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Born : on 11 October 1942
Spouse(s): Jaya Bhaduri
Occupation : Film actor, producer, singer,television presenter
Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Bollywoodcinema, and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema.
Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards. He holds the record for most number of Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of theIndian Parliament from 1984 to 1987.
Early Life
Born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, Amitabh Bachchan hails from a Hindu-Sikh family. His father, Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well-known Hindi poet, while his mother,Teji Bachchan was a Sikh-Punjabi from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired from the famous phrase Inquilab Zindabad, during the Indian independence struggle, but was re-named Amitabh which means, "the light that would never go off." Though his surname was Shrivastava, his father had adopted the pen-name Bachchan, under which he published all his works. It is with this last name that Amitabh debuted in films, and, for all public purposes, it has become the surname of all members of his current family.
Amitabh is the eldest of Harivansh Rai Bachchan's two sons, the second being Ajitabh. His mother had a keen interest in theatre and had been offered a role in a film, but preferred her domestic duties. She had some degree of influence in Bachchan's choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage. He attended Allahabad's Jnana Prabodhini and Boys' High School (BHS), followed by Nainital's Sherwood College, where he majored in the art stream. He later went on to study at Kirori Mal College of the University of Delhi and completed a Bachelor of Science degree. In his twenties, Bachchan gave up a job as freight broker for the shipping firm, Bird and Co., based in Calcutta now known as Kolkata, to pursue a career in acting.
Family
Bachchan is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri. They have two children, Shweta Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan. Abhishek is also an actor and is married to actress Aishwarya Rai.
Career
Early work: 1969–1972
Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani, a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and featuring Utpal Dutt, Madhu and Jalal Agha. Though the film was not a financial success, Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Newcomer.
The critically acclaimed and commercially successful Anand (1971) followed, where he starred alongside Rajesh Khanna. Bachchan's role as a doctor with a cynical view of life garned him a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. Amitabh then played the role of an infatuated lover in Parwaana (1971) opposite Navin Nischol, Yogeeta Bali and Om Prakash and was a rare instance of him portraying the villain. This was followed by several films which were not particularly successful at the box office including Reshma Aur Shera (1971). During this time, he made a guest appearance in the film Guddi which starred his future wife Jaya Bhaduri opposite Dharmendra. Noted for his deep baritone voice early on in his career, he narrated part of the film Bawarchi. In 1972, he made an appearance in the road action comedy Bombay to Goa, directed by S. Ramanathan. He starred alongside actors such as Aruna Irani, Mehmood, Anwar Ali and Nasir Hussain.
Rise to stardom: 1973–1983
1973 saw significant development in Bachchan's career when director Prakash Mehra cast him in the leading role for the film Zanjeer (1973) as Inspector Vijay Khanna. The film was a sharp contrast to the romantically themed films that had generally preceded it and established Amitabh in a new persona—the "angry young man" of Bollywoodcinema, a reputation he was to acquire in pictures that followed it. It was his first film as the leading protagonist to achieve box office success and earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. 1973 was also the year he married Jaya and around this time they appeared in several films together, not only in Zanjeer but in films such asAbhimaan which followed and was released only a month after their marriage. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role opposite Rajesh Khanna and Rekha was praised and won him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.
In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in the highest grossing film of that year, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. The film, directed and written by Manoj Kumar, addressed themes of honesty in the face of oppression and financial and emotional hardship was a critical and commercial success, placing Amitabh opposite Kumar himself, Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman. Bachchan then played the leading role in film Majboor, released on 6 December 1974, which was a remake of the Hollywood film Zigzag starring George Kennedy. The film was only a moderate success at the box office In 1975, he starred in a variety of film genres from the comedy Chupke Chupke, the crime drama Faraar to the romantic drama Mili. However 1975 was the year when he appeared in two films which are regarded as important in Hindi cinematic history. He starred in the Yash Chopra directed film Deewar, opposite Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, and Neetu Singh, which earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975, ranking in at number 4 Indiatimes Movies ranksDeewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. Released on 15 August 1975 was Sholay (meaning flames), which became the highest grossing film of all time in India, earning INR 2,36,45,00,000 equivalent to US$ 60 million, after adjusting for inflation. Bachchan played the role of Jaidev opposite a cast which included some of the top names in the industry including Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. In 1999, BBC India declared it the "Film of the Millennium" and like Deewar, has been cited by Indiatimes movies as amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. In that same year, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare awardsawarded it with the special distinction award called Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years.
After the success of films such as Sholay at the box office, Bachchan had now consolidated his position in the industry and from 1976 through to 1984 would receive an unprecedented number of Filmfare Best Actor Award Awards and nominations. Although films such as Sholay cemented his status as Bollywood's pre-eminent action hero, Bachchan illustrated that he was flexible in other roles, successfully playing comic timing in comedies such as Chupke Chupke (1975) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and romantic lead in films such as Kabhie Kabhie (1976). In 1976, he was once again cast by director Yash Chopra in his second film, Kabhi Kabhie, a romantic tale in which Bachchan starred as a young poet named Amit Malhotra who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young girl named Pooja played by actress Rakhee Gulzar. The emotional eclectic of the dialogue and softness of the subject matter proved a direct contrast to some of Amitabh's earlier grittier action pictures and those he would later go on to play. The film saw him again nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was a box office success. In 1977, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance inAmar Akbar Anthony where he played the third lead opposite Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor as Anthony Gonsalves. 1978 was possibly the most accoladed year of his career and he starred in all four of the highest grossing films of India in that year. He once again resumed double roles in films such as Kasme Vaade as Amit and Shankar and Don playing the characters of Don, a leader of an underworld gang and his look alike Vijay. His performance won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award and considerable critical acclaim as with his performances in Trishul and Muqaddar Ka Sikander which both earned him further Filmfare Best Actor nominations. On account of this unprecedented run and success he encountered at this stage in his career, he was billed a "one-man industry" by the French director François Truffaut.
In 1979, for the first time, Amitabh was required to use his singing voice for the film Mr. Natwarlal in which he starred alongside Rekha. His performance in the film saw him nominated for both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and the Filmfare Best Male Playback Awards. In 1979, he also received Best Actor nomination for Kaala Patthar (1979) and then went on to be nominated again in 1980 for the Raj Khosla directed film Dostana, in which he starred opposite Shatrughan Sinha and Zeenat Aman. Dostana proved to be the top grossing film of 1980. In 1981, he starred in Yash Chopra's melodrama film Silsila, where he starred alongside his wife Jaya and rumoured lover Rekha. Other films of this period include Ram Balram (1980), Shaan (1980), Lawaaris (1981), and Shakti (1982) which pitted him against legendary actor Dilip Kumar.
1982 injury while filming Coolie
On 26 July 1982, while filming Coolie in the University Campus in Bangalore, Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury during the filming of a fight scene with co-actorPuneet Issar. Bachchan was performing his own stunts in the film and one scene required him to fall onto a table and then on the ground. However as he jumped towards the table, the corner of the table struck his abdomen, resulting in a splenic rupture from which he lost a significant amount of blood. He required an emergency splenectomyand remained critically ill in hospital for many months, at times close to death. The public response included prayers in temples and offers to sacrifice limbs to save him, while later, there were long queues of well-wishing fans outside the hospital where he was recuperating. Nevertheless, he spent many months recovering and resumed filming later that year after a long period of recuperation. The film was released in 1983, and partly due to the huge publicity of Bachchan's accident, the film was a box office success.
The director, Manmohan Desai, altered the ending of Coolie after Bachchan's accident. Bachchan's character was originally intended to have been killed off but after the change of script, the character lived in the end. It would have been inappropriate, said Desai, for the man who had just fended off death in real life to be killed on screen. Also, in the released film the footage of the fight scene is frozen at the critical moment, and a caption appears onscreen marking this as the instant of the actor's injury and the ensuing publicity of the accident.
Later, he was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis. His illness made him feel weak both mentally and physically and he decided to quit films and venture into politics. At this time he became pessimistic, expressing concern with how a new film would be received. Before every release he would negatively state, "Yeh film to flop hogi!" ("This film will flop").
Producer and acting comeback 1996–1999
Bachchan turned producer during his temporary retirement period, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (A.B.C.L.) in 1996, with the vision of becoming a 10 billion rupees (approx 250 million $US) premier entertainment company by the year 2000. ABCL's strategy was to introduce products and services covering the entire section of the India's entertainment industry. Its operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, celebrity and event management. Soon after the company was launched in 1996, the first film was produced by the company. Tere Mere Sapne failed to do well at the box office but launched the careers of actors such as Arshad Warsi and South films star Simran. ABCL produced a few other films, none of which did well.
In 1997, Bachchan attempted to make his acting comeback with the film Mrityudaata, produced by ABCL. Though Mrityudaata attempted to reprise Bachchan's earlier success as an action hero, the film was a failure both financially and critically. ABCL was the main sponsor of the The 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore but lost millions. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, coupled with the fact that ABCL was reported to have overpaid most of its top level managers, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997. The company went into administration and was later declared a failed company by Indian Industries board. The Bombay high court, in April 1999, restrained Bachchan from selling off his Bombay bungalow 'Prateeksha' and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were disposed of. Bachchan had, however, pleaded that he had mortgaged his bungalow to Sahara India Finance for raising funds for his company.
Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career and had average success with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham(1999) but other films such as Lal Baadshah (1999) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) were box office failures.
Television career
In the year 2000, Bachchan stepped up to host India's adaptation of the British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? entitled, Kaun Banega Crorepati. As it did in most other countries where it was adopted, the program found immediate success. Canara Bank withdrew its law suit against Bachchan in November 2000. Bachchan hosted KBC till November 2005, and its success set the stage for his return to film popularity. In 2009 Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire in the first question of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? contest "Amitabh Bachchan" was the correct answer to the question "Who was the star of Zanjeer? Feroz Abbas Khan performed as Amitabh Bachchan in a scene in the movie while Anil Kapoor performed as the host of the contest. Amitabh Bachchan is hosting Bigg Boss 3.
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 ofShahrukh Khan. Other hits followed, with Bachchan appearing as an older family patriarch in Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) andBaghban (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). One project that did particularly well for Bachchan was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black (2005). The film starred Bachchan as an aging teacher of a deaf-blind girl and followed their relationship. His performance was unanimously praised by critics and audiences and won him his fourth Filmfare Best Actor Award and secondNational Film 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 Na Kehna (2006). All of them were successful at the box office. His later releases in 2006 and early 2007 were Baabul (2006), Eklavya 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 very well at the box office and was declared a hit in India, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and was declared an overall average hit. 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. 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. 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. His latest movie wasPaa, which released at the end of 2009. Paa 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.
Health
2005 hospitalisation
In November 2005, Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to Lilavati Hospital's ICU once more, to undergo surgery for diverticulitis of the small intestine. This occurred after Bachchan complained of pains in his abdomen some days prior. During the period and that following his recovery, most of his projects were put on hold, including the television show he was in the process of hosting, Kaun Banega Crorepati. Amitabh returned to work in March 2006.
Voice
Bachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been a narrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes. Renowned film director Satyajit Raywas so impressed with Bachchan's voice, that he decided to use his voice as commentary in Shatranj Ke Khiladi since he could not find a suitable role for him. Before entering the film industry, Bachchan applied for an announcer's job with All India Radio, although he was rejected.
Awards, honours and recognitions
Filmography
Year Film Role Other Notes
2006 Family - Ties of Blood Viren Sahi  
  Darna Zaroori Hai

Professor  
  Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Samarjit Singh Talwar (aka. Sexy Sam) Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
  Baabul (2006 film)
Balraj Kapoor  
2007 Eklavya: The Royal Guard

Eklavya  
  Nishabd
Vijay  
  Cheeni Kum

Buddhadev Gupta/Ghaspus  
  Shootout at Lokhandwala
Dingra Special appearance
  Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Sutradhar Special appearance
  Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag

Babban Singh  
  Om Shanti Om

Himself Special appearance
2008 Jodhaa Akbar

Narrator  
  Bhoothnath

Bhoothnath (Kailash Nath)  
  Sarkar Raj
Subhash Nagre aka Sarkar  
  God Tussi Great Ho

God Almighty  
  The Last Lear
Harish 'Harry' Mishra  
2009 Delhi-6
Dadaji Special appearance
  Aladin
Genius the Gennie  
  Paa Auro Winner, Filmfare Best Actor Award
       
2010 Rann

Vijay Harshvardhan Malik  
  Teen Patti
Venkat Releasing on 26 February 2010
  Shoebite
John Periera Post-production
  Kandahar   Malayalam film. Co-starring with Mohanlal
Producer
Year Film
1996 Tere Mere Sapne
  Ullasam
1997 Mrityudaata
1998 Major Saab
2001 Aks
2005 Viruddh
2006 Family - Ties of Blood
Playback singer
Year Film
1979
The Great Gambler
  Mr. Natwarlal
1981 Lawaaris
  Naseeb
  Silsila
1983 Mahaan
  Pukar
1984 Sharaabi
1989 Toofan
  Jaadugar
1992 Khuda Gawah
1998 Major Saab
1999 Sooryavansham
2001 Aks
  Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
2002 Aankhen
2003 Armaan
  Baghban
2004 Dev
  Aetbaar
2006 Baabul
2007 Nishabd
  Cheeni Kam
2008 Bhoothnath
2009 Aladin
  Paa
 
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