Veteren Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor passes away at 79

End of an era as ever charming Shashi Kapoor passes away at 79

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Death of Shashi Kapoor
Indian actor Shashi Kapoor

Legendary film actor Shashi Kapoor passed away on Monday at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He was 79. During his remarkable career, he belted out exemplary performances in films like Deewar, Waqt, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Pyaar ka Mausam and Sharmilee. He had established himself as a leading star of the sixties andnseventies. Apart from commercial cinema, Shashi Kapoor, also promoted and cultivated art house cinema in the Indian film industry. He made the highly acclaimed Junoon in collaboration with parallel cinema legend Shyam Benegal under his home banner. Apart from Junoon, he made landmark films such as 36 Chowrangee Lane. He acted with actress Leela Naidu in his Anglo- Indian film The Householder. Shashi Kapoor was renowned as a major commercial leading man whose pairing with Amitah Bachchan hit a goldmine at the box office.

Shashi Kapoor belonged to the illustrious Kapoor family, who have contributed immensely to Hindi cinema in India. He was the son of the late Prithviraj Kapoor and was the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. From a very young age, he was inculcated in arts and culture. He learnt from his father Prithviraj Kapoor, in whose plays he acted as a child. He also acted as a child artiste in films such as Aag and Awara where he portrayed the younger version of his brother Raj Kapoor’s characters. He also worked with Ashok Kumar in blockbusters such as Sangram and Samadhi.

Shashi Kapoor with Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor
The three Kapoors: Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

Shashi Kapoor began his career as a leading man in films such as Dharamputra, Prem Patra and Char Diwari. Throughout the 60s and 70s, he had attained unprcedented popularity with successful films such as Haseena Man Jayegi, Sharmeeli, Kabhie Kabhie and Namak Halal. He was paired on-screen with seasoned actresses like Rakhee, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman. Kapoor’s association with Merchant Ivory productions is well known. He was one of the first Indian actors to make his presence felt in international cinema. His association with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory led to gems such as Shakespeare Wallah, Bombay Talkie, Side Street and Heat and Dust. He also starred in several British and American films.

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Kapoor was always inclined towards realistic and sensible cinema. This creative hunger in him led to him establishing his own production house, Film Valas, which produced critically acclaimed films such as Kalyug, Vijeta and Utsav. His film Junoon won the National film award for Best Feature film in 1979. Kapoor was the recepient of the country’s highest civilian awards- the Dadasahed Phalke Award in 2015 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011.

Kapoor’s demise has left many stars in mourning and almost the entire film fraternity has come out to remember the late actor. Stars like Anupam Kher, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Shabana Azmi, Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt have tweeted their condolences and salute. Shashi Kapoor was admitted at Kokilaben Ambani hospital on 3 December due to e chest infection. On 4 December, at 5.20 pm, he passed away due to prolonged liver cirrhosis.