Shashi Kapoor – the blue eyed, blue-blooded stunner
Shashi Kapoor turns 75 today. Here’s a look at some of the aspects of this ‘long-runner’ Kapoor.
With Prithviraj Kapoor as his father and Raj and Shammi Kapoor as his elder brothers, Shashi had a lineage he could boast of. But his humble and independent spirit guided him to carve his own course of action in the realm of cinema.
Shashi Kapoor arrived in the Hindi acting scene with ‘Dharmaputra’ (1961) and in an active career spanning three decades, he did a whopping 116 movies including English films such as ‘Householder’ and ‘Shakespeare-Wallah’ which did profoundly well at the box office.
Marriage and kids
Shashi, who was quite a heartthrob in his heydays, lost his heart to English actress Jennifer Kendal when their paths met in Calcutta in 1956 while on a theatre assignment. They instantly hit off very well but had to face opposition from Jennifer’s father, Robert. Shashi’s sister-in-law, Geeta Bali, stepped in to bail out the lovers from the problematic situation and helped in getting the Kapoor and Kendal families on board. Finally, true love triumphed and the couple had two sons (Karan and Kunal) and a daughter (Sanjana), post their marriage. Tragedy struck Shashi’s life when Jennifer passed away due to cancer in the year 1984.
When it came to experimenting with his on-screen looks, Shashi managed to score good points by coming up with different avatars in ‘Junoon’ in which he played an ineffective feudal chieftain. His bow-tie suits and trendy scarves were a hit in the Bollywood fashion circuit in the 60s, 70s and the 80s.
Shashi Kapoor is one fine actor who never fell short of critical acclaims (New Delhi Times in 1985), National Film Award (Best Actor - 1986) and even a Padma Bhushan.
Led by a strong desire to explore other territories when films like ‘Dharmputra’, ‘Prem Patra’ and ‘Char Diwari’ failed to borne the expected fruit for him, Shashi did what no one had done in the history of Hindi cinema then. He was one of the foremost actors to venture into English films in 1963. His acting stint with Pierce Brosnan in ‘The Deceivers’ (1988) is one of the highlights of his illustrious career.
Proving his mettle as a multi-tasker, Shashi began producing films under his banner Film Valas in the year 1978 and thus released films like ‘Junoon’ (1978), ‘Kalyug’ (1981), ‘36 Chowringhee Lane’ (1981), ‘Vijeta’ (1982) and ‘Utsav’ (1984). In 1991, he produced and directed ‘Ajooba’ starring good friend Amitabh Bachchan and nephew Rishi Kapoor which did not fare well.