Indian Super star,Shashi Kapoor,with devastating good looks and urbane charm made generations of women mad; whose best partnership with Amitabh Bachchan caused biggest hit films such as ‘Deewar’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, ‘Trishul’ and many more; who produced the creativity in cinema, built the historical Prithvi Theatre and was among India’s first crossover stars,died in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Ambani Hospital on Monday around 5.20pm.
“He had a kidney problem. He was on dialysis for several years,” said Randhir Kapoor. He was at the age of 79.
Shashi was the youngest son among his brothers – Raj and Shammi being the elders – Kapoors are regarded as Bollywood’s family No 1. Now all three have passed away. A historical era come to an end.
Early Life :
Shashi Kapoor was born in Kolkata and began his career as a child artist. His name was Balbir Raj but became Shashi Kapoor when he graduated and starting doing lead parts. Everybody noticed him in Yash Chopra’s Dharmputra (1961) but he gained popularity when he played the naive and sentimental shikarawala in the romantic drama, ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’ (1965). During the same time period, he worked in indie films like ‘The Householder’ (1963), ‘Shakespeare-Wallah’ (1965) and ‘Bombay Talkie’ (1970) by the not so famous Merchant-Ivory duo.
Raj Kapoor created the love tramp; songs such as ‘Awara hoon’ and ‘Mera joota hai Japani’. Shammi’s shout, ‘Yahoo!’ changed the idea of romantic roles in Bollywood. Shashi’s screen personality wasn’t as famous like his brothers. But his works in India’s performing arts is remarkable.
He produced classical films such as ‘Junoon’, ‘Kalyug’, ’36 Chowringee Lane’ and ‘Utsav’, all are based on literature.
These movies will stand at the time of test but are proof of Shashi’s love for theatre — where he met love of his life, Jennifer Kendal. Shashi’s greatest dream was to build a place for performing arts. The dream become a reality when the Prithvi Theatre was rebuild in 1978. Upon next years, the theatre gave a major boost to quality Hindi theatre in Mumbai.
Shashi also played lead role in the British movie, ‘A Matter of Innocence’. His scene with an unclothed Simi Garewal in ‘Siddhartha’ became a major gossip topic. Later, he also had worthseeing roles in ‘Heat and Dust’ and Pierce Brosnan’s ‘The Deceivers’, both British. In that sense, he was the only Bollywood hero of his time who became a familiar face out of India.
It was a different story in India. Despite of box-office smash such as ‘Sharmeelee’ (1971), his career was more with troubles than comforts. The sudden success of ‘Chor Machaye Shor’ (1974), still remembered for the wedding band favourite, ‘Le jayenge le jayenge dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge’, pulled him out of the chasm.
During the multi-starrer era came, Shashi cleverly blended with the mood of the times. He didn’t have Amitabh Bachchan’s fighting skills but he positioned himself as a smart and cool romantic-action hero which made him an important ingredient in biggest films. The male-bonding pair starting creating superhits such as ‘Deewar’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Suhaag’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ and ‘Namak Halaal’. Most of people didn’t remember that it was Shashi, playing the just and ethical inspector, who spoke the iconic dialogue – “Mere paas maa hai” – in Deewar although it was Bachchan, with the more vivacious part of the angry rebellious docker, who imprint himself in famous thinking. Some people remember that Shashi claimed a Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor in ‘Deewar’.
Years later, Shashi got the National Award for playing the role of a journalist in ‘New Delhi Times’ (1986).
During his career, Shashi delivered lots of hits in the 1970s, notably ‘Fakira’, ‘Chori Mera Kaam’ and ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’. During this period, he also signed a lot of more films. Rumour confirmed that he had signed 100 movies. The actor sometimes overworked. Can’t even get the dates from his own brother for the film, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’, Raj Kapoor once joyfully called him “a taxi”. The become one of his biggest solo hits.
In 1978, Shashi had 12 films. Thats why he broke his back working in so many Bollywood commercial films just to persue his dream: producing meaningful movies and creating a theatre which his father,Prithviraj always dreamed of.
Shashi kapoor had fulfilled both, his and his father’s dreams.