He was born Shamsher Raj Kapoor in Mumbai to film and theatre actor Prithviraj Kapoor. Shammi was the second of three sons born to Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor), all of whom were, like their father, successful Bollywood actors.
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 playboy. With Junglee (1961) his new image was cemented and subsequent films were all in this genre. He particularly chose Mohammed Rafi as his playback voice and Rafi was also his friend. In fact, it was Rafi who shouted the song Yahoo that was famously picturized on Shammi in the huge hit film Junglee (1961). Though in his early career he had often played second fiddle to established heroines like Madhubala in films such as Rail Ka Dibba (1953), producers now loved pairing Shammi with new heroines, but only three became huge stars: 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).
However, tragedy struck during the filming of Teesri Manzil (1966), when Shammi's first wife, actress Geeta Bali, died of small pox, leaving him with two small children. It led to a failed romance with Mumtaz, his co-star from Brahmchari (1968).
In 1969, he married his second wife Neela, and his significant weight gain ended his career as a romantic hero in the early 1970s, with Andaz (1971) being one of his last hits. He turned into a successful supporting actor in the 70's, playing Saira Banu's father in Zameer (1975), when he had been her leading man a decade earlier in Junglee (1961) and Bluff Master (1964). He also directed Manoranjan (1974) a copy of Irma La Douce and in which he played a supporting role himself and Bandalbaaz (1976), but neither were successful. 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 last appearance in the delayed 2006 release Sandwich.
Shammi Kapoor was also one of the foremost internet users in India. He is the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI) and has been instrumental in setting up internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association.
On his 75th birthday on October 20, 2006, Shammi told interviewers that he goes to dialysis three times a week, but that he is not depressed and is grateful to God for giving him so much.
Shammi Kapoor Facts
|Birth Name||Shamsher Raj Kapoor|
|Birthday||October 21, 1931 (87)|
|Dil Tera Deewana|
|Aaja Meri Jaan|
|An Evening In Paris|
|Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai...|