Amitabh bachchan Amitabh Bachchan born on 11 October 1942 is an Indian actor. He first gained his popularity in the early 1970s as the ‘angry young man’ of Hindi cinema, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in an career spanning more than 4 decades. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including four national film awards, three of which are in the best actor category, and fourteen Film fare awards. He is the most nominated performer in any major acting category at Film fare, with 37 nominations overall. Inaddition to acting, he has worked as a playback singer, film-producer and television-presenter. He also had a stint in politics in the 1980s. He hasreceived both the Padma Shree and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards from the Indian government.
CAREER Early work: 1969–1972 Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sens National Award winning film Bhuvan Shome. Thereafter he got his first acting role 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. Anand (1971) followed, where he starred alongside Rajesh Khanna. Bachchans role as a doctor with a cynical view of life garned him his first Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. He then played his first negative role as an infatuated lover-turned-murderer in Parwaana(1971). This was followed by several films including Reshma Aur Shera (1971). During this time, he made a guest appearance in the filmGuddi which starred his future wife Jaya Bhaduri. 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. Many of his films during this early period did not do well, but that was about to change.
EARLY LIFE Bachban was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a Hindi poet, and his mother, Teji Bachchan, was a Sikh from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired from the famous phrase Inquilab Zindabad, during the Indian independence struggle. However, at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant, Harivansh Rai changed the name to Amitabh which means, "the light that would never go off." Though his surname was Shrivastava, his father had adopted the pen-name Bachchan (meaning child-like in colloquial Hindi), 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 family. Bachchans father died in 2003, and his mother in 2007.
Amitabh is the eldest of Harivansh Rai Bachchans 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 Bachchans choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage. He attended Allahabads Jnana Prabodhini and Boys High School(BHS), followed by Nainitals 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.
Rise to stardom: 1973–1983 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 Bollywood cinema.He earned a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor. Filmfare considers this one of the iconic performances of Bollywood history. The year 1973 was also when he married Jaya, and around this time they appeared in several films together; not only in Zanjeer but in films such as Abhimaan 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 won him his second 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 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. Bachchan then played the leading role in film Majboor, released on 6 December 1974, which was a remake of the Hollywood film Zigzag. 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. 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 Deewaar, opposite Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, and Neetu Singh, which earned him a Film fare Nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975, ranking in at number 4. India times Movies ranks Deewaar 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 INR2,36,45,00,000 equivalent to US$ 60 million, after adjusting for inflation Bachchan played the role of Jaidev.
Bachchan starred in comedies such as Chupke Chupke (1975) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and 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 actressRakhee Gulzar. The film saw him again nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award. In 1977, he won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Amar Akbar Anthony where he played the third lead opposite Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor as Anthony Gonsalves. In 1978 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 his second Filmfare Best Actor Award. He also performed in Trishul and Muqaddar Ka Sikandarwhich both earned him further Filmfare Best Actor nominations. 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 Chopras 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-actor Puneet 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 splenectomy and 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 Bachchans accident, the film was a box office success.
The director, Manmohan Desai, altered the ending of Coolie after Bachchans accident. Bachchans 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 actors 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 and stated before every release, "Yeh film to flop hogi!" ("This film will flop").
Politics: 1984–87 In 1984, Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabads seat of 8th Lok Sabha against H. N. Bahuguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and won by one of the highest victory margins in general election history (68.2% of the vote). His political career, however, was short-lived: he resigned after three years, calling politics a cesspool. The resignation followed the implication of Bachchan and his brother in the "Bofors scandal" by a newspaper, which he vowed to take to court. Bachchan was eventually found not guilty of involvement in the ordeal.
His old friend, Amar Singh, helped him during a financial crisis due to the failure of his company ABCL. Therefore Bachchan started to support Amar Singhs political party, the Samajwadi party. Jaya Bachchan joined the Samajwadi Party and became a Rajya Sabhamember. Bachchan has continued to do favors for the Samajwadi party, including advertisements and political campaigns. These activities have recently gotten him into trouble again in the Indian courts for false claims after a previous incident of submission of legal papers by him, stating that he is a farmer. A 15 year press ban against Bachchan was imposed during his peak acting years by Stardust and some of the other film magazines. In his own defense, Bachchan claimed to have banned the press from entering his sets until late 1989.
Slump and retirement: 1988–1992 In 1988, Bachchan returned to films, playing the title role in Shahenshah, which was a box office success due to the hype of Bachchans comeback. After the success of his comeback film however, his star power began to wane as all of his subsequent films failed at the box office. The 1991 hit film, Hum, for which he won his third Filmfare Best Actor Award, looked like it might reverse this trend, but the momentum was short-lived as his string of box office failures continued. Notably, despite the lack of hits, it was during this period that Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Actor, for his performance as a Mafia don in the 1990 filmAgneepath. These years would be the last he would be seen on screen for some time. After the release of Khuda Gawah in 1992, Bachchan went into semi-retirement for five years. In 1994, one of his delayed films Insaniyat was released but was also a box office failure.
Producer and acting comeback 1996–99 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. ABCLs strategy was to introduce products and services covering the entire section of the Indias 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 2000, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Yash Chopras box- office hit, Mohabbatein, directed by Aditya Chopra. He played a stern, older figure that rivaled 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). One project that did particularly well for Bachchan was Sanjay Leela Bhansalis 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 second National Film Award for Best Actor and fourth Filmfare Best Actor Award
Taking advantage of this resurgence, Amitabh beganendorsing a variety of products and services, appearing inmany television and billboard advertisements. In 2005 and2006, he starred with his son Abhishek in the hit films BuntyAur Babli (2005), the Godfather tribute Sarkar (2005),and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). All of them weresuccessful at the box office. His later releases in 2006 andearly 2007 were Baabul (2006),Ekalavya and Nishabd (2007), which failed to do well at thebox office but his performances in each of them were praisedby critics.
In May 2007, two of his films Cheeni Kum and the multi-starrer Shootout at Lokhandwala were released. Shootout atLokhandwala did very well at the box office and was declared a hit inIndia, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and only hadaverage success. A remake of his biggest hit, Sholay (1975),entitled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, released in August of that sameyear and proved to be a major commercial failure in addition to its poorcritical reception. The year also marked Bachchans first appearance inan English-language film, Rituparno Ghoshs The Last Lear. The filmpremiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival on 9September 2007. He received positive reviews from critics who hailedhis performance as his best ever since Black. Bachchan was slated toplay a supporting role in his first international film, Shantaram, directedby Mira Nair and starring Hollywood actor Johnny Deppin the lead.
The film was due to begin filming in February 2008 but due to thewriters strike, was pushed to September 2008. The film is currently"shelved" indefinitely. Vivek Sharmas Bhoothnath, in which he playsthe title role as a ghost, was released on 9 May 2008. Sarkar Raj, thesequel of the 2005 film Sarkar, released in June 2008 and received apositive response at the box-office. Paa, which released at the end of2009 was a highly anticipated project as it saw him playing his own sonAbhisheks Progeria-affected 13-year-old son, and it opened tofavorable reviews, particularly towards Bachchans performance. It wonhim his third National Film Award for Best Actor and fifth Filmfare BestActor Award. In 2010, he debuted in Malayalam film through Kandahar,directed by Major Ravi and co-starring Mohanlal. The film was basedon the hijacking incident of the Indian Airlines Flight 814. Bachchan didnot receive any remuneration for this film.
Television careerIn the year 2000, Bachchan stepped up to host Indias adaptation ofthe British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?entitled, Kaun Banega Crorepati. As it did in most other countrieswhere it was adopted, the program found immediate success. He hashosted all but one of the seasons of the show. Canara Bank withdrewits law suit against Bachchan in November 2000. Bachchanhosted KBC till November 2005, when he fell ill. At that time he wasadmitted to Lilavati Hospitals ICU once more, to undergo surgeryfor diverticulitis of the small intestine. During the period and thatfollowing his recovery, most of his projects were put on hold,including KBC. He has hosted all but one season of the show. Itssuccess set the stage for his return to film popularity. In 2009 Oscarwinning movie Slumdog Millionaire in the first question of Who Wantsto be a Millionaire? contest "Amitabh Bachchan" was the correctanswer to the question "Who was the star of Zanjeer? Feroz AbbasKhan performed as Amitabh Bachchan in a scene in the moviewhile Anil Kapoor performed as the host of the contest. Bachchanhosted the third season of the reality show Bigg Boss in 2009.
VoiceBachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been anarrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes.Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed withBachchans voice, that he decided to use his voice as commentaryin Shatranj Ke Khilari since he could not find a suitable role for him. In2005, Bachchan has lent his voice to the Oscar-winning Frenchdocumentary March of the Penguins, directed by Luc Jacquet.
Controversies and criticismBarabanki land caseIn the runup to the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, 2007,Bachchan made a film extolling the virtues of the Mulayam Singhgovernment. His Samajwadi Party was routed, and Mayawati came topower.On 2 June 2007 a Faizabad court ruled that he had legally acquiredagricultural land designated specifically for landless Dalit farmers.Itwas speculated that he might be investigated on related chargesof forgery, as he has allegedly claimed he was a farmer. On 19 July2007, after the scandal broke out, Bachchan surrendered the landacquired in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and Pune. He wrote to thechief minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, to donate thelands that were allegedly acquired illegally in Pune. However, theLucknow Court has put a stay on the land donation and said that thestatus quo on the land be maintained.
On 12 October 2007, Bachchan abandoned his claim in respect of the land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki district. On 11 December 2007, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court gave a clean chit to Bachchan in a case pertaining to alleged fraudulent allotment of government land to him in Barabanki district. A single Lucknow bench of Justice said there was no finding that the actor "himself committed any fraud or manipulated any surreptitious entry in the revenue records". After receiving a positive verdict in Barabanki case, Amitabh Bachchan intimated to Maharashtra government that he did not wish to surrender his land in Maval tehsil of Pune district.
In January 2008 at political rallies, Raj Thackeray, the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, targeted Amitabh Bachchan, asserting that the actor was "more inclined" towards his native state than Maharashtra. He expressed his disapproval of Amitabhs inaugurating a girls school named after his daughter-in-law, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, rather than in Maharashtra. According to media reports, Rajs censure of Amitabh, whom he admires, stemmed out of his disappointment of not being invited to Amitabhs son Abhisheks marriage to Aishwarya, despite invitations to his estranged uncle Bal and cousin Uddhav.
Responding to Rajs accusations, the actors wife, SP MP Jaya Bachchan, said that the Bachchans were willing to start a school in Mumbai, provided the MNS leader donated the land to build it. She told the media, "I heard that Raj Thackeray owns huge properties in Maharashtra, in Mumbai—Kohinoor Mills. If he is willing to donate land, we can start a school in the name of Aishwarya here." Raj responded to it saying, "Jaya Bachchan claims she does not know me then how come she knows how much property I own?". Amitabh abstained from commenting on the issue. However, he apologized to Raj for controversial remarks from Jaya in some other incidence. "
Bal Thackeray refuted the allegations, stating, "Amitabh Bachchan is an open-minded person, he has great love for Maharashtra, and this is evident on many occasions. The actor has often said that Maharashtra and specially Mumbai has given him great fame and affection. He has also said that what he is today is because of the love people have given him. The people of Mumbai have always acknowledged him as an artiste. It was utter foolishness to make these parochial allegations against him. Amitabh is a global superstar. People all over the world respect him. This cannot be forgotten by anyone. Amitabh should ignore these silly accusations and concentrate on his acting."
On 23 March 2008, more than a month and half after Rajs remarks, Amitabh finally spoke out in an interview to a local tabloid saying, "Random charges are random; they do not deserve the kind of attention you wish me to give.“ Later, on 28 March at a press conference for the International Indian Film Academy, when asked what his take was on the anti-migrant issue, Amitabh said that it is ones fundamental right to live anywhere in the country and the constitution entitles so. He also stated that he was not affected by Rajs comments.
Awards, honours and recognitions Apart from National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards and other competitive awards which Bachchan won for his performances throughout the years, he has been awarded several honors for his achievements in the Indian film industry. In 1991, he became the first artist to receive the Film fare Lifetime Achievement Award, which was established in the name of Raj Kapoor. Bachchan was crowned as Superstar of the Millennium in 2000 at the Film fare Awards. The Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in 1984 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001. Frances highest civilian honor, the Knight of the Legion of Honour, was conferred upon him by the French Government in 2007 for his "exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond". In 2011, actor Dilip Kumar blogged that Black should have been nominated for an Oscar. Kumar added: "If any Indian actor, in my personal opinion, deserves the worlds most coveted award, it is you."
In 1999, Bachchan was voted the "greatest star of stage or screen" in a BBC Your Millennium online poll. The organization noted that "Many people in the western world will not have heard of [him] ...[but it] is a reflection of the huge popularity of Indian films." In 2001, he was honored with the Actor of the Century award at the Alexandria International Film Festival in Egypt in recognition of his contribution to the world of cinema. Many other honors for his achievements were conferred upon him at several International Film Festivals, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Asian Film Awards. In June 2000, he became the first living Asian to have been immortalized in wax at Londons Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Another statue was installed in New York and Hong Kong in 2009.
In 2003, he was conferred with the Honorary Citizenship of the French town of Deauville. He was honored with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Jhansi, India, in 2004, the University of Delhi in 2006, the De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, in 2006, the University Brendan Foster by the Leeds Metropolitan University in Yorkshire, UK, in 2007, and the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, in 2011. Several books have been written about Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan: the Legend was published in 1999,To be or not to be: Amitabh Bachchan in 2004, AB: The Legend: (A Photographers Tribute) in 2006 /, Amitabh Bachchan: Ek Jeevit Kimvadanti in 2006, Amitabh: The Making of a Superstar in 2006, Looking for the Big B: Bollywood, Bachchan and Me in 2007 and Bachchanalia in 2009. Bachchan himself also wrote a book in 2002: Soul Curry for you and me – An Empowering Philosophy That Can Enrich Your Life. In the early 80s, Bachchan authorized the use of his likeness for the comic book character Supremo in a series titled The Adventures of Amitabh Bachchan.
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