|Born||Balbir Raj Prithviraj Kapoor
18 March 1938 
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
Shasha (used by his brother, Shammi Kapoor)
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Producer|
|Years active||1941–1999 (retired)|
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Kendal (1958–1984; her death)|
Shashi Kapoor, (Hindi: शशि कपूर; born Balbir Raj Prithviraj Kapoor on 18 March 1938) in Calcutta (now Kolkata), is an 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 large number of Hindi films as well as in a few English-language films. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
- 1 Career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Health
- 4 Awards
- 5 Honours and recognitions
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Works
- 8 Further reading
- 9 References
- 10 External links
From the age of four, Shashi Kapoor had been acting in plays directed and produced by his father Prithviraj Kapoor, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940s, appearing in commercial films including Sangram (1950), Dana Paani (1953) under the name of Shashiraj as there was another actor by the same name who used to act in mythological films as child artiste. 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 and in Sangram (1950), where he played younger version of Ashok Kumar. He worked in 4 Hindi films as a child artist from 1948–54.
Early career (1960s)
Kapoor 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.
Sashi Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in 116 Hindi films, including 61 films as the solo lead hero and 55 multi star-cast films, 21 films as supporting actor and special appearance in 7 films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 60s, 70s and until the mid 80s. Kapoor's early films, Dharmputra, Prem Patra, and Char Diwari, were in Hindi. He started acting in English language films in 1963, in films including The Householder and Shakespeare-Wallah. 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, as she believed that he could deliver good performances. Their first two films as a pair were the critically acclaimed romantic film Char Diwari (1961) and Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath (1962). In the 1960s 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). Besides for his brother Shammi Kapoor, music directors Shankar Jaikishan, Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal and R D Burman essentially used Mohammad Rafi's voice for Shashi Kapoor and produced many memorable and superhit songs. In an interview in the 1990s, 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.
(1970s & '80s)
Shashi Kapoor formed on screen pairs with Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman from the late sixties to the mid eighties. He also acted opposite actresses Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee in many films. After their first movie together Sharmelee, became a blockbuster, Raakhee was frequently paired with him, and they acted in films such as Jaanwar Aur Insaan(1972), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Baseraa (1981), Pighalta Aasman (1985), the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978), Doosara Aadmi (1977), Bandhan Kuchchey Daghon Ka, Bandh Honth (1984), and Zameen Aasman. He starred with Sharmila Tagore in Waqt (1965), Aamne Samne (1967), Suhana Safar (1970), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973), Paap Aur Punya (1974), Swati (1986), 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). With Zeenat Aman, he worked in films like Chori Mera Kaam (1975), Deewaangee (1976), Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Heeralal Pannalal (1978), Pakhandi (1984), Bhavani Junction (1985), Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Krodhi (1981), Vakil Babu (1982), and Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983). He did 10 films opposite Hema Malini.
Kapoor's other 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, Abhinetri (1970), Aap Beati (1976), Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981), 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 films include multi-starrers like Dil Ne Pukara (1967), Trishul (1978), Neeyat (1980), Aandhi Toofan (1985), Naina (1973), Phaansi (1978), Salaakhen(1975), Fakira (1976), and Junoon (1978). He also worked with Rajesh Khanna in Prem Kahani.
From the 1970s to early 1980s, Kapoor starred alongside Pran in 9 films which include Biradari, Chori Mera Kaam, Phaansi, Shankar Dada, Chakkar Pe Chakkar, Rahu Ketu and Maan Gaye Ustaad. He made a popular pairing with Amitabh Bachchan and the two co-starred in a total of 12 films: Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), Deewaar (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Immaan Dharam (1977), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Suhaag (1979), Do Aur Do Paanch (1980), Shaan (1980), Silsila (1981), Namak Halaal (1982), and Akayla (1991). Shashi Kapoor was regularly cast with Sanjeev Kumar also in films like Mukti (1977), Trishul, Muqaddar (1978), Swayamvar(1980), Sawaal (1982), and Pakhandi (1984). Shashi Kapoor, being a senior, more popular and considered the better actor, was paid more than his male co-stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Jeetendra, Randhir Kapoor, and Rishi Kapoor. However, Pran, Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar were paid more than Kapoor for the films they co-starred in. Although in his forties during the late 70s, Kapoor was slim and had charming looks. Hence, 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 death 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), and Sindoor (1987). From 1986 onwards, he became very fat and his body was the opposite of his slim and fit image from the early 60s till mid-80s.
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 (also called "A Matter Of Innocence" (1967)) opposite Hayley Mills, Siddhartha (1972), Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), and Muhafiz (1994). James Ivory directed Kapoor in the first Merchant Ivory production The Householder, then in Shakespeare-Wallah, Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust while Ismail Merchant directed him in Muhafiz (1994). He was the first Indian actor to work extensively in Hollywood films and British films.
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.
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 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. He met English actress Jennifer Kendal in Calcutta in 1956 while both were working for their respective theatre groups. Kapoor was both assistant stage manager as well as actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi. Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespearana group was also present at the same time in Calcutta and Jennifer was Geoffrey’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 in July 1958. They acted in a number of films together, most notably in Merchant Ivory productions. They had three children: Kunal Kapoor, Karan Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. Jennifer and Shashi established Prithvi theatre on 5 November 1978 in Mumbai. Jennifer 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 Hindi film actors but their European looks and accented Hindi prevented them from having a successful career. His elder son Kunal is married to director Ramesh Sippy's daughter and Sanjana is married to wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar. Kunal moved on to ad film direction and established his production house Adfilm-Valas which is today extremely successful. Karan became successful in modelling and later settled down in London. He is an accomplished photographer.
National Film Awards
- 1994 – National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) for Muhafiz (1993)
- 1986 – National Film Award for Best Actor for New Delhi Times
- 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
1983 Namak Halaal – Raja Singh
1977 Kabhi Kabhie – Vijay Khanna
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards
- BFJA Award for Best Actor
1988 New Delhi Times – Vikas Pande
1965 Jab Jab Phool Khile – Raja
Honours and recognitions
He was honoured by Walk of the Stars as his hand print was preserved for posterity at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai in November 2013.
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
|1981||36 Chowringhee Lane|
|1958||Post Box 999|
|1988||Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora||Russian Film|
- Shashi Kapoor presents the Prithviwallahs, by Shashi Kapoor, Deepa Gahlot, Prithvi Theatre (Mumbai, India). Roli Books, 2004. ISBN 81-7436-348-3.
- The Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema, by Madhu Jain. Penguin, Viking, 2005. ISBN 0-670-05837-8.
- "Shashi Kapoor Biography – Bollywood Actor". Retrieved 28 July 2012.[dead link]
- "Biography for Shashi Kapoor".
- "Brajesh Mishra, Azim Premji, Montek in list of 128 Padma awardees". The Times Of India (India).
- Retiring Room: Shashi Kapoor – 5
- Biography[dead link]
- "A quiet half century". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 16 July 2011.
- [Sharmila Tagore and Shashi Kapoor – Their Movies Together][full citation needed]
- Retiring Room: Shashi Kapoor – 9
- SHASHI KAPOOR: Film / Movie Information
- Indian Actors: Shashi Kapoor
- Shashi: Badhiya Insaan Tha
- Retiring Room: Shashi Kapoor – 7
- "James Bond wishes Shashi Kapoor". The Times Of India. 17 March 2011.
- rediff.com, Movies: Profiling Shashi Kapoor: the icon of suave
- Shashi Kapoor-2
- "Sanjana Kapoor – The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- [Kunal Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor – Their Personal Relationship][full citation needed]
- "Shashi Kapoor undergoes catract surgery". The Times Of India. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- "69th & 70th Annual Hero Honda BFJA Awards 2007". Bfjaawards.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "69th & 70th Annual Hero Honda BFJA Awards 2007". Bfjaawards.com. Retrieved 12 July 2010.[dead link]
- "2011 Mohammed Rafi Awards". The Indian Express. India.
- "Hema Malini, Shashi Kapoor honored". Ibosnetwork.com. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- "Lifetime Achievement award at Mumbai Film Festival". Bollywood Hungama. 29 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Shashi Kapoor to be feted at MAMI". The Times of India (India). 28 August 2009.