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Leading Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor dies at 79

Leading Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor dies at 79
Shashi Kapoor, left, appears with fellow Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar in 2005 at a premiere in Mumbai. (Aljaz Rahi / Associated Press)

Shashi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actor and producer from the 1970s and '80s who went on to appear in American and British films, has died after a long illness. He was 79.

Kapoor died Monday at a Mumbai hospital, where he was being treated for a kidney ailment, said Randhir Kapoor, a family member.

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Kapoor acted in more than 100 Hindi films and was also a key theater personality. He appeared as well in British and American movies produced by Merchant Ivory productions, run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

His English-language movies included "The Householder'" in 1963, "Shakespeare Wallah" in 1965, "Bombay Talkie" in 1970 and "Heat and Dust," in which he co-starred with his wife, British actress Jennifer Kendal, in 1982.

Some of his popular Bollywood films were "Deewar (Wall)," "Kabhi Kabhie (Sometimes)," ''Namak Hala (Loyal Servant)" and "Kaala Pathar (Black Rock)." He co-starred with Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan in each.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kapoor's versatility could be seen in his movies as well as in the theater, which he promoted with great passion. "His brilliant acting will be remembered for generations to come," he said.

Kapoor was a member of a family dynasty in the Bollywood film industry. He was the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, a veteran of Bollywood and the theater.

Shashi Kapoor began acting at age 4 in plays produced and directed by his father. He started in films as a child actor in the late 1940s. He made his debut as a leading actor in movies in 1961.

He is survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife Kendal died in 1984.

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