Journey of ever smiling star Shashi Kapoor: Did 'Utsav' steal the charm away from him?

Shashi Kapoor, a member of the Kapoor dynasty, has dominated the Hindi film industry for decades with films like Deewar, Utsav etc.The actor was married to late English actress Jennifer Kendal, with whom he set up Mumbai's iconic Prithvi Theatre in 1978.

Shashi Kapoor
Mumbai: Veteran actor-producer Shashi Kapoor who died at a Mumbai hospital in Dec 4, 2017. He was 79. IANS

Shashi Kapoor, the veteran film actor of the 70s and 80s was cremated with state honours at the Santa Cruz Hindu crematorium in Mumbai, India around noon on Tuesday. The long ailing 79-year-old actor passed away on Monday evening at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.

Wrapped in the tricolour, the actor-producer's body was taken to the crematorium from his Juhu home in an ambulance at around 11.45 am. He was given an electric cremation with state honours along with a three-gun salute by Mumbai Police.

Shashi Kapoor's sons Kunal and Karan and daughter Sanjna completed the last rites of the late star. Apart from Kapoor family members, scores of film personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan were present at the crematorium.

The 'Deewar' fame has made his mark in the film industry with some remarkable performances in films such as 'Jab Jab Phool Khile', 'Kalyug', 'Kabhi Kabhi', 'Sharmeelee' and so on. However, later in the 80s, the actor went into an experimental mode and produced a mature historical drama titled 'Utsav'. The film, which was based on 2nd-century BC Sanskrit play, Mrichakatika (The Little Clay Cart) by Shudraka, was directed by Girish Karnad.

Featuring Rekha at her sizzling best, Shashi Kapoor took the supporting role of Samsthanak, a demonic-looking blue-blood royal obsessed with Rekha's courtesan character. He was so dedicated towards his work that he even gained weight to give that perfect look to the character.

Unfortunately, the film turned out to be a commercial failure and incurred a loss of Rs. 1.5 crore after the film's release in 1984. Later, Shashi Kapoor failed to lose the weight.

Though he accepted few roles as a character actor in films later, the final retirement from the acting career came in 1998.

Shashi Kapoor, who was also known internationally for starring in British and American films, was honoured by several prestigious awards, including the Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

This article was first published on December 5, 2017