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Shashi Kapoor (1938)

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Shashi Kapoor , born Balbir-Raj Prithviraj Kapoor on 18 March 1938 in Calcutta , is an award-winning Indian film actor and film producer. He has also been film director and assistant director in Hindi Films. 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 is remembered for many hit Hindi films like Jab Jab Phool Khile, Kanyadaan, Pyar Ka Mausam , Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati , Haseena Maan Jayegi, Sharmeelee, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Fakira, Phaansi, Chor Machaye Shor, Mukti, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Heeralal Pannalal , Junoon, Swayamvar and many such films, including ones he starred in with Pran like Chori Mera Kaam, Phaansi, Shankar Dada, Chakkar Pe Chakkar and with Amitabh Bachchan, such as Deewar, Namak Halaal. He has also played leading roles in a number of English-speaking Indian films, including the very first Merchant Ivory production The Householder followed by such as Shakespeare-Wallah, Bombay Talkie, Heat and Dust, etc. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.


 Early Career(1960–1973)
Shashi Kapoor started acting in films as a child in the early 1940s appearing in several mythological films. His best known performances were in Aag and Awaara where he played the younger version of the characters played by his older brother Raj Kapoor. Right from the age of four, Shashi had started acting in his plays directed and produced by his dad Prithviraj Kapoor, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He was acting in both, the plays, as well as the films, where he had small roles to play.He got opportunity to work as assistant director in films with his brother Raj Kapoor as the lead hero like Dulha Dulhan, Shriman Satyawadi

He made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 Yash Chopra film Dharmputra and went on to appear in 168 films. He was a very popular debonair actor in Bollywood during the 1960s, 1970s and the mid 1980s. Shashi’s initial films like Dharmaputra directed by Yash Chopra and Prem Patra and Benazir both directed by Bimal Roy didn't do well. So he entered into English Movies. He was one of India's first actors to go international. But actress Nanda , who was already an established star with hits under her kit before Shashi tasted success, signed half a dozen Hindi films with him even when he wasn't doing well as she had faith in him that he could deliver good performances. Although their first film as a pair the critically acclaimed romantic film Char Diwari did not work, the rest were successful at the box office.
In the 60’s Shashi had slew of solo hero box office romantic hit films opposite Nanda like Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath , Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain , Jab Jab Phool Khile , Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare , Raja Saab and Rootha Na Karo. In the nineties in an interview, Shashi Kapoor declared that Nanda was his favourite heroine and regards as one of his mentors. Simlarly even Nanda declared in an interview that Shashi Kapoor was her favourite hero. But Shashi Kapoor again faced stiff competition from Rajesh Khanna for acquiring romantic roles, due to which he had a weak period from 1969–1974 although he had hits with Sharmila, Rakhee, Asha Parekh and Nanda in this period.

 Peak period (1974–1985)
Shashi Kapoor formed a hit on screen pair with Rakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman in the late sixties till the mid eighties. Although he has commercial success even opposite heroines like Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, Moushumi Chatterjee and others too , the pair Shashi-Rakhee, Shashi-Sharmila and Shashi-Zeenat was more popular among the audiences. With their first movie together Sharmelee becoming a blockbuster, Rakhee was paired frequently with him and they gave more hit films like Kabhi Kabhie , Baseraa , Zameen Aasmaan and Pighalta Aasman and the critically acclaimed Trishna . The pair Sharmila- Shashi gave hits like Waqt , Aamne Samne , Suhana Safar , Aa Gale Lag Jaa , Paap Aur Punya , Swati and the critically acclaimed New Delhi Times , which fetched Shashi a National Film Award for Best Actor in 1986. With Zeenat Aman, he did Chori Mera Kaam , Deewaangee , Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Heeralal Pannalal , Kranti , Pakhandi and Bhavani Junction .

His most popular movies include Pyar Kiye Jaa , Haseena Maan Jayegi and Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati both with Babita, Kanyadan, Pyar Ka Mausam both opposite Asha Parekh, Chor Machaye Shor opposite Mumtaz and Abhinetri , Aap Beati , Apna Khoon , Trishul , Maan Gaye Ustaad , Aandhi Toofan with Hema Malini, Bezubaan with Reena Roy, Chakkar Pe Chakkar , Kali Ghata, Kalyug , Vijeta , Pyaar Ki Jeet all with Rekha and Bepanaah with Rati Agnihotri. Other solo hits include Dil Ne Pukara , Naina , Phaansi , Salaakhen, Fakira , Junoon'' and multi-starrer Neeyat .He also worked with Rajesh Khanna in Prem Kahani.

In some of his successful films from the 1970s and in early 1980s he co-starred alongside Pran which include hits Biradari, Chori Mera Kaam, Phaansi, Shankar Dada, Chakkar Pe Chakkar, Rahu Ketu, Apna Khoon and Maan Gaye Ustaad and with Amitabh Bachchan in nine films of which Deewaar , Kabhi Kabhie , Trishul , Kaala Patthar , Suhaag , Namak Halaal were commercially successful and Shaan , Do Aur Do Paanch and Akayla were flops at the box office. Shashi was regularly casted with Sanjeev Kumar too in films like Mukti , Trishul, Muqaddar , Swayamvar, Sawaal , Pakhandi . Shashi Kapoor, being a senior actor and more popular, was paid more than his male co stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Jeetendra, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor in those days with exceptions being Pran, Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar who were paid higher than Shashi. Although he was in his forties in the late 70’s, being slim and still having charming looks he was casted 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 loss of his wife in 1984, Shashi started slowly gaining weight and this resulted him in moving to character roles in films like Alag Alag, Ilzaam , Sindoor . 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, such as Householder , Shakespeare Wallah (opposite his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal), Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust in which he co-starred with his wife Jennifer Kendal, The Deceivers and Side Streets . He also starred in other British and American films such as Pretty Polly opposite Hayley Mills, Siddhartha , and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid .Ismail Merchant also directed Shashi Kapoor in "In Custody" .

In 1980 he set up his production house, Film Valas, which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon , Kalyug , 36 Chowringhee Lane , Vijeta and Utsav . 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, Ismail Merchant, Dev Anand, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar as his closest friends from the industry since the beginning of his career and maintained cordial relations with Amitabh, Yash Chopra, MGR, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi 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 . He also won a National Award for his performance in Muhafiz . His last and most recent film appearances were in Jinnah , a biographical film of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in which he was the narrator and another Merchant Ivory production titled Side Streets . 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 . He has lost a considerable amount of weight and looked healthy. Recently, at the 55th Annual Filmfare Awards, Shashi Kapoor received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

 personal life
Attended Don Bosco High School in Matunga, Bombay.
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. Shashi 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 Geoffery’s daughter. After their subsequent meeting, the couple fell in love and after facing initial opposition from Geoffery and support from sister in law Geeta Bali, they got married. He had three children with Kendal; 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. After his wife’s death, he became de-motivated and started to put on weight. He looked slim and fit in his films till 1985. 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 to wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar. Kunal Kapoor then 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 he settled down in London and pursued a career in photography. Sanjana Kapoor is in incharge of Prithvi Theater today.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Shashi Kapoor", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.