MUMBAI (Reuters) – Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor, a Bollywood matinee idol who starred in over 100 films, died in Mumbai on Monday. He was 79 and had been battling a kidney ailment.
Kapoor, a three-time winner at India’s National Film Awards, is survived by his three children. His wife, English actress Jennifer Kendal, died in 1984.
He was part of what became known as Bollywood’s first family, alongside two brothers who were also leading men: Raj, who died in 1988, and Shammi who died in 2011.
His easy charm and intense demeanor made Shashi Kapoor an instant hit with audiences in the 1960s and 70s. He acted in blockbusters such as “Deewaar” (Wall) and “Kabhi Kabhie” (Sometimes) alongside Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
He straddled roles in mainstream Bollywood films with regular appearances in film producer Ismail Merchant’s collaborations with U.S. director James Ivory. He had memorable roles in films such as “The Householder” (1963) and “Shakespeare Wallah” (1965).
Kapoor also set up Mumbai’s Prithvi Theater, synonymous with experimental and avant-garde theater in India. His daughter Sanjana now runs it.
Tributes to Kapoor began to pour in on Monday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind offering condolences on his death and applauding his contribution to cinema.
“Shashi Kapoor’s versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in theater, which he promoted with great passion. His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come,” Modi said on Twitter.
Kapoor, who made few public appearances, was last seen in 2015 at an event where he received the Dadasaheb Phalke award, India’s highest honor for cinema.
Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Tony Tharakan and Peter Graff