The acting, fighting, singing, dancing Hindi film hero is the sum of many parts. Jeetendra may not have won the critics, but he managed to be a producers’ pet for 25 years thanks to his indisputable commercial appeal.

Jeetendra has done nearly 200 films as hero, a feat matched by just a handful of his peers since the inception of Hindi cinema. He has repeatedly costarred with the biggest heroines of his time — Rekha (24 films), Hema Malini (12 films), Sridevi (14 films) and Jaya Prada (21 films). In the late 1950s, Ravi Kapoor (Jeetendra is his screen name) was a science student who loved combing the back roads of Girgaum (in south Mumbai) with his friends. “I enjoyed harassing tram conductors,” he chuckles. Occasionally, he would visit film studios to supply imitation jewellery his family dealt in. Filmmaker V Shantaram gave the slim youngster a chance as Sandhya’s double in Navrang (1959) and Sehra (1963). He was irretrievably bitten by the glamour bug.

Jeetendra got his first major break when Shantaram cast him as hero in Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1964). But the actor ‘cuckoo’ed into the spotlight with Farz (1967). Jeetendra held the audience’s interest at gunpoint when he pranced with Aruna Irani, even dragging her between his legs in the runaway hit Mast baharon ka main aashiq… cuckoo. Farz, a slow starter, went on to become a golden jubilee success. The actor introduced a new, brasher hero, in keeping with the times. Since dress designers were a rare breed those days, Jeetendra picked up a tee shirt from a retail shop and wore white shoes from his personal collection for the Cuckoo number. It became his signature. His vigorous dancing in Farz and subsequent films like Caravan and Humjoli won Jeetendra the epithet, Jumping Jack.

Jeetendra’s immense popularity can be attributed to the fact that he unabashedly catered to the masses in films like Jigri Dost, Humjoli and Caravan. He was at home in these roles. After all, when he eve-teased the pert heroine on screen, he was only extending his off-screen persona — while wooing Shobha (his wife), Jeetendra pelted her with peanuts. His knee-slapping songs, too, were filled with onomatopoeic sounds like Cuckoo, Tik-a-tik, Taaki-o-taaki.

But his energetic outbursts suffered a temporary setback in the early 1970s when his childhood friend Rajesh Khanna became a superstar. Like Khanna, Jeetendra too aimed at respectability and yearned to do an Anand. He dabbled with bespectacled histrionics in his trilogy with Gulzar — Parichay, Khushboo and Kinara.

He displayed a fair amount of sensitivity in these films, but increasingly veered toward commercially safer, moolah-making melodramas in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Apnapan, Judaai, Asha, Pyaasa Sawan, Maang Bharo Sajna, Ek Hi Bhool). Jeetendra attributed his sudden spurt in popularity to “the middle class values of most of my characters, which was something I too could identify with.”

Simultaneously, if the trend was action, Jeetendra adapted to it with films like Dil Aur Deewar, Jyoti Bane Jwala and Meri Awaaz Suno. At this juncture, his dream project, Deedar-e-Yaar (1982), a wannabe Mere Mehboob, rudely disturbed the star’s upward trajectory. This home production, costarring Tina Munim and Rishi Kapoor, was a box-office washout. Within months, the Jumping Jack bounced back. The stupendous success of his Chennai films — Himmatwala, Justice Chowdhary, Mawaali and Tohfa — in the 1983-1984 phase made Jeetendra’s success assume humungous proportions. He had found a dazzling co-star in Sridevi. Critics panned the colourful ‘pots-n-pans’ potboilers, but the masses thronged to see Jeetendra doing a Bak bak mat kar and Ice cream khaoge with Sridevi, who was half his age but had as much sizzle.

Touted as a competitor to Amitabh Bachchan, the level-headed Jeetendra sagaciously shrugged away the compliments with, “Amitabh is No1 to No 10.” The southern invasion, led by K Raghavendra Rao and K Bapaiah, marked the high point of Jeetendra’s decades-long association with south-based filmmakers. Jeetendra struck gold with the Raveekant Nagaich-directed Farz and continued to mint money with the legendary L V Prasad’s Jeene Ki Raah (a drama centring around a harried-married man’s involvement with a cripple, played by Tanuja) and Bidaai (a kerchief-soaker about a dutiful son who tames his shrewish wife, played by Leena). T Rama Rao too gave a hat-trick of hits with Jeetendra and Rekha in 1980-1981: Judaai, Maang Bharo Sajna and Ek Hi Bhool.

But, by the late 1980s, a 40-plus Jeetendra was finding it difficult to stay in the rat race despite his commendable efforts to stay fit. The star turned serious and made determined last-ditch efforts at histrionics in films like New Delhi Times (1985), Santaan (1993) and Udhaar Ka Zindagi (1995) but, unfortunately, they failed at the box-office.

Today, Jeetendra takes pride in his children — Ektaa Kapoor, head honcho of Balaji Telefilms, India’s number one television production house, and, Tusshar, a budding actor. Jeetendra was last seen in a cameo in his home-production, Kucch To Hai. “I know these are my mandatory overs,” he says, “but I would like to do films for as long as I breathe.”

 

Films Done By Jeetendra 

  • Navrang 1959
  • Geet Gaya Patharon Ne 1964 Vijay
  • Gunahon Ka Devta 1967 Kundan
  • Farz 1967 Gopal Kishan Pandey (Agent 116) Remake of Gudachari 116 (1967)
  • Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti 1967 Master Satya Prakash
  • Parivaar 1967 Gopal
  • Suhaag Raat 1968 Jeetender / Jeet
  • Aulad 1968 Arun / Sohan
  • Mere Huzoor 1968 Akhtar Hussain Akhtar
  • Dharti Kahe Pukarke 1969 Shiv Kumar
  • Do Bhai 1969 Vijay Varma Remade in Telugu as Nenu Manishine (1971)
  • Remade in Tamil as Justice Viswanathan (1971)
  • Jeene Ki Raah 1969 Mohan Remake of Bratuku Theruvu (1953)
  • Badi Didi 1969 Amar
  • Jigri Dost 1969 Gopi & Anand (Dual Role) Remake of Emme Thammanna (1966)
  • Anmol Moti 1969 Vijay
  • Vishwas 1969 Ravi
  • Waris 1969 Ravi Remake of Naan (1967)
  • The Gold Medal 1969 Gopal
  • Khilona 1970 Mohan Singh Remake of Punarjanma (1963)
  • Maa Aur Mamta 1970 Ram
  • Himmat 1970 Raghu Remake of Adrushtavanthalu (1968)
  • Jawab 1970 Raja / Rajkumar Remake of Periya Idathu Penn (1963)
  • Humjoli 1970 Rajesh Remake of Panakkara Kudumbam (1964)
  • Mere Humsafar 1970 Raju “Junglee”
  • Naya Raasta 1970 Chander
  • Bikhre Moti 1971 Anand
  • Kathputli 1971 Vishal
  • Chahat 1971 Arun
  • Ek Nari Ek Brahmachari 1971 Mohan Kumar S Chaudhary Remake of Brahmachari (1968)
  • Caravan 1971 Mohan Based on Girl on the Run (1953)
  • Banphool 1971 Haria
  • Ek Hasina Do Diwane 1972 Amar
  • Ek Bechara 1972 Rajan
  • Shaadi Ke Baad 1972 Shyam B. Ram Remake of Pelli Chesi Choodu (1952)
  • Bhai Ho To Aisa 1972 Bharat Singh Remake of Aastiparulu (1966)
  • Parichay 1972 Ravi Based on the Bengali novel Rangeen Uttarain by Raj Kumar Maitra and partially inspired by
  • the 1965 movie The Sound of Music.
  • Roop Tera Mastana 1972 Raja Sab & Raj Kumar (Dual role)
  • Yaar Mera 1972 Shyam
  • Sazaa 1972 Qawali Singer
  • Anokhi Ada 1973 Rakesh / Kishan
  • Garam Masala 1973 Jeet (Guest)
  • Gehri Chaal 1973 Sagar Remade as Vaira Nenjam(1975)
  • Jaise Ko Taisa 1973 Vijay & Vinod Kumar (Dual role) Remake of Bhale Jodi (1970)
  • Bidaai 1974 Sudhakar Remake of Thalla’ Pellama'(1970)
  • Roti 1974 Himself (Guest)
  • Dulhan 1974 Ashok & Vijay (Dual role) Remake of Sharada (1973)
  • Khushboo 1975 Dr. Brindaban Based on the Bengali novel Panditmashai by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay
  • Umar Qaid 1975 Akbar
  • Aakhri Daao 1975 Ravi Based on Bhagwati Charan Verma’s 1950 novel of the same name
  • Rani Aur Lalpari 1975 Prince
  • Nagin 1976 Nag (Male Serpent) Inspired by Fran├žois Truffaut’s French film The Bride Wore Black which was based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel of the same name
  • Sankoch 1976 Shekhar Based on the novel Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
  • Suntan 1976 Ravi Remake of Tata Manavadu (1972)
  • Udhar Ka Sindur 1976 Raja / Rajkumar Remake of Manushullo Devudu (1974)
  • Jay Vijay 1977 Prince Jay / Daku Sher Singh Remake of Chikkadu Dorakadu (1967)
  • Dharam Veer 1977 Veer Singh
  • Kinara 1977 Inder
  • Dildaar 1977 Banke Lal Remake of Soggadu (1976)
  • Ek Hi Raasta 1977 Atin Singh
  • Zamaanat 1977 Ravi
  • Kasam Khoon Ki 1977 Kishan
  • Priyatama 1977 Ravi
  • Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein 1977 Ravi The Soldier (Guest)
  • Apnapan 1977 Anil Mehra Remade as Illalu (Telugu) (1981)
  • Tumhari Kasam 1978 Anand
  • Karmayogi 1978 Ajay Remade as Nipputo Chelagaatam (1982)
  • Dil Aur Deewar 1978 Vijay Remake of Jeevana Tarangalu (1973)
  • Badalte Rishtey 1978 Sagar Singh
  • Chowki No.11 1978 Jeeten (Guest)
  • Swarg Narak 1978 Mohan ‘Vicky’ Kapoor Remake of Swargam Narakam (1975)
  • Nalayak 1978 Laxman Narayan
  • Aatish 1979 Anand Remade as Devudichina Koduku (Telugu) (1980)
  • Jaandaar 1979 (Guest)
  • Jaani Dushman 1979 Amar
  • Love in Canada 1979
  • Khandaan 1979 Ravi Remade as Jeevitha Ratnam (Telugu) (1981)
  • Hum Tere Aashiq Hain 1979 Anand
  • Lok Parlok 1979 Amar Remake of Yamagola (1977)
  • Aap Ke Deewane 1979 Rocky (Guest)
  • Jal Mahal 1980 Ravi
  • The Burning Train 1980 Ravi Inspired by The Bullet Train (1975)
  • Takkar 1980 Vijay Remake of Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973)
  • Jyoti Bane Jwala 1980 Suraj & Jyothi / Jwala (Dual Role) Remake of Katakataala Rudraiah (1978)
  • Judaai 1980 Dr. Shashikant Verma Remake of Aalu Magalu (1977)
  • Neeyat 1980 Jeet
  • Nishana 1980 Raja Remake of Vetagaadu (1979)
  • Maang Bharo Sajana 1980 Ram Kumar & Chandra (Dual Role) Remake of Karthika Deepam (1979)
  • Aasha 1980 Deepak Remade in Telugu as Anuraga Devata (1982)
  • Remade in Tamil as Sumangali (1983)
  • Waqt Ki Deewar 1981 Amar Khan
  • Khoon Aur Paani 1981 Rakesh / Rocky / Raka / Laxman
  • Dhuan 1981 Ashok Saxena (Gesture) Remake of Chase a Crooked Shadow (1957)
  • Sharda 1981 Inder Malhotra
  • Jyothi 1981 Govind Remake of Ardhangi (1955)
  • Khoon Ka Rishta 1981 Ravi
  • Pyaasa Sawan 1981 Chandrakanth / Ravi (Dual Role) Remake of Yedanthasthula Meda (1980)
  • Ek Hi Bhool 1981 Ramkumar Srivastav Remake of Mouna Geethangal (1981)
  • Mosambi Narangi (Marathi) 1981 Raja “Qawali Singer” (Guest)
  • Shakka 1981 Shakka
  • Meri Aawaz Suno 1981 Inspector Sushil Kumar / Kanwarlal (Dual Role) Remake of Antha (1981)
  • Kahani Ek Chor Ki 1981 Ram
  • Apna Bana Lo 1982 Master
  • Raksha 1982 Gopal Kishan Pandey (Agent-116) Remake of Rahasya Gudachari (1981)
  • Chorni 1982 Dr. Vikram Sagar
  • Insaan 1982 Ravi
  • Badle Ki Aag 1982 Inspector Amar Verma
  • Mehndi Rang Layegi 1982 Dr. Ramu Remake of Gorintaku (1979)
  • Farz Aur Kanoon 1982 SP Ranjeeth Kumar / Ramu (Dual Role) Remake of Kondaveeti Simham (1981)
  • Lakshmi 1982 Qawali Singer (Guest)
  • Deedar-E-Yaar 1982 Nawab Akhtar Nawaz Khan
  • Jeeo Aur Jeene Do 1982 Inspector Vijay
  • Anokha Bandhan 1982 Haribabu (Guest)
  • Dharam Kanta 1982 Lakshman / Shiva
  • Samraat 1982 Raju
  • Raaste Pyar Ke 1982 Mohan Lal Srivatsav Remake of Dasara Bullodu (1971)
  • Nishaan 1983 Ravi
  • Himmatwala 1983 Ravi Remake of Ooriki Monagadu (1981)
  • Prem Tapasya 1983 Mohan Kumar Varma Remake of Premabhishekam (1981)
  • Arpan 1983 Anil Varma
  • Jaani Dost 1983 Veeru Remake of Adavi Simhalu (1983)
  • Justice Chaudhry 1983 RK Choudhury / Ramu (Dual Role) Remake of Justice Chowdary (1982)
  • Mawaali 1983 Ramesh / Gangu (Dual Role) Remake of Chuttalunnaru Jagratha (1980)
  • Tohfa 1984 Rambabu Remake of Devata (1982)
  • Yeh Desh 1984 Chandra Mohan Azaad Remake of Ee Nadu (1982)
  • Akalmand 1984 Dr. Kiran
  • Maqsad 1984 Tilak Remake of Mundadugu (1983)
  • Qaidi 1984 Suraj Remake of Khaidi (1983)
  • Kaamyab 1984 Ramu / Krishna (Dual Role) Remake of Shakthi (1983)
  • Haisiyat 1984 Ram Remake of Sita Ramulu (1980)
  • Zakhmi Sher 1984 Major Vijay Kumar Singh Remake of Bobbili Puli (1982)
  • Hoshiyar 1985 Rakesh Remake of Kirayi Rowdylu (1981)
  • Balidaan 1985 Inspector Vijay Remake of Balidanam (1982)
  • Haqeeqat 1985 Inspector Arjun Remake of Neti Bharatam (1983)
  • Pataal Bhairavi 1985 Ramu Remake of Patala Bhairavi (1951)
  • Bond 303 1985 Ajay (Agent 303)
  • Sarfarosh 1985 Jwala Singh / Inspector Suraj Kapoor (Dual Role) Remake of Sardar Papa Rayudu (1980)
  • Mera Saathi 1985 Ranga / Ranganath Remake of Dharmatmudu (1983)
  • Sanjog 1985 Narain Remake of Jeevana Jyothi (1975)
  • Jaal 1986 Chote Thakur Shashi Pratap Remade as Kirai Dada (1989)
  • Dharm Adhikari 1986 Prakash Remake of Bobbili Brahmanna (1984)
  • Aag Aur Shola 1986 Vishal Remake of Uyirullavarai Usha (1983)
  • Swarag Se Sunder 1986 Sarpanch Vijay Chowdhary Remake of Thalli Prema (1968)
  • Singhasan 1986 Vikram Singh & Aditya Vardhan (Dual Role) Remake of Simhasanam (1986)
  • Suhagan 1986 Rambabu Remake of Enkeyo Ketta Kural (1984)
  • Locket 1986 Shankar
  • Ghar Sansar 1986 Prakash Remake of Maga Maharaju (1983)
  • Sadaa Suhagan 1986 Rajashekar Remake of Dheerga Sumangali (1974)
  • Dosti Dushmani 1986 Dr. Sandeep Kumar Remake of Mugguru Mitrulu (1985)
  • Aisa Pyaar Kahan 1986 Sagar Remake of Rakta Sambandham (1962)
  • Apne Apne 1987 Ravi Kapoor
  • Majaal 1987 Vijay Kumar Remake of Sravana Sandhya (1986)
  • Aulad 1987 Anand Remake of Maa Babu (1960)
  • Madadgaar 1987 Anand
  • Khudgarz 1987 Amar Saxena Remade as Prana Snehitulu (1988) and Annamalai (1992)
  • Sindoor 1987 Prem Kapoor Remade as Sumangal (1989)
  • Jaan Hatheli Pe 1987 Ram
  • Khazana 1987 Magic man (Guest)
  • Himmat Aur Mehanat 1987 Vijay Kumar Remake of Pachani Samsaram (1970)
  • Insaf Ki Pukar 1987 Ajay
  • Tamacha 1988 Raju / Rajiv Singh
  • Mulzim 1988 Vijay Kumar Remake of Muddai (1987)
  • Kanwarlal 1988 Kanwarlal Remake of Rajavinte Makan (1986)
  • Sone Pe Suhaaga 1988 Vijay Kumar
  • Mar Mitenge 1988 Ram
  • New Delhi 1988 Vijay Kumar / VK Remake of New Delhi (1987)
  • Dav Pech 1989 Sikkandar & Bhajarangi (Dual role) Remake of Roshagadu (1983)
  • Asmaan Se Ooncha 1989 Krishan / King
  • Nafrat Ki Aandhi 1989 Inspector Ravi Kapoor
  • Souten Ki Beti 1989 Dr. Shyam Shankar Verma
  • Aag Se Khelenge 1989 Inspector Shekar
  • Kasam Vardi Ki 1989 Inspector Vijay
  • Majboor 1989 Adavocate Ravi
  • Taqdeer Ka Tamasha 1990 Satya Dev
  • Zahreelay 1990 Captain Jashwant Kumar
  • Amiri Garibi 1990 Heera Remake of Makutamleni Maharaju (1987)
  • Hatim Tai 1990 Hatim Tai
  • Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai 1990 Prakash Remake of En Purushanthaan Enakku Mattumthaan (1989)
  • Sheshnaag 1990 Pritam Nag (Male Serpent)
  • Aaj Ke Shahenshah 1990 Vikram / Vicky
  • Jai Shiv Shankar 1990 Shiv Remake of Vartha (1986)
  • Agneekaal 1990 Vijay
  • Nyay Anyay 1990 Justice Ravi Khanna
  • Thanedaar 1990 Inspector Avinash Chandar Remake of Mayadari Krishnudu (1980)
  • Shiv Ram 1991 Inspector Shiv
  • Sapnon Ka Mandir 1991 Sanjay Sharma
  • Ranbhoomi 1991 Chandan Singh
  • Maa 1991 Ram Khanna
  • Insaaf Ki Devi 1992 Inspector Santosh Varma
  • Jai Kaali 1992 Advacate Shiv Shankar
  • Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi 1992 CBI Officer Sunil Malhotra
  • Dil Aashna Hai 1992 Prince Arjun Singh
  • Sone Ki Lanka 1992 Mohith
  • Rishta To Ho Aisa 1992 Rajesh
  • Aaj Kie Aurat 1993 Avinash Kapoor
  • Geetanjali 1993 Sagar
  • Prateeksha 1993 Vijay Kumar
  • Bhookamp 1993 Prof Ajay Saxena
  • Rang 1993 Ajay Malhotra
  • Aadmi Khilona Hai 1993 Vijay Varma
  • Khal-Naaikaa 1993 Ravi Kapoor
  • Aasoo Bane Angaarey 1993 Ravi Varma
  • Santaan 1993 Sarju Narayan Watchman Remake of Surigadu (1992)
  • Tahqiqaat 1993 Father Prem Fernandes & SP Arun Kumar (Dual role) Remake of Post Mortem (1982)
  • Chauraha 1994 Inspector Kailash Kumar
  • Paappi Devataa 1994 DCP Ram Kumar Singh
  • Udhaar Ki Zindagi 1994 Sitaram Remake of Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu (1991)
  • Ghar Ki Izzat 1994 Dr. Sohan Kumar Remake of Kula Deivam (1960)
  • Begunaah 1994 Gautam
  • Janam Kundli 1995 Ravi Kapoor
  • Zamaana Deewana 1995 Madanlal Malhotra
  • Hum Sab Chor Hain 1995 ACP Ravi Kumar
  • Kalyug Ke Avtaar 1995 Pratap
  • Dushman Duniya Ka 1996 Mahesh
  • Judge Mujrim 1997 Judge Pratap Sinha
  • Mahaanta 1997 Commissioner Vijay Kapoor
  • Lav Kush 1997 Lord Sriram
  • Krishna Arjun 1997 Krishna
  • Dharma Karma 1997 Karma / Shiva Kapoor
  • Chupp 1997 Rakesh Rai / Ashok Remake of Tarka (1989)
  • Mother 1999 Sunil Malik
  • Jaydev 2001 Inspector Janardhan Poojari
  • Kucch To Hai 2003 Ravi Kapoor
  • Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi 2002 Jithesh Kothari(Special appearance) TV series
  • Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii 2003 Himself(Special appearance) TV series
  • Ho Jaata Hai Pyaar 2006 Ravi Kapoor
  • Gabbar Singh 2006 Thakur Bhojpuri film
  • Om Shanti Om 2007 Himself (Guest)
  • Mahabharat Aur Barbareek 2013 Himself (Cameo) Hindi film
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