Amitabh Bachchan (pronounced [əmɪˈtaːbʱ ˈbətʃːən]; born 11 October 1942) is an Indian film actor, film director, film producer, music composer, television host and former politician. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s for films such as Zanjeer, Deewaar and Sholay, and was dubbed India’s “angry young man” for his on-screen roles in Bollywood. Referred to as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Sadi ka Mahanayak (Hindi for, “Greatest actor of the century”), Star of the Millennium, or Big B, he has since appeared in over 190 Indian films in a career spanning almost five decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema as well as world cinema. So total was his dominance on the Indian movie scene in the 1970s and 1980s that the French director François Truffaut called him a “one-man industry”.
Bachchan has won numerous accolades in his career, including four National Film Awards as Best Actor and many awards at international film festivals and award ceremonies. He has won fifteen Filmfare Awards and is the most nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 41 nominations overall. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter. He has hosted several seasons of the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, India’s version of the game show franchise, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He also entered politics for a time in the 1980s.
The Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contributions to the arts. The Government of France honored him with its highest civilian honor, Knight of the Legion of Honour, in 2007 for his exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond. Bachchan also made an appearance in a Hollywood film, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013), in which he played a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim.