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Amitabh Bachchan Biography

Posted On March 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was born on 11th of October, 1942. He is one of the prominent Indian film actors who gained popularity as the ‘angry young man’ during the 1970s. Throughout his journey in the Indian cinema, he has won three national awards and thirteen Filmfare awards.

Early Life & Family

Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and belongs to a Hindu-Sikh family. His father, Dr.Harivanshrai Bachchan was a famous poet and his mother Teji Bachchan belonged to Faisalabad. Amitabh was originally named ‘Inquilab’ inspired from the Indian independence struggle, however was later renamed as Amitabh, which means the ‘light that would never go off’. Although his surname was ‘Srivastava’, his father used ‘Bachchan’ as his pen name to publish all his works. Later on, Amitabh debuted in the film industry with the same last name.

Amitabh was the eldest of the two sons in the family, the other one being Ajitabh. His mother had some amount of influence on his career choice since she insisted that he should take up theatre. He attended Jnana Prabodhini and Boy’s High School in Allahabad, followed by the Sherwood College in Nainital where he took up majors in art. He later went to the Kirori Mal College of the Delhi University and completed his Bsc. During his twenties, he ended up with a job as a freight broker with Bird & Co in Kolkata. Amitabh Bachchan was married to film actress Jaya Bhaduri in the year 1973.

Career

Amitabh Bachchan made his Hindi film debut in the year 1969 and happened to be one of the seven protagonists in the film “Saat Hindustani”. Although the film did not do well commercially, he was awarded the National Film Award for the Best Newcomer. His first commercial success came with the film “Anand” in the year 1971, followed by “Parwana”, “Reshma Aur Shera” and a guest appearance in the film “Guddi”. He was recognised for his deep baritone voice and was offered to narrate the initial part of the film “Bawarchi”.

After “Bombay to Goa” in the year 1972, there was a significant progress in Amitabh’s career. Director Prakash Mehra offered him a lead role in the film “Zanjeer” in 1973. With this role, he was famously known as the “angry young man” of the Indian Cinema. The film was a huge hit all across India and there was no looking back thereafter. He also did non-conventional roles in the films like “Abhimaan”, “Namak Haram”, “Majboor”, “Mili”, “Chupke Chupke” and “Faraar”.

“Deewar”, released in the year 1975 went on to become one of the “Must-Watch Bollywood Films” of all times. In the same year, Amitabh was a part of the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema, “Sholay”, earning a total of $60 million. Bachchan became a pre-eminent action hero of India after the phenomenal success of Sholay and retained the top spot from 1976 to 1984. A series of comedies and romantic films attributed its success to Amitabh Bachchan, which includes “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Don”, “Trishul”, “Kasme Vaade” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”. François Truffaut, the French director referred to Indian cinema as a “One Man Industry” due to the unprecedented success of Amitabh Bachchan.

He continued to give breath-taking performances in films like “Kaala Patthar”, “Dostana”, “Mr.Natwarlal”, “Shaan”, “Ram Balram”, “Silsila”, “Lawaaris” and “Shakti”. Throughout his career, he was pitted against the other legendary actors of the Indian film industry and successfully carved a niche of his own.

The Crucial Injury of Coolie in 1982

While filming a fight scene in the film “Coolie” with the co-actor Punit Issar, he suffered intestinal injury. Bachchan was supposed to perform his own stunts in the movie and in one of the scenes, he was asked to fall on the table and then roll off on the ground. However, while jumping on the table, the angle of the table stuck hard on his abdomen, resulting into a splenic rupture and loss of blood. He was rushed to the hospital immediately and remained crucially ill for several months. The massive public response included prayers and long queues of fans outside the hospital.

Politics

Amitabh took a sabbatical from acting in the year 1984 and entered politics to support a long time family friend Rajiv Gandhi. He contested from Allahabad for the 8th Lok Sabha against the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, H.N. Bahuguna. His political career was pretty short lived and he resigned within three years. A newspaper implied his involvement in the “Bofors Scandal” and was later found not guilty in the ordeal.

The Decline

Amitabh Bachchan returned to films in the year 1988, with the film “Shahenshah”. After the success of this film, his star power started weakening since all the films thereafter failed at the box office. “Hum”, “Agneepath, “Khuda Gawah” and “Insaniyat” did not create the same success as before and he chose to retire for a while.

During his retirement, he became a producer by setting up ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.) in the year 1996. However, the company did not make any profits, instead lost a lot of funds on some events such as the “Miss World Beauty Pageant” in Bangalore. The company was declared bankrupt in the year 1997 and Bachchan decided to revive his acting career. “Bade Miyaan Chote Miyaan” was a moderately successful film followed by box office failures of “Lal Baadshah”, “Sooryavansham” and “Hindustan Ki Kasam”.

The Return

Amitabh Bachchan stepped up the television platform with the Indian version of the entertainment show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” He gained immense popularity with the show and soon returned to silver screen with the film “Mohabbatein”. With astonishing performances thereafter, he soon regained the losses of his company and was highly rewarded for his work in recent films like “Baghban”, “Black”, “Sarkar”, “Sarkar Raj”, “Aankhen”, “Baabul”, “Viruddh”, and “Bhootnath”. One of the latest films “Paa” happens to be the most challenging film of his career where he plays a character of a 12 year old.

Despite a few rough years of his life, Amitabh Bachchan remains to be one of the most identified names of Indian cinema all across the globe. His popularity and his dedication towards films are unparalleled even today.


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