Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor passed away today at the age of 79 after suffering from prolonged illness. The legendary Bollywood legend was reportedly admitted to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai on Sunday night, for chest infection. The news of his demise was confirmed by his nephew and actor Randhir Kapoor. Apart from several hits, the late actor was remembered for his most iconic dialogue in Bollywood epic Deewar: ‘Mere Paas Maa Hai’.
Shashi Kapoor appeared in around 160 movies including 12 in English and 148 in Hindi. In around 61 films, Kapoor appeared as the solo lead and also in 53 multi-starrers, according to IMDB. He also played in supporting role in 21 Hindi films in 4 films as a child artist. Youngest son of Bolywood legend Prithviraj Kapoor and his wife Ramsarni “Rama” Mehra Kapoor, Shashi had grown up travelling across the country with his father as a part of acting trope of ‘Prithvi Theatres between 1940-59. He had started appearing on stage from the age of four, while starting to work in Bollywood films in early 1940s. Between 1948-53, Kapoor appeared in 4 films as child artist. At the age of 18 in 1956, Kapoor had become both actor and assistant stage manager for “Prithvi Theatre.”
Shashi had made his debut as lead actor in Yash Chopra’s Dharmputra (1961). Most of the films in which he played as solo lead between 1961-64 were flops at box office flops. However, from 1965 onwards, many of his films were hit.
Shahsi was one of the first Indian stars who worked in international films – British and American films. Shashi had also directed directed the Soviet Union co-production Ajooba (1991) which turned out to be a disaster. In 1963, two of Shashi’s English films were commercially successful.
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Some of the iconic actresses who played lead female opposite him included Rakhee, Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman. As solo lead, most of his films were flops between 1968-1975 but between 1976-85, he started achieving success in multi starrer films. Interestingly, Shashi was paid more than co-actors Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Rishi and Randhir Kapoor in multi-starrer films. However, Sanjeev Kumar, Pran and Dharmendra were paid at same rate as Shashi. Among all leading actors, only Rajesh Khanna was paid more than Shashi in the 2 films they acted together – Prem Kahani and Alag Alag.
Shashi worked with Amitabh Bachchan in 11 films including superhits Deewar, Trishul, Suhaag, Namak Halal were successful. Their other film Kala Pathar was average hit and rest six films flopped. Out the 61 films in which Shashi acted, 35 were super-hits. He also gave 33 were super-hit multi-starrer films.
Shashi had won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Deewaar (1975); two Filmfare Best Movie Awards as producer and star of Junoon (1979) and Kalyug (1981).
Shashi and his wife Jennifer had three children: Kunal Kapoor, Karan Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. Jennifer died of cancer in 1984.