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Amitabh Bachchan needs no introduction in India or even abroad. The man seems to hold in him a charisma that remains unrivaled. An entrepreneur, politician, game show host, a singer, voiceover artist, and an actor - the roles he played are immortalized and idolized. A huge fan base that reveres him as though he is a demi-god and a multitude of awards and recognition gravitates to him endlessly, year after year after year. But his ride to stardom was anything but smooth.

The Big Bang!
Born under the Libran sun sign, Amitabh Bachchan celebrates his birthday on 11 October. He was born in 1942 in Allahabad, as Amitabh Harivansh Srivastav to Dr.Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. His father was a well known poet. Bachchan was his pen name. When Amitabh entered the film industry he replaced Srivastav with Bachchan. He was initially christened Inquilab but this was later changed to Amitabh that means ‘limitless lustre’, which is so apt. Ajitabh is his younger brother.

Bachchan studied in Allahabad at Jnana Pramodhini and Boys High School. He also put in a few years at Sherwood College in Nainital and Kirori Mal College. He holds a double degree in M.A.

He worked as a freight broker with Bird & Co, a shipping firm based in Kolkata which he quit to pursue acting, which paid off.

He married his co-star Jaya Bhaduri of the Guddi fame on 3 June 1973 and they have two children, Shweta and Abhishek. The latter is also an actor, married to Aishwarya Rai.

Making it Big. And how!
Bachchan’s unconventional looks – dark, lean, and standing tall at 6’2” - worked against him when it came to acting roles. But his deep voice, a trademark, held him in good stead with offers to work on narration and background commentary.

1969 to 1979
In 1969, Bachchan made his debut with Saat Hindustani, which won him the National Film Award for Best Newcomer. After this came movies like Reshma Aur Shera, Parwana, and Anand in 1971. He made a huge impact with his performance in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand alongside Rajesh Khanna as a despondent doctor, winning the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. In 1972, he appeared in movies like Sanjog, Bansi Birju, Ek Nazar, and also narrated Bawarchi.

His identity as the ‘angry young man’ took off in 1973 when he starred in movies like Zanjeer, Abhimaan, and Namak Haraam. Vijay went on to become a regular onscreen name. In Zanjeer, he played an honest cop implicated by false charges and thirsting for revenge. In Abhimaan, he was a struggling singer while his wife, played by Jaya Bhaduri, makes it big firing up his insecurities. He came together with Rajesh Khanna again in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Namak Haraam, which won him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

In 1974, he made brief appearances in Kunwara Baap and Dost. Roti Kapda Aur Makhaan raked in a lot of moolah. He played the lead in Majboor, a dying man who gets a new lease of life and a prison sentence to get out of. In 1975, his movies like the comedy Chupke Chupke with Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore and Jaya Bachchan, and the romantic drama Mili with Jaya and Ashok Kumar did well. However it was Deewar and Sholay that made a lasting impact on Bollywood. His performance in Deewar was intense while Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay was not only a big earner but is one of BBC’s Top 25 Must See Bollywood Movies.

In the 1976 film Kabhie Kabhie, he plays the role of a lovelorn poet Amit. Amar Akbar Anthony, released in 1977, showed Bachchan as the endearing Anthony Gonsalves, winning him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award. A string of hits marked 1978 with the release of Kasme Vaade, Trishul, Don, and Muqaddar Ka Sikander. It was Don that won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award out of the three movies for which he was nominated. In 1979, he starred in Mr.Natwarlal and also tried his hand for the first time in playback singing in this movie with the song Mere Paas Aao.

1980 to 1990
The early eighties saw the release of Dostana, Shaan, Laawaris (popular for the song Mere Angene Mein, Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai that AB sang), Silsila with Jaya Bhaduri and his rumoured lover Rekha. He played a double role in Satte Pe Satta and Namak Halaal. These movies enjoyed large scale popularity as did Bachchan. This was evident when he met with a fatal injury during the making of his 1982 movie, Coolie. Practically the entire nation prayed for his recovery which came after a year when he completed the movie and it was released with a change in script so that his character Iqbal, who was supposed to die, survives. In 1984, his role as Vicky Kapoor, an alcoholic in Sharaabi was also well-received.

Bollywood started taking a backseat post 1984 due to his illness. This made him look towards politics. It was well known that Bachchan enjoyed a close association with the Gandhi family having grown up with Rajiv Gandhi. He won the Allahabad’s Lok Sabha seat with a high margin of 68%. His stint in politics was marred when he was accused in the Bofors scandal and was later proved innocent. He later deflected to friend Amar Singh’s Samajwadi Party.
He ventured back into Bollywood with Shahenshah in 1988 and Toofan in 1989. Agneepath, released in 1990, won him a National Film Award for Best Actor.

1991 to 1999
Hum in 1991 did well. His much hyped last movie before retirement was Khuda Gawah with Sridevi, in 1992. Bachchan went on to start Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd that was to produce and distribute movies and music. Tere Mere Sapne, which was its first production, was an average performer while its later productions all failed dismally like Mrityudaatha which starred Bachchan. The company collapsed and Bachchan reverted back to acting but without much success in movies like Major Saab, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, and Sooryavansham. ABCL also released his album Aby Baby that was popular for the number ‘Eer Bir Phatte’.

Return to prominence: 2000–present
In 2000, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Yash Chopra's box-office hit, Mohabbatein, directed by Aditya Chopra. He played a stern, older figure that rivalled the character of Shahrukh Khan. His role won him his third Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. Other hits followed, with Bachchan appearing as an older family patriarch in Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) and Baghban (2003). As an actor, he continued to perform in a range of characters, receiving critical praise for his performances in Aks (2001), Aankhen (2002), Khakee (2004) and Dev (2004). His performance in Aks won him his first Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. One project that did particularly well for Bachchan was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black (2005). The film starred Bachchan as an ageing teacher of a deaf-blind girl and followed their relationship. His performance was unanimously praised by critics and audiences and won him his second National Film Award for Best Actor, his fourth Filmfare Best Actor Award and his second Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Taking advantage of this resurgence, Amitabh began endorsing a variety of products and services, appearing in many television and billboard advertisements. In 2005 and 2006, he starred with his son Abhishek in the hit films Bunty Aur Babli (2005), the Godfather tribute Sarkar (2005), and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). All of them were successful at the box office. His later releases in 2006 and early 2007 were Baabul (2006), Ekalavya and Nishabd (2007), which failed to do well at the box office but his performances in each of them were praised by critics.

In May 2007, two of his films Cheeni Kum and the multi-starrer Shootout at Lokhandwala were released. Shootout at Lokhandwala did well at the box office and was declared a semi-hit in India, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and only had average success. A remake of his biggest hit, Sholay (1975), entitled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, released in August of that same year and proved to be a major commercial failure in addition to its poor critical reception. The year also marked Bachchan's first appearance in an English-language film, Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear, co-starring Arjun Rampal and Preity Zinta. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival on 9 September 2007. He received positive reviews from critics who hailed his performance as his best ever since Black.[58] Bachchan was slated to play a supporting role in his first international film, Shantaram, directed by Mira Nair and starring Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in the lead. The film was due to begin filming in February 2008 but due to the writer's strike, was pushed to September 2008. The film is currently "shelved" indefinitely. Vivek Sharma's Bhoothnath, in which he plays the title role as a ghost, was released on 9 May 2008. Sarkar Raj, the sequel of the 2005 film Sarkar, released in June 2008 and received a positive response at the box-office. Paa, which released at the end of 2009 was a highly anticipated project as it saw him playing his own son Abhishek's Progeria-affected 13-year-old son, and it opened to favourable reviews, particularly towards Bachchan's performance. It won him his third National Film Award for Best Actor and fifth Filmfare Best Actor Award. In 2010, he debuted in Malayalam film through Kandahar, directed by Major Ravi and co-starring Mohanlal. The film was based on the hijacking incident of the Indian Airlines Flight 814.

Bachchan declined any remuneration for this film. In 2013 he made his Hollywood debut in The Great Gatsby making a special appearance opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. In 2014, he played the role of the friendly ghost in the sequel Bhoothnath Returns. The next year, he played the role of a grumpy father suffering from chronic constipation in Piku. It won him his fourth National Film Award for Best Actor and his third Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Bachchan will next appear in Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar 3. He has also committed to starring in Thugs Of Hindostan with Aamir Khan.

Television career
In 2000, Bachchan hosted the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), the Indian adaptation of the British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The show was well received.[65] A second season followed in 2005 but its run was cut short by STAR Plus when Bachchan fell ill in 2006.[66]
In 2009, Bachchan hosted the third season of the reality show Bigg Boss.[67]
In 2010, Bachchan hosted the fourth season of KBC.[68] The fifth season started on 15 August 2011 and ended on 17 November 2011. The show became a massive hit with audiences and broke many TRP Records. CNN IBN awarded Indian of the Year- Entertainment to Team KBC and Bachchan. The Show also grabbed all the major Awards for its category.[citation needed] Bachchan continued to host KBC until 2014.
The sixth season was also hosted by Bachchan, commencing on 7 September 2012, broadcast on Sony TV and received the highest number of viewers thus far.[69]
In 2014, he debuted in the fictional Sony Entertainment Television TV series titled Yudh playing the lead role of a businessman battling both his personal and professional life.[70]
Bachchan is also the brand ambassador for Gujarat Tourism, which he has been since 1 February 2010.

Voice
Bachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been a narrator, a playback singer, and presenter for numerous programmes.[71][72][73] Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed with Bachchan's voice that he decided to use Bachchan as the narrator in his 1977 film Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players).[74] Bachchan lent his voice as a narrator to the 2001 movie Lagaan which was a super hit.[75] In 2005, Bachchan lent his voice to the Oscar-winning French documentary March of the Penguins, directed by Luc Jacquet.[76]
He also done voice over work for the following movies:
Balika Badhu (1975)
Tere Mere Sapne (1996)
Lagaan (2001)
Parineeta (2005)
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Swami (2007)
Zor Lagaa Ke...Haiya! (2009)
Kahaani (2012)
Krrish 3 (2013)
Mahabharat (2013)
Kochadaiiyaan (Hindi Version) (2014)

Comments (1)

  1. Rakib

Good content.

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