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Legend of Bollywood: Amitabh Bachchan

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Superstar, megastar, star of the millennium– Amitabh Bachchan has been given many epithets in his four-decade long career in Bollywood.



And the actor, who turns 70. Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahbad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well-known Hindi poet and Teji Bachchan.

He has a brother named Ajitabh. He completed his education from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Bombay to find work as a film star, in vain though, as film-makers preferred someone with a fairer skin, and he was not quite fair enough. But they did use one of his other assets - his deep baritone voice - which was used for narration and background commentary. He was successful in being cast in Saat Hindustani. He got his break in Bollywood after a letter of introduction from the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, as he was a friend of her son Rajiv Gandhi. This is how Amitabh made an entry in Bollywood.

Starting Career

Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen's National Award winning film Bhuvan Shome. Thereafter he got his first acting role as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani; Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Newcomer.


He broke through with Zanjeer in 1973 playing opposite his real-life love interest and future wife Jaya Bhaduri. His persona seemed apt for the 1970s, capturing the resentment of underemployed youth and the increasing cult of violence. Bachchan reworked the image of the Hindi film hero with major hits like Deewar, Sholay, Trishul, Don, Kala Patthar, and Shakti. Adapting former screen idol Dilip Kumar's mannerisms and adding his own flamboyance, he popularized the violent melodrama. He proved that he had an equal flair for tragedies (Deewar, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Shakti) and comedies (Chupke Chupke, Don, Naseeb, Amar Akbar Anthony) as well.

In 1984, Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabad's 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 His political career, however, was short-lived: he resigned after three years, calling politics a cesspool.

Ups and Downs

Although during this period his classics "Main Azad Hoon" and "Agneepath" were released, but Amitabh was getting older. Amitabh decided to take a break in 1992, Khuda Gawah was the last release. He then launched ABCL which was a multi-faceted commercial enterprise. This was the major failure and he was surrounded by unthinkable debt. This is hard to imagine at that time how he survived but again he proved that he is not an ordinary man who live and die. With "Kaun Banega Crorepati" and "Mohabattein" he redefined his position in Indian cinema. From 2000 to the present his career has reached to a high pedestal. With a series of movies like Mohabbatein, Ek Rishtaa, Kabhi khaushi Kabhi Gham, Baghban, Aks, Aakhein, Khakke, Dev, Black, Sarkar, Kabhi Alvida na Kehna, Baabul, Eklavya, Nishabd, Cheeni Kum, Shootout at Lokhandwala, The last Lear, Bhootnath, Sarkar Raj and Paa he has established himself as one of the biggest stars of Bollywood.


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 Filmfare Awards. He is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 36 nominations overall. (TIMExplore.com)