Pavithra wrote on Aug 11 2008 7:11PM
Shammi Kapoor was born on October 21,1931. He was born as 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 successful Bollywood actors.
Not surprisingly, Shammi Kapoor also joined the family profession in 1953 at the age of 22. But the young Shammi who sported a pencil-thin moustache and greasy, slicked back hair, soon found himself amidst a heap of flops, including Rail Ka Dibba (Madhubala), Shama Parwana (Suraiya) and Mehbooba (Nalini Jaywant). Big breakthrough came Shammi's way with Nasir Hussain's Dil Deke Dekho (1959) and Subodh Mukherjee's Junglee (1961) when he took cue from his Hollywood idols James Dean and Elvis Presley. In Dil Deke Dekho, he was paired with the ebullient newcomer Asha Parekh, while Junglee saw him wooing yet another newcomer, the frail beauty with the shrill voice, Saira Banu. He particularly chose Mohammed Rafi as his playback voice. Rafi gave a fullfledged performance and 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 a secondary role to established heroines like Madhubala in films such as Rail Ka Dibba (1953), producers found his ace in pairing him 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). Producers were more than happy with Shammi's keen interest in music because his uninhibited dancing to songs like O haseena zulphonwali and Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche became the rage. In Professor (1962), Shammi gave an undervalued performance, proving to be a mirthquake as the disguised-as-an-old-man professor who unwittingly melts the heart of an iron-hearted old lady (Lalita Pawar). 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. His considerable weight gain ended his career as a romantic hero in the early 1970s, with Andaz (1971) being one of his last hits. However, soon 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 has also directed Manoranjan (1974) a copy of Irma La Douce 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 stopped making film appearances by the late 1990s and early 2000s and made his last appearance in the delayed 2006 release Sandwich.
Shammi Kapoor was nominated for Best actor for Filmfare Awards for Professor in the year 1962 and won the Best actor for the same in 1968 for Brahmachari. He won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Vidhata in 1982. He was offered the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and the Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999. He won another Lifetime Achievement Award by Star Screen in 2001. He won the 2002 - Invaluable Contribution To Indian Cinema at the IIFA. In 2005 another Lifetime Achievement Award was given to him at the Bollywood Movie Awards. In 2008, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian cinema at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF). Shammi Kapoor is also a recipient of the prestigious Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Indian entertainment industry. Shammi Kapoor was one of the foremost internet users in India. He is the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI) and has been influential 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, though he is not depressed and is grateful to God for giving him so much.