Shashi Kapoor(18 March 1938 – 4 December 2017) made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra. He started as a child artist with his brother Raj Kapoor's directorial Aag (1948). He became global with Merchant Ivory productions The Householder (1963),
The Householder was the first collaboration between producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, a documentary filmmaker till then. They went on to make nearly forty films together, many of which were written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Shashi Kapoor worked in seven films made under the Merchant–Ivory Productions banner: The Householder, Shakespeare Wallah, Bombay Talkie, Heat and Dust—all directed by James Ivory—and three films by three other directors—The Deceivers, In Custody and Side Streets.
Shooting for the film started in 1961 and was completed in 1963. It was made in two versions, Hindi and English, the latter was picked by Columbia Pictures. It was a huge hit — both with critics and audiences — for a film that was made on a budget of $125,000.
After The Householder, Shashi Kapoor signed their next film, Shakespeare Wallah.It was released in 1965, this was a film about a traveling troupe of actors who perform Shakespeare plays in India. Satyajit Ray gave the music for the film, and Madhur Jaffrey won the Best Actress award (Silver Bear) for 15th Berlin International Film Festival.
Pretty Polly (also known as A Matter of Innocence) was a 1967 British film, directed by Guy Green and based on the short story Pretty Polly Barlow by Noël Coward. It stars Hayley Mills, Shashi Kapoor, Trevor Howard, and Brenda De Banzie.
Bombay Talkie (1970) was the next film Shashi Kapoor did with them. Jeniffer Kapoor, his wife was the heroine of that film. You would be surprised to note that Amitabh Bachchan played a minuscule role in the movie. The music of the film was given by Shankar Jaikishan.
Siddhartha was a 1972 Indo-American film based on the novel of the same name by Hermann Hesse, directed by Conrad Rooks.Shashi played Sidhartha and Simi played Kamla in this film. Simi Garewal's nude scene caused controversy in India. The Indian Censor Board, at that time, did not even permit on-screen kissing in Indian films.
Heat and Dust (1983) was the next film directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant. It stars Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor, and Julie Christie. Heat and Dust was based on the novel written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, which won the Booker Prize in 1975. The screenplay for the film was written by the writer herself. It was Merchant Ivory's biggest commercial success
The other films he acted are Sammy And Rosie Get Laid(1987), The Deceivers (1988), In Custody (1993),Jinnah (1998) and Side Streets(1998),