Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre was filled to brimming with Kapoors from Bollywood’s First Family on May 10 when veteran actor Shashi Kapoor received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian Cinema. NDTV.com said that guests at the ceremony included not just his family but also several former co-stars.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley presented the award to Kapoor, star of over 175 films over a 40-long-year career. Ranbir and Rishi Kapoor made introductions. Rishi Kapoor, the actor’s nephew, spoke about being directed by his uncle in Ajooba. He said that Shashi Kapoor was the only director who kept his actors in check on set with a stick – an anecdote that received hearty endorsement from Amitabh Bachchan, who also starred in Ajooba. Kapoor’s son Kunal and daughter Sanjana accompanied him onto stage. He was presented with a ceremonial shawl and a certificate by Jaitley. “He brought Hindi cinema and Hollywood closer,” Jaitley said after the presentation.
The setting of the ceremony – Prithvi Theatre – was established by Kapoor and his late wife Jennifer Kendal, both of who had strong roots in theatre and stage. The 77-year-old actor is the third member of his family to receive the award after father Prithviraj Kapoor and elder brother Raj Kapoor.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is usually presented with the National Film Awards in New Delhi. However, Shashi Kapoor was too unwell to attend the ceremony in the capital on May 3. Shashi Kapoor’s many cinematic successes include Deewar, Kabhi Kabhie, Namak Halaal, Sharmilee, Junoon, New Delhi Times and Merchant-Ivory films like The Householder, Heat and Dust and In Custody.