Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday in a condolence letter to the daughter of veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor, said she has been an admirer of the late actor ever since she first saw his film "Shakespearewallah" in 1966 in England, along with Rajiv Gandhi, and praised his versatility.
In a condolence letter to his daughter Sanjana Kapoor, Gandhi wrote: "I am deeply saddened by the news of your beloved father's passing. I have been an admirer of Shashi Kapoor ever since the first film of his I saw, 'Shakespearewallah', I think it was in 1966, in England.
"It was memorable experience, not just for the beauty and grace of his acting, but because Rajiv took me to see it," she added.
"Since then, I have seen many of his films. How versatile he was as an actor, fitting so seamlessly into the wide variety of roles he took on, whether in mainstream cinema or in smaller art films.
"That was his great gift, to make his art appear effortless when in fact each performance was the result of tremendous hard work, professionalism and sensitivity," said Gandhi.
Sonia also wrote that Kapoor has left a lasting legacy in some wonderful classic films, and in the Prithvi Theatre which he passionately recreated.
"Your father was a person of enormous charm and warmth that came straight from his heart. At this time of grief, my thoughts are with you - I hope you draw solace from the love and devotion you and your brothers gave to your father and from the wonderful memories of him which remain with you," Gandhi said.
"I send you and your family my deep felt condolences," she added.
Shashi Kapoor, the romantic screen icon of the 70s and early 80s, died on Monday at a hospital in Mumbai. He was 79.