Veteran actor-producer Shashi Kapoor, the romantic screen icon of the 70s and early 80s, died on Monday at a hospital in Mumbai, after prolonged illness. He was 79 and the eldest of the Kapoor family of Bollywood.

"Shashi Kapoor expired at 5.20 p.m. on December 4 at Kokilaben Hospital, here," Dr Ram Narain, Executive Director of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, told IANS in a message and even Shashi Kapoor's nephew and actor Randhir Kapoor confirmed the news.

"He has passed away," Randhir told IANS.

Actress Simi Garewal tweeted: "Am deeply saddened by the passing away of my co-star ShashiKapoor. The last of that generation of Kapoors gone. A gentleman and friend gone. An era gone.. All that remains are his films...and precious memories.. ?? RIP Shashi-ji."

Taran Adarsh, film critic and business analyst, tweeted: "ShashiKapoor ji is no more... An era comes to an end... Thoughts and prayers with the family... RIP."

Third and the youngest son of late Prithviraj Kapoor and brother of late Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, Shashi underwent a cataract surgery in 2012. He had kidney problem too and was on dialysis for several years.

Married to Anglo-Indian theatre actress Jennifer Kendal, Shashi had three children -- Kunal, Karan and Sanjana Kapoor.

Shashi made his debut with Yash Chopra's "Dharamputra" in 1961 and his last film was "Side streets" in English in 1998.