Shashi Kapoor, born Balbir Raj Prithviraj Kapoor on 18 March 1938 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), is an award-winning Indian film actor and film producer. He has also been a film director and assistant director in the Hindi film industry. He is a member of the Kapoor family, a film dynasty in India's Bollywood cinema. He is the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the widower of Jennifer Kendal, and the father of Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, and Sanjana Kapoor. He has appeared in a 161 Hindi films where he played the solo lead hero in 62 films and co-starred in 54 multi star cast Hindi films and 21 Hindi films had him in supporting role, worked in 19 films as a child artist and made 5 guest appearances. He also did 12 English Films where he was lead protogonist in 8 films and worked as a supporting actor in 4 films.
In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
Early Career (1960 – 1975)
Shashi Kapoor started acting in films as a child in the early 1940's appearing in several mythological films and commercial films including Meena (1944), Tadbir, and Bachpan (1945) under the name of Shashiraj. His best known performances as child artist were in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951) where he played the younger version of the characters played by his older brother Raj Kapoor. From the age of four, Shashi had started acting in plays directed and produced by his father Prithviraj Kapoor, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He worked in 19 Hindi films as child artist from 1944 – 54. He got an opportunity to work as an assistant director in the film Post Box 999, the debut film of Sunil Dutt, and worked as an assistant director to Ravindra Dave in Guest House (1959) which was followed by movies such as Dulha Dulhan, Shriman Satyawadi, where Raj Kapoor was the lead hero.
Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in 116 Hindi films as main lead protagonist, including 62 films as solo lead hero and 54 multi star-cast films, and 21 films as supporting actor and 5 special appearances. Two more multi- starrers - Ek Do Teen Chaar (1980) was shelved mid-way and Chakma(1984) are unreleased – so not included in 54 milti-starcast films. He was a very popular debonair actor in Bollywood during the 60's, 70's and the mid - 80's. Kapoor’s first films in Hindi – Dharmputra, Prem Patra, Char Diwari were not commercially successful, so he started acting in English language films in 1963, including the films The Householder and Shakespeare-Wallah which were more successful. He was one of India's first actors to go international. Actress Nanda, who was an established star at this time, signed 8 Hindi films with Kapoor even though his earlier Hindi films had not been successful, as she believed that he could deliver good performances. Their first two films as a pair, the critically acclaimed romantic film Char Diwari (1961) and Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath (1962) did not work, while the rest were successful at the box office. In the 1960's Kapoor acted in several romantic films opposite Nanda, including Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain (1965), Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Raja Saab (1969) and Rootha Na Karo (1970). In an interview in the 1990's, Kapoor declared that Nanda was his favourite heroine and that he regarded her as one of his mentors. In another interview, Nanda stated that Shashi Kapoor was her favourite hero.
(1976 – 1985)
Shashi Kapoor formed on screen pairs with Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman in the late sixties till the mid eighties. Films where Kapoor acted opposite actresses such as Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee were also commercially successful. After their first movie together Sharmelee became a blockbuster, Raakhee was paired frequently with him and they acted in other successful films such as Jaanwar Aur Insaan(1972), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Baseraa (1981), Pighalta Aasman (1985) and the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978). Other films with Rakhee like whereas Doosara Aadmi (1977), Bandhan Kuchchey Daghon Ka, Bandh Honth (1984), Zameen Aasman were disaters. Films of the pair Kapoor - Sharmila Tagore to be commercial hits include Waqt (1965), Aamne Samne (1967), Suhana Safar (1970), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973), Paap Aur Punya (1974), Swati (1986) but other films like the critically acclaimed New Delhi Times (1985), which fetched Kapoor a National Film Award for Best Actor in 1986 My Love (1970), Anari (1975), Gehri Chot (1983), Maa Beti (1986) and Ghar Bazar (1998) were failures at the box-office. With Zeenat Aman, he had hits like Chori Mera Kaam (1975), Deewaangee (1976), Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Heeralal Pannalal (1978), Krodhi (1981), Pakhandi (1984) and Bhavani Junction (1985) and 2 flops - Vakil Babu (1982), Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983).
Kapoor's most popular solo hero movies include Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968) and Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati (1969) both with Babita, Kanyadan, Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) both opposite Asha Parekh, Chor Machaye Shor opposite Mumtaz and Abhinetri (1970), Aap Beati (1976), Apna Khoon, Trishul (1978), Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981), Aandhi Toofan (1985) with Hema Malini, Bezubaan with Reena Roy, Chakkar Pe Chakkar (1976), Kali Ghata, Kalyug (1981), Vijeta (1982), Pyaar Ki Jeet(1987) all with Rekha and Bepanaah (1985) with Rati Agnihotri. Other solo hits include Dil Ne Pukara (1967), Naina (1973), Phaansi (1978), Salaakhen(1975), Fakira (1976), Junoon (1979) and multi-starrer Neeyat (1980). He also worked with Rajesh Khanna in Prem Kahani.
Between 1974 and 1977, Kapoor's solo lead films were less commercially successful, which led to him accepting multi star cast films in the period 1976–85 In some of his successful films from the 1970's and in early 1980's he co-starred alongside Pran in 9 films which include 7 hits Biradari, Chori Mera Kaam, Phaansi, Shankar Dada, Chakkar Pe Chakkar, Rahu Ketu and Maan Gaye Ustaad and with Amitabh Bachchan in 11 films of which Roti Kapda Makaan, Deewaar (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Suhaag (1979), Namak Halaal (1982) were commercially successful and Shaan (1980), Silsila, Do Aur Do Paanch (1980) and Akayla were flops at the box office. Shashi Kapoor was regularly cast with Sanjeev Kumar too in films like Mukti (1977), Trishul, Muqaddar (1978), Swayamvar(1980), Sawaal (1982), Pakhandi (1984). Shashi Kapoor, being a senior actor and more popular and considered better actor, was paid more than his male co stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Jeetendra, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor in 1970 – 85. Exceptions being Pran, Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar who were paid higher than Kapoor in the films they co-starred together. Although his age was in his forties in the late 70’s, being slim and still having charming looks he was cast with his nephews Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor and with younger heroines like Neetu Singh, Sulakshana Pandit, Bindiya Goswami, Rati Agnihotri and Poonam Dhillon till 1985. After the loss of his wife in 1984, Kapoor started slowly gaining weight and this resulted him in moving to character roles in films like Alag Alag, Ilzaam (1986), Sindoor (1987). From (1986) onwards, he became very obese and his body was in contrary to his slim and fit image from the early 60’s till (1985).
He was also known internationally for starring in many British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory productions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, such as The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965) (opposite his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982) in which he co-starred with his wife Jennifer Kendal, The Deceivers (1988) and Side Streets (1998). He also starred in other British and American films such as Pretty Polly A Matter Of Innocence (1967) opposite Hayley Mills, Siddhartha (1972), Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), Muhafiz (1994). James Ivory directed Kapoor in the first Merchant Ivory production The Householder, then in Shakespeare-Wallah, Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust. Ismail Merchant directed him in In Custody Muhafiz (1994). He was the first Indian actor to work extensively in Hollywood films and British films, at the kick-start of his acting stint in Bollywood, (1960) on-wards and he started doing English films due to his failure as solo lead hero between 1960 – 1965 before Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain and Jab Jab Phool Khile in 1965 became hits.
In 1978, he set up his production house, Film Valas, which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984). In 1991 he produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which had his frequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan and nephew Rishi Kapoor in the lead but the film was a disaster at the box office.
He regarded Nanda, Pran, Dharmendra, Dev Anand, Ismail Merchant, Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar as his closest friends from the industry since the beginning of his career and maintained cordial relations with Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra, MGR, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi Lata Mangeshkar and most of his female and male co stars.
Later Career (1987 – 1999)
He accepted very few roles as a character actor in films since 1987. He acted with Pierce Brosnan in The Deceivers (1988). He also won a National (special jury) Award for his performance in Muhafiz (In Custody) (1994). His last and most recent film appearances were in Jinnah (1998), a biographical film of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in which he was the narrator and another Merchant Ivory production titled Side Streets (1998). He has now retired from the film industry and did not appear in any film since. He was seen in the limelight at the Shashi Kapoor Film Festival held in Muscat, Oman (September 2007). At the 55th Annual Filmfare Awards, Shashi Kapoor received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kapoor attended Don Bosco High School in Matunga, Mumbai. In July 1958, he married the English actress Jennifer Kendal and they acted in a number of films together, most notably in the Merchant Ivory productions. Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal met in Calcutta in 1956 while working for their respective theatre groups. Kapoor was both assistant stage manager as well as actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi. Geoffery Kendal’s Shakespearana group was also present at the same time in Calcutta and Jennifer was Kendal’s daughter. After their subsequent meeting, the couple fell in love and after facing initial opposition from Kendal and support from sister-in-law Geeta Bali, they got married. They had three children: Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. Jennifer and Shashi Kapoor established Prithvi theatre in 5 November 1978 in Mumbai. Kendal died of cancer in 1984 which shattered him. The English actress Felicity Kendal is his sister-in-law.
Shashi Kapoor’s children for a short while became film actors but their Caucasian looks and accented Hindi prevented them from having a successful career in Hindi films. His son Kunal is married to director Ramesh Sippy's daughter and Sanjana is married to wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar. Kunal Kapoor moved onto ad film direction and established his production house Adfilm-Valas which is today extremely successful. Karan Kapoor became successful in modelling and later settled down in London and pursued a career in photography.
On 20 July 2012, Shashi Kapoor underwent a catract surgery at Kokilaben Hospital in suburban Andheri. He was discharged from the hospital on the same day.
2011 – Padma Bhushan by the Government of India
National Film Awards
1986 – National Film Award for Best Actor for New Delhi Times
1994 – National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) for Muhafiz (1993)
1979 – National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi (as Producer) for Junoon
2010 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
Filmfare Best Movie Award – Won
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Won
1976 Deewar – Ravi Verma
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Nominated
1977 Kabhi Kabhie – Vijay Khanna
1983 Namak Halaal – Raja Singh
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards
BFJA Award for Best Actor
1965 Jab Jab Phool Khile – Raja
1988 New Delhi Times – Vikas Pande
2011 – Mohammed Rafi Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 – The 7th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF)
2009 – The 11th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF)
Source : Wikipidiya