegal noticed his performance in the play and offered him to play a role in his film “Mandi” (1983).
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Family & Caste
Annu Kapoor is a Punjabi from his father’s side and a Bengali Brahmin from his mother’s side.
Parents & Siblings
Annu’s father, Madanlal Kapoor, was the owner of a travelling Parsi Theatre Company. His mother, Kamal Shabnam Kapoor, was an Urdu teacher and a trained classical singer. His father actually came from Peshawar (Pakistan). He (Annu’s father) motivated his wife (Annu’s mother) to learn Urdu, Persian, and Arabic languages. Annu has two brothers. His elder brother, Ranjit Kapoor, is a screenwriter and a film director. His younger brother, Nikhil Kapoor, is a lyricist and a writer. Annu also has a sister, Seema Kapoor, who is an actress.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Annu Kapoor got married to an American girl, Anupama in 1992. The couple has three sons, Maahir Kapoor, Kavam Kapoor, and Evaan Kapoor. The couple got divorced after a few years of their marriage.
Annu, later, tied the knot with Arunita Mukherjee. The couple has a daughter, Aradhita Kapoor. Despite marrying, Arunita, Annu was in constant touch with his first wife, Anupama, which led to a divorce between Annu and Arunita. In 2008, Annu remarried his first wife, Anupama.
As a part of his father’s Parsi theatre company, Annu worked in several Parsi plays like “Laila Majnu,” “Harischandra,” “Shirin-Farhad,” “Bhakta Prahlad,” “Dahi Wali,” and “Qatl-e-Tamizan.” He has also featured in modern plays like “Antim Yatra,” “Three Sisters,” “The Great God Brown,” “The Zoo Story,” and “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.” In addition to acting, Anu has also directed a few theatre plays.
Annu made his television debut in 1980’s with Doordarshan’s TV serial “Khari-Khari.” Subsequently, he appeared in TV serials like “Darpan,” “Phatichar,” “Param Vir Chakra,” “Wheel Smart Shrimati,” “Ek Se Badkar Ek,” and “Golden Era With Annu Kapoor.”
Annu gained wide popularity by hosting the reality TV show “Close Up Antakshari.”
Annu made his film debut in 1983 with Shyam Benegal’s film “Mandi.” Next, he appeared in films like “Betaab” (1983), “Mashaal” (1984), “Utsav” (1984), “Arjun” (1985), “Chameli Ki Shaadi” (1986), “Susman” (1987), and “Tezaab” (1988).
Some of his popular Hindi films include “Mr. India” (1987) “The Perfect Murder” (1988) “Ram Lakhan” (1989) “Dil Ki Baazi” (1993) “Waqt Hamara Hai” (1993) “Darr” (1993) “Om Jai Jagadish” (2002) and “7 Khoon Maaf” (2011).
In 2012, Annu played the role of ‘Dr. Baldev Chaddha’ in the Bollywood film “Vicky Donor.”
Apart from being an actor, he is also a director. Annu has directed the film “Abhay (The Fearless)” (1994) for which he received the V. Shantaram Award for “Best Director.” The film also won the 1994 National Film Award for “Best Children’s Film.”
- In 2018, Annu Kapoor landed into a controversy for sharing his views over the change of names of cities and railway stations. Annu called it meaningless and said that all victors left behind an imprint of their rule. He further said,
The country’s original name is Bharat. The names like Hindustan and India were given by invaders.”
- Despite being married to his second wife, Arunita, Annu was in constant touch with his first wife, Anupama. When Arunita came to know about it, Annu started abusing her. He even forced Arunita to move back to her parents in Kolkata along with their daughter, Aradhita.
Awards & Honours
- V. Shantaram Award for ‘Best Director’ for the film “Abhay (The Fearless)”
- National Film Award for ‘Best Children’s Film’ for the film “Abhay (The Fearless)” (1995)
For the film “Vicky Donor”
- National Film Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ (2013)
- Filmfare Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ (2013)
- Screen Award for ‘Best Comedian’ for the film
- Star Guild Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for the film
- Star Guild Award for ‘Best Actor in a Comic Role’ for the film
- Times of India Film Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for the film
- IIFA Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ (2013)
- Cuisine(s): Continental, Italian, Indian
- Food: Lucknowi Biryani, Kakori Kebab, Sheermal
- Dessert(s): Jalebi, Gulab Jamun
- Restaurant(s): Indigo and Pizza Express in Mumbai, Gulati in Delhi
- Travel Destination: Switzerland
- His hobbies include reading and travelling.
- Annu has received around seven awards for his film, “Vicky Donor” (2012). He played the role of a fertility expert doctor in the film.
- Annu Kapoor was a chainsmoker earlier. He used to smoke around 20 cigarettes a day. However, he gave up smoking in 2007 due to health related issues.
- Annu Kapoor follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- Reportedly, Annu moved to Mumbai in 1982 with just Rs. 419.25 in his pocket.
- In December 2018, Kapoor landed into a war of words with the director and producer Kunal Kohli on the sets of “Ek Se Badhkar Ek – Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka” because Kunal was not happy with Annu’s decision of giving grace marks to a contestant named Tanmay.
- Annu Kapoor’s first wife, Anupama is 13 years younger than him.
- Annu Kapoor has hosted a show, “Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor” on the radio channel 92.7 BIG FM. During the show, he used to talk about vintage Bollywood films and its music.
- Annu’s sister, Seema Kapoor, was married to the veteran actor Om Puri for a short time.
- Kapoor has produced a musical contest for children, “Aao Jhoomein Gaayen” for SAB TV. He has also produced a Bengali musical talent-hunt show, “Gaan Gaao Taaka Naao” on Rupashi Bangla TV.
- Annu revealed during an interview that he had never voted in any election. When asked about the reason for not casting a vote, Kapoor said,
Because I don’t want to elect between don**yes and mu**sI only want to elect the best. This country elects corrupt people.”
He further said,
I am a free man of a free country. It is my right to vote or not to vote for anyone. This is my right and it can’t be taken away.”
- In an interview, Annu shared that the film director Satish Kaushik and the actor Rumi Jaffery were his only two friends in the film industry.
- He also shared in an interview that his mother’s salary as an Urdu teacher was only Rs. 40 a month.
- His grandfather, Dr Kripa Ram Kapoor, was a doctor in the British army during the British rule in India. His greatgrandfather, Lala Ganga Ram Kapoor, was a revolutionary and was hanged till death by the British government. His maternal grandfather had served as the ‘Pradhan’ of the state of Tikamgarh.
- Annu shared during an interview that his father stepped into the world of entertainment by investing Rs. 25,000 in 1947. His father started a Parsi folk theatre company, after which, people started recognising them as ‘Nautankiwalas.’ His grandmother was not happy his father’s decision of starting a theatre company and chucked him out of the house.
- Annu is a well-read person. He has read the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Quran for as many as 14 times.
- Kapoor shared during an interview that he was in favour of ‘euthanasia.’ He said that the day he would feel that he was dragging his life and that life was a burden, he would stop living.
- Annu’s real name is Anil Kapoor. He changed his name from Anil to Annu after the shooting of the film, “Mashaal” (1984) to avoid confusing it with the Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor. Apparently, Annu bagged a role in the film, “Mashaal” and was to be paid Rs. 4000 for it. On the other hand, Anil Kapoor who was still a rising star was cast in the film for Rs. 10,000. However, their cheques got exchanged due to the same names. After the incident, some people from the industry including Shabana Azmi suggested Kapoor to change his name. So, he changed it to Annu.