Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor is dead
Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor, a veteran of the Hindi cinema in
the 1950s and 60s, died here Sunday morning, family sources said.
He was 79.
A member of the famed Kapoor family, the actor
Mumbai: He could "yahoo" like a "junglee" with
roguish aplomb, make girls swoon with his wild dancing and
romancing, and not many may know that the much loved Shammi Kapoor
was also one Bollywood's first internet aficionados.
The leading star of Hindi cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s
breathed his last Sunday at the age of 79, ending an era of great
style, music and acting.
Born Oct 21, 1931 as Shamsher Raj Kapoor, Shammi was the second
son of legendary film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor and
Ramsarni "Rama" Mehra. The other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi
Kapoor, both of whom were, like their father, successful Bollywood
Though born in Mumbai, Shammi spent a major portion of his
childhood in Kolkata, where his father was involved with New
Theatres Studios. After coming back to Mumbai, he first went to
St. Joseph's Convent (Wadala) and then to Don Bosco School.
Shammi, who debuted in Bollywood in 1953 with the film "Jeevan
Jyoti", attained the onscreen image of a lighthearted, stylish
playboy with Nasir Hussain directed "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" (1957)
opposite Ameeta and "Dil Deke Dekho" (1959) with Asha Parekh.
Though he was not conventionally good looking in terms of
Bollywood, but tall, lively, fair complexioned, green-eyed Shammi
became a heartthrob.
His career saw a high with the success of "Junglee" (1961) and it
cemented his image as a dancing star and his subsequent films were
all in this genre. In fact the song "Yahoo" in the film was a cult
hit. He teamed up with Asha Parekh in four films and the most
successful being the murder mystery "Teesri Manzil" (1966).
In the first half of the 1960s, Shammi was seen in successful
films like "Professor", "Char Dil Char Rahen", "Raat Ke Raahi", "Dil
Tera Diwana", "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya", "China Town", "Kashmir Ki
Kali", "Bluff Master", "Janwar" and "Rajkumar". Although nominated
before, in 1968, he received the first Filmfare Best Actor award
of his career for the film "Bramhachari".
In the 1970s, Shammi's weight problem proved an obstacle in his
path of success and ended his career as a romantic hero. One of
his last hits, in which he played the lead role, was "Andaz"
(1971) with Hema Malini.
With time, he moved to charachter roles and acted in films like "Zameer",
"Hero" and "Vidhaata". In 1974, he donned the hat of a director
and made "Manoranjan" and two years later, he made "Bandalbaaz"
(1976). However, both the films failed to create magic at the box
He also played a vital role in his brother Raj Kapoor's 1982
directorial venture "Prem Rog", which starred his nephew Rishi
His last appearance, as a character actor, was in the delayed 2006
film, "Sandwich". Recently he decided to act with Ranbir Kapoor,
the nephew of his brother Raj Kapoor, in Imtiaz Ali's next movie,
As far as his personal life is concerned, Shammi was married to
actress Geeta Bali and they had a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor and
daughter, Kanchan. However, in 1965, Geeta died of small pox,
leaving Shammi with two small children.
In 1969, he married his second wife Neela Devi Gohil from the
Royal Family of Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
Shammi was one of the first actors to adapt the internet boom in
the country - he's the founder and chairman of Internet Users
Community of India (IUCI) and also played a major role in setting
up internet organisations like the Ethical Hackers Association.
The actor, who was on dialysis for a couple of years, was admitted
to Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital a week ago. He was on ventilator
support and died there Sunday.