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Bollywood’s charmer Shashi Kapoor breathes his last

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

MUMBAI – Veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor, hailed as the “most charming, enigmatic actor” and “brave producer” by his fraternity members, died at a hospital here on Monday.

The romantic screen icon of the 70s and early 80s was 79. The cause of death was not immediately known but the news came after a period of hospitalization at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

“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.

Shashi Kapoor’s nephew and actor Randhir Kapoor too confirmed the news.

“He has passed away,” Randhir told IANS.

Shashi Kapoor made his debut with Yash Chopra’s “Dharamputra” in 1961. He appeared in over 150 movies — and 148 in Hindi and 12 in English like “The Householder” and “Shakespeare-Wallah”.

Actress-politician Hema Malini, who featured with him in about 14 films like “Abhinetri” and “Trishul”, tweeted: “My dear friend and co-star of many successful movies – Shashi Kapoor, is no more. He leaves behind many pleasant memories of the camaraderie we shared on the sets during our shooting schedules. RIP dear friend. I will surely miss you.”

His “Siddhartha” co-star Simi Garewal was also deeply saddened by Shashi Kapoor’s passing away.

“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.”

Shashi Kapoor, who underwent cataract surgery in 2012, was the third and the youngest son of late actor-filmmaker Prithviraj Kapoor.

He was the last one of the second generation of the illustrious Kapoor family to pass away. His brother Raj Kapoor died in June 1988 and Shammi Kapoor breathed his last in August 2011.

He and wife, an English theatre actress, Jennifer Kendal, who died in September 1984, had three children — Kunal, Karan and Sanjana Kapoor.

While Shashi Kapoor often shared screen space with actresses, including Sharmila Tagore, Neetu Singh, Parveen Babi, Zeenat Aman and Rakhee, he also worked with Kendal in films like “Junoon” and “Bombay Talkie”.

Veteran actor Raj Babbar also paid his tribute by saying: “Deeply saddened by the demise of the legend Shashi Kapoorji. Shall always miss your charm and your greatness. You will live in our hearts for all times to come.”

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar tweeted: “I am extremely sad about Shashi Kapoor’s demise. He was very nice human being. RIP.”

Actors Aamir Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn, along with filmmakers Karan Johar, Hansal Mehta and Vivek Agnihotri poured their heart out and remembered him on Twitter.

Apart from showing his romantic side in films like “Sharmilee”, “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” and “Kabhi Kabhie”, Shashi also starred in unconventional movies like “In Custody”, “Siddhartha” and “Utsav”.

He also went behind the camera with films like “Junoon”, “Vijeta” and “36 Chowringhee Lane” as a producer. Later, he made his directorial debut in 1991 with “Ajooba”.

Among his numerous achievements, he was honored with awards like Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Padma Bhushan.