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Shashi Kapoor leaves behind a rich cinematic legacy to follow

Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor was 79.

Shashi Kapoor leaves behind a rich cinematic legacy to follow

The legendary superstar Indian cinema ever saw, Shashi Kapoor breathed his last on Monday evening leaving behind an unmatched legacy. The gem of an actor was born as Balbir Raj Kapoor on March 18, 1938, in Calcutta.

Hailing from the first family of Hindi cinema, Shashi was the third and the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. The thespian worked in as many as 148 films and was a recipient of Padma Bhushan (2014) and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in the same year.

Shashi Kapoor happens to be the third member of the Kapoor clan to receive the highest award in Indian cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor for his exceptional contribution to the world of Hindi cinema and art.

The dashing superstar started off his acting career pretty early and as a child actor used to work in his father's plays for Prithvi Theatre. He was married to Anglo-Indian theatre actress Jennifer Kendal and was blessed with three children -- Kunal, Karan and Sanjana Kapoor. Later, Shashi's daughter Sanjana Kapoor took upon herself to keep the Prithvi Theatre going.

Shashi Kapoor made his acting debut in Dharmputra in 1961 and featured in as many as 116 Hindi films, including 61 films as the solo lead hero and 55 multi star-cast films, 21 films as supporting actor and a special appearance in 7 films.

During the golden period of Hindi cinema, Shashi Kapoor became hugely popular for his gorgeous looks and immense acting abilities. Films such as Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain (1965), Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Raja Saab (1969) and Rootha Na Karo (1970) got a great response from the audience.

His on-screen pairing with Nanda was much liked by the fans. Veteran actress Nanda signed as many as 8 Hindi films with Shashi Kapoor. Films such as 'Char Diwari' and 'Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath' got great reviews. Besides Nanda, it was Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman whose on-screen pairing with Shashi Kapoor was appreciated much.

Films such as 'Kabhi Kabhie', 'Trishna', Doosara Aadmi, Bandhan Kuchchey Daghon Ka, Waqt, Aamne Samne, Aa Gale Lag Jaa were some of his memorable ones. Also, the critically acclaimed 1985 'New Delhi Times' fetched him a National Film Award for Best Actor.

Other great films include 'Chori Mera Kaam', 'Deewaangee', 'Roti Kapda Aur Makan', 'Heeralal Pannalal', 'Bhavani Junction', 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram'. With Hema Malini, he featured in as many as 10 films.

In 1978, he set up his production house, Film Valas, which made some critically acclaimed films such as Junoon, Kalyug, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Vijeta and Utsav.

He was one of the first Indian mainstream actors to make his international move. He starred in 'The Deceivers' (1988) and acted opposite the Hollywood biggie Pierce Brosnan. Shashi bagged the Special Jury National Award for Muhafiz (In Custody). He played the Raja in the TV adaptation of Gulliver's Travels in 1996.

In 1998, he featured in 'Jinnah', a biographical film of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in which he was the narrator and another Merchant Ivory production titled Side Streets.

Besides films, he was quite active on the theatre scene. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Filmfare Awards.

The legendary star's death has left a void in Indian cinema which none can fill.