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Shammi Kapoor: The actor who danced his way to stardom

Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Aug 14, 2011, 11:21 AM IST

Shammi Kapoor, 2nd of Prithviraj Kapoor's 3 sons, is survived by his wife and two children.
  • Shammi Kapoor: The actor who danced his way to stardom
    Shammi Kapoor: The actor who danced his way to stardom

    shammilegend_288New Delhi: Shammi Kapoor was an actor blended with youthful freshness and unique style who revolutionized the concept of romance in Hindi films, a dancer known for his romping and frolicking moves. Songs were his forte, and his special way with them was his identifiable trademark.

    Born in October 1931 in a Punjabi family, Shammi Kapoor was the second of the three sons of veteran actor Prithviraj (the other two being Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor). Shammi got married to spunky beauty, Geeta Bali. The Shammi-Geeta Bali marriage resulted in the birth of son Micky. Unfortunately, Shammi lost Geeta Bali to small pox in 1965. He later got married to second wife Neela Devi, who proved to be an ideal mother to his son and daughter.

    A prominent actor in Hindi cinema during 1960s, Shammi Kapoor’s real name was Shamsher Raj Kapoor.

    He spent his childhood in Kolkata, but did his schooling from Don Bosco and later from New Era school in Mumbai.

    After completing his matric at the new era school, he studied at the Ruia college after which he joined his father in this theatrical company "Prithvi Theaters" as a Junior Artiste. Hailed as one of the finest actors of Hindi cinema, Shammi made his debut in Bollywood in the year 1953, when the film Jeevan Jyoti was released. His first heroine was Chand Usmani.

    He brought to both, the love scenes and the songs, a highly personal, westernised style, an intensely erotic presence. He made his strong physical presence on screen with hits like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Junglee, Kashmir Ki Kali Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town, Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, and Andaz and Vidhaata. His first big success came with Tumsa Nahin Dekha which was released in 1957.

    He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982. In 1995 he got the Filmfare Lifetime Acheivement Award.

    His first color picture Junglee, was released in 1961 and he became a Star. With Junglee, his new image was cemented and his subsequent films were all in this genre. It was with Junglee, that Shammi gifted the Hindi film screen dictionary with a new word of exultation: Yahoo! Charged by the word and the accompanying Shankar Jaikishen-composed song, Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe, Shammi gleefully tumbled down snow-covered hills while shooting this number.

    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).

    Between 1957 and 1959 he acted in Dil Deke Dekho, Mujrim, Ujala, Singapore, College Girl, Boy Friend, Basant, Preet Na Jane Reet. Between 1960 & 1964 he acted in 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, Rajkumar. From 1966 onwards his releases were Teesri Manzil, Budtameez, Laat Saheb, An Evening In Paris, Tumse Achha Kaun Hai, Jawan Mohabbat, Prince, Brahmachari, Pagla Kahin Ka, Andaaz, Sachai, Pritam, Chote Sarkar, Jaane Anjaane.

    Recognising the signs of the times, Shammi Kapoor changed tracks to direction. In 1972 he ventured into a different field of Film Direction for the first time with a film called Manoranjan. which starred Sanjeev Kumar and Zeenat Aman. This was followed by a film with Rajesh Khanna and Sulakshna Pandit called Bundalbaaz.

    After this he began doing character roles and some of these are: Zameer, Prem Rog, Hero, Meera, Harjai, Yeh Vada Raha, Aan aur Shaan, Betaab, Ahista Ahista, Parvarish, Daata, Wanted, Rocky , Romance, Mama Bhanja, Ek Jaan Hain Hum, Shalimar, Armaan, Badal, Karmdata, Sohni Mahiwal, Ek se Bhale Do, Biwi O Biwi, Salaakhen, Professor Pyarelal, Ehsaas, Allah Rakha, Desh Premee, Bade Ghar Ki Bahu, Balidaan, Himmat aur Mehnat, Mast Kalander, Ijjazat, Batwaara, Hakumat, Ajooba. He also worked in some films in other languages such as Bengali and Tamil as well.

    Famous songs picturised on Shammi Kapoor

    Yun toh humne lakh haseen - Tumsa Nahin Dekha Mohammed Rafi
    Yaar chulbula hai - Dil Deke Dekho
    Yahoo, chahe koi mujhe - Junglee
    Aye gulbadan - Professor
    Dil tera deewana hai sanam - Dil Tera Deewana
    Baar baar dekho - China Town
    Tareef karoon kya uski - Kashmir Ki Kali
    Aaja aaja - Teesri Mazil
    Aasman se aaya farishta - An Evening In Paris
    Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche - Bramhachari

    Shammi Kapoor's Landmark Films

    1957 Tumsa Nahin Dekha Ameeta Ameeta
    1959 Dil Deke Dekho Asha Parekh, Bhumika
    1961 Junglee Saira Banu
    1962 China Town Shakira
    1962 Professor Kalpana
    1964 Rajkumar Sadhana
    1966 Teesri Manzil Asha Parekh
    1967 An Evening In Paris Sharmila Tagore
    1968 Bramhachari Rajshree
    1971 Andaaz Hema Malini

    (With inputs from Wikipedia, Official Shammi Kapoor fan club)



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