Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor died at Breach Candy Hospital following kidney failure at 5.15am on Sunday morning. The actor was 79, was on dialysis for the past few years.
Referred to by many as India's own Elvis Presley, Shammi was known for the zestful, romantic characters he essayed in films like Junglee, Kashmir Ki Kali and Prince, and the electric, rock n' roll dance numbers he immortalised. Kapoor made his debut in 1953, in the shadow of elder brother Raj Kapoor. However, it took over 4 years and several duds before Shammi tasted success with Nasir Husain's Tumsa Nahi Dekha. From then on, Shammi Kapoor went on to rock the 60s with hit films like Junglee (1961), Dil Tera Deewana (1962), Professor (1962), Rajkumar (1964), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Bramhachari (1968) and Prince (1969). His inimitable dancing style and his charming chocolate-boy looks made Kapoor a national sensation.
Shammi Kapoor married actor Geeta Bali in 1955 in dramatic circumstances at the Banganga temple, Walkeshwar. The couple had a son, Aditya and a daughter, Kanchan. Bali, however, passed away in 1965 after a bout of smallpox. Kapoor married Neela Devi Gohil, from the erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar, Gujarat in 1969.
Apart from his acting, Kapoor was a known technophile and was among the pioneers of the Internet in India. He kept himself updated with the latest technology and kept in touch with his fans through his account on popular micro-blogging site Twitter.
Over the last year, Shammi Kapoor had started a personal video blog in association with a production house. He posted five-six minute videos on it talking about his movies, colleagues, friends and family members.
In July last year, Shammi Kapoor shot for what would be his last film, Rockstar, with grand-nephew actor Ranbir Kapoor. The actor's residence at Blue Heaven Apartments, Malabar Hill, was flooded with visitors and floral condolences. He will be cremated at the Hindu crematoria near Banganga on Monday morning.