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Shekhar Kapur
Occupation:Actor • Director • Producer • Writer
Born:December 6, 1945
Birthplace:Lahore, Pakistan
Spouse:Medha Gujral, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi
Known for making movies with intelligent narratives and nuanced performances, award-winning director Shekhar Kapur started his career with the highly acclaimed drama Masoom in 1983. With the science fiction superhero film Mr. India to his credit, the director shot to fame with the National Award-winning biographical film Bandit Queen. The movie was India`s official submission for the Academy Awards in 1995. He gained international recognition for his 1998 biographical movie Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, which went on to win as many as seven Academy Awards. While he is a renowned film director, he has also acted in a number of movies such as Khanjar, Vishwaroopam and its sequel Vishwaroopam II. The director and actor was honored with India`s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri Award, in 2000.

Early Life
Born on 6th of December in Lahore, British India, Shekhars father, Kulbushan Kapur, was a renowned doctor, and his mother Sheel Kanta Kapur was the sister of legendary Bollywood actor Dev Anand and directors Chetan Anand and vijay anand. While Shekhar is the couple`s only son, he grew up with three sisters.

Shekhar completed his schooling from Modern School, New Delhi, and graduated from St. Stephen`s College with a degree in economics. Following his graduation, he moved to England to study chartered accountancy from the ICAEW Institute. Upon completing his studies, he started working with a multinational oil company in India. He then travelled to the UK in 1970, where he worked as an accountant and management consultant. However, he returned to India to pursue his career in the film industry.

Personal Life
Shekhar became close to actress Shabana Azmi with whom he worked with in the Dev Anand film Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974). Their relationship lasted for several years, but things did not work out between them and they eventually parted ways. He then met Medha Gujral, who was assisting him on the sets of Masoom. The two got married in the mid-80s and remained together till 1994 when they sought for a mutual divorce. In 1999, Shekhar tied the knot with actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthy and the couple have a daughter named Kaveri. But his second marriage lasted even shorter than his first as they divorced in 2007.

Movie Career
As a Director
Shekhar made his directorial debut with Masoom (1983), starring Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in the lead roles. The film was a remake of Malayalam movie Olangal and won Filmfare Award Critics for Best Film. After a gap of 4 years, he directed science fiction Mr. India (1987), which featured an ensemble cast that included Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Amrish Puri, Ashok Kumar, Satish Kaushik, Ajit Vachani, and Sharat Saxena. Over the years, the film has attained an iconic status and is considered one of the landmarks in Indian cinema. Shekhar`s next was a biographical film based on the life of Phoolan Devi titled Bandit Queen. The film was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 67th Academy Awards. Bandit Queen gave him international recognition and his fame further gained mileage with Elizabeth (1998), a cinematic take on the reign of British Queen Elizabeth. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards. He also directed the sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). In 2008, Kapur has directed one of the short films in an American romantic anthology titled New York, I Love You.

As an Actor
Kapur, in fact, started his career first as an actor. He debuted with a small role in the film Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974), which was directed by his maternal uncle, Dev Anand, and starred Zeenat Aman, and Shabana Azmi in pivotal roles. He has dabbled as an actor in mainstream commercial cinema like Khanjar (1980) as well art house dramas like Drishti (1990) and Nazar (1991). While he played a supporting role in Khanjar, the films Drishti and Nazar had him in the lead roles. As he became known as a director in India and abroad in mid-90s Shekhar took a break from acting. He returned to face the camera with the Kamal Haasan film Vishwaroopam only in 2013, wherein he was cast as a RAW agent named Colonel Jagannath. He also acted in Himesh Reshammiya`s Teraa Surroor (2016). His 2018 projects include Vishwaroopam 2, a circumquel to 2013 hit Vishwaroopam. The film will be released in Hindi as Vishwaroop II.

As a Producer
Shekhar Kapur has been an executive producer for Mani Ratnam`s romantic-thriller Dil Se..(1998), the 2002 sex comedy The Guru (2002), and has also produced the documentary film Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (2011).

Television Career
As an Actor
Kapur was first seen acting in the 1985 television series Khandaan, which co-starred actors like Neena Gupta, Girish Karnad, Reema Lagoo, Om Puri, and Tanuja in pivotal roles. Next, he was seen alongside Kitu Gidwani in the 1988 drama series Uppanyas, which explored the life of a semi-retired novelist whose ardent fan motivates to start writing again. Cast alongside the likes of Mohan Agashe, Swati Bhise, Benjamin Gilani, and Shreeram Lagoo in the drama series Mahanagar in 1988. The following year, Kapur starred in the first of its kind women empowerment series on Doordarshan titled Udaan, which was based on the true story of former Director General of Police Kanchan Choudhary Bhattacharya.

As a Director
Kapur not only acted but also directed few episodes of a couple of TV series. One of the two series that he was associated with as a directed was the 2016 American drama horror series Damien. He then directed and produced three episodes of the American series that explores the youth of the famous playwright William Shakespeare titled Will.
Peers & More
Shyam Benegal
Ketan Mehta
Aparna Sen
Medha Gujral
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi
Kaveri Kapur
Sheela Kanta Kapur
Kulbhushan Kapur
Neelu Kapur
Sohaila Kapur
Aruna Kapur
Popular Movies
View All
What`s Love Got to Do with It?
Vishwaroop 2
Vishwaroopam 2
Teraa Surroor
Time Machine
Ishkq In Paris
Vishwaroop (Hindi)
Vishwaroopam (Telugu)
Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Did You Know? (4)

  • Preity Zinta was supposed to debut in a Shekhar Kapur film, Tara Rum Pum Pum, opposite Hrithik Roshan but it got shelved
  • As of 2017, Kapur has been working on his most ambitious project Paani for over 15 years.
  • Shekhar Kapur is a certified CA and worked as an accountant and management consultant before he decided to join the film industry.
  • Shekhar Kapur served as one of the jury members at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.
  • Personal Quotes (13)

  • "I've never looked at film-making as a career. I've looked on film-making as an adventure. When you come down the mountain, you get ready to climb again."
  • "In India, the corrupt accuse the corrupt of being corrupt and the corrupt investigate the corrupt and absolve the corrupt of being corrupt."
  • "“There's a lot of imagination in Asia, and I believe that the next Google will come from there, and the next Pixar. I believe that the great new media companies will come out of Asia and surpass the big media conglomerates that exist right now in the west.”"
  • "“I am far more comfortable with failure than I ever will be with success.”"
  • "If time has no beginning and no end, everything is happening, will happen, has happened, at the same moment. All eternity in a single moment."
  • "When you get up, the night and day is a contradiction. But you get up at 4 a.m. - that first blush of blue is where the night and day are trying to find harmony with each other."
  • "I tell a story, and therefore I exist."
  • "Panic is the great access of creativity because that's the only way to get rid of your mind."
  • "A story is the relationship that you develop between who you are, or who you potentially are, and the infinite world."
  • "Fall in love so madly that every leaf whispers words of love to your lover. Every raindrop explodes with only one word as it hits the Earth."
  • "Lessons of Life: When you stop yearning, When you stop aspiring. You stop living"
  • "True love can exist only in freedom from possession"
  • "I spent 15 years of my career trying to convince people that Indian cinema is relevant. I am so proud of Indian cinema and I am so proud of my Indian roots. The IIFAs are doing a great job to this effect."
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