(Last Updated on : 24/09/2011)
Amitabh Bachchan is arguably the biggest star in the history of the Indian Film Industry, better known as Bollywood. He is the most prominent figure in the history of Indian cinema. Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian film-actor who was named Superstar of the Millennium by the BBC. Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 in the city of Allahabad
, India. His father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a well-known poet. The original last name of the family was "Srivastav"; "Bachchan" was in fact a pen name used by his father. However, when Bachchan entered films in the late 1960s, he did so under his father`s pen name.
Early life of Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan attended Allahabad`s Boys` High School, followed by Nainital
`s Sherwood College, where he gained a degree in arts. He later went on to Delhi
University earning a degree in science. When he was in his twenties, Bachchan gave up a job as freight broker for the shipping firm, Bird and Co., based in Kolkata
, to pursue a career in acting. In 1984, Bachchan briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend Rajiv Gandhi
. He contested Allahabad`s Parliament seat against H. N. Bahuguna, a well-known politician, and won by a large margin (68.2% of the vote). His political career, however, was short-lived.
Filmy Career of Amitabh Bachchan
Bachchan`s first film, Saat Hindustani - his only black-and-white film - was released in 1969. He did win a Film Fare Award for "Best Supporting Actor" for his work in Anand, but this did not translate into the kind of fame that brought audiences into theatres just to see his face again.
Two 1973 films are said to have launched Bachchan as a star. In Abhimaan
, he played a singer who succumbs to jealousy. His real chemistry with Jaya Badhuri brought crowds to the theatres. Also in 1973, director Prakash Mehra cast Bachchan as Inspector Vijay Khanna in the film Zanjeer. He was not even the director`s second choice: the role is said to have been offered to Dev Anand
, who turned it down because of lack of songs for the main character.
Amitabh`s personna as an "angry young man", cemented further by movies like Deewar, Muqaddar Ka Sikander and Shakti
. Zanjeer was a great success. After that, Bachchan`s name on the marquee could be counted on to pull crowds into the theatres; he had at least one major hit every year for the next decade.
The 1975 film Deewaar was one of his biggest hits. This time the writing team of "Salim-Javed" made him the crook rather than the cop. However, he was a different kind of crook: a tough man who refuses to tolerate disrespect, dedicated to making it despite huge obstacles, but nonetheless a man with a heart, who loves his mother and stands up for the "little people" who are getting a raw deal from a corrupt establishment. In the same year he also starred in one of Bollywood`s biggest hits Sholay
which also had Amjad Khan
appear opposite him for the first time. Khan went on to play his nemesis in many more films.
In addition to being an "angry young man", he also becomes known for his comedy roles. One of his most popular characters was the genial, street-smart Anthony from the 1978 Amar Akbar Anthony. Yash Chopra collaborated with him on many films such as Kabhie Kabhie, and Silsila which showed that he could also convince in romantic roles too. Bachchan appeared in many other great films during the 70s and 80s, often filming them concurrently, as is still Bollywood practice.
During the late 1980s, after his brief stint in politics, Bachchan`s films became less and less successful. In 1990 he regained some success with his power-packed performance in Agneepath and the following year he starred in Hum which was a huge hit.
His films such as Major Saab, Sooryavansham, and Laal Baadhshah are worthy to notice.
In 2005, he appeared in the film Black, in which he played the teacher of a deaf and blind woman played by Rani Mukherjee
went on to be a massive hit. And more importantly re-affirmed his tremendous acting ability.
In the same year he co-starred with his son Abhishek in the films Bunty Aur Babli
and Sarkar both of which were hits at the box office. He is once again appeared with Abhishek in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
which released in 2006.
He showed his tremendous acting ability in the film Paa in 2009. In the recent years he has done beautiful job in the films like Rann, Teen Patti, Kandahar, Department,
Bbuddah... Hoga Tera Baap and in Aarakshan
Bachchan gained huge popularity hosting `Kaun Banega Crorepati?` a quiz show in the year 2000. The show was a hit. Currently he is hosting the show for Sony TV.
He is also set to appear in a remake of his own 1975 blockbuster Sholay and will play the role of Gabbar Singh, a role that was made famous by Amjad Khan in the original
Bachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been a narrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes.
Personal Life of Amitabh Bachchan
He is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri (now Bachchan). The couple have two children: daughter Shweta and son Abhishek. Abhishek Bachchan
has also entered the Bollywood film industry and is married to Aishwarya Rai
. Amitabh has two grandchildren: Navya Naveli and Agastya Nanda.