Saturday, 27 August 2011

Shammi Kapoor 'The Yahoo Man'

Shammi Kapoor was hailed as one of the finest actors that Hindi cinema had ever produced.Extremely versatile as an actor, he was the leading star of Hindi cinema during the late 1950s as well as the 1960s.
He was the tall,athletic and green-eyed dancing star who revolutionised the image of Hindi film heroes in the 1950s and 1960s with his carefree and flamboyant personality.The recipe for his success was a makeover as a flamboyant yet lovable lover boy and an uninhibited style of dancing.
His style his dance his clothes, his puffed hair style that lazily yet provocatively would often fall on his foreheadall became images that every young around the country wanted to emulate.

Early Life

He was given the name Shamsher Raj Kapoor at his birth in Mumbai to film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Shammi was the second of the three sons born to Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor), both of whom were, like their father, successful Bollywood actors.
Though 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 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 had a short stint at Ruia College, in Matunga, Mumbai, 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 Rs. 150 per month, stayed with Prithvi Theatres for the next four years.

 Film career

 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.
Shammi 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. Tall, athletic, lively, fair complexioned, green-eyed and with handsome features- Shammi was a heartthrob, and his good looks and physique complemented his image.
With Junglee (1961) his new image was cemented and his 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) and Naqab(1955) and opposite Suraiya in Shama Parwana(1954), producers after 1960, loved pairing Shammi with new heroines, and three of them became huge stars in their own right: 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 early fifties he accepted serious roles in women oriented films like Shama Parwana (1954), comedy flick Mem Sahib (1956) and thrillers like Miss Coca Cola (1956) and Chor Bazar(1954), which were all successful at box office and in tragic love story Mirza Sahiban (1957) (a box office flop), but did not gain recognition and fame among the masses.Other than the above hits, he had fifteen films as flops to his credit till 1957. It was only after triple success of Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957), Ujala and Dil Dil Deke Deko (both 1959), that he became popular with the audience and became a star. The other hits in late fifties included Mujrim(1958), Char Dil Char Rahen, Raat ke Raahi(1959). In the first half of the 1960s,Shammi Kapoor was seen in successful films like College Girl, Basant, Singapore, Boy Friend, Professor, 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.
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).
Shammi turned into a successful supporting actor in the 70's, 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 also directed Manoranjan (1974) a copy of Irma La Douce and in which he played a supporting role himself and Bundal Baaz (1976), but neither were successful commercially though got critical acclaims and were hailed as classics and to be ahead of its time.
 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 appearances in the 1999 Salman Khan and Urmila Matondkar starring Jaanam Samjha Karo, 2002 release Waah! Tera Kya Kehnaand delayed 2006 release Sandwich.He made his last appearance in Imtiaz Ali 's next directorial venture Rockstar co-starring his grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor, the grandson of his brother Raj Kapoor.

Personal life

Shammi Kapoor met Geeta Bali in 1955, during the shooting of the film ‘Rangeen Raaten’. He was the leading actor 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 married at Banganga Temples, near Napean Sea Road of Mumbai. Hari Walia as the sole witness. They informed their parents only after their marriage.
Shammi and Geeta lived a life of bliss in the coming years. They had a son, Aditya Raj Kapoor, on 1 July 1956, at Shirodkar's Hospital, Mumbai, a year after they were married. Five years later, in 1961, they had a daughter, Kanchan ( who is married to Ketan Desai).
Tragedy struck in 1965, during the filming of Teesri Manzil. Geeta died of small pox, leaving Shammi with two small children.
In 1969, he married his second wife Neela Devi Gohil from the former royal family of Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
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 organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association.
Shammi Kapoor also maintained a website '' dedicated to the 'Kapoor family’.

In 2006,  he underwent dialysis three times a week. Irrepressible even then, this punishing regimen has failed to depress him. Rather, he said that he was thankful to God for giving him so much.

My 10 favourite songs--

Dil Ke Jharoke Se - (Brahmchari)
Tumse  Achha Kaun Hai-( Jaanwar)

Shammi Kapoor was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital on 7th August, 2011 suffering from chronic renal failure. His condition remained serious for next few days, kept under ventilator support at Mumbai Breach Candy hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for chest infection. He passed away on 14 August, 2011, 05:15am IST at the age of 79.

Awards, nominations and other recognition
1962 - Filmfare Nomination as Best Actor--         Professor
1968 - Filmfare Best Actor Award,                      Brahmachari
1982 - Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award,    Vidhata
1995 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
1998 - Kalakar Awards - Special Award for "contribution in Indian Cinema"
1999 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
2001 - Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award
2001 - Anandalok Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
2002 - Invaluable Contribution To Indian Cinema at the IIFA.
2005 - Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bollywood Movie Awards
2008 - Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian cinema at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).[13]
2009 -  Phalke Legend Actor Award by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy
       Recipient of the prestigious Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Indian entertainment industry.
       Rashtriya Gaurav Award

  Partial filmography
Jeevan Jyoti                            (1953) Chand Usmani
Rail Ka Dibba                        (1953)
Thokar                                    (1953)
Laila Majnu                            (1953) Nutan
Ladki                                      (1953)
Gul Sanobar                            (1953)
Khoj                                        (1953)
Shama Parwana                      (1954)  Suraiya
Mehbooba                              (1954)
Ehsan                                      (1954)
Chor Bazar                             (1954)
Tangewali                              (1955)
Naqab                                    (1955)  Madhubala
Miss Coca Cola                     (1955)
Daku                                      (1956)
Memsahib                              (1956)
Hum Sab Chor Hain               (1956)
Rangeen Raatein                    (1956)  Mala Sinha
Tumsa Nahin Dekha               (1957)  Ameeta
Maharani                                (1957)
Coffee House                         (1957)
Mirza Sahiban                        (1957)
Mujrim                                   (1958)
Dil Deke Dekho                     (1958)  Asha Parekh
Ujala                                      (1959)  Mala Sinha
Raat ke Raahi                        (1959)
Mohar                                    (1959)
Basant                                    (1960)
College Girl                          (1960)  Vyjayanthimala
Singapore                              (1960)  Padmini
Boyfriend                              (1961)
Junglee                                  (1961)  Saira Banu
Dil Tera Diwana                   (1962)  Mala Sinha
Professor                               (1962)  Kalpana
China Town                           (1962)  Shakeela/Helen
Bluff Master                          (1963)  Saira Banu
Shahid Bhagat Singh              (1963)
Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai       (1963)
Pyar Kiya To Darna kya        (1963)  B. Saroja Devi
Rajkumar                               (1964)  Sadhana
Kashmir Ki Kali                    (1964)  Sharmila Tagore
Janwar                                   (1965)  Rajashri
Teesri Manzil                        (1966)  Asha Parekh
Preet Na Jaane Reet              (1966)
Budtameez                            (1966)  Sadhana
An Evening in Paris              (1967)  Sharmila Tagore
Laat Saheb                            (1967)  Nutan
Brahmachari                         (1968)  Rajashri
Prince                                   (1969)  Vyjayanthimala
Tum se Acchaa Kaun Hai     (1969)  Babita
Sachchai                               (1969)  Sadhana
Pagla Kahin Ka                    (1970)  Asha Parekh/Helen
Andaz                                   (1971)  Hema Malini/Simi
Jawan Mohabbat                  (1971)  Asha Parekh
Jaane Anjane                        (1971)  Leena Chandavarkar
Parvarish                              (1973)
Zameer                                 (1973)
Manoranjan                          (1974)  Zeenat Aman
Chhote Sarkar                      (1974)  Sadhana
Shalimar                              (1978)
Meera                                 (1979)  .as. Raja Vikramjeet Singh Sesodia
Professor Pyarelal              (1981)
Rocky                                 (1981)
Naseeb                                (1981)
Prem Rog                            (1982)  Sushma Seth
Vidhaata                              (1982)
Desh Premee                       (1982)
Hero                                   (1983)  Urmila Bhat
Betaab                                (1983)
Sohni Mahiwal                   (1984)
Hukumat                             (1987)
Ijaazat                                 (1988)
Ajooba                                (1991)
Tahelka                               (1992)
Chamatkar                          (1992)
Sukham Sukhakaram           (1994)  (Malayalam)
Aur Pyar Ho Gaya              (1996)   Shammi
Kareeb                               (1998)
Jaanam Samjha Karo         (1999)
East Is East                         (1999)
Yeh Hay Jalwa                 (2001)
Waah! Tera Kya Kehna     (2002)
Bhola in Bollywood           (2005)
Sandwich                            (2006)
Rockstar                            (2011)


The Hindi film industry will never see such an era again," said writer, poet Javed Akhtar, echoing a sentiment of the Hindi film industry.

"When he is on screen it is very difficult to look at anyone else. He had a great sense of humour and a sense of rhythm, so important to the Hindi film industry. His contribution to the industry is quite considerable," said Tagore, who acted with him in her debut Hindi film, Kashmir Ki Kali.

Vyjantimala refers to Shammi as the King of Rhythms. “I cannot believe that the King of Rhythms has ceased to be.I always took pride in being a classical dancer of repute until I met Shammiji. I was quite astonished at the way he choreographed himself in the songBadanpe sitaarein lapete huye in Prince. The song was picturised in three takes. He is the only actor in India, who choreographed all his song sequences himself,” she said.

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