Shashi Kapoor, 'Adonis Of Hindi Cinema', Dies At 79

12/5/2017 2:45:25 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

The “Adonis of Hindi cinema” is dead.

Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor died in Mumbai's Kokilaben Ambani Hospital on December 4. He was 79.

"He had a kidney problem. He was on dialysis for several years," said his nephew, actor Randhir Kapoor.

He is survived by his daughter Sanjana, and sons Kunal and Karan.

His “devastating good looks and urbane charm made generations of women swoon”, recalled The Times of India, calling him “the Adonis of Hindi cinema”.

The son of Mughal-E-Azam star Prithviraj Kapoor, he was the brother of superstars Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor.  

His death marks the end of an era. Now all the matinee idols who reigned before Amitabh Bachchan are gone except Dilip Kumar, 94.

Born in Calcutta, Shashi Kapoor started as a child actor in the 1940s and 50s, appearing in films such as Aag and Awaara, in both of which he played the younger version of his already established brother Raj. His first leading role was in the award-winning 1961 Dharmputra, directed by Yash Chopra, which was one of the first Indian feature films to deal with Partition.

A series of hits in the 1970s, including Jaanwar Aur Insaan (1972), Kabhi Kabhie (1976) and Trishna (1979), saw him become a major star alongside the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, with whom he co-starrred in Kabhi Kabhie as well as Trishul (1978) and Kaala Patthar (1979).

He also starred in several English-language films, such as the Merchant Ivory productions The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970), Heat and Dust (1983) and Side Streets (1998) as well As a Matter of Innocence (1967), Siddhartha (1972), Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), The Deceivers (1988), and In Custody (1994), directed by Ismail Merchant.

He met his wife, Jennifer Kendal, in Calcutta in 1956 when he was acting with his father’s theatre group, Prithvi Theatre, and she was touring with her father Geoffrey Kendal’s theatre company, Shakespeareana. Later, they co-starred in Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust.  Their love for the theatre led them to establish Prithvi Theatre, one of Bombay’s best known theatres, in 1978. Jennifer Kendal died of colon cancer in London in 1984 at the age of 51.

Shashi Kapoor also made his mark as a producer, producing classics such as Junoon, which won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1978, Kalyug (1980), 36 Chowringee Lane (1981) and Utsav (1984).

As news of his death spread, fans took to social media to express their grief and pay tributes. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Shashi Kapoor's versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in theatre, which he promoted with great passion. His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come.”

Amitabh Bachchan, recalling his friendship with Shashi Kapoor, wrote on his blog: “He had been ailing ... somewhere he had let himself go after the passing away of his dear wife Jennifer .. I had visited him on occasion in hospital during some of the times he had been hospitalised earlier .. but I never went to see him again .. I would never have .. I never ever wanted to see this beautiful friend and ‘samdhi’ in the state I saw him in hospital …”


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