The last of the great Kapoors is no more…

Shashi had more or less retired from cinema in 1987

We bring tragic news. Shashi Kapoor, who had been ailing for a while, has just passed away. He would have been 80 in March. The actor and producer, who had retired from Bollywood a longtime ago, had appeared in a number of Hindi films as well as a few English films. He was the oldest surviving acting member of the Kapoor khandaan. Only his sister-in-law, the later Raj Kapoor’s wife Krishna Raj Kapoor, is older at 87.


Shashi was born in Calcutta and was the third youngest son of the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor. His elder brothers were Raj and Shammi Kapoor. Shashi is survived by his children, Kunal, Karan and Sanjana Kapoor. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contributions to Art-Cinema. In 2015, Shashi was awarded the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, making him the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor.

Shashi had more or less retired from cinema in 1987 and accepted few character roles in films after that. However, he did do The Deceivers with Pierce Brosnan in 1988 and then went on to do Muhafiz (In Custody) in 1994 for which he won a National Award by a special jury. He then played a Rajah in the TV adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels in 1996. Among his last appearances was in Jinnah in 1998 in which Shashi was the narrator and a Merchant Ivory production titled Side Streets in 1998. The actor was seen in the limelight, perhaps, the last in 2007 at the Shashi Kapoor Film Festival in 2007. Filmfare honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

The actor will be cremated tomorrow morning. Details are not yet available but most probably it will be at the Juhu electric crematorium. The Bollywood Kapoors are dropping whatever they are doing and rushing to Shashi Kapoor’s residence. Rishi Kapoor, who was reportedly shooting in Delhi, is on his way back to Mumbai.

Shashi had been suffering from old age related illnesses and had been battling several health-related issues recently. He had been admitted to the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital last night with a severe chest infection. The actor was reportedly suffering from this since 2014 when he had a bypass surgery. Karan Johar, who was among the first to get the sad news of Shashi’s death, tweeted, “#RIP Shashi Kapoor… the most charming and enigmatic actor ever… a gentleman movie star! His legacy in film and theatre is exceptional… thoughts and prayers with the family…his work will always live on.”

The veteran actress Simi Garewal, who famously made the Hollywood film Siddhartha with Shashi Kapoor in 1972 which had a bold nude scene featuring both actors, said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing away of my co-star Shashi Kapoor. The last of that generation of Kapoors gone. A gentleman and friend gone. An era gone. All that remain are his films… and precious memories.”