Shakti Kapoor is an Indian actor and comedian, who is known for his negative and comic roles in Hindi films. He is the father of the famous Indian actress Shraddha Kapoor.
Shakti Kapoor aka Sunil Sikanderlal Kapoor was born on Wednesday, 3 September 1952 (age 70 years; as of 2022) in Delhi. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He did his schooling at Holy Child Senior Secondary School, Delhi, The Frank Anthony Public School, New Delhi, and Salwan Public School, New Delhi. In an interview, he shared that he was rusticated from these three schools for misbehaving in school.
He pursued BCom from Kirori Mal College, Delhi on sports quota. During an interview, he said that he was ragged in the college by his seniors. He said,
I studied in KMC, the same college where Amitabh Bachchan studied. Ragging was common then. I remember a group of Jaat seniors tried to rag me. They took me to the hostel and wanted to do something weird with me. They asked me to pull my pants down and go around the college. But I escaped.”
While he was in college, he started working as a model. In an interview, he shared how he started modelling. He said,
I was a model before I passed college: Vishnu panwalla in in Karol Bagh, from whom I bought cigarettes, put up a poster of me in his kiosk and urged me to become an actor. I realised I could earn money by modelling. My first ad campaign was for Surya Bansi Suitings, with Jalal Aghaâ€™s wife Valerie. I made between Rs 150-350 per assignment and spent the money on cigarettes and booze!”
Days at FTII
After completing his graduation, he attended FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), Pune. Earlier, on his behalf, his friends filled out his application form for admission to FTII. He cleared the interview round and got selected to study at the FTII. In an interview, while remembering those days, he said,
I booked a ticket for Pune and left with Rs 700. While on the train, I befriended Anil Verman, who was also going to FTII. He suggested I accompany him to his sister’s home in Mumbai. Once there, I saw Vinod Khanna walk into the house. Anil’s sister was married to Vinod’s brother Pramod! And with Vinod were Rakesh and Rajesh Roshan! They came to drop us at FTII. We drove in a Ford, beer bottles in hand. I felt like a star!”
He further talked about his first day at FTII. He said,
When we reached FTII, I walked up to this dark guy in a lungi and said, You wanna have some beer Mithun Chakrabarti declined. That night, Mithun, Vijayendra Ghatge and another senior, took me into a room, switched off the lights, splashed water on my face, chopped off my newly-styled hair and threatened me with the worst if they caught me drinking. Terrified, I didn’t leave my room for the next four days. After the initial ragging, I was friends with Mithun.”
While at FTII, I did ad films. These credentials secured a role in Khel Khiladi Par. The film didn’t do well, but I was noticed. I stayed as a paying guest for Rs 250 per month till Anil Verman gave me free accommodation in an apartment, where I stayed for seven years. Ad campaigns gave me money to buy a rickety Fiat. Once, while driving down Linking Road, a Mercedes crashed into me. I rushed out to demand damages. But when Feroze Khan stepped out of the Merc, I forgot everything and begged him for a role. There were 500 people watching.”
Height (approx.): 6′
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper (dyed brown)
Eye Colour: Grey
He belongs to a Punjabi family.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Sikander Lal Kapoor, used to work as a tailor. His mother’s name is Susheela Kapoor. He has one elder sibling and two younger siblings. He has two brothers named Rummy Kapoor & Pravin Kapoor, and a sister named Renu Kapoor.
Wife & Children
While he was shooting for the Hindi film ‘Kismet’ in 1980, he met his wife Shivangi Kolhapure for the first time on the set of the film. Initially, they became friends, and soon, fell in love with each other. They secretly dated for almost two years and then decided to get married. Shivangi’s parents were strict, and when she expressed her desire to marry Shakti, her parents locked her in a room. Later, Shakti and Shivangi (10-11 years younger to Shakti) eloped and got married. In an interview, while remembering those days, Shakti said,
Shivangi and I eloped and got married. She is Maharashtrian and I am Punjabi. I played the villain and my reputation was not good. Her family did not agree to the marriage, so we had to run away. She was 18 when we got married (in 1982). When she was 19, my son Siddhanth was born. That was the first time Shivangi’s mother spoke to her after our marriage when she came to meet her at Breach Candy Hospital.”
He further talked about his family’s reaction to his marriage. He said that when my father got to know that Shivangi was the grand-niece of the legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, he said,
Teri sab galtiyaan maaf.’
Shakti further said,
Shivangi’s family did not agree to our relationship, so we eloped and got married. My father, Sikandarlal Kapoor in Delhi got to know about it, he decided not to talk to me. My mother asked him to meet the girl once. As soon as he saw Shivangi, who is 10-12 years younger to me, he was like badi pyaari bachhi hai (He said that she is really nice). She sang two lines and my father stood up and asked how come she sings so well. I told Lata ji is her first cousin, He stood up and said ‘Teri sab galtiyaan maaf (All your mistakes are forgiven), because you got married in such big family.’ He asked her to sing Lata ji’s song and shared that he a huge fan of hers. As soon as Shivangi sang, he got emotional.”
On 6 July 1984, the couple was blessed with a son named Siddhanth Kapoor, who works as an actor and assistant director. On 3 March 1987, the couple had a girl named Shraddha Kapoor, who is working as an actor in the Hindi films.
Shakti Kapoor is the brother-in-law of the Indian actress Padmini Kolhapure.
Before dating his wife Shivangi Kolhapure, he was in a relationship with another film actress Rama Vij.
He started his career as an actor in the Hindi film ‘Ranjit Khanal’ (1975) in which he played the role of Anand. He then appeared in the Hindi films ‘Alibaba Marjinaa’ (1977), ‘Sargam’ (1979), ‘Qurbani’ (1980), and ‘Rocky’ (1981).
He became popular with Hindi films like ‘Satte Pe Satta’ (1982), ‘Hero’ (1983), ‘Ghar Ek Mandir’ (1984), ‘Chaalbaaz’ (1989), and ‘Baaghi: A Rebel for Love’ (1990).
Shakti has worked in more than 700 films in which he has mainly played negative and comic roles. He is considered one of the topmost Bollywood villains of the 1990s. His iconic Hindi films are ‘Chaalbaaz’ (1989), ‘Raja Babu’ (1994), ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994), ‘Judwaa’ (1997), ‘Coolie No. 1’ (1997), ‘Gunda’ (1998), and ‘Hungama’ (2003). Some of his dialogues became very popular such as “Aaaooo Lolita” from the movie Tohfa (1984), “Main Nanha sa Chotta sa Bachcha Hoon” from the film ‘Chaalbaaz’ (1989), and “Nandu sabka bandhu, samajhta nahi hai yaar” from the film ‘Raja Babu’ (1994).
He continued playing supporting and cameo roles in Hindi films like ‘Malamaal Weekly’ (2006), ‘Chup Chup Ke’ (2006), ‘Bhagam Bhag’ (2006), ‘De Dana Dan’ (2009), and ‘Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3’ (2016).
In 1986, he made his Telugu film debut with the film ‘Kaliyuga Pandavulu.’
He then acted in a few more Telugu films such as ‘Yuddha Bhoomi’ (1988) and ‘Sahasam’ (2013). Shakti Kapoor is among the few Indian actors who have worked in various languages. His debut films in various languages are:
Bengali: Badnam (1990) as Keshto Da
Bangladeshi: Eri Naam Dosti (2001) as Surma Sawdagar
Kannada: Make Up (2002) in a cameo role
Assamese: Priya O Priya (2002) in a supporting role
Odia: Bahudibe Mo Jaga Balia (2003) as Rudra Pratap Rai
Bhojpuri: Hum Hain Hero Hindustani (2009) as a broker
Marathi: Aika Dajiba (2010) as Khanna
Malayalam: Oru Marubhoomikkadha (2011) Hosle The Boss
Nepali: Pratikar (2011) as a broker
Punjabi: Marriage Da Garriage (2014) in a supporting role
Shakti Kapoor, along with his wife Shivangi, participated in the TV celebrity dance reality show ‘Nach Baliye’ season 3 in 2007.
He participated in season 5 of the TV reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ (2011), and on the 28th day in the house, he was evicted.
Apart from acting, he has also worked as a model in various modelling assignments and print advertisements like Panama cigarette.
Shakti Kapoor has also featured in various TV commercials like Bombay Shaving Company, RK Enclave, and Cruise Deo Body Spray.
In 2019, he played the role of Prem Bahadur in the ZEE5 web series ‘Parchhayee.’
He participated as a contestant in the Hindi stand-up comedy show ‘Gangs of Filmistaan’ (2020) aired on Star Bharat.
The Sting Operation
In 2005, the Indian TV news channel India TV conducted a sting operation on Shakti Kapoor. The team of the news channel plotted one of its news reporters as an aspiring actress in front of Shakti Kapoor. In the recorded video, Shakti Kapoor was seen asking the reporter for sexual favours in return for providing her work in the Hindi films. He said,
I want to make love to you… and if you want to come into this line (film industry), you have to do what I am telling you to do. Top 3 Bollywood actresses have also slept with producers for work.”
As soon as the video was telecasted on India TV, he started receiving huge backlash from people. When the reporters asked him about the sting operation, he said,
The video was doctored. The undercover reporter met me several times and threatened to commit suicide if I did not come to the hotel room she had booked.”
He was then banned by the ‘Indian Film and TV Producers Council’ (IFTPC) and ‘Producers Guild of India’ (GUILD). A few days later, due to the lack of some solid proof supporting the sting operation, the ban was lifted from him.
Inappropriate Act with the Bigg Boss Co-Contestant
While Shakti Kapoor was in Bigg Boss house in 2011, he landed into another controversy. He slapped the butt of one of his co-contestants Miss Afghanistan Vida Samadzai. The act was not well received by the audience and hosts of the show Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan. When the reporters asked Shakti about the act, he said,
I would like to tell him (Salman) that even if he invites me to his house, I may not want to go there! He made those scathing remarks without any provocation, so he has to say sorry. I have always voiced my opinion about the biased attitude of Salman towards me throughout the show and have always been concerned about the same. Henceforth, I have no idea how things will shape up in future as far as Bigg Boss is concerned.”
- 1995: Nominated for Best Comic Actor for the film Andaz Apna Apna
- 1995: Won Best Comic Actor for Raja Babu
- 1997: Nominated for Best Comic Actor for the film Loafer
- 1998: Nominated for Best Comic Actor for the film Judwaa
Shakti Kapoor owns a house in Juhu, a house in Madh Island, a house in Lonavala (a hill station near Mumbai), and a house in Greater Kailash, Delhi.
- Travel Destination: United Kingdom
- In school and college, he used to play cricket. In an interview, he said that cricket was his passion until he started dating his cricket team captain’s girlfriend. Later, he left both cricket and his captain’s girlfriend.
- While he was studying, his father wanted him to join the family business, but he wanted to start a travel agency. During an interview, he shared why he did not start his travel agency. He said,
My father cheated me: When I passed out of KMC with 43 per cent marks, my father agreed to let me join a travel agency, and assured me that he would help me set up my own place. I worked with Mercury Travels and Asian Travels. I made my contacts, learnt about ticketing and visas and was all set to open my own agency when my father backed out. I felt totally cheated.”
- The late Indian actor Sunil Dutt suggested him to change his screen name to Shakti Kapoor as his real name would not justify his villainous stint in the films. Reportedly, during Shakti’s struggling days, Sunil Dutt used to give him Rs 1500 for Shakti’s monthly expenses.
- With his role as a villain in the 90s Hindi films, he gained immense popularity. In an interview, he talked about his fan following in that era. He said,
I received all kinds of sexy fan mail. Girls used to send me their undergarments for autograph.”
- During an interview, he talked about working with his favourite actor Amitabh Bachchan. He said,
We worked together in ‘Mahaan’. We were shooting for some fight sequences in Delhi during winters. Mr Bachchan came to know that I am from Delhi so he asked me if I can get a home-cooked meal for him as he is bored of eating outside food. I promised him to get some the next day. I went home and told my mother that Amitabh Bachchan wanted to eat some home-cooked meals. As Big B is vegetarian, my mother cooked sarson ka saag, paneer ki sabji and makki ki roti for him. My brother got the tiffin on the set for us. During lunchtime, Mr Bachchan sat in a corner and started eating. In no time, he finished about 5-6 makki roti with saag and paneer ki sabji. After the meal, he thanked me by saying that he ate a home-cooked meal after a long time and he enjoyed it thoroughly.”
- In 2004, he campaigned for the Trinamool Congress candidate Madan Mitra. Reportedly, he was paid for campaigning for the Trinamool Congress.
- Shakti Kapoor smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol at parties and events.