Anil started his career with Woh Saat Din with Padmini Kolhapure and Naseerudhin Shah in lead role. His father Surinder Kapoor was secretary to Shammi Kapor and also produced and distributed films. But he was not successful and lost lots of money. Anil was frustrated with the struggle and desperately wanted to become an actor, he had a real passion for it.
He used to live in a chawl in Chembur. His father Surinder Kapoor was a producer but was always hard pressed for luck, as his film didnít exactly do good business at the box-office. So much so that it became difficult for his two sons Boney and Anil to pursue studies. But that did not deter the Ďacidí heroís spirit! Exposed to cinema since an early age, Anil knew he wanted to be an actor.
His first big break came in the form of Saawan Kumarís Laila that had Poonam Dhillon as his co-star. The film flopped at the box-office, but Anil did not! He bagged Anil Gangulyís Saaheb with Amrita Singh and the film came as a windfall. Essaying the role of a good-for-nothing youth he stormed into the hearts of the masses as the one who donates his kidney. The film hit bullís eye at the box-office and there was no looking back. Came Subhash Ghaiís Uttar Dakshin and A. Suryanarayanís Hifazat that helped him prove his credentials as an actor. Both the films had Madhuri Dixit as his co-star, another talented heroine who was waiting for the right break.
And it did not take a long time for the right breaks to arrive. After Subhash Ghaiís Karma came N. Chandraís Tezaab that had him in the lead with Madhuri again. Tezaab turned out to be the biggest grosser of 1988 pushing Anilís status from an actor to a star. In fact the film also fetched him his first best actor award. Followed Shekhar Kapurís Mr. India and Subhash Ghaiís Meri Jung that only asserted his status as an actor.
On one hand the press was harping about his achievements as an actor, on the other they were linking him with not his actresses but also costar Jackie Shroff. When Jackie was asked about his queer relationship with Anil Kapoor, he had pooh-poohed the charge saying that it was nothing but the pressí wild imagination. Anil was also accused of having played dirty with Jackie especially when it came to the length of the roles in films that had them together. To that Jackie just said that Anil was like a younger brother and it wasnít unusual for someone young to have things his way. The accusation was more concerning the miniscule role Jackie had been offered in Boney Kapoorís magnum opus Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja the costliest film ever made in the history of Indian cinema. But when it came to covering that amount the film proved to be an absolute dud causing a major setback to the Kapoor family.
The press also came down on Anil heavily when he allegedly rigged the award for the best actor for Beta in 1992. People felt it was Aamir Khan who deserved it for his performance in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and not Anil Kapoor. The issue became a big controversy where the editor of the magazine even stepped down from his post so as to be fair to Aamir Khan. Anil wasnít bogged down by what the press and the people had to say. He continued to give sterling performances and has been remembered for them even today, including Eeshwar that bagged him the special jury award.
But to top it all was the National Award that he won for his performance in Rajkumar Santoshiís Pukar. And is now looking forward to yet another commendable performance Shankarís Nayak. Though his recent debut home production Badhai Ho Badhai co- starring Shilpa Shetty and Keerti Reddy failed badly Anil Kapoor is unfazed. Despite new breed of actors taking charge on the marquee, Anil Kapoor continues to hold as he says, "At this stage of life I canít afford to be worried about the likes of Hrithik Roshans and Abhishek Bachchans
Anil's is looking forward this year 2004 for his four new release. Boney Kapoor's No Entry is a comedy with Salman Khan, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutt, Celina Jaitely and Esha Deol. Then there's Boney's other film Bewafaa which is a dramatic love triangle with Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor.
He also lined up with Sanjay Gupta's Musafir which is a thriller. And Ram Gopal Verma's 2'O Clock Murder an offbeat thriller.
- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award 1984 for Mashaal
- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award 1988 for Tezaab
- Filmfare Best Actor award 1992 for Beta
- Screen Videocon Best Actor award 1997 for Virasat
- Best Actor National Award for his performance in Pukar