Shammi Kapoor was the "man in the middle" in his family: His elder brother was the critically acclaimed actor/director RajKapoor, and his younger brother was the [[{{Bishonen}} glamorous screen idol]] ShashiKapoor. Shammi made his mark as a leading man in the early sixties, where his giant pompadour and outrageous dance moves led to him being seen as the ElvisPresley of Bollywood. Opinions are divided as to where he was a particularly {{Narm}}tastic LargeHam in this period, or a particularly {{NarmCharm}}ing LargeHam.

He went through a bad period when his beloved wife died of cholera, and gradually transitioned from lead roles to character roles. In his character actor phase, he tended to look a bit like Creator/DomDeLuise, although his brand of humor was fairly different from the American comedian's. He tried his hand at directing with ''Manoranjan'' (a very funny ForeignRemake of the Creator/ShirleyMacLaine[=/=]JackLemmon vehicle ''Irma La Douce''), but the film got slapped with an "adults-only" classification by the censors, due to the subject matter and some racy scenes. It had trouble connecting with a mainstream audience due to this restriction, but became something of a cult classic. After that, Shammi mostly stuck to acting in supporting roles.

In his later years, he proved to be one of the most technologically savvy Bollywood actors of his generation, with active accounts on youtube and twitter and a real interest in preserving the memory of the "old days."

He passed away in 2011. He had continued to act in films on a sporadic basis until his death, with his last role being a cameo in ''Rockstar'', a vehicle for nephew RanbirKapoor.