Shashi Kapoor was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian cinema, by Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley at the iconic Prithvi Theatre.
The 77-year-old was wheeled on to the stage by his son Kunal and daughter Sanjana before an august gathering.
Shashi, the star of over 150 films in his over 40-year career, was all smiles upon receiving the Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh and a ceremonial shawl, which he accepted with reverence and folded hands.
"Shashi Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the most versatile personalities Indian cinema has produced. An actor par excellence, who competed in his time with the very best and almost competed with different generations of film actors," Jaitley said.
"He even produced and directed various kinds of films; combined commercial cinema with alternative cinema; defined languages and brought Hindi cinema and Hollywood closer. Then also, he didn't leave his love for theatre," he added.
The gathering saw the presence of Shashi's nephew Rishi Kapoor, grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor, grand-neice Karisma Kapoor and others like Neetu Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Nafisa Ali, Saif Ali Khan and Rekha.
Due to Shashi's ill health, he could not travel to the capital for the National Awards ceremony on May 3. So, minister Jaitley flew in here to confer the award on him at Prithvi Theatre, which Shashi launched with his late wife Jennifer Kendal in 1978.
This is the third Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the illustrious Kapoor family after Shashi's father Prithviraj Kapoor and elder brother Raj Kapoor.
A special audio-visual celebrating Shashi's film and personal journey was also screened at the event. It featured Amitabh, Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore, Rishi, Randhir Kapoor among others talking about the cinematic icon.
Amitabh, who has co-starred with Shashi in films like "Trishul", "Silsila", "Kabhi Kabhie" and "Kaala Patthar", thanked him for always being a "compassionate person and a generous and caring friend".
In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, and he is also a proud recipient of three National Film Awards.