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Amitabh Bachchan

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Name- Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan

DOB- 11 October 1942 (age 75) Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (present-day Uttar Pradesh, India)

Known as- Actor

Father- Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Mother- Teji Bachchan

Spouse- Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan

 


 

Early Life and Education

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan, best known as Amitabh Bachchan, was born in Allahabad, India on October 11, 1942. His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well-known Awadhi dialect-Hindi poet and a Hindu, while his mother, Teji Bachchan, was Sikh. Amitabh Bachchan was his parents' firstborn. He has one younger brother, named Ajitabh. He pursued his primary and secondary education from 'Sherwood College, Nainital'. He graduated from the 'Kirori Mal College', affiliated to the 'University of Delhi', and has two master's degrees. Though their family name was Shrivastav, the young boy’s father used the pseudonym ‘Bachchan’, which was later used by the next generations as their surname.

 

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Career

In 1969, after being urged by his mother, the young man debuted in Hindi cinema, by lending his baritone voice in famous director Mrinal Sen's project 'Bhuvan Shome'. The movie, starring acting stalwart Utpal Dutt won the prestigious ‘National Award’. The same year, he acted alongside Utpal Dutt, Jalal Agha, Anwar Ali, and Madhu, in the movie 'Saat Hindustani'. In 1971, the talented actor played a supporting role to the more popular Rajesh Khanna, in the movie 'Anand'. His portrayal of a pessimistic doctor was critically well-received, and he went on to act in movies like 'Reshma aur Shera', 'Parwaana', and a cameo in the Jaya Bhaduri starrer 'Guddi'.

S. Ramanathan's film 'Bombay to Goa', released in 1972, saw Bachchan acting in a comic role for a change. In 1973, 'Zanjeer', directed by Prakash Mehra was released, where the budding actor played the protagonist's role, as Inspector Vijay Khanna. He was paired opposite Jaya Bhaduri, and was well-supported by Pran. The movie was a big hit and established Amitabh as Bollywood's "angry young man". His portrayal as the friend of Rajesh Khanna's character, in 'Namak Haraam', directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, once again won him many accolades. During the next two years, the brilliant actor starred in box-office hits like 'Majboor', which was a take on the Hollywood movie 'Zig Zag', 'Chupke Chupke', 'Mili', and 'Faraar'. Acting in movies of all genres, he proved to the world of cinema that he had arrived to stay.

The year 1975 proved to be an important one in his career, with the release of two cult movies, 'Deewar' and 'Sholay'. 'Deewar' co-starred Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh and Nirupa Roy, while 'Sholay' had an ensemble cast including Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan. 'Sholay' grossed box-office earnings of INR 2,364,500,000. In 1976, he acted in the Yash Chopra's movie 'Kabhie Kabhie', where for a change he played a romantic character, which falls in love with a woman who eventually marries another man. This love-triangle also starred Rakhee and Shashi Kapoor, both great actors of the time. The following year, his portrayal of Anthony Gonzalvez in 'Amar Akbar Anthony', alongside Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna, sealed the movie's fate as the highest earning movie. A baritone voice, considered to be Bachchan's most important asset, caught the attention of 'Academy Award' winning Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Ray used the former as a narrator for his movie 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', released in 1977.

During the next few years he played lead roles in successful movies including 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar', 'Trishul', 'Kasme Vaade', and 'Don'. 'Don' and 'Kasme Vaade' saw the exceptional actor playing double roles, where the former had been the biggest hit. He also acted in 'Suhaag', 'Kaala Patthar', 'Mr. Natwarlal', and 'The Great Gambler'. During 1980-82, Amitabh delivered impressive performances in films like 'Dostana', 'Silsila', 'Lawaaris', 'Desh Premee', 'Naseeb' and 'Satte Pe Satta'.

 

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On July 26, 1982, during the shooting of an action sequence in 'Coolie', Bachchan got badly hurt, and lost a lot of blood after rupturing a spleen in the abdomen. After taking a break, he shot the rest of the film, and it released the following year. 'Coolie' was well-received and became the most popular movie of the same period. In 1983, he started suffering from Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease, which hampered his work as an actor. During this time, he took a break from acting and dabbled in politics for the next few years. In 1984, the actor ventured into politics, as a supporter of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He won the eighth Lok Sabha elections from the Allahabad constituency, but retired from the political scene three years later.

Amitabh returned to movies with the leading role in 'Shahenshah' in 1988. Though the movie was a hit, it was followed by a string of flops like 'Toofan', 'Jaadugar', and 'Main Azaad Hoon'. From 1990-92, he acted in movies like 'Agneepath', 'Khuda Gawah' and 'Hum', but quit acting for a second time thereafter. He became a producer with his company called 'Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd.' ('ABCL'). The company produced a few box-office failures, including Arshad Warsi and Simran starrer, 'Tere Mere Sapne', and suffered heavy losses. The period 2000-2005 saw Bachchan's comeback in Bollywood cinema, with blockbusters like 'Mohabbatein', 'Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love', 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...', 'Baghban', 'Khakee', 'Bunty Aur Babli', and 'Black'. 'Black' depicted the complex relationship between a deaf-mute-blind girl and her teacher, portrayed by the Amitabh.

During the same period, the gifted actor presented a TV show called 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' ('KBC'), which proved to be one of the most-viewed television programmes in India. The show was adapted from the English game show 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' hosted by TV broadcaster Chris Tarrant. In 2005, he gave the voice-over for 'Academy Award' winning French documentary titled 'March of the Penguins', by Luc Jacquet. The next few years, the exceptional performer acted in movies like 'Sarkar', 'Baabul', 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna', 'Nishabd', 'Cheeni Kum', and 'Shootout at Lokhandwala'. 'Sarkar' was loosely based on Mario Puzo's bestselling novel, 'The Godfather'. In 2007, the celebrated actor was cast in Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh's English movie 'The Last Lear'. The movie, as well as his performance was critically acclaimed at the 'Toronto International Film Festival'. The popular actor was cast alongside Johnny Depp, in Mira Nair's 'Shantaram', due for filming in 2008. The movie however, has not seen the light of the day yet. The same year, he appeared in 'Bhootnath', portraying the role of a ghost. He was also cast in the sequel to 'Sarkar', titled 'Sarkar Raj', co-starring son Abhishek.

The following year, the film star presented 'Bigg Boss', a national television reality show. He also starred in a successful movie, 'Paa', where the 67-year old actor played the role of a 12-year old kid suffering from a rare degenerative disorder called ‘Progeria’. In 2010, he starred in his first Malayalam movie, 'Kandahar', along with famous actor Mohanlal. Three years later, in 2013, he portrayed the character of Meyer Wolfsheim, supporting Toby Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio in the Hollywood movie 'The Great Gatsby'. The next year, he acted in a Hindi TV serial, 'Yudh', essaying the character of a businessman. Throughout his career, this actor has provided voice-over for movies like 'Balika Badhu', 'Lagaan', 'Parineeta', 'Jodhaa Akbar', 'Kahaani', and 'Krrish 3'.

 

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Personal Life

In 1973, the “angry young man” of Bollywood got married to Jaya Bhaduri, a famous actress in her own right, who was popular even before her husband shot to fame. The couple has a son, Abhishek, and a daughter Shweta. Shweta is married to business magnate Nikhil Nanda, while Abhishek is married to former Miss World and actress Aishwarya Rai. Abhishek and Aishwarya have a daughter, Aradhya.

 

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Awards        

2015 -Padma Vibhushan

2001 -Padma Bhushan

1984 -Padma Shri

 

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