He is the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the widower of Jennifer Kendal, and the father of Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, and Sanjana Kapoor.
Attended Don Bosco High School in Matunga, Bombay. In July 1958, he married the English actress Jennifer Kendal and they acted in a number of films together, most notably in the Merchant Ivory productions. Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal met in Calcutta in 1956 while working for their respective theatre groups. Shashi Kapoor was both assistant stage manager as well as actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi. Geoffery Kendal’s Shakespearana group was also present at the same time in Calcutta and Jennifer was Geoffery’s daughter. After their subsequent meeting, the couple fell in love and after facing initial opposition from Geoffery and support from sister in law Geeta Bali, they got married. He had three children with Kendal; Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. Jennifer and Shashi Kapoor established Prithvi theatre in 5 November 1978 in Mumbai. Kendal died of cancer in 1984. Shashi Kapoor’s children for a short while became film actors but their Caucasian looks and accented Hindi prevented them from having a successful career in Hindi films.