Veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor was on Sunday conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award at the landmark Prithvi Theatre by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.
The 77-year-old actor came on the stage in a wheelchair, he smiled and folded his hands in reverence after receiving the honour.
Kapoor, the younger brother of iconic actors Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, could not travel to Delhi because of his ill-health for the award ceremony which was held on May 3. Therefore, the Minister came to Mumbai to give away the award.
“It is indeed an important moment as one of our veteran actors is getting the award. It is conferred on Shashi Kapoor, who is undoubtedly a versatile personality Indian cinema has ever produced . . . an actor par excellence who competed with the best and carved out best work as actor, producer and director. We are presenting this award symbolically at the institution he created,” Jaitley said after giving the honour.
The 77-year-old actor is the third person from the Kapoor family to receive the honour from the government, after his father Prithvi Raj Kapoor and elder brother Raj Kapoor.
“The way the Kapoor family is producing talent, I am sure this award is not the last one (for the family),” Jaitley said.
Wearing a black outfit and an orange shawl, Kapoor arrived at Prithvi Theatre on a wheel chair as he has been ailing from kidney problems.
Jaitley presented him a citation, shawl, medal and a cheque of Rs 10 lakh.
Born on March 18, 1938, to the illustrious and formidable theatre and film actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Kapoor hit the spotlight at the age of four acting in plays directed and produced by his father. He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940s.
His best known performances as a child artist were in “Aag” (1948) and “Awaara” (1951), where he played the younger version of the character played by Raj Kapoor. Kapoor also worked as assistant director in the 1950s.
Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film “Dharmputra” and went on to appear in more than 116 films during 60s, 70s and until the mid 80s.
Some of his memorable films include “Deewar”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Namak Halal”, “Kaala Pathar” and others.
The event was moderated by noted actor and Kapoor’s nephew Rishi Kapoor.
An audio-visual presentation of Kapoor’s cinematic journey, from a child artist to a lead actor, producer and a theatre personality, was shown.
It had a voice-over by Ranbir Kapoor and senior actors Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi, Shabana Azmi and Randhir Kapoor, who shared their experiences about Kapoor.
From the Kapoor family, those present on the occasion included Raj Kapoor’s wife Krishna Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor’s son Kunal Kapoor, Rishi with wife Neetu and son Ranbir, Babita with daughter Karisma and younger son-in-law Saif Ali Khan, Shammi Kapoor’s wife Neela Devi.
Several celebrities from the film industry like megastar Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek, Rekha, Hema Malini, Javed Akhtar, Azmi, Hiroo Johar, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Bhosle, Anupam Kher, Poonam Dhillon, Supriya Pathak, KK Menon and others were also present at the function.