New Delhi: Veteran Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor, known for his trademark dancing style and romantic antics passed away on Sunday morning. The 79-year-old actor was admitted to Breach Candy hospital last week and was on ventilator support. He was suffering from kidney failure. According to the sources the funeral will take place on Monday. In spite of his ailing health, Kapoor was full of life and never let anything deter his happiness.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Sunday, "Shammi Kapoor ji passed away this morning at 5:15 am.. Rushing there now.. the flamboyance and joie de verve of the Industry lost!"
"Shammi ji ... An entire life full of optimism and happy spirit, caring loving to all ... Now suddenly silent," Amitabh Bachchan added.
Born on October 21, 1931, Shammi Kapoor made his debut in 1953 and was hailed as the \'Elvis Presley of India\'.
Colleagues from the industry paid their last respects to the actor at his residence. Actor Aamir Khan was one of the first ones to be seen at the Kapoor residence, followed by actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar and choreographer and filmmaker Farah Khan.
Born on October 21, 1931, Kapoor was one of the leading stars of Hindi cinema during the late 1950s and 1960s. He made his debut in 1953 with the film 'Jeevan Jyoti'.
Kapoor, hailed as the 'Elvis Presley of India', joined the silver screen at a time when his elder brother Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar were the reigning trio. He was a versatile actor and starred in hits like 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha', 'Dil Deke Dekho', 'Junglee', 'Dil Tera Diwana', 'Professor', 'China Town', 'Rajkumar', 'Kashmir Ki Kali' and many more.
With the success of 'Junglee' in 1961, an entire decade reeled under its colourful impact.
A computer buff in later years, he created the "Shammi Kapoor phenomenon" which would be remembered by his fans forever.
Being the son of Prithviraj Kapoor and brother of "showman" Raj Kapoor, carving a niche was not easy for Kapoor. He began his career working with his father at 'Prithvi Theaters' as a junior artiste. His first ever paycheck was Rs. 50 for the month.
Embarking upon his acting career, he had a lot of expectations to live up to. Kapoor was aware that comparisons will be drawn because his brother was already an established superstar and an acclaimed filmmaker. He knew that if he needed to make a mark, he should be as different from his brother as possible.
However, making his debut in 1953, Kapoor's initial film portrayed him as nothing more than a mere shadow of his brother Raj. Films like 'Rail Ka Dibba', 'Chor Bazaar', 'Shama Parvana', 'Hum Sab Chor Hain', 'Memsaheb' and 'Miss Coca Cola' had Kapoor in a completely different get-up, especially his hairdo, his moustache, and even his on-screen antics resembled those of Raj Kapoor to a consider able extent.
It was only in 1957, with Nasir Hussain's 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha', that the actor finally tasted success. He sported a new look sans whiskers on the lines of the contemporary Hollywood greats like Elvis Presley and James Dean - and a star was born.
He often discussed with his friends on how best to present himself, especially when his films bombed at the box office one after another. Bunny Ruben came up with the title rebel star, struggling to make a space against the reigning trio of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar.
'Tumsa Nahin Dekha' was also Nasir Hussain's directorial debut and its success prompted the Nasir-Shammi pair to follow up with several blockbusters.
One of the main highlights of the film was its foot-tapping music and boisterous and easy dancing style of Kapoor - that gained immense popularity and literally became his trademark over the years.
With the film, he broke the stereotype of the Bollywood hero until then, becoming the first actor who would break into a jig if need be.
Incidentally, Kapoor was happily married to well known actress Geeta Bali even before he became a star. And his marriage didn't affect his popularity even a bit. But unfortunately for him, Geeta passed away too soon due to illness. Four years later, he married Neela Devi Gohil who belonged to the Royal family of Gujarat.
In 1959, the Nasir-Shammi combination delivered yet another superhit, 'Dil Deke Dekho' which was also the launch pad for Asha Parekh. Shammi never looked back ever since. He finally hit the big time in 1961 with the all-time classic, one of his most popular films till date, 'Junglee' - directed by Subodh Mukherjee.
The film also attains significance for giving him the image of 'The Yahoo Yuppie'. 'Junglee' regarded as a 'cult classic' was incidentally one of the first romantic films to be made in colour.
Shammi's persona as a fun-loving, boisterous, romantic and rebellious hero worked very well and contributed to the success of many of his movies including 'China Town', 'Dil Tera Deewana' and 'Professor'.
Aware of the kind of hysteria he generated among the youth, most of his films were hero-centric and youth-oriented. Filmmakers would cast new heroine opposite him to add freshness to the film. Some of the prominent ladies who made their debuts against Shammi later went on to become stars like Asha Parekh, Saira Banu and Sharmila Tagore.
The Nasir-Shammi combination struck gold at the box-office with 'Teesri Manzil', one of the unforgettable films in Shammi Kapoor's career. He sashayed his way into young hearts aided by melodiously memorable music composed by RD Burman in the murder mystery directed by Vijay Anand.
It was also one of Shammi's biggest hits. Despite his growing weight, 'An Evening In Paris', 'Brahmachari' and 'Tumse Achha Kaun Hai' did reasonably well.
Shammi was always on the heavier side compared to his brothers, but that never stopped him from dancing and taking centrestage. But after the 1970’s his weight problems became a hindrance in his career path as the charming hero. Salubrious music of these films had as much to contribute to their success. One of Shammi's last films as a hero was Ramesh Sippy's 'Andaz', where he was paired opposite Hema Malini. He then moved to direction. His first directorial film was 'Manoranjan'.
According to news, the great actor was set to act again with Ranbir Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar'.
Despite his successes, critics of that time would dismiss his films as lightweight tales and criticise him for his acting. But, he replied to criticism with sensitive performances in 'Brahmachari' and highly charged 'Teesri Manzil'.
After a luminous career of over 130 films, the actor has left for the heavenly abode leaving us lifelong memories of his illustrious work and a way of life. Kapoor received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for 'Brahmachari'. He also won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for 'Vidhaata' in 1982.
'Andaz', which released in 1971, was his last movie as a leading man but his character roles in 'Vidhata', 'Hero' and 'Prem Rog' were well received.
He made his last appearance as an actor in the 2006 Govinda-starrer 'Sandwich'. He also shot a few scenes alongside Ranbir Kapoor for the to-be-released film 'Rockstar'.
With additional information from PTI
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