Star Of The Week - Shammi Kapoor


Name: Shamsher Raj Kapoor
DOB: October 21, 1931
Star: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Occupation: Film actor and director
Also called: Elvis Presley of India


Shammi Kapoor has received the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982, along with many Lifetime Achievement awards.

• To honour Kapoor, his brass statue was unveiled at Walk of the Stars at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai.

Interesting facts:

Shammi Kapoor was a prominent lead actor in Hindi cinema from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. He made his Hindi film debut with Jeevan Jyoti (1953), and went on to deliver hits like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Singapore, Junglee, College Girl, Professor, China Town, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, Andaz and Sachaai.

• He was the second of the three sons born to theatre actor Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, both successful Hindi film actors).

• Though born in Mumbai, Shammi spent a major portion of his childhood in Peshawar, Pakistan in the Kapoor Haveli and in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India where his father was involved with New Theatres Studios.

• Kapoor had a short stint at college 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 INR 50 per month, stayed with Prithvi Theatres for the next four years and collected his last pay check of INR 300, in 1952.

• In his early career, he acted with established actresses, playing second fiddle in woman-oriented movies. Kapoor started out with serious roles but with Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) and Dil Deke Dekho (1959), he attained the image of a light-hearted and stylish playboy.

• With Junglee (1961) his new image was cemented and his subsequent films were all in the romcom genre.

• He made a unique place for himself in the industry as he was the only dancing hero in Hindi films from the late 1950s till the early 1970s. He used to compose dancing steps in the songs starring him and reportedly never needed a choreographer. This earned him the name of Elvis Presley of India.

• In the 1970s, Kapoor’s weight problem started to be an obstacle for him when playing the romantic hero, after which he moved to character roles. Shammi turned into a successful supporting actor in the 1970s, playing Saira Banu's father in Zameer (1974), when he had been her leading man a decade earlier in Junglee (1961) and Bluff Master (1964), and playing Amitabh Bachchan's foster father in Parvarish.

• He directed Manoranjan (1974) and Bundal Baaz (1976). Neither were successful commercially though they got critical acclaim and were hailed as classics and ahead of their time.

Shammi Kapoor made his debut in Tamil cinema with the 1992 blockbuster crime-drama Amaran, around the same time he did some films in other languages as well, including Bengali.

• He eventually cut down on film appearances by the late 1990s and early 2000s. Shammi made his last appearance in Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar starring his grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor.

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 organisations like the Ethical Hackers Association. Kapoor also maintained a website dedicated to the Kapoor family.