Sunil Sikanderlal Kapoor, better known as Shakti Kapoor, is an iconic actor who has etched his name in the history of Indian cinema largely for his antagonist and comic roles. He has featured in over 700 films throughout the span of his career. Between the 1980s and 1990s, Shakti teamed up with Kader Khan as the comical or evil duo in about 100 films.
Shakti was born in Delhi, India in a Punjabi household on the 3rd of September, 1954. His father was a tailor and owned a corner shop in Connaught Place, New Delhi. Shakti always dreamt of being an actor and playing the villain. That`s when he felt that his name Sunil Kapoor was not powerful enough to portray a villain and changed his name to Shakti Kapoor. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Kirori Mal College in Delhi. He also graduated from Film and Television Institute of India.
Shakti Kapoor is married to Shivangi Kolhapure. The couple have two children, Siddhanth Kapoor
and Shraddha Kapoor
. Both Siddhanth and Shraddha followed their father`s footsteps and are a part of Bollywood, the Hindi film industry.
Shakti Kapoor struggled to make an impact as an actor early in his career. His first ever act was the role of G.L. Sippy in the movie Do Jasoos (1975). He did numerous inconsequential roles while looking for lead roles in movies. However, his fortunes turned around as he established himself in the years 1980-81 with outstanding performances in the movies Qurbani
. In 1983, he played the villain in action thriller Himmatwala
, and the Amitabh Bachchan
-starrer Hero. During this, Shakti began to slowly establish himself as a mainstay villain in Indian cinema.
In the 90s, Shakti began starring in comic roles, playing them with equal finesse. He was nominated for the Filmfare Award in the Best Comedian Category for his role in Raja Babu
(1994). His stellar portrayal of the character of Nandu, Govinda
`s sidekick, prompted Bollywood to embrace his roles as a comedian and he featured in many more movies like Laadla
(1994) and Khuddar
(1994). Arguably his most iconic role was his portrayal of the role Crime Master Gogo in Andaz Apna Apna
(1994). In spite of the movie casting big names like Aamir Khan
, Salman Khan
, Raveena Tandon
and Karisma Kapoor
, Shakti`s performance stood out. His Zorro-esque look coupled with his on screen exuberance was the reason he even outshone the legendary Paresh Rawal
in this movie. Over the next few years, he featured in numerous prominent Bollywood films like the action films Jaan
(1996), Bhai (1997), and the Kanti Shah
-directed action-comedy Gunda
Shakti Kapoor has been a reference for mimicry artistes who emulate his style and dialogues such as "Aaaooo Lolita" from the movie Tohfa
(1984) and "Main Nanha sa Chotta sa Bachcha Hoon" from the movie Chaalbaaz
(1989). Since the 2000s, he has featured in multiple Priyadarshan films, with roles in Hungama
(2003), Chup Chup Ke
(2006), and Malamaal Weekly
(2006) being the most notable.
He has also acted in a few Bengali films like Jeevan Yudh
(1997) and the political drama Atripta Chhaya (2000). His 2020 releases include Rangeela Raja, Life Mein Time Nahi Hai Kisi Ko and Dosti Zindabad and Shimla Mirchi.