Star Of The Week - Shashi Kapoor


Name: Balbir Raj Kapoor
DOB: March 18, 1938
Star: Pisces
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Occupation: Film actor, director and producer
Regarded as: One of the finest actor’s in India.


• In 2011, Shashi Kapoor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contributions to Art-Cinema. In 2015, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, making him the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema, after his father and brother Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor, respectively.

• He was honoured by Walk of the Stars, as his hand print was preserved for posterity at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai in November 2013.

• Shashi has received three national awards and four Filmfare awards amongst others.

• A Shashi Kapoor Film Festival was held in Muscat, Oman in 2007.

Interesting facts:

• Shashi Kapoor is a member of the Kapoor family, a film dynasty in India's cinema, and is the third and the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, widower of actress Jennifer Kendal (sister of actress Felicity Kendal) and father to Karan, Kunal and Sanjana Kapoor.

• Shashi Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in 116 Hindi films, including 61 films as the solo lead hero and 55 multi star-cast films, 21 films as supporting actor and seven films in a special appearance. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 60s, 70s and until the mid 80s. He has also acted in numerous English and American films, making him one of India's first actors to go international. 

• Shashi acted in plays directed and produced by his father Prithviraj Kapoor, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940s, using the name ‘Shashiraj’, as there was another actor at the time by his real name.

• As a child star, his best known performances were in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), where he played the younger version of the characters played by his older brother Raj Kapoor, and in Sangram (1950), where he played younger version of Ashok Kumar.

• Shashi Kapoor formed popular on-screen pairs with Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman. He also acted opposite actresses Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee in many films. He appeared in 10 films opposite Hema Malini.

• From the 1970s to early 1980s, the actor starred alongside Pran in nine films and made a popular pairing with Amitabh Bachchan, co-starring with him in 12 films. Shashi Kapoor was regularly cast with Sanjeev Kumar also.

• He was also known internationally for starring in British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory productions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, working with his wife and sister-in-law in a couple of them.

• In 1978, Shashi set up his production house, Film Valas, which produced quite a few critically acclaimed films.

• He regarded Nanda, Pran, Dharmendra, Dev Anand, Ismail Merchant, Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar as his closest friends from the industry since the beginning of his career and maintained cordial relations with Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and most of his co-stars.

• He accepted very few roles as a character actor in films since 1987. He acted with Pierce Brosnan in The Deceivers (1988) and played the Rajah in the TV adaptation of Gulliver's Travels (1996). One of his last two projects was the film Jinnah (1998), a biographical film of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in which he was the narrator. Shashi retired from the film industry in the late 1990s.