Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor, one of the biggest names in Hindi cinema in the 1950s and 60s, died in Mumbai today (August 14), family sources said. He was 79.
Shammi Kapoor, brother of equally versatile actors Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, and Rabir Kapoor’s grand uncle, passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital at 5am. He is survived by his wife Neela and children Aditya and Kanchan.
He was admitted to the hospital a week ago for renal failure.
The second of three sons born to the iconic Prithviraj Kapoor in 1931, his real name was Shamsher Kapoor and he joined the industry in 1948 as a junior artist, getting paid Rs.150 a month.
His debut in Bollywood came in 1953 with the film ‘Jeevan Jyoti’. In a career that stretched into the 1970s, the tall, athletic and green-eyed hero starred in numerous hits, including ‘An Evening in Paris’, ‘China Town’, ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, ‘Janwar’ and ‘Junglee’.
In 1955, Shammi Kapoor married actress Geeta Bali, whom he fell in love with while shooting ‘Rangeen Raaten’. The couple were very happy together until tragedy struck in 1965. She died from small pox, leaving him devastated. Four years later, he married Neela Devi.
By the 70s, he was gradually ending his career as a leading man. But previously, Sharmila Tagore and Asha Parekh were his leading heroines, the latter teaming up with him for his spectacular murder mystery of 1966, ‘Teesri Manzil’.(IANS)