Mumbai, April 30 (PTI) Rishi Kapoor''s death is the end of an era in Hindi cinema, said co-stars and friends Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan and Karan Johar as they reminisced about the time spent with the actor who loved to live larger-than-life.
The actor, 67, died on Thursday at HN Reliance hospital here after a two year long battle with leukemia, his elder brother Randhir Kapoor confirmed with PTI.
His family said the actor remained "jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents".
"Family, friends, food and films remained his focus and everyone who met him during this time was amazed at how he did not let his illness get the better of him," the family said in a statement, adding the actor would like to be "remembered with a smile and not with tears".
Daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni said Rishi Kapoor was her "strongest warrior".
"Papa I love you I will always love you - RIP my strongest warrior I will miss you everyday I will miss your FaceTime calls everyday! Until we meet again papa I love you," she wrote on Instagram.
Bachchan, a close friend and frequent collaborator of the actor, was the first to break the news on social media, but deleted his tweet later.
"He''s GONE .. ! Rishi Kapoor .. gone .. just passed away .. I am destroyed,” he had written on Twitter.
Their last movie together was 2018''s “102 Not Out”.
Tributes poured in from everywhere for Rishi Kapoor with those who knew him sharing anecdotes and memories of the temperamental but lovable star.
South superstar Rajinikanth, who worked with Rishi Kapoor in 1986’s “Dosti Dushmani” said he was “heartbroken”.
Mangeshkar said the actor’s passing away has created a huge void in the cinema industry.
"It’s really tough for me to bear this pain," she tweeted.
Singer Asha Bhosle said the actor was always by her side but she can''t be with him in this hour of grief.
"He remains eternal and special," she wrote with their picture together.
Rishi Kapoor''s death comes just a day after the untimely death of acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan, who passed away on Wednesday here. He also died of cancer.
Superstar Salman Khan took to Twitter and wrote, "Rest in peace chintu sirrr, kaha suna maaf , strength , peace n light to family and friends."
Aamir said the industry has lost one of the greats today, who was "100% a child of cinema".
"You will be badly missed Rishiji," he said.
Madhuri Dixit said working with Rishi Kapoor in films like "Yaarana", "Prem Granth", was an honour and is "absolutely heartbroken" with his demise.
Akshay said it felt like being in the middle of a "nightmare”.
"He was a legend, a great co-star and a good friend of the family,” the actor wrote in a parting message for his “Namastey London” and “Patiala House” co-star.
Filmmaker Karan Malhotra, who directed the actor in 2012 "Agneepath" remake, said that the actor was "the last living closest being I had for my father".
"He and my father were very close friends and after I worked with him I got to know what my father was all about. As a child you don’t know what your parents are so many times, he was the one who helped me discover my father. Today he is not there," Malhotra told PTI.
"Agneepath" co-star Sanjay Dutt said the actor was always an inspiration for him, guiding him through the thick and think on his life.
"Today is the saddest day for me because I have lost a family member, a friend, a brother and a person who showed me to live life with a smile no matter what. I love you Chintu Sir," Dutt tweeted.
Habib Faisal, who directed the actor''s acclaimed "Do Dooni Chaar", said Rishi Kapoor always loved challenges.
"With the same spirit of taking on the challenge he fought his cancer and of course, through Neetu ma’am, who was there like a pillar of support," Habib told PTI.
Johar, who directed Rishi Kapoor in "Student of the Year", said his childhood was dedicated to imitating the actor.
"Today I feel like an irreplaceable void has crept into my existence, a piece of my growing years has been snatched away, I am honoured to love him, to know him, to have a drink and reminisce with him. I still will. How can the romance of Indian Cinema ever leave us? Never. Dard -e dil....but this legendary legacy will live on!" Johar wrote.
Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar said in Rishi, he has lost a dear friend.
Rishi Kapoor''s "Karz" co-star Simi Grewal said the actor was not only his dearest friend but the one who would make her laugh till she cried.
"Now there are only tears.. No last goodbye. No funeral. No consoling embraces. Silence. Emptiness. Grief," she said.
Imtiaz Ali, who directed the actor in "Love Aaj Kal", said with his death, "something precious became past today."
Rishi Kapoor’s last prominent role was in 2017’s “Mulk”, directed by Anubhav Sinha.
He shared stills from their film and captioned it: "Such an honour. Such a privilege."
His "Mulk" co-actor Taapsee Pannu, said she was speechless.
"That laugh, that sense of humour, the honesty and even the bully he was, will be missed. No one like you #RishiKapoor,” she said.
Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha said he is "shocked" by the untimely demise of his "Naseeb" co-star.
"I had the great honour, opportunity & privilege to have worked with him in one of the most iconic films of the late & great #ManmohanDesai''s ''Naseeb''," Sinha tweeted.
Ajay Devgn, Usha Uthup, Goutam Ghosh, Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee, among others, also paid tributes.