South Asia

Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor cremated

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Media captionStars of Indian cinema attended the funeral of actor Shammi Kapoor in Mumbai

The funeral of veteran Indian film star Shammi Kapoor has been held in the city of Mumbai (Bombay).

The actor's son, Adityaraj Kapoor, performed the last rites at the cremation attended by Bollywood stars, friends and family.

Shammi Kapoor died of kidney failure, aged 79, early on Sunday.

One of the most popular stars of his generation, he starred in hits like Junglee, An Evening in Paris, Chinatown and Kashmir Ki Kali.

The actor belonged to the Indian film industry's famous family of actors that included his father, Prithviraj, and brothers Raj and Shashi Kapoor.

Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor were among those who attended the funeral, along with a host of film-makers like Subhas Ghai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

A prominent star in 1950s and 1960s, fans called Kapoor the "Elvis Presley of India" for his frenetic and agile dancing in romantic hits such as 1957's Tumsa Nahin Dekha (You're One of a Kind) and 1959's Dil Deke Dekho (Give Your Heart and See).

The actor was also a keen internet buff and among the first Indians to have his own website. The site profiles his famous family, who have dominated Hindi-language cinema virtually since its inception.

The Indian media carried the news of Shammi Kapoor's death prominently on their front pages on Monday.

'Redefined entertainment'

Chandan Mitra, editor of The Pioneer newspaper, wrote that Kapoor "redefined screen entertainment in post-Independence India".

"He broke away from mushy romances, laboured empathy with the underclass, stilted, high-pitched dialogue-delivery and endlessly sobbing women," Mr Mitra wrote.

"His films steered clear of social messages... [and he] sang and danced into the hearts of a new generation of Indians straining at the leash to break away from the overdose of moralistic hype in the immediate aftermath of Gandhian puritanism and Nehruvian socialism."

Critic Radha Rajadhyaksha wrote that Kapoor brought "ebullience and flamboyance" to Bollywood.

"Kapoor brought to the romanticism of the Hindi film song a certain sexuality, an erotic charge that was a far cry from the way other actors played it," she wrote in the Times of India newspaper.

Bollywood actor Imran Khan wrote in a tribute that Kapoor was the "original Indian rock star".

"He created a style that was all his own, and 50 years down the line, none can touch him in that space," he wrote in the Hindustan Times.

Kapoor's popular co-actress Sharmila Tagore remembered him as a man who "lived to the fullest" and "never let his illness get in the way of his enjoyment".

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