Legendary actor Shashi Kapoor was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian cinema, by Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley at the iconic Prithvi Theatre on Sunday.
The 77-year-old actor, who hasn’t been in the best of health, was wheeled on to the stage by his son Kunal and daughter Sanjana.
“Shashi Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the most versatile personalities Indian cinema has produced. An actor par excellence, who competed in his time with the very best and almost competed with different generations of film actors,” Jaitley said.
“He even produced and directed various kinds of films; combined commercial cinema with alternative cinema; defined languages and brought Hindi cinema and Hollywood closer. Then also, he didn’t leave his love for theatre,” he added.
The gathering saw the presence of Shashi’s nephew Rishi Kapoor, grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor, grand-neice Karisma Kapoor and others like Neetu Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Nafisa Ali, Saif Ali Khan and Rekha.
Due to Shashi’s ill health, he could not travel to the capital for the National Awards ceremony on May 3. So, minister Jaitley flew in here to confer the award on him at Prithvi Theatre, which Shashi launched with his late wife Jennifer Kendal in 1978.
Jaitley said it’s a “a fitting tribute…the award is being physically and symbolically conferred on him in an institution that he himself created – the Prithvi Theatre”.
This is the third Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the illustrious Kapoor family after Shashi’s father Prithviraj Kapoor and elder brother Raj Kapoor.
“The way it (the family) produces talent, I’m sure that it’s not the last one. My best wishes to you for a improved health and a very long life. We wish you all the best, Shashi Kapoor,” Jaitley said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Shashi Kapoor on being conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
“It was wonderful seeing the versatile & much admired Shashi Kapoor-ji being presented the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him” Modi tweeted.