Shashi Kapoor was an Indian film actor and producer. He appeared in a large number of Hindi films as well in several English-language films notably the films produced by Merchant-Ivory. He was also a film director and assistant director in the Hindi film industry. He was admitted for a reported chest infection at Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai on 3 December 2017 and died on 4 December 2017 due to prolonged liver cirrhosis.
Shashi Kapoor was a member of the Kapoor family, a film dynasty in India’s Bollywood cinema. Kapoor was born in Calcutta during the British Raj. He was the third and youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, the widower of Jennifer Kendal (sister of actress Felicity Kendal), and the father of Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, and Sanjana Kapoor. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contributions to Art-Cinema. In 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, making him the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor.
He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940’s under the name of Shashiraj as there was another actor by the same name who used to act in mythological films as a child artist. His best-known performances as a child actor were in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), where he played the younger version of the characters played by his older brother Raj Kapoor and in Sangram (1950), where he played the younger version of Ashok Kumar.
Shashi Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in 116 Hindi films, including 61 films as the solo lead hero and 55 multi star-cast films, 21 films as supporting actor and special appearances in 7 films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 60’s, 70’s and until the mid-80’s. Kapoor’s early films, Dharmputra, Prem Patra, and Char Diwari, were in Hindi. Since 1961, he started acting in English language films, which include The Householder and Shakespeare-Wallah. He was one of India’s first actor to go international.
Shashi Kapoor formed on screen pairs with Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman from the late sixties to the mid eighties. He also acted opposite actresses Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee in many films.
His association with Amitabh Bachchan is the most loved in Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor have worked jointly in 16 movies.The most popular movies of Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor are Akayla, Namak Halaal, Silsila, Shaan, Do Aur Do Paanch and Suhaag. They were the most loved pairs. However Amitabh took the lead over the pair, due to his immense popularity. Shashi, even though being senior to Big B, played second fiddle. Due to this, in 2000’s he got the tag of Sourav Ganguly. Sachin Tendulkar was called as Big B whereas Sourav Ganguly was Shashi Kapoor.
The news of veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor’s sudden passing sent shockwaves throughout the film industry. The legend, who was known for his enigmatic style, incredibly good looks and acting prowess, breathed his last at a city hospital. He was 79.
Following the news of his demise, a number of Bollywood stars were spotted flocking to his residence to pay their heartfelt condolences to the family apart from taking to social media to share their fondest memories of the star.
Amitabh, who was known to have shared a very close bond with Kapoor, took to his blog this morning to share some of his fondest memories and pay ode to him in a post he titled, “To Shashiji from your ‘babbua’.”
Speaking of his deteriorating health, Big B said said, “He had been ailing .. somewhere he had let himself go after the passing away of his dear wife Jennifer .. I had visited him on occasion in Hospital during some of the times he had been hospitalized earlier .. but I never went to see him again .. I would never have .. I never ever wanted to see this beautiful friend and ‘samdhi’ in the state I saw him in the hospital..”
We will surely miss this superstar Shashi Kapoor. Hope his soul rests in peace.