He was the Kapoor with a difference. While Shashi Kapoor worked in masala Bollywood films like ‘Deewar’ and ‘Suhaag’, he went on to experiment with offbeat films like ‘Kalyug’ and ‘Shakespeare Wallah’.
Shashi was also the Kapoor who established Prithvi Theatre. But his endeavour would not have been successful without the help of his wife – Jennifer Kendal. An English actor, she also appeared in some Indian films like ‘Bombay Talkie’ and ‘Junoon’.
Jennifer was on a theatre tour of English drama ‘Shakespearana’ with his father in Asia when she met Shashi. And during that meeting, both the actors fell in love with each other.
For his love for theatres, Shashi Kapoor joined the ‘Shakespearana’ drama troop when they were in India. He worked in several shows along with Jennifer. It is believed that their love blossomed when Jennifer was playing the character of Miranda in a drama based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.
In 1957, they went to Singapore for a show, and that is believed to be the period when they expressed their love for each other.
Geeta Bali, wife of Shammi Kapoor, was the first member of the Kapoor family to meet Jennifer and had gifted a ‘dupatta’ to her during a show in Ooty.
They finally got married in 1958. While Shashi was 20 at that time, Jennifer was 25-year-old. Later, the couple revived the Prithvi theatre. They had three children – sons Kunal Kapoor and Karan Kapoor and daughter Sanjana Kapoor.
Jennifer was diagnosed with cancer in 1982 and lost the battle to the disease in 1984.