Shammi Kapoor: From ‘Male Starlet’ To ‘Yahoo Star’

In an exclusive chat with Lehren, superstar Shammi Kapoor opened up about his beautiful co-stars Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, and more. As well as directors Shakti Samanta, S. Mukherjee and others.

Shammi Kapoor roared ‘yahoooo’ and captured the hearts of people with his unique on-screen style, making audiences fall in love with him over and over again. But few know that before turning heads, Mr. Kapoor’s many films around 30 to 40 did not do well at the box office, showcasing his regression at not achieving success compared to being the brother of the great Raj Kapoor, the son of the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor and the husband of the finest actress Geeta Bali.

Kapoor entered the Bollywood industry when filmmaker Mahesh Kaul spotted him performing in his father’s play as the character Pathaan and offered him his first film, ‘Jeewan Jyoti’. However, this film did not provide the breakthrough he needed, and he continued to star in numerous films, most of which did not perform well. This led Kapoor to refer to himself as a ‘male starlet’.

His career trajectory changed completely with ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’. Reflecting on this import moment “that gave me the opportunity to sing songs the way I wanted to and act the way I wanted to act,” said Kapoor. After this breakthrough, the rest is history, and he became one of the biggest stars from the Kapoor dynasty at the time.

Kapoor further shared details about marrying Geeta Bali at an early age and the difficulties of running a family when his films weren’t successful in theatres. He recalled how Bali stood by him like a pillar, never giving up on him and completely believing in his potential. Successfully starring with top movies like ‘Dil Deke Dekho’, ‘Junglee’, and ‘Professor’, earning him the title of the ‘Yahoo star’. Tragically, Bali passed away while Shammi Ji was making ‘Teesri Manzil’, a loss that deeply affected him.

Kapoor also recounted his secret marriage to Bali and how he eventually revealed it to his father, Prithviraj Kapoor. This personal anecdote highlighted the challenges and joys of his early life and career.

The conversation continued with Kapoor sharing insights about the directors and actresses he worked with on several blockbuster films. He expressed deep admiration for the great filmmakers he collaborated with, including Nasir Hussain, Shakti Samanta and Sashadhar Mukherjee. He also fondly remembered his co-stars, such as Geeta Bali, Ameeta, Asha Parekh, and Sharmila Tagore, who played significant roles in his successful career.

Shammi Kapoor offered intriguing details about his journey, his relationships and his experiences in the film industry. To know in detail watch out the exclusive podcast below with the very own ‘Yahoo’ star.

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