Shashi Kapoor: The Gentleman Actor Who Lashed Out In The Press Only Once When He Said Some Actresses Get Awards For 'Soaping Their Armpits' - EXCLUSIVE

One time that Shashi Kapoor lost his cool and lashed out in print was when his dear beloved wife Jennifer Kapoor did not win the National award for her extraordinary performance in Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane.

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Shashi Kapoor: The Gentleman Actor Who Lashed Out In The Press Only Once When He Said Some Actresses Get Awards For 'Soaping Their Armpits' - EXCLUSIVE
Forever  the thorough gentleman Shashi Kapoor’s interaction with the press was impeccable. Polite well-behaved and utterly dignified he never lost his cool in print(there was  no internet back then). But the one time that Shashi  lost his  cool and lashed out  in print was when  his dear beloved wife Jennifer  Kapoor did not win the National award  for  her  extraordinary performance  in Aparna Sen’s  36 Chowringhee Lane.

Strangely Shashi Kapoor lashed out at Smita Patil rather than Rekha who won the National award that year for Umrao Jaan.

Explains  a source, “Even when he was angry  and upset Shashi remembered  to  be kind to his friends. And Rekha was  a dear friend. She had  played the lead in  three of Shashi’s  most prestigious productions Vijeta, Kalyug and Utsav. So Shashi didn’t want to attack Rekha. Instead he    deflected his anger to unnamed actresses who get national awards for soaping their armpits.”

A comment that Shashi regretted later,  though luckily he hadn’t named Smita. But Smita did win the National award for Chakra in which she was seen bathing under a streetside watertap.

Some years  ago when I  brought  up this soapy slip-up  with Rekha she said, “Shashi had every right to be upset. Jenniferji  deserved the award  much more than me. I didn’t even know what I was doing in Umrao Jaan.”

Shashi could take solace  in  the fact that  many great  performers and performances didn’t win any National award. They  didn’t honour Dilip Kumar  for Ganga Jumna or Devdas. Nor did they honour Rajesh Khanna for Anand  or Amar Prem. Even Mr  Bachchan’s really great  performances in  Deewaar and Saudagar went  unacknowledged.

Image source: SpotboyEarchives
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