Shammi Kapoor life and biography

Shammi Kapoor picture, image, poster

Shammi Kapoor biography

Date of birth : 1931-10-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Mumbai, India
Nationality : Hindi
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-10-17
Credited as : Bollywood actor, Elvis Presley of India,

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Shammi Kapoor, hailed to be the ‘Elvis Presley of India’, is one of the finest actors that Bollywood has ever produced. He was the leading star of Bollywood 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', 'China Town', ‘Professor’, ‘Rajkumar’, ‘Teesri Manzil’, ‘An Evening In Paris’, ‘Bramhachari’ and ‘Andaaz’.


Shammi Kapoor was born as ‘Shamsher Raj Kapoor’ on 21st October 1931, in Mumbai, India. Popular by his pet name ‘Shammi’, Kapoor is the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, film and theatre actor, and his wife, Rama Kapoor. 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 Monntessary and Kindergarten. After coming back to Mumbai, he went, first to, St. Joseph's Convent (Wadala) and then, to Don Bosco School. Shammi Kapoor finished his schooling from New Era School, at Hughes Road.

Early Life and Entry in Films

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.

Film Career

Shammi Kapoor was known as the ‘Elvis Presley of India’, for his amusing and energetic roles as well as his amazing dance sequences. Though he started out with serious films, comedy films gradually became his forte. Movies like ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ (his first big hit) and ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ established him in the roles of a light hearted playboy. Some time later, he starred in ‘Junglee’ (1961) and his new image got consolidated. Majority of his successful films belonged to the same genre. Mohammed Rafi, one of Kapoor’s friends, was his most preferred choice as his playback voice.

In his initial years in Bollywood, Kapoor appeared with established heroines like Madhubala, playing second fiddle to them. With time, he started being paired more often with new heroines. Out of them, Asha Parekh, Saira Banu, and Sharmila Tagore became huge stars in the future. In the first half of the 1960s, Kapoor was seen in successful films like ‘Professor’, ‘China Town’, ‘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’. In 1968, he received the first Filmfare Award of his career, for ‘Best Actor’ (Brahmachari).

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 career 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’.

Personal Life

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 1st July 1956, at Shirodkar's Hospital, Mumbai. After five years i.e. in 1961, they had another child. This time, it was a daughter, Kanchan. During the filming of Teesri Manzil (1966), tragedy struck the Kapoor family and Geeta died of small pox. Shammi had a failed romance with Mumtaz in 1968 and in 1969; he got married to Neila Devi of Bhavanagar. The couple continues to enjoy marital bliss till date.

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. The legend continues to rule the hearts of his fans even today.

Awards and Recognition

1968 - Filmfare Best Actor Award, for Brahmachari
1982 - Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, for Vidhata
1995 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
1998 - Kalakar Award-Special Award for "Contribution in Indian Cinema"
1999 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
2001 - Star Screen 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 Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).
Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)


1953 - Jeevan Jyoti, Rail Ka Dibba, Thokar, Laila Majnu, Ladki, Gul Sanobar
1954 - Shama Parwana, Mehbooba, Ehsan, Chor Bazar
1955 - Tangewali, Naqab, Miss Coca Cola, Daku
1956 - Sipahsalar, Rangeen Raatein, Memsahib, Hum Sab Chor Hain
1957 - Tumsa Nahin Dekha
1958 - Mujrim, Dil Deke Dekho
1959 - Ujala
1960 - Basant, College Girl, Singapore
1961 - Boyfriend, Junglee (first film in color)
1962 - Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town
1963 - Bluff Master
1964 - Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali
1965 - Janwar
1966 - Teesri Manzil, Budtameez
1967 - An Evening in Paris
1968 - Brahmachari
1969 - Prince
1971 - Andaz
1974 - Manoranjan, Chhote Sarkar
1981 - Rocky, Naseeb
1982 - Prem Rog, Vidhaata, Desh Premee
1983 - Hero, Betaab
1984 - Sohni Mahiwal
1988 - Ijaazat
1991 - Ajooba
1992 - Chamatkar
1996 - Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
1998 - Kareeb
1999 - Jaanam Samjha Karo
1999 - East Is East, Yeh Hay Jalwa
2002 - Waah! Tera Kya Kehna
2005 - Bhola in Bollywood
2006 - Sandwich

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