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5:54 pm - Thursday July 24, 2014

Shashi Kapoor turns 75

Shashi KapoorVeteran actor-producer Shashi Kapoor, who was often referred as the ‘Robinhood of Bollywood’ and hailed for his handsomeness, turned 75 years on Monday.

Born as Balbir Raj Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor commenced his career in films in the early 1940s. He appeared as a child artiste in ‘Aag’ (1948) and ‘Awaara’ (1951); and in both these films he played the younger version of Raj Kapoor. As a child, he had also appeared in several mythological films and commercial films including ‘Meena’ (1944), ‘Tadbir’, and ‘Bachpan’ (1945) under the name of Shashiraj.

Accompanying his father to Prithvi Theatres, Shashi also acted in many plays directed and produced by the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 with the film ‘Dharmputra’ and went on to appear in 116 Hindi films as main lead protagonist, including 63 films as solo lead hero and 53 multi star-cast films, as well as 22 films as supporting actor and 5 special appearances. Kapoor’s first films in Hindi – ‘Dharmputra’, ‘Prem Patra’, ‘Char Diwari’ were not commercially successful, so he started acting in English-language films in 1963, including the films like ‘Householder’ and ‘Shakespeare-Wallah’ which were more successful.

He was one of India’s first actors to go international. The actor gave some memorable performances in films like ‘Waqt’ (1965), ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’ (1965), ‘Haseena Maan Jayegi’ (1968), ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’ (1973), ‘Roti Kapda Aur Makan’ (1974), ‘Deewaar’ (1975), ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ (1976), ‘Fakira’ (1976) ‘Trishul’ (1978), ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ (1978), ‘Kaala Patthar’ (1979), ‘Suhaag’ (1979), ‘Shaan’ (1980), ‘Kranti’ (1981) and ‘Namak Halaal’ (1982). Shashi Kapoor formed on screen pairs with Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman in the late sixties till the mid eighties.

Kapoor acting opposite to actresses Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee also delivered commercial hits. After their first movie together, Sharmilee, became a blockbuster in 1971, Raakhee was paired frequently with him and they acted in other successful films such as ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ (1976), ‘Baseraa’ (1981), ‘Zameen Aasmaan’ (1984), ‘Pighalta Aasman’ (1985) and the critically acclaimed ‘Trishna’ (1978). Apart from actresses, Kapoor was frequently seen sharing screen space with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan in the 70’s. The actor got married to English actress Jennifer Kendal in 1958, who had been his co-star in most of the Merchant Ivory productions, and is the father of three children-Kunal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor, and Karan Kapoor.

The actor also turned a producer by setting up his production house, Filmvaalas, in the late seventies, and produced hugely acclaimed movies such as ‘Junoon’ (1978), ‘Kalyug’ (1981), ‘36 Chowringhee Lane’ (1981), ‘Vijeta’ (1982) and ‘Utsav’ (1984). He has won a National (special jury) Award for his performance in ‘Muhafiz’ (In Custody) (1994) and received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Annual Filmfare Awards.

Posted in: Entertainment

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