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|Born||Shamsher Raj Prithviraj Kapoor
)21 October 1931
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
|Died||14 August 2011) (aged 79)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Cause of death||Chronic kidney failure|
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Other names||Elvis Presley of India|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
(m. 1955–1965; her death)
Neela Devi Gohil
(m. 1969–2011; until his death)
|Children||Aditya Raj Kapoor Kanchan Desai|
|Parents||Prithviraj Kapoor (Father)
Ramsharani Kapoor (Mother)
|Relatives||Ranbir Kapoor (Grand Nephew)|
|Awards||Filmfare Best Actor Award (1968)
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award (1982)
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (1995)
Phalke Legend Actor Award by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy (2009)
Shammi Kapoor (Hindi: शम्मी कपूर; born Shamsher Raj Prithviraj Kapoor; 21 October 1931 – 14 August 2011) was an Indian film actor and director. He made his film debut in 1953 with the film Jeevan Jyoti, which was a commercial failure. Kapoor acted in a series of flops from 1953 to 1957, finally breaking the chain with the hit Tumsa Nahin Dekha. He received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982. He became one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema in the 1950s and 1960s.
Part of the Kapoor family, he had an older brother, Raj Kapoor and a younger one - Shashi Kapoor. They both became successful actors. He was also the son of Prithviraj Kapoor. Kapoor married twice, first to actress Geeta Bali, which ended with her death from smallpox. His second wife was Neila Devi, whom he married in 1969. Kapoor also had an affair with his Brahmachari co-star, Mumtaz.
Early life 
He was given the name Shamsher Raj Kapoor at his birth in Mumbai to film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsharni Kapoor née Mehra. Shammi was the second of the three sons born to Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor), both successful Bollywood actors. He spent a major portion of his childhood in Kolkata, where his father was involved with New Theatres Studios, acting in films. It was in Kolkata that he did his Montessori and Kindergarten. After coming back to Mumbai, he first went to St. Joseph's Convent (Wadala) and then, to Don Bosco School. He finished his matric schooling from New Era School at Hughes Road.
Kapoor had a short stint at Ruia College, in Matunga, Mumbai, after which he joined his father’s theatrical company Prithvi Theatres. He entered the cinema world in 1948, as a junior artiste, at a salary of Rs. 50 per month, stayed with Prithvi Theatres for the next four years and collected his last pay check of Rs. 300, in 1952. He made his debut in Bollywood in the year 1953, when the film Jeevan Jyoti was released. It was directed by Mahesh Kaul and Chand Usmani was Kapoor’s first heroine.
Film career 
Debut and 1950s 
Kapoor started out with the flop film Jeevan Jyoti, starring opposite Chand Usmani. After that, he acted in a series of 15 films, including Rail Ka Dibba (1953), Laila Majnu (1953), Chor Bazar (1954), Daku (1955), and Rangeen Raatein (1956). All of them failed at the box office. He often played second fiddle to more established heroines, such as Madhubala in Rail Ka Dibba and Naqab, Nutan in Laila Majnu, Shyama in Thokar and with Nalini Jaywant in Hum Sab Chor Hain. His "big break" came in 1957, with Filmistan's Nasir Hussain directed Tumsa Nahin Dekha, opposite Ameeta.
After that, he was paired opposite Asha Parekh in the film Dil Deke Dekho (1959). Both films were romantic and light-hearted, and portrayed him as a playboy who teased his heroines and lipsynced to songs in Mohammed Rafi's voice. They were both big hits and went on to be regarded as classics. Kapoor and Asha Parekh also became a popular screen couple.
1960s and stardom 
In 1961, his first color film, Junglee, was released. It was a big hit, becoming the second-highest grossing film of the year, and cemented his image as a carefree playboy. He portrayed a serious, stiff businessman who never laughs, and falls in love with a village girl. He becomes carefree and jovial, but his mother doesn't approve of the marriage. After that, all his films were in the romance genre and Kapoor played similar roles.
He was often paired with new heroines, and three of them became big stars in their own right - Asha Parekh, Saira Banu, and Sharmila Tagore. Kapoor was paired opposite Saira Banu in Junglee, and opposite Sharmila Tagore in Kashmir Ki Kali.
In the early fifties he accepted serious roles in women oriented films like Shama Parwana (1954) with Suraiya, comedy flick Mem Sahib (1956) with Meena Kumari and thrillers like Chor Bazar (1954), which were all successful at the box office and in the tragic love story Mirza Sahiban with (1957) (a box office flop) opposite Shyama, but did not gain recognition and fame among the masses. Other than the above hits, he had fifteen films as flops to his credit till 1957. The other hits in late fifties included Mujrim (1958), Char Dil Char Rahen, Raat Ke Raahi (1959). His performances in K A Abbas' Char Dil Char Raahein (1959) and Kidar Sharma's Rangeen Raatein (1956) were also noteworthy but remained underfeted. It was only after triple success of Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957), Ujala and Dil Dil Deke Deko (both 1959), that he became popular with the audience and became a star. In the first half of the 1960s, Kapoor was seen in successful films like College Girl, Basant, Singapore, Boy Friend, Professor, Dil Tera Diwana, Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 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. He made a unique place for himself in the industry as he was the only dancing hero in Hindi films from the late fifties till early seventies. Saira Banu said in an interview "At the time when Dilip sahab, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled the industry, it was Shammi Kapoor who created a niche for himself with his unique dance moves. He used to say he didn't know how to dance but he would just listen to the music and feel it. He was the only 'dancing hero' at that time. Shammi Kapoor throughout the majority of his films specifically had India's best male playback singer Mohammed Rafi sing his songs for him. Shammi came on record by stating that "Without Rafi Saab I was incomplete". Such was the partnership that the hit numbers were a combination of Rafi's singing and the inimitable acting/dance style of Shammi that made them so memorable." He used to compose dancing steps by himself in the songs picturised on him and never needed a choreographer. This earned him the name of Elvis Presley of India.
His pairing opposite Southern heroines were always a success at the box office. He delivered hits opposite with Padmini gave Singapore (1960 film)B. Saroja Devi like Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya and Preet Na Jane Reet, , opposite Vyjayanthimala had hits like College Girl and Prince (1969 film). In the sixties his successful run continued until new romantic icon Rajesh Khanna entered the scene in 1969. However Shammi did have commercial successes in late sixties, like Budtameez and Sachaai with Sadhana, Latt Saheb with Nutan and Tumse Achha Kaun Hai with Babita.
In the 1970s, Kapoor’s weight problem proved an obstacle in his path of success and ended his career as a romantic hero as his films started failing. His last hit film, in which he played the lead role, was Andaz (1971). As his career as hero ended, Shammi started playing character roles in films from 1974. Shammi played Saira Banu's father in Zameer (1974), when he had been her leading man a decade earlier in Junglee (1961) and Bluff Master (1964).In 1974, he donned the hat of a director and made Manoranjan in 1974 and Bundal Baaz (1976). However, both the films failed to create magic at the box office though were critically acclaimed and have developed a cult fan following over the years. His directorial venture Manoranjan (1974), a movie inspired from Irma La Douce, had Sanjeev Kumar in lead role and Shammi played a supporting role himself. In Bundal Baaz (1976) he cast Rajesh Khanna in the main lead and Shammi played the role of a genie in the film. Critics hailed these 2 films as classics and to be ahead of its time. In the 1980s and 1990s, he continued to play supporting roles in many films and won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance in Vidhaata (1982). His notable roles as a character actor were in Hero, Vidhaata, Hukumat, Batwara, Tahalka, Chamatkar, Namak and Prem Granth. He got the opportunity to do some films in other languages such as Bengali and Tamil in the nineties. He did a social melodrama serial called Chattan aired on Zee TV for more than a year in the 1990s. He eventually cut down on film appearances by the late 1990s and early 2000s and made his appearances in the 1999 Salman Khan and Urmila Matondkar starrer Jaanam Samjha Karo, 2002 release Waah! Tera Kya Kehna and the delayed 2006 release Sandwich. He made his last appearance in Imtiaz Ali's directorial venture Rockstar co-starring his grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor, the grandson of his brother Raj Kapoor.
Film director Shakti Samanta directed Shammi Kapoor in six hit films like Singapore, Pagla Kahin Ka, China Town, Kashmir Ki Kali, An Evening In Paris and Jaane Anjane and quoted in an interview “I found Shammi to be a thoroughly good man. Even in his heydays, he was humble."
Personal life 
In 1953, Shammi Kapoor dated Nadia Gamal, a belly dancer from Cairo. Shammi quoted in an interview that "We met in Ceylon and we were in love. Somehow things did not work out and she went back to Cairo." Kapoor met Geeta Bali in 1955, during the shooting of the film Rangeen Raaten, where he was the leading actor and she played a cameo. Geeta Bali was a well established actress and a popular star at this point of time and Shammi had not tasted any success. They fell in love during the outdoor stints of the movie at Ranikhet, an ancient Army based hill-station in the Kumaon region, but since she was a year older to him and had acted with his elder brother in Bawren Nain and his father in Anand Math, they were skeptical. Four months after they first met, they married at Banganga Temples, near Napean Sea Road of Mumbai with Hari Walia as the sole witness. They informed their parents only after their marriage. Geeta Bali also did cameo in Shammi starrer Mujrim (1958). They were paired together in Miss Coca Cola, a box office dud and Coffee House. After their marriage Geeta Bali acted in 14 films and retired from the film industry. Geeta Bali's last film as a lead was Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai opposite Pradeep Kumar, in which Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor made special appearances.
Shammi and Geeta lived a life of bliss in the coming years. They had a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor, on 1 July 1956, at Shirodkar's Hospital, Mumbai, a year after they were married. Five years later, in 1961, they had a daughter, Kanchan.
Tragedy struck in 1965, during the filming of Teesri Manzil. Geeta died of small pox, leaving Shammi with two small children.
In 1969, he married Neela Devi Gohil from the former royal family of Bhavnagar in Gujarat. He was gaining weight rather significantly now and this ended his career as a romantic hero in the early 1970s. Andaz (1971) was one of his last hits.
Shammi Kapoor was the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI). He had also played a major role in setting up internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association. Kapoor also maintained a website dedicated to the Kapoor family.
In 2006, he told interviewers that he underwent dialysis three times a week. Irrepressible even then, this punishing regimen has failed to depress him. Rather, he said that he was thankful to God for giving him so much.
He died of renal failure around 5:15am on 14 August 2011 at Mumbai's Breach Candy hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for chest infection.
Kapoor was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai on 7 August 2011 suffering from chronic renal failure. His condition remained serious for next few days and he was kept on ventilator support. He died on 14 August 2011, 05:15 am IST, of chronic renal failure, aged 79. Funeral was held on Monday, 15 August at Banganga cremation ground, Malabar Hill, Mumbai. Aditya Raj Kapoor, the actor's son, performed the last rites at the cremation. The entire Kapoor family were present to pay their last respects, including his younger brother Shashi Kapoor, sister in law Krishna Kapoor, great nephew Ranbir Kapoor, nephews Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv, Randhir's wife Babita and great nieces Karishma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. Bollywood personalities Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Subhash Ghai, Amitabh Bachchan, Ramesh Sippy, Danny Denzongpa, Prem Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Govinda, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Kabir Bedi and Priyanka Chopra were among those who attended the funeral.
Awards, nominations and other recognition 
- 1962 – Filmfare Nomination as Best Actor, Professor
- 1968 – Filmfare Best Actor Award, Brahmachari
- 1982 – Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Vidhaata
- 1995 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1998 – Kalakar Awards – Special Award for "contribution in Indian Cinema"
- 1999 – Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
- 2001 – Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2001 – Anandalok Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2002 – Invaluable Contribution To Indian Cinema at the IIFA.
- 2005 – Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bollywood Movie Awards
- 2008 – Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian cinema at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).
- 2009 – Phalke Legend Actor Award by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy 
- Recipient of the prestigious Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Indian entertainment industry.
- Rashtriya Gaurav Award
Further reading 
- The Kapoors: the first family of Indian cinema, by Madhu Jain. Penguin, Viking, 2005. ISBN 0-670-05837-8 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor passes away, CNN-IBN, 14 August 2011, retrieved 14 August 2011
- "Shammi Kapoor, India’s Elvis, dies". Indian Express. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Shammi Kapoor - Biography
- "Shammi Kapoor". Junglee.org.in. 1998-10-30. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Ahmed, Ishtiaq (Tuesday, 7 November 2006). "Prithviraj Kapoor: A centenary tribute – Daily Times". Stockholm University. Daily Times. p. 1. Archived from the original on 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Best Actor (Popular)- The 51st Filmfare Awards, retrieved December 7, 2012
- The Winners - 1982, retrieved December 7, 2012
- Shammi Kapoor's life in pics, August 14, 2011, retrieved December 8, 2012
- Ashar, Urvashi (August 14, 2011), 10 Quick Facts about Shammi Kapoor, retrieved December 7, 2012
- Shammi Kapoor's life in pics, August 14, 2011, retrieved December 8, 2012
- Shammi Kapoor's life in pics, August 14, 2011, retrieved December 8, 2012
- Box Office India. "Top Earners 1961". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved July 10, 2008.
- Shammi Kapoorl: Lionheart. Screenindia.com. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- Shammi Kapoor's leading ladies will miss the star. Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- K Jha, Subhash (August 14, 2011), Shammi Kapoor's coterie of debutantes, retrieved January 15, 2013
- India's beloved Junglee no more. Times Of India. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- "Shammiji had his own way of encouraging people: Saira Banu - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Ansari, Shabana (14 August 2011). "Rebel star Shammi Kapoor screams a final Yahoo!". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Indian Actors : Shammi Kapoor. 10ka20.com (21 October 1931). Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- Reinventing itself. Screenindia (12 December 2008). Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- He was breathtakingly handsome, Entertainment – Bollywood. Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- Nadia with Mr. Shami Kapoor in 1953. Nadiagamal.multiply.com (22 January 2008). Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- "Shammi Kapoor". Junglee.org.in. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor dead at 79". 14 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- Shammi Kapoor's condition continues to be serious, Mid Day, 14 August 2011, retrieved 14 August 2011
- "Veteran film actor Shammi Kapoor passes away", The Times of India, 14 August 2011, retrieved 14 August 2011
- "Legendary actor Shammi Kapoor passes away", The Times of India, 14 August 2011, retrieved 14 August 2011
- "Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor cremated". BBC. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Legendary actor Shammi Kapoor cremated". Hindustan Times. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "The Nominations – 1962". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "The Winners – 1968". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Winners – 1982". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Lifetime Achievement (Popular)". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Kalakar Awards
- Awards – Past Awards – 2000 – Winners. IIFA. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- Bollywood Fashion Awards | Bollywood Music Awards. Bollywood Awards. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- Shammi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore honoured at Pune International Film Fest. Hindustan Times (11 January 2008). Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- FICCI-Frames award for Kamal Haasan
- "Environmentalist Ajay Jain awarded "Rashtriya Gaurav Award 2010"". i-Newswire. Retrieved 15 December 2010.