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About Shammi Raj Kapoor
Shammi Kapoor (Hindi: शम्मी कपूर , Urdu: شمّی کپُور), born 21 October 1931,in a Punjabi Khatri family is an Indian film actor and director. He was a prominent lead actor in Hindi cinema during the late 1950s and 1960s.
He was born with the given name Shamsher Raj Kapoor in Mumbai to film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor. Shammi was the second of three sons born to Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor), all of whom were, like their father, successful Bollywood actors. Though he was born in Mumbai, 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 only that he did his Montessory and Kindergarten. After coming back to Mumbai, he first went to St. Joseph's Convent (Wadala) and then, to Don Bosco School. Shammi Kapoor finished his schooling from New Era School, at Hughes Road.
Shammi Kapoor, is hailed to be the one of the finest actors that Hindi cinema has ever produced. He was the leading star of Hindi cinema during the late 1950s as well as the 1960s. One of the successful sons of film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Shammi was extremely versatile as an actor. He debuted in Bollywood in 1953, with the film Jeevan Jyoti and went on to deliver hits like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Junglee, Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town, Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, and Andaz and Vidhaata. He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982.
Shammi Kapoor had a short stint at the Ruia College, after which he joined his father’s theatrical company "Prithvi Theatres". He entered the world of cinema in 1948, as a junior artiste, at a salary of Rs.50 per month. Kapoor stayed with Prithvi Theatres for the next four years and collected his last paycheck, being Rs.300, in the year 1952. He made his debut in Bollywood in the year 1953, when the film Jeevan Jyoti was released. It was directed by Mr. Mahesh Kaul and Chand Usmani was Kapoor’s first heroine.
Kapoor started out with serious roles but with Filmistan's Nasir Hussain directed Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) opposite Ameeta and Dil Deke Dekho (1959) with Asha Parekh, he attained the image of a light hearted stylish playboy. With Junglee (1961) his new image was cemented and subsequent films were all in this genre. He particularly chose Mohammed Rafi as his playback voice. Though in his early career he had often played second fiddle to established heroines like Madhubala in films such as Rail Ka Dibba (1953), producers now loved pairing Shammi with new heroines, but only three became huge stars: Asha Parekh, Saira Banu, and Sharmila Tagore. Of all his heroines, he said that Sharmila Tagore, Rajshree, and Asha Parekh were easy to work with. He and Asha Parekh were paired together in four films, the most successful being the murder mystery Teesri Manzil (1966).
In the first half of the 1960s, Kapoor was seen in successful films like Professor, Char Dil Char Rahen, Raat ke Raahi, Dil Tera Diwana, ‘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.
At the height of his career, Shammi Kapoor - tall, athletic, lively, fair complexioned, green-eyed and with handsome features- was a heartthrob and his good looks and physique complemented his image.
In the 1970s, Kapoor’s weight problem proved an obstacle in his path of success and ended his career as a romantic hero. One of his last hits, in which he played the lead role, was Andaz (1971). With time, he moved to carecter roles and acted in films like Zameer, Hero and Vidhaata. In 1974, he donned the hat of a director and made Manoranjan, a film based on Irma La Douce. Two years later, he made Bandalbaaz (1976). However, both the films failed to create magic at the box office. His last appearance, as a character actor, was in the delayed 2006 film, Sandwich.Recently he has decided to act with Ranbir Kapoor,grandson of his brother Raj Kapoor, in Imitiaz Ali's next movie.
Shammi Kapoor met Geeta Bali in the year 1955, during the shooting of the film ‘Rangeen Raaten’, in which he was the main lead and she played a cameo. They fell in love, but since she was a year older to him and had acted with his elder brother and father, they were skeptical. Four months after they first met, they decided to get married. Shammi and Geeta went to Banganga Temples, near Napean Sea Road of Mumbai, and got married, with Hari Walia as the sole witness. It was only after the marriage that they informed their parents.
The couple lived a life of bliss in the coming years and had a son the following year. Aditya Raj Kapoor was born on 1 July, 1956, at Shirodkar's Hospital, Mumbai. Five years later, in 1961, they had another child. This time, it was a daughter, Kanchan. Tragedy struck the Kapoor family during the filming of Teesri Manzil (1966) and Geeta died of small pox leaving him with two small children. It led to a failed romance with Mumtaz, his co-star from Brahmchari (1968).
In 1969, he married his second wife Neela Devi Gohil from the Royal Family of Bhavnagar in Gujarat , and his significant weight gain ended his career as a romantic hero in the early 1970s, with Andaz (1971) being one of his last hits. He turned into a successful supporting actor in the 70's, playing Saira Banu's father in Zameer (1975), 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 also directed Manoranjan (1974) a copy of Irma La Douce and in which he played a supporting role himself and Bandalbaaz (1976), but neither were successful. 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). He eventually cut down on film appearances by the late 1990s and early 2000s and made his last appearance in the delayed 2006 release Sandwich.
Shammi Kapoor is one of the leading internet users in India. He is the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI). Apart from that, he has also played a major role in setting up internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association. Kapoor also maintains a website dedicated to the ‘Kapoor family’. In 2006, he told interviewers that he goes to dialysis three times a week. Even that has failed to depress him. Rather, he is thankful to God for giving him so much.