With the 77-year-old Shashi Kapoor being presented the Dadasaheb Phalke Award yesterday, we take a look at industry icons who were honoured by the government in their twilight years...
It was a dramatic coincidence that Shashi Kapoor, who uttered the iconic dialogue "Mere paas maa hai" in Deewar (1975), was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian cinema, on Mother's Day yesterday.
Shashi Kapoor flanked by Karisma Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Rekha and Neetu Kapoor (left to right) during the award function at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu on Sunday. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley presented the award to the veteran star at a ceremony held at Prithvi Theatre which has the who's who of Bollywood in attendance.
As the wheelchair bound Kapoor, 77, was unable to travel to New Delhi due to ill-health for the National Awards ceremony (where the award is conferred) earlier this month, the honour was bestowed on him here.
His case makes one wonder why most industry stalwarts are acknowledged for their contribution to Indian cinema so late in the day. Awards are given either posthumously or when the actors are too old and ailing to personally collect them — often they are not in a position to cherish the honour or even recognise anyone.
hitlist takes a look at other such film icons who were honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award towards the fag end of their lives...
After his death in 1972, he was posthumously awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 1971. His actor-filmmaker son Raj Kapoor accepted it on his behalf.
In 1988, Bollywood's showman Raj Kapoor collapsed at an event in New Delhi where he was to receive the award. He had to be rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences from the ceremony itself. After a month of hospitalisation, he passed away. He was 63. Kapoor was unwell to attend the ceremony in Delhi, but it was on his insistence that his family agreed to take him to the capital.
Arguably the greatest filmmaker of the country, Satyajit Ray was conferred the award in 1985 at the age of 64. The government had named him for the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, in 1992, the year he passed away. He had received the Honorary Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science just days before his death.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award came to the actor-filmmaker in 1980 when he was 82. He passed away four years later.
The filmmaker received the award in 1985 when he was 83 and died five years later.
B R Chopra
B R Chopra (centre) with his family members during a function organised to felicitate him on receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award at his Juhu residence .
In May 2013, Pran, best known for his negative characters on screen, was presented the government award by the then Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari at his suburban residence. He was 93 and could not attend the ceremony in Delhi due to ill-health. He breathed his last two months later.
Thanks, but no thanks
Suchitra Sen's daughter Moon Moon Sen and grand daughters Riya and Raima during an event to pay tribute to the actress on her first death anniversary in Kolkata. Pic/PTI
Bengali actress Suchitra Sen (1931-2014) was a contender for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005. The actress, who lived a reclusive life in Kolkata and did not step of her house post the late '70s, refused the honour as she did not want to be photographed in her twilight years or be seen in public.