Mumbai, Oct 22 (UNI) Considered the Elvis Presley of India, Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor turned 76 yesterday.
Born on Oct 21, 1931 as Shamsher Raj Kapoor, Shammi comes from the first family of Bollywood -- the Kapoors, whose illustrious lineage has seen stalwarts like the Late Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Geeta Bali.
The third and fourth generation have also made a huge impact giving the film industry actors as Neetu, Rishi, Randhir, Karishma, Kareena and now Ranbir, who debuts in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus ''Saawariya''.
Very few people know that the lovable star, who has acted in career defining films such as 'Junglee' with Saira Banu, 'Teesri Manzil' with Asha Parekh and 'An Evening in Paris' and 'Kashmir Ki Kali' with Sharmila Tagore was initially employed in his father's Prithvi Theatre which is now managed by his grand daughter Sanjana Kapoor.
He won the Filmfare award for 'Brahmachari' in 1968.
Even though he got work with established actresses like Suraiya, Madhubala, Geeta Bali, Nalini Jaywant and Nutan, his initial career was not as successful.
But with Nasir Husain's romantic comedy 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha' (1957), he announced his arrival to the silver screen. From then, there was no looking back.
The era which is considered the golden period of Bollywood music features veterans like O P Nayyar, Mohammad Rafi, Shankar Jaikishan, S D Burman, Madan Mohan and Naushad to name a few gave some of the most swinging hits, many of which were sung by Shammi on screen.
Songs like 'Yahoo', 'Oh Haseena', 'Ehasaan tera hoga mujh par', 'Yeh chand sa roshan chehra' became anthems for generations.
With a string of hits, Shammi was one of the most prominent icons of 60's. Films like 'Dil Deke Dhekkho', 'Dil Tera Deewana' (1962), 'Professor' (1962), 'Rajkumar' (1964) and 'Jaanwar' (1965) are still relished by movie goers.
He was married to former actress Geeta Bali but tragedy struck when she died of small pox leaving him with two children. In 1969 he married his second wife Neela Devi, the daughter of the Maharaja of Bhavnagar.
His other milestone films are 'Zameer' (1975) where he played Saira Banu's father, 'Andaz' (1971) with Hema Malini,'Bluffmaster' (1964), 'Manoranjan' (1974).
Later films like 'Sohni Mahiwal, 'Wanted' (1984), 'Aan Aur Shaan' (1984), 'Hero' (1983), 'Romance' (1983), 'Ek Jaan Hai Hum' (1983), 'Betaab', 'Prem Rog' (1982), 'Yeh Wada Raha', 'Ahista Ahista'(1981) and 'Rocky' (1981) saw him playing character roles.
He won the second Filmfare award for Best Supporting actor for Subhash Ghai's multi-starrer 'Vidhaata' in 1982. He also won the Filmfare Lifetime achievement award in 1995. Shammi Kapoor was also one of the foremost internet users in India. He has set up organisations like the Ethical Hackers Association and is the founder of the Internet Users Community of India.