Bollywood Star Shammi Kapoor, the 'Elvis Presley of India,' Dies at 79
The veteran actor was known for roles in such films as "Junglee," "Professor" and "An Evening in Paris."
Bollywood star Shammi Kapoor, who has been called the "Elvis Presley of India," died Sunday of chronic renal failure, the Times of India reported. He was 79.
His doctor, Bhupendra Gandhi, said Kapoor was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai, India, two days ago in critical condition and placed on dialysis. He had been reportedly undergoing dialysis three days a week over the past few years.
He was often compared to Presley because of his looks but made his own mark with his famous "Yahoo" yell, which "signified the arrival of a rebel star against the reigning trio of his time Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar," according to the Times of India.
Born Shamsher Raj Kapoor on Oct. 21, 1931, Kapoor was part of Bollywood's Kapoor family dynasty: His father, Prithviraj, was a popular theater actor in the 1950s, and his brothers Raj and Shashi also were successful actors.
But he still didn't have an easy time breaking into showbiz. Kapoor made his Bollywood debut in 1953, and his first movies flopped.
He later reinvented himself by cutting his hair into the famous duck-tail style of the 1950s, which then sparked a successful career that included starring roles in hits including Junglee and Professor.
While he initially was known for his lighthearted role in movies like Rajkumar and An Evening in Paris, he later won over critics with performances in Badtameez, Bluff Master and Pagla Kahin.
His last starring role was in 1971's Andaz, but he went on to appear in such films Vidhata, Hero and Prem Rog.
He is survived by his wife as well as a son and daughter. A funeral is set for Monday morning.