Shashi Kapoor, veteran Bollywood star and producer, dead at 79

Shashi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actor and producer from the 1970s and '80s, has died after a long illness. He was 79.
Former Indian film star and producer Shashi Kapoor, seen here in 2005, has died at the age of 79. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

Shashi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actor and producer from the 1970s and '80s, has died after a long illness. He was 79.

A family member, Randhir Kapoor, said he passed away Monday at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, where he was being treated for a kidney ailment.

Kapoor acted in more than 100 Hindi films and was also a key theater personality. He appeared as well in British and American movies produced by Merchant Ivory productions, run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

His English-language movies included The Householder' in 1963, Shakespeare Wallah in 1965, Bombay Talkie in 1970 and Heat and Dust, in which he co-starred with his wife, British actress Jennifer Kendal, in 1982.

Some of his popular Bollywood films were Deewar (Wall)Kabhie Kabhie (Sometimes)Namak Hala (Loyal Servant) and Kaala Pathar (Black Rock). He co-starred with Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan in each.

Kapoor is seen at centre with popular Bollywood co-star Amitabh Bachchan paying last respects to his brother, fellow actor Shammi Kapoor, in Mumbai in 2011. (The Associated Press)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor's versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in the theatre, which he promoted with great passion.

"His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come," Modi said.

Kapoor was a second-generation member of a family dynasty in the Bollywood film industry. He was the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, a veteran of Bollywood and the theatre.

Shashi Kapoor began acting at age four in plays produced and directed by his father. He started in films as a child actor in the late 1940s. He made his debut as a leading actor in movies in 1961.

The Press Trust of India news agency said Kapoor will be cremated on Tuesday.

He is survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife Kendal, with whom he founded the leading Prithvi Theatre, died in 1984.

Shashi Kapoor, who appeared in multiple Merchant-Ivory films over the years, is seen arriving to pay last respects to noted filmmaker Ismail Merchant in Mumbai in 2005. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)


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