The man who jived and rock-and-rolled into our hearts is no more. Shammi Kapoor, the swashbuckling actor of the 1950s and 1960s, who redefined the image of the traditional hero to become an enduring style legend, died on Sunday, August 14, at the age of 79, after battling illness for years reported IANS.
According to AFP, Kapoor was India’s Elvis Presley, an actor who revitalised Bollywood’s song-and-dance sequences with a modern, racy style.
As one of the Kapoor acting dynasty, which has dominated Indian cinema virtually since its inception, he was perhaps always destined to be famous. But it was his dancing style that transformed Bollywood’s onscreen portrayal of love and romance into something more dynamic.
To look at Kapoor later in life — balding, with a grey beard and an expanded waistline — it was hard to imagine that he was an on screen heartthrob once. Key to his success was his avid interest in music. Kapoor personally selected the songs he would dance and mime to, mindful that they needed to fit his style.
Along with singers like Mohammed Rafi, Kapoor provided some of the industry’s most popular and memorable tunes. In later years, he would lament the lack of catchy songs in modern cinema.
Many suspected that Kapoor’s exuberant film persona masked his deficiencies as an actor, but he defied critics with strong performances in the 1966 murder mystery Teesri Manzil and Brahmachari in 1968.
As the 1970s arrived, Kapoor’s stardom was fading along with his youthful good looks, and a new romantic icon emerged in the shape of Rajesh Khanna. One of Kapoor’s last hits was Andaz in 1971.
His appearances became rarer and in later years his health failed and he was largely confined to a wheelchair.
An avid internet user, Kapoor maintained a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a website (www.junglee.org.in). “I don’t think I am ever going to be making any comeback,” he said in an interview with the Press Trust of India news agency in May 2010. “Wouldn’t that be asking too much from God?”
The legend’s son, Aditya Raj Kapoor described his father as a “happy and lively person” and hoped his fans would pray that his soul rests in peace.
“He was a very happy and lively person. His life was going good. But he was on dialysis and he died of kidney failure,” said Aditya who was at his father’s side when he breathed his last.
Bollywood icons like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor, who is Shammi Kapoor’s grandnephew, paid their homage to the late actor at his Malabar Hill home on Sunday evening.
Mourning his death, other actors, young and old, also expressed sadness over the era that had ended with his death. However, veteran film-maker Mahesh Bhatt urged people to envy the star for his contribution to Bollywood rather than mourn his death. “The effect of his joy will be with Bollywood always, so I request people to envy him and not to mourn him,” Bhatt told CNN-IBN news channel.
Born Shamserraj Kapoor on October 21, 1931, Shammi Kapoor was the son of the Bollywood actor Prithviraj Kapoor and brother of popular screen actors Raj and Shashi.
He first married Geeta Bali in 1955 and had a son and a daughter. Bali died of smallpox in 1965, and three years lae Kapoor married Neela Devi Gohil, an Indian aristocrat.
His cremation was held on Monday morning.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
shammi kapoor was a legend also in the island of trinidad in the west indies his movies will continue to live on for many many generations to come his songs still outdo all the modern music we have his smile will continue to be the best smile any actor could ever have a smile from the heart may his soul find eternal rest and may we always keep his memory in our hearts and always with a smile.
SHAMMI KAPOOR WAS THE BEST ACTOR IN HIS TIME. KAPOOR FAMILY IS THE ORGINAL FAMILY WHO CREATED THE BOLLYWOOD. KAPOOR FAMILY GENERTATION WILL ENTERTAIN US FOR MANY MANY YEARS. ACTING IS IN THEIR BLOOD. SHAMMI KAPOOR'S NAME WILL LIVE FOREVER THROUGH MANY GENERATIONS TO COME. R.I.P .
I loved this actor since my childhood and he was definitely an iconic man. The dance steps and body language he had... I haven't had felt in any actor till date. Many contemporary actors are copying his styles such as Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, and so on... I liked most of his old movies... HATS OFF, SHAMMIJI! :(
i simply love him,i love Shammi ji as he resembles my grandfather,he's my family,his death is really mournful,may his soul rest in peace,and i will love him throughout my life..
He was certainly my favorite from the start going back to the golden music era of 60s. He put life to Rafi's slow sentimental and rock numbers and had the most appealing romantic looks on screen. I never get tired of watching him on his musical videos they are ever green and watching his movies was fun and relaxing, took you away from otherwise a challenging and serious world! Elvis too died in August and being fan of the later as well it brings back similar sadness....
May his soul rest in peace and we will certainly never let the great heroes of our times fade away.
I loved Shammi Kapoor, I've many old vidoes of his one with Nimmi,too numerous to mention,he really was more my parents era,I liked him best with his little moustache,a wonderful actor.
He was a good Human being and as always the kapoor's have a lively personality. He embodied that also
Shammi was my idol when I was growing up and his death hurts. But then such men never die as such, their memories live on and we find solace in just keeping these memories close to our hearts!
Live on, Shammi!