The man who earned the sobriquet of ‘Jumping Jack’ in Bollywood owing to his energetic dancing style, turns 78 today. He has chosen to move away from the limelight, but Jeetu — as he was known to fans and colleagues — continues to reside in the hearts of Hindi film buffs across the globe. His genial screen image, gentlemanly attitude off the screen and, most notably, those trademark white dancing shoes he insisted on wearing every time, will never go away from popular psyche.
On his birthday, IANS does a throwback on the phenomenon that is Jeetendra..
WHERE IT STARTED
Jeetendra was born on April 7, 1942 in Punjab’s Amritsar as Ravi Kapoor. He schooled at St. Sebastian’s Goan High School and then went to Siddharth College, both in Mumbai.
Jeetendra got his Bollywood break in V. Shantaram’s “Navrang”. He would go on to deliver hit films like “Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1964), “Farz” (1967), “Caravan” (1971), “Parichay” (1972), “Khushboo” (1975), “Kinara” (1977), “
Jeetendra has acted in over 200 movies as the lead, out of which over 120 were hits! This is a ratio very few actors can dream of. His active years were from the ’60s to the ’90s but he actually ruled Bollywood in the ’70s and ’80s. In the seventies, he made a hit pair with top actresses of the era such as Hema Malini, Rekha and
No discussion of Bollywood dancing can be complete without a thorough acknowledgement of Bollywood’s Jumping Jack Jeetendra. Jeetendra’s style was best defined in songs like “Naino mein mapna” (“Himmatwala”), “Taki O Taki” (“Himmatwala”), “Mast bahaaron ka main aashiq” (“Farz”) and “Dhal gaya din” (“Humjoli”), which remain evergreen till today.
The evergreen heartthrob who made every girl’s heart skip a beat, has always been a natty dresser. On screen, he set a fashion trend with his white pants and white shoes. It is said that the actor had randomly picked up the clothes from a shop before shooting for the song “Mast bahaaron ka main aashiq” in “Farz”, which went on to become his trademark style. When quizzed about the same on the sets of a television dance reality show a few years ago, Jeetendra confessed with a smile: “Dark clothes make me look short!”
THE HEMA MALINI FACTOR
The man who GenNow Bollywood buffs know as EKta and
STEPPING OFF THE SPOTLIGHT
Why did the man with numerous hits move away from the spotlight? Jeetendra’s son Tusshar revealed in an interview that the superstar of yore began losing interest when he started getting offers to play roles like the hero’s elder brother or father in the ’90s.
Although we don’t see him on screen, Jeetendra has not severed ties with his extended Bollywood family. He still attends invitations from friends and colleagues, and also happily obliges fans seeking an autograph or a selfie!