Jeetendra was born into a Punjabi business family that dealt with imitation jewellery in Mumbai on 7th April 1942 as Ravi Kapoor. It was while delivering imitation jewellery to V. Shantaram that he got the chance to act as Sandhya’s double in Navrang (1950)!
Noted filmmaker V.Shantaram was the first person to give him a break as hero in Geet Gaya Patharon Ne in 1964. Since then, he has appeared in almost 200 films.
Jeetendra earned his first major success with Ravikant Nagaich's Farz (1967), which initially was a slow starter but went on to become a golden jubilee success. The tee shirt and white shoes he picked up from a retail store for the ‘Mast baharon ka main aashiq…’ number in Farz (sung by Mohammed Rafi) became his trademark. His energetic dancing in films like Farz, Humjoli (1970) and Caravan (1971) won him the epithet of the Jumping Jack. He followed up his early success by delivering hits year after year. In the 1980s, be became a darling of the South Indian Producers. The stupendous success of his Chennai films – Himmatwala (1983), Justice Chowdhary (1982), Mawaali (1983) and Tohfa (1984) made Jeetendra's success assume humungous proportions.
Although his films consistently achieved commercial success, the critics had few words of praise for him. But Jeetendra knew the pulse of the people well. His later movies catered to the masses, mostly the front benchers. It took a director like Gulzar to bring out the actor in him in films such as Khushboo(1972), Kinara & Parichay (1975). In the 1960s & 1970s, Jeetendra starred in numerous hits such as Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1965), Farz (1967), Jeene Ki Raah (1969), Humjoli (1970), Caravan (1971), Parichay (1972), Bidaai (1974), Khushboo (1975), Dharamveer (1977), Swarg Narak (1978). 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. in the 1980s, Jeetendra formed an extremely successful paid with Sridevi or Jayapradha in Hindi films by South Indian Producers that featured elaborate dance sequences, exercise-like choreography, electronic music by Bappi Lahiri, and lyrics by Indeewar that were full of double entendres. Such movies like Justice Chaudhry (1982), Mawaali (1983), Himmatwala (1983), and Tohfa (1984) were huge hits despite low critical acclaim. Jeetendra has acted opposite Mumtaz, Jaya Prada, Sridevi, Komal, Hema Malini, Babita, Jaya Bhaduri, Reena Roy, Saira Banu, Rekha, Neetu Singh, Moushumi Chatterjee, Bhanupriya, Madhavi, Anita Raaj. 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 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. Touted as a competitor to Amitabh Bachchan, the level-headed Jeetendra sagaciously shrugged away the compliments with, "Amitabh is No. 1 to No. 10."
Jeetendra was last seen in a cameo in his home-production, Kucch To Hai. He made a guest appearance in a TV serial 'Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee' and was recently a judge on the ‘Celebrity Dance Show – Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” alongside dancers as Shaimak Davar & Urmila Matondkar.
Jeetendra has not particularly been a favourite of the judges for Awards, however, he has won the Filmfare Award for Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2003 alongwith Rekha. He has also won some more awards such as: • 1998 - Guest of Honour Award at the 18th Ujala Cinema Express Awards • 2000 - Lifetime Achievement Award in film personalities • 2002 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award • 2002 - Lifetime Achievement Award at the Zee Gold Bollywood Movie Awards in New York. • 2004 - "Legend of Indian Cinema" Award at Atlantic City (United States). • 2007 - Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award
Today, Jeetendra is the proud father of Ektaa Kapoor, head honcho of Balaji Telefilms, India's number one television production house, and, Tusshar, a budding actor.
His vigorous dancing in subsequent films like Caravan (1971) and Humjoli (1970) won him the epithet "Jumping Jack". Ravi had met his present wife, Shobha, when she was only 14. She completed school, went to college, and was employed as an Air Hostess with British Airways. It was not until the release of 'Bidaai" (opposite Leena Chandavarkar) on October 18, 1974, that Jeetendra and Shobha decided to get married, which they did in a simple ceremony on at Janki Kutir with only a few family and friends present (Gulzar, and Sanjeev Kumar amongst the noted celebrities). The marriage was arranged hastily, as even Shobha's mom, who was in Japan at that time, could not attend.