Shashi Kapoor, the embodiment of romance and charm who wooed the top leading ladies of the ’70s and ’80s on the silver screen and captivated millions of fans, died on Monday. He was 79. The actor-producer took his last breath at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here. “Yes, he has passed away. He had a kidney problem and was on dialysis for several years,” his nephew Randhir Kapoor, the son of the late Raj Kapoor, told PTI. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi condoled the death of the popular actor. “Sorry to hear of the demise of Shashi Kapoor, well-known actor, with a repertoire of Indian and international films. His support for meaningful cinema as a producer and pivotal role in the theatre movement in India too are cherished. Condolences to his family,” said Kovind in a message on Twitter. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Kapoor will be remembered for the memorable roles he played in a number of films. “Saddened by the passing away of veteran actor Shashi Kapoor. He will always be remembered for the memorable roles he played in a number of films. May his soul rest in peace,” Naidu tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi said he was saddened by the news and recalled Kapoor’s contribution to cinema and theatre. “Shashi Kapoor’s versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in theatre, which he promoted with great passion. His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers,” Modi tweeted.
Randhir Kapoor said the funeral would be held in the morning tomorrow. “Shashi Kapoor expired at 5:20 pm on December 4 at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai,” Dr Ram Narain from the hospital told PTI.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a statement said Kapoor was a brilliant actor who “successfully contributed in paving the way for alternative path breaking cinema nationally and internationally”. “He will be fondly remembered by all and has left a void difficult to fill in the world of cinema,” she said.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “A legend has passed away. Shashi Kapoor will remain in our hearts forever. My condolences to his loved ones and all his fans.” Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani said Kapoor’s death was “the end of an era”. “Saddened by the demise of legendary actor Shashi Kapoor ji. His contribution to Indian cinema is monumental. Shashi ji’s passing away marks the end of an era. My deepest condolences to his loved ones, colleagues and fans. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti!” Irani tweeted.
Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the “legend will live on in our hearts as the ‘Shaan’ & ‘Vijeta’ of a golden age of the Indian film industry”. “#ShashiKapoor, with his unforgettable smile, is no more in person with us. Our prayers and condolences are with his family,” he wrote on Twitter. Director Shyam Bengal described him as “god’s good man” and a beautiful human-being. “He was god’s good man and a beautiful human-being beyond anything else,” Benegal, who worked with the late actor in “Kalyug” and “Junoon”, told PTI.
Born on March 18, 1938, to the illustrious and formidable theatre and film actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor hit the spotlight at the age of four, acting in plays directed and produced by his father. He started acting in films as a child artiste in the late ’40s.
His best known performances as a child actor were in “Aag” (1948) and “Awaara” (1951), where he played the younger version of the character played by Raj Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor also worked as assistant director in the ’50s. He made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film “Dharmputra” and went on to appear in more than 116 films during the ’70s and until the mid ’80s.
Among his memorable films were “Deewar”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Namak Halal” and “Kaala Pathar”. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and received cinema’s prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2015.