Shammi Kapoor dies aged 79

Last Yahoo from Bollywood's greatest star.

by Jennie Kermode

He was the king of Bollywood, or perhaps its court jester, but Shammi Kapoor passed away today at the age of 79. Much loved by fans around the globe, he was famous for his wacky capers, his energtic dancing, and that cry of "Yahoo!" which somehow managed to sneak its way into films on all sorts of subjects. As well as acting he tried his hand at directing, and he also made a name for himself as an internet pioneer, founding the Internet Users' Community of India.

Kapoor was probably best known in the West for An Evening In Paris, a mystery shot during the height of his powers as a romantic lead. Though he enjoyed two decades as a heartthrob, he gradually made the shift into character acting, where his natural comedic gifts made him equally successful. He made his last film, Sandwich, in 2006, but had just been preparing to return to the screen in Imitiaz Ali's Rockstar, alongside his great-nephew Ranbir Kapoor.

At the centre of a massively successful acting dynasty, Kapoor took great delight in his family and, despite the death of his first wife from smallpox, always said that he had a happy life. He held to this philosophy even when kidney failure left him needing frequent dialysis, saying that he thanked God for giving him so much. He had been in hospital for two days at the point when his kidneys finally gave out. With five prestigious lifetime achievement awards to his name, he will not soon be forgotten.

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