Shammi Kapoor's birth anniversary: 12 lesser-known facts about the sixties' superstar

Speed News Desk | First published: 21 October 2016, 10:56 IST
Shammi Kapoor Sketch By Sahil Khamosh
Shammi Kapoor Sketch By Sahil Khamosh

If he were alive, Shammi Kapoor would have turned 85 on October 21, 2016. Here are 12 lesser-known facts about the definitive star of the swinging sixties.

1. Shammi Kapoor's parents were very anxious and wary when he was due as two of his elder brothers, Devi and Bindi, had passed away within a week of each other. He was the only child in the family whose birth took place at a hospital -- the Ajinkya hospital, Charni Road, Mumbai.

2. Born Shamsher Raj Kapoor, Shammi spent the first eight years of his life in Kolkata (where father Prithviraj Kapoor starred in films made by the famous New Theatres studio). After Shashi was born, the Kapoors returned to Mumbai.

3. Shammi had once said, "The most unforgettable days in my life are those that I spent in Matunga, a small Mumbai suburb adjoining Dadar. We lived on Masani Road. I would jog around in my spiked shoes, and play seven tiles, abba doobi and cricket with a season ball."

4. Shammi had to leave Don Bosco school because the school's principal and his star elder brother (by seven years) Raj Kapoor had a fight over the school's refusal to grant him permission to miss classes and rehearse for his dad Prithviraj Kapoor's play, Shakuntala.

5. Shammi Kapoor began his film career at the age of 22 with several releases in 1953. He worked with the leading ladies of the day like Madhubala, Meena Kumari and Nutan but big-time success and stardom proved elusive for the next four years.

6. In 1955, Shammi married actress Geeta Bali in an impromptu ceremony. The couple was so much in love that Geeta Bali convinced director Kidar Sharma to cast her in a man's role in his Shammi-starrer Rangeen Raatein so that she could accompany Shammi to the Ranikhet outdoor of the film.