Shamsher Raj Kapoor or popularly known as Shammi Kapoor was an Indian actor and film director who worked predominantly in Hindi cinema. The actor was a rebel without a pause. Shammi Kapoor was known for his never-say-die attitude, his superstar energetic dancing skills, his tech-savvy interests, and his unconventional ways.

Late actor Shammi Kapoor, with his unabashed dancing skills, basically taught India how to groove. At a time when actors didn’t like performing live, or without a group of dancers to cover them, Shammi Kapoor didn’t hesitate to throw his dance moves for the world to see. A Bollywood legend is known for his “Andaaz” and his “consciousness”, Shammi Kapoor is one of the legends of Hindi Cinema. 

Born on the 21st of October 1931, in the famous Kapoor family, in Bomby to the popular film director Prithviraj Kapoor. Though being born in Mumbai, Shammi Kapoor spent the majority of his childhood in Kolkata (then Calcutta) where his father was involved in theatres. Shammi Kapoor spent a good part of his education in Kolkata before returning to Bombay where he finished his education in New Era High School at Hughes Road. 

Even though he was born in a star-studded family, Shammi Kapoor wasn’t launched in movies like a star kid. Shammi Kapoor after completing his education went to work as a junior artist in his father’s theatrical company called Prithvi Theatres where he was paid 50/- rupees like any other struggling artist. He worked there for the next four years to get his experience before quitting in 1952.

Shammi Kapoor debuted in Hindi cinema with the 1953 box office flop Jeewan Jyoti. Shammi Kapoor’s career started on an unsuccessful note, working as a second in woman-oriented films with actresses like Madhubala, Suraiya, Meena Kumari, and Nutan. It wasn’t until the late 50s that Shammi Kapoor hit his breakthrough.  

With the 1957 film Tumsa Nahi Dekha and 1959 film Dil Deke Dekho, Shammi Kapoor attained his light-hearted, playboy image. With the 1961 film Junglee, his stylish playboy image was cemented and he continued to give similar character roles for some time; his signature style. 

This includes films like Boy Friend, Collee Girl, Basant, Singapore, Dil Tera Deewana, Rajkumar, Vallah Kya Baat Hai, Professor, Kasmir Ki Kali, Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, Bluff Master, China Town, Janwar, and Teesri Manzil. 

Shammi Kapoor carved a niche for himself by being the only dancing hero in Bollywood between the 1950s up till 1970s. He reportedly never needed a choreographer and would make his steps along the way. That is how his nickname “Elvis Presley of India” came into being. In came his 1968’s hit Brahmachari, a film that won him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor.  

Some of Shammi Kapoor’s famous films include Bramhachari, An Evening In Paris, Junglee, Teesri Manzil, Vidhaata, Janwar, Professor, Kashmir Ki Kali, Parvarish, Rajkumar, China Town, Dil Deke Dekho, Tumsa Nahi Dekha, Andaaz, and Dil Tera Deewana amongst others. 

His last appearance was in his grandson Ranbir Kapoor’s 2011 superhit Rockstar leading to which he passed away in the same year. 

Shammi Kapoor was admitted into the Breach Candy Hospital on Aug 7th, 2011 at the age of 79, after suffering chronic kidney failure. He succumbed to his illness after a week on 14th August 2011 of kidney failure. His funeral was held a day later where all the famous Bollywood faces such as Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Aamir Khan along with the entire Kapoor family was present to pay their last respect. A brass statue was unveiled at Walk Of The Stars in Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai to honor the late actor. 

Shammi Kapoor won three Filmfare Awards including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, along with Zee Cine and Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was also the recipient of several other awards and accolades like the IIFA awards for Invaluable Contribution to Indian Cinema. Shammi Kapoor was also the founder and chairman of the Internet Users Community of India and had played a major role in setting up the internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Associations. He also maintained a website for the Kapoor family from the oldest to the youngest. 

On his 89th birth anniversary, Saregama celebrates his life and contribution to Indian Cinema. 

Now you can listen to top Shammi Kapoor’s songs on Saregama Carvaan. Saregama Carvaan is a portable digital audio speaker that comes with 5000 preloaded evergreen Hindi songs that you can listen to any time without ad breaks or an internet connection. It also consists of other features like Bluetooth, FM/AM radio, USB, and AUX connectivity.