He was suffering from chronic renal failure

Veteran actor and leading star of the 1960s, Shammi Kapoor breathed his last at the Breach Candy Hospital here on Sunday morning. The 79-year-old movie icon was suffering from chronic renal failure.

Alone among the Bollywood stars of his era, Shammi Kapoor had an appeal that was so modern and contemporary that subsequent generations of movie goers could easily relate to him. The roles he played were youthful and romantic but also edgy and often zany. His characters were steeped in the permissiveness and rebelliousness of the sixties, even though the movie storylines invariably provided for resolution along a traditional moral axis.

“As you all know, he was unwell for the past few days. He used to tell us that we should keep laughing and singing. He was a very happy and lively person. He passed away due to kidney failure. He went away smiling, he didn't suffer much pain,” Mr. Kapoor's son, Aditya Raj Kapoor told the media. “Please pray that his soul rests in peace. You all are his fans, even am I his fan. I will miss him, and I know so will you all. I just hope to see him more and more on the television,” he said.

In the later years of his life, Mr. Kapoor defined himself as a Renaissance man, retired actor and computer buff. He was one of the earliest adopters of the Internet as a mode of communication and was active on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

He is survived by his wife Neeladevi, son Aditya Raj Kapoor and daughter Kachan Desai. Mr. Kapoor's funeral will take place on Monday.

As the news of his death spread, tributes poured in from the film industry.

“The flamboyance and joie de vivre of the industry lost,” actor Amitabh Bachchan tweeted within hours of his demise.