With a National Award in New Delhi Times Shashi Kapoor tight lipped his critics Though Shashi Kapoor won awards as producer for making exceptionally different films like Junoon, Kalyug, 36 Chowringhee Lane but alas as an actor he was never given an award despite good performances in movies like Jab Jab Phool Khile, Kabhi Kabhi etc. The only award that he won was for Deewaar but Filmfare gave him the award not as Best actor but as Best Supporting Actor hence he had turned it down! However he finally won the Best Actor National Award for his offbeat performance in the New Delhi Times (1986). Readers would be surprised to know when filmmaker Ramesh Sharma approached Shashi Kapoor and narrated the subject, Kapoor was so excited that he did the film for paltry sum of just Rs 1 lakh ( when his actual market rate was 50 lakh). In an interview Shashi Kapoor said, “In my entire career in Bollywood I was never offered such a power packed role hence I did not think twice about the film director being debut or the film’s minuscule budget. I was just bowled over by the character of Vikas Pande, a newspaper Editor and how he exposes the bloody nexus of politicians and media barons. The movie was a surprise hit and the biggest surprise it had was for Shashi Kapoor because till now the film critics who had always made fun of his histrionics were praising him to sky. In addition the National Award for Best Actor in the film was an icing on the cake!!
Shashi Kapoor began as child artist under the pseudonym Shashiraj Since Shashi Kapoor’s father Prithviraj Kapoor kept travelling around all over India with his Prithvi Theatres hence young Shashi Kapoor could not study in one school. Further from the young age of 4 he began acing child role in Papa’s Prithvi Theatre. Being chubby and good-looking he was soon spotted by advertising world and he did many commercial advertisements. His first tryst with films was in the late 40’s playing the younger version of superstar Ashok Kumar in the hit film Sangram (1950). Further he did many films as younger version of Raj Kapoor in films like Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951). He rechristened himself as Shashiraj, The addition of ‘Raj’ was intentional because Raj Kapoor was a huge star hence young Shashi wanted to put weight by showing that he is younger brother of superstar Raj Kapoor! Young Shashi Kapoors warm relation with elder brother Raj Kapoor Raj Kapoor was 14 years older than Shashi Kapoor. Hence Shashi Kapoor always revered him not as his brother but as a father. Recalling his early days with Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor in an interview said, “Being the youngest in the film I was quite naughty and since papaji (father) would be travelling out I would get punishment for my mischievous antics from Raj Bhai.” Recalling an anecdote Shashi Kapoor said, “But even in those punishments I found tinge of love. I remember once I insisted on eating Chinese food in a hotel. Mother was out and Raj Bhai was busy writing film script. When I created a scene he got angry and thrashed me a lot. Later when he found me sitting in a corner wiping he hugged me and took me to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch.”
Shashi Kapoor’s unusual romance with British actress Jennifer Kendal Shashi Kapoor’s romance with British actress Jennifer Kendal was unusual because Shashi Kapoor was not much conversant in English and was also shy in nature but when he met Jennifer Kendal in Calcutta in 1956 during a stage show both developed a liking for each other. They had to face stiff resistance from both Geoffrey Kendal (father of Jennifer Kendal) and Kapoor Khandaan as they were not ready to accept a British Bahu but thanks to elder brother Shammi Kapoor and sister-in-law Geeta Bali, they got married in July 1958. They acted in a number of films together, most notably in Merchant Ivory productions like Shakespeare Wallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970), Heat and Dust (1983) etc. The two had a wonderful married life. Shashi Kapoor’s only regret in life is that his wife passed away soon in 1984. Her death shattered Kapoor and the typically fit and trim Shashi Kapoor gained weight after his wife expired.
Shashi Kapoor started as Assistant Director Shashi Kapoor started his career in films as assistant director in his brother Raj Kapoor’s films Dulhan Dulhan and Shriman Satyawadi. Later he did few more films as Assistant Director for Sunil Dutt’s debut film Post Box 999 and also for Ravindra Dave in the film Guest House. Shashi Kapoor and Nanda –The irresistible pair When Shashi Kapoor made his debut in Bollywood as a leading actor, no actress of that era wished to act opposite the debutant actor. Finally Nanda gave her nod and the film Dharamputra was released in 1961. Though the film won National Award for its superb message om secularism yet the film was an average hit and Shashi Kapoor had to keep struggling as an actor. But during his struggle, actress Nanda, though a big star did not leave him in ditch. She was the only actress who willingly acted opposite him and reaped rich dividends in the long run with the mega success of Jab Jab Phool Khilen (1965). The duo did many films like Char Diwari (1961), Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Juari (1968), Raja Saab (1969) and Rootha Na Karo (1970) From ‘Jinx’ star to ‘Popular’ star! After the success of Jab Jab Phool Khilen (1965) Shashi Kapoor was flooded with films but incidentally none of his films was a box office hit. He did many films but all were flops. The media termed him a Jinx star!! Finally in the year 1968 he got his first solo hit film Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968) followed by Sharmeelee (1971) and Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1972). Thus Shashi Kapoor was on his way to stardom but suddenly out of the blue Rajesh Khanna hit a six with Aradhana (1969) and within a span of three years he gave a row of 17 hits!! This was followed by another upcoming actor Amitabh Bachchan who with Zanjeer over took Rajesh Khanna and actor Shashi Kapoor had to take a back seat in this tug of war for stardom! Nevertheless the trend of Multi star movies saved Shashi Kapoor and his association with regaining superstar Amitabh Bachchan helped Shashi Kapoor to retain stardom. The duo worked in many movies like Deewaar, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Kabhi Kabhie, Trishul, Namak Halaal etc. In fact in the mid 70’s he became the most popular star so much so that even his elder brother Raj Kapoor had to run after him to complete his film Satyam Shivam Sundaram.
|#||Released Date||Type||Credited As||Movie|
|1||12 Jun 1998||Film||Guest Appearance||Swami Vivekananda|
|2||13 Mar 1998||Film||Actor||Ghar Bazar|
|3||01 Jan 1995||Film||Actor||Faisla Main Karungi|
|4||01 Jan 1994||Film||Actor||Saboot Mangta Hain Kanoon|
|5||01 Jan 1993||Film||Actor||In Custody|
|6||08 Nov 1991||Film||Supporting Actor||Akayla|
|7||13 Sep 1991||Film||Actor||Raiszaada|
|8||12 Apr 1991||Film||ProducerDirector||Ajooba|
|9||28 Jul 1989||Film||Supporting Actor||Oonch Neech Beech|
|10||26 Apr 1989||Film||Actor||Touhean|