|Born||Shamsher Raj Kapoor
21 October 1931
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
|Died||14 August 2011
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Other names||Elvis Presley of India|
(m. 1955–1965; her death)
Neela Devi Gohil
(m. 1969–2012; his death)
|Children||Aditya Raj Kapoor
|Relatives||Raj Kapoor (Brother)
Shashi Kapoor (Brother)
Urmila Kapoor (Sister)
See Kapoor Family
Shammi Kapoor (born Shamsher Raj Kapoor; 21 October 1931 – 14 August 2011) was an Indian film actor and director. He was a prominent lead actor in Hindi cinema from the late 1950s until the early 1970s and also make a debut in Tamil cinema via 1992 blockbuster crime drama Amaran. He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982.
Shammi Kapoor is hailed as one of the most entertaining lead actors that Hindi cinema has ever produced. He was one of the leading stars of Hindi cinema during the late 1950s, the 1960s and early '70s. He made his Hindi Film debut in 1953 with the film Jeevan Jyoti, and went on to deliver hits like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Singapore, Junglee, College Girl, Professor, China Town, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, Andaz and Sachaai.
|This section does not cite any sources. (August 2011)|
He was given the name Shamsher Raj Kapoor at his birth in Bombay (now Mumbai) to film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsharni Kapoor (née Mehra). Shammi was the second of the three sons born to Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, both successful Hindi Film actors).
Though born in Mumbai, he spent a major portion of his childhood in Peshewar in the Kapoor Haveli and in Calcutta (now Kolkata), where his father was involved with New Theatres Studios, acting in films. It was in Kolkata that he did his Montessory and Kindergarten. After coming back to Bombay, he first went to St. Joseph's Convent (Wadala) and then, to Don Bosco School. He finished his matric schooling from New Era School at Hughes Road.
Kapoor had a short stint at Ramnarain Ruia College after which he joined his father’s theatrical company Prithvi Theatres. He entered the cinema world in 1948, as a junior artiste, at a salary of Rs. 50 per month, stayed with Prithvi Theatres for the next four years and collected his last pay check of Rs. 300, in 1952. He made his debut in Hindi Films in the year 1953, when the film Jeevan Jyoti was released. It was directed by Mahesh Kaul and Chand Usmani was Kapoor’s first heroine. He was in relationship with Nadia Gamal, belly dancer from Cairo and Egyptian actress, from 1953-55 after they met in Sri Lanka on an occasion while he was on holiday trip, but their relationship ended when she moved back to Cairo.
Kapoor started out with serious roles but with Filmistan's Nasir Hussain directed Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) opposite Ameeta and Dil Deke Dekho (1959) with Asha Parekh, he attained the image of a light-hearted, and stylish playboy.
With Junglee (1961) his new image was cemented and his subsequent films were all in this genre.[clarification needed] Mohammed Rafi was frequently chosen as his playback voice. In his early career in the 1950s, he acted with established heroines playing second fiddle in woman-oriented movies: with Madhubala in films such as Rail Ka Dibba (1953) and Naqab, with Nutan in Laila Majnu, with Shyama in Thokar and with Nalini Jaywant in Hum Sab Chor Hain. From 1953 to 1957, none of his films made him popular, until Tumsa Nahin Dekha. His career's first breakthrough came with Tumsa Nahi Dekha in 1957. In the 1960s, however, he was often paired with new heroines such as Asha Parekh, Saira Banu, and Sharmila Tagore, all of whom had very successful careers. Of all his heroines, he said that Sharmila Tagore, Rajshree, and Asha Parekh were easy to work with.
Sharmila Tagore and Saira Banu made their Hindi film debuts with Shammi Kapoor in Kashmir Ki Kali and Junglee respectively He and Asha Parekh were paired in four films, of which the murder mystery Teesri Manzil (1966) and Dil Deke Dekho were successful.
In the early 1950s Kapoor accepted serious roles in films such as Shama Parwana (1954) with Suraiya, comedy flick Mem Sahib (1956) with Meena Kumari, and thrillers like Chor Bazar (1954), as well as in the tragic love story Mirza Sahiban (1957) opposite Shyama. He gained more widespread popularity with the successful films Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957), Ujala and Dil Dil Deke Deko (both 1959). In the first half of the 1960s, Kapoor was seen in successful films like College Girl, Basant, Singapore, Boy Friend, Professor, Dil Tera Diwana, Vallah Kya Baat Hai, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, China Town, Kashmir Ki Kali, Bluff Master, Janwar and Rajkumar.
In 1968, he received the first Filmfare Best Actor Award of his career for Bramhachari. He made a unique place for himself in the industry as he was the only dancing hero in Hindi films from the late 1950s till the early '70s. He used to compose dancing steps in the songs picturised on him and reportedly never needed a choreographer. This earned him the name of Elvis Presley of India.
His pairing opposite Southern heroines tended to be commercially successful. He played opposite B. Saroja Devi in Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya and Preet Na Jane Reet, with Padmini in Singapore, and opposite Vyjayanthimala in College Girl and Prince. In the late 1960s, his successful films included Budtameez and Sachaai with Sadhana, Latt Saheb with Nutan and Tumse Achha Kaun Hai with Babita.
In the 1970s, Kapoor’s weight problem proved an obstacle when playing the romantic hero, and the last such film he played in was Andaz (1971). He would move to character roles and acted in films like Zameer, Hero, Vidhaata, Hukumat, Batwara, Tahalka, Chamatkar, Namak and Prem Granth. In 1974, he directed Manoranjan and in 1976 Bundal Baaz.
Shammi turned into a successful supporting actor in the 1970s, playing Saira Banu's father in Zameer (1974), when he had been her leading man a decade earlier in Junglee (1961) and Bluff Master (1964) and playing Amitabh Bachchan's foster father in Parvarish. He also directed Manoranjan (1974), a movie inspired from Irma La Douce and in which he played a supporting role and Bundal Baaz (1976) starring Rajesh Khanna. Neither were successful commercially though they got critical acclaim and were hailed as classics and ahead of their time. In the 1980s and 1990s, he continued to play many supporting roles and won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance in Vidhaata (1982). He got the opportunity to do some films in other languages such as Bengali and Tamil in the nineties.
He did a social melodrama serial called Chattan aired on Zee TV for more than a year in the 1990s. He eventually cut down on film appearances by the late 1990s and early 2000s with appearances in the 1999 Salman Khan and Urmila Matondkar starrer Jaanam Samjha Karo, 2002 release Waah! Tera Kya Kehna and the delayed 2006 release Sandwich (his last appearance as a character actor). He made his last appearance in Imtiaz Ali's directorial venture Rockstar co-starring his grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor, the grandson of his brother Raj Kapoor.
Director Shakti Samanta directed Shammi Kapoor in six films — Singapore, China Town, Kashmir Ki Kali, An Evening In Paris, Pagla Kahin Ka and Jaane Anjane (the last two were unsuccessful) — and said in an interview “I found Shammi to be a thoroughly good man. Even in his heydays, he was humble."
Kapoor met Geeta Bali in 1955, during the shooting of the film Rangeen Raaten, where he was the leading actor and she played a cameo. Four months later, they married at Banganga Temples, near Napean Sea Road of Mumbai. They had a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor, on 1 July 1956, at Shirodkar's Hospital, Mumbai, a year after they were married. Five years later, in 1961, they had a daughter, Kanchan. Geeta Bali died from smallpox in 1965. Shammi Kapoor married Neila Devi on January 27, 1969.
Shammi Kapoor was the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI). He had also played a major role in setting up internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association. Kapoor also maintained a website dedicated to the Kapoor family.
Kapoor was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai on 7 August 2011 suffering from chronic renal failure. His condition remained serious for next few days and he was kept on ventilator support. He died on 14 August 2011, 05:15 am IST, of chronic renal failure, aged 79. Funeral was held on Monday, 15 August at Banganga cremation ground, Malabar Hill, Mumbai. His son, Aditya, performed the last rites at the cremation. The entire Kapoor family were present to pay their last respects, including his younger brother Shashi Kapoor, sister-in-law Krishna Kapoor, grand nephew Ranbir Kapoor, nephews Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv, Randhir's wife Babita and grand nieces Karishma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. Bollywood personalities Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Subhash Ghai, Amitabh Bachchan, Ramesh Sippy, Danny Denzongpa, Prem Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Govind Arun Ahuja, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Shahrukh Khan, Kabir Bedi and Priyanka Chopra were among those who attended the funeral.
To honour Kapoor, a brass statue of his was unveiled at Walk of the Stars at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai.
- 1968 – Filmfare Best Actor Award, Brahmachari
- 1982 – Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Vidhata
- 1995 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2005 – Lifetime Achievement Award
- Other Awards
- 1998 – Kalakar Awards – Special Award for "contribution in Indian Cinema"
- 2001 – Anandalok Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
- Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
- 2008 – Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian cinema at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).
- Rashtriya Gaurav Award
Main Article: (Shammi Kapoor filmography)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shammi Kapoor.|
- Shammi Kapoor's Personal Website
- Shammi Kapoor Official Fan Club
- Shammi Kapoor at the Internet Movie Database
- Shammi Kapoor on Twitter
- Shammi Kapoor's Official Video Blog