Born in Mumbai, Kapoor is the second son of famous film director and star Raj Kapoor.
His brothers are well-known actors: Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor. He is father of actor Ranbir Kapoor. Rishi is the paternal uncle of today’s actresses Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. He is of Punjabi Hindu Khatri origin.
Rishi Kapoor first debuted in his father’s 1970 film Mera Naam Joker (My Name is Joker), playing his father’s role as a child. Rishi Kapoor had his first lead role opposite Dimple Kapadia in the popular 1973 film Bobby which became an instant hit with youngsters.
He has since then appeared in hundreds of movies. He played the lead role romancing young heroines till the year 2000 with the delayed release of Karobaar: The Business of Love. He moved on to supporting roles with Hum Tum (2004) and Fanaa (2006).
He also directed a film Aa Ab Laut Chalen in 1998 starring Rajesh Khanna, Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna, Kader Khan, Paresh Rawal and Jaspal Bhatti. Recently he appeared in Namaste London and an English-language film titled Don’t Stop Dreaming which was directed by his cousin Aditya Raj Kapoor (son of Rishi’s uncle Shammi Kapoor). He acted with the veteran actor Kamal Haasan in Saagar which was officially sent to the Oscars.
Rishi has acted in the movie ‘Chintu Ji’ in which he plays himself. The film has references that pertain to Raj Kapoor, his father, his mother, his wife and his earlier films like Chandni, Mera Naam Joker and others.
Rishi Kapoor became engaged to Neetu Singh, with whom he had several hit movies, on 13 April 1979 and then married her in 1980. They have two children: Ranbir Kapoor, who is also an actor, and Ridhima Kapoor.