Remembering English & Indian actress Jennifer Kendal on her 84th birth anniversary.
Jennifer Kapoor (28 February 1933–7 September 1984) was an English actress and the founder of the Prithvi Theatre. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the 1981 film 36 Chowringhee Lane. Her other film appearances included Bombay Talkie (1970), Junoon (1978), Heat and Dust (1983), and Ghare Baire (1984).
Jennifer Kendal was born in Southport, England, but spent much of her youth in India. She and younger sister Felicity Kendal were born to Geoffrey Kendal and Laura Liddell, who ran a travelling theatre company, “Shakespeareana”, which traveled around India as depicted in the book and film, Shakespeare Wallah (in which Kendal appeared, uncredited, and which starred her husband Shashi Kapoor, her parents and her sister).
Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer met for the first time in Calcutta, in 1956, where he was part of the Prithvi Theatre company, while she was playing Miranda in the play The Tempest, as part of Shakespeareana. Soon, Shashi Kapoor started touring with the Shakespeareana Company, and they married in July 1958. Kendal and her husband were also instrumental in the rejuvenation of Prithvi Theatre in Bombay, with the opening of their theatre in the Juhu area of the city in 1978. Kendal and Kapoor also starred in a number of films together, particularly those produced by Merchant Ivory Productions. Their first joint starring roles were in Bombay Talkie (1970), which was also one of the earlier films produced by Merchant Ivory.