Date of Birth
11 October 1942, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Amitabh Harivansh Srivastav
Angry Young Man
6′ 2″ (1.88 m)
Son of well known poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan 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 with Zanjeer, co-starred with his future wife Jaya Bhaduri, and since then there has been no looking back.
He married Jaya Bhaduri, an actress in her own rights, and they had two children, Shweta and Abhishek. Shweta is married, lives a non-filmy life and has two children.
Being friends with Rajiv Gandhi, got him to decide to run for seat in the Congress from his hometown but had to leave midterm because of controversies, particularly after Rajiv and he were implicated in the now infamous “Bofors” case along with the U.K. based Hinduja Brothers.
After a four year break, he was back in the unsuccessful Mrityudaata (1997), a comeback which the actor wanted to forget. Critics written him off but his career was saved with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998). But four flops in 1999 and incurring debt of over 90 Crores rupees of his sinking company ABCL saw him at an all-time low. To make matters worse, after the defeat of the Congress party, Amitabh lost considerable political support, the opposition made him a target, and his credit rating deteriorated to such an extent that a leading nationalized bank, Canara Bank, sued him for outstanding loans. He did bounce back, presenting the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire called “Kaun Banega Crorepati?” (2000). After a series of hits with Mohabbatein (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001) and Baghban (2003) andKhakee (2004), this elderly Bachchan is showing no signs of slowing down and proving the critics wrong once again.
His son, Abhishek, is also an actor by his own rights.
Amitabh and Jaya were interested in getting Abhishek married to Karishma, the daughter of Babita and Randhir Kapoor, they went through a formal engagement, but later broke it off.
The former Miss World and Bollywood actress, Aishwarya Rai, and Abhishek, were formally engaged on Sunday January 14, 2007, at the Bachchan residence in Juhu, Bombay, with the marriage taking place at the Bachchan residence on April 20, 2007.
On November 16, 2011, he became a Dada (Paternal Grandfather) when Aishwarya gave birth to a daughter in Mumbai Hospital. He is already a Nana (maternal grandfather) to Navya Naveli and Agastye – Shweta’s children.
He continues to be one of the busiest actors and singers in Bollywood as well as on TV, as can be seen from the commercials that he appears on, especially on Sahara One. Looks like there are no limits for this super-star and once the “Angry Young Man” of Bollywood.
The trademark deep baritone voice, the tall, brooding persona, and intense eyes, made Amitabh Bachchan the ideal “Angry Young Man” in the 1975-84. The son of the late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan, he was born in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. After completing his education from Sherwood College, Nainital, and Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, he moved to Calcutta to work for shipping firm Shaw and Wallace. Later, he moved to Bombay and struggled for a while to get his foot in the door of the Hindi film industry. The lanky, dark, and intensely brooding persona did not go down well with directors who were looking for wise-cracking, fair person – the trademark of the Indian hero in the 1960s. Starting with the low key Saat Hindustani, Bachchan struggled through many roles and was relegated at times to doing voice-overs and in one instance playing a deaf-mute. He broke through with Zanjeer (the Chain) in 1973 playing opposite his real-life love interest and future wife Jaya Bhaduri. His persona seemed apt for the post emergency period, 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 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. His most memorable performance was as the renegade against a harsh society in Deewar. After Amar Akbar Anthony in which he reveled in the role of the Cathlolic bootlegger – he played similar “masala” roles, movies that required action, comedy, tragedy, and romance in one character. This had disastrous consequences later with movies disintegrating into Amitabh variety shows rather than plot-driven stories. Bachchan was dubbed the Superstar, sharing that title with Rajesh Khanna, from 1975 until the mid 1980s.From 1985-1999 he had many flops and people criticized for playing same roles repeatedly. At the height of his popularity he was injured in an accident while shooting for the film Coolie – long lines of people prayed for his recovery at the Breach Candy hospital, underscoring his mega-star status. He left films in 1985 to become a Member of Parliament from Allahabad constituency as a Congress party candidate, as a favor to his family friend Rajiv Gandhi – the new Prime MInister of India. A report of involvement in financial irregularities (of which he was completely cleared later) made him decide to step down as MP. His return in 1987 was lukewarm as the Hindi film industry had moved on and newer, younger heroes essayed the part of Angry Young Man with more conviction. Bachchan seemed to have lost his heart in making films as his later roles did not show the flicker of passion that had marked earlier efforts in the 1970s. In 1984, for the first time since 1976, his film flopped and in 1989 3 films could not recover their money (in the Hindi film industry a flop is a film that does not recover a distributor’s price, not the producer’s cost). A series of lackluster films in the 1990s pointed to a long overdue exit, common to many other stars. A seemingly well-thought out venture to start a production company ABCL landed him in immense debts. Astonishingly, he burst back with a double act: one, playing the stern patriarch and two, reinventing himself as a brand that in turn, could market anything. He began the latter by hosting the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Kaun Banegaa Crorepati). At sixty plus, Amitabh Bachchan is a greater icon than he was at the height of his popularity three decades ago.
Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 in Allahabad. He is the son of late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan did his schooling from Sherwood College, Nainital and later on pursued a degree in science from the Delhi University. His first job was in Shaw Wallace and later worked as a freight broker for a shipping firm called Bird and Co. But his destiny had something else to offer and it was the journey to stardom. He made his debut in the film Saat Hindustani (1969) which was directed by K.A. Abbas. Film failed on the box-office but Amitabh was noticed by film makers like Hrishikesh Mukherji and Sunil Dutt. Hrishikesh Mukherji (whom Amitabh treat as his Godfather),gave him a role in his two films, Anand and Guddi. Anand was the third film, which became a hit and he got best supporting actor filmfare award. Amitabh was getting the roles but they were not significant. Finally he got a chance to work in “Zanjeer”, role for which he was not the first choice. Film turned out to be super-hit. By then a new avatar had emerged on silver screen, an “Angry young man”. But this was his one aspect. He was a poet (Kabhi Kabhi), an decent professor (Kasme Vaade), a comedian (Chupke Chupke, Amar Akbar Anthony, Don), a dying lover (Mukaddar Ka Sikander).He did almost all kinds of roles. In 1973, after release of Zanjeer, Amitabh got married with Jaya Bhaduri. He became father at the time of release of Chupke Chupke. During the shooting of “Coolie” on 26th July 1982, he was injured and admitted to Breech Candy hospital. The whole nation prayed for his fast recovery and by the grace of God he was gifted with a new life. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, then P.M. of India, postponed her foreign trip and visited the hospital. After recovery Amitabh returned on silver screen, with Sharabi and Giraftar like hit movies. In the original script of “Coolie” Iqbal (Amitabh) had to die but Teji Bachchan asked Manmohan Desai to change it for her personal reasons. The last scene where he stands in the balcony and thank the people, was the real scene, a way to thank the people of India, “Main to chala gaya tha, laut aaya hoon to bus aapki duaon se….” Amitabh also tried his hand in politics in 1984 after the death of Mrs. Gandhi. He defeated the then called Chankya of the Indian politics, Hemvanti Nandan Bahuguna. But some how things went wrong and he got trapped in the dirty game of politics of anti-Rajiv Gandhi. 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. Amitabh emerged again as a winner and slapped the critics who declared him “finished”. Even in this age roles are written for him. Every film maker is dreaming to cast him in his/her film. He was declared as Star of the Millenium by BBC poll, by Stardust and even at the survey for statue at Madam Tusad. These are not mere coincident! May God bless him.
|Jaya Bhaduri||(3 June 1973 – present) 2 children|
His baritone voice
India’s second actor to be given Superstar Status is Amitabh. The first person to be called Superstar was Rajesh Khanna and Khanna alone reigned as superstar from 1969-1976 and Amitabh shared Superstar status with Khanna from 1976-1991.
He launched a multi-faceted commercial enterprise known simply as Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, or ABCL. ABCL is engaged in production, distribution and all other aspects of the movie industry.
Had a very close association with the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi (also Prime Minister) and he was elected to parliament with a huge majority from his home town of Allahabad. But his stint in politics did not last long and he was implicated in the infamous Swedish Bofors Gun deal scandal along with Rajiv Gandhi, the U.K. based Hinduja brothers, and others.
Was one of the judges for the 1995 Miss World beauty pageant.
While filming Coolie (1983/I) he received a near fatal injury. He was hospitalised and the Indian press issued daily bulletins on his health.
Was a former stage actor, radio announcer and freight company executive in Calcutta, India.
Went to Sherwood College, a boarding school in the hill-station town of Nainital, and from there to Delhi University where he earned a double MA degree.
When he was just trying to get a break in movies he was told to soften his ‘deep’ voice. However it was soon realised that his deep rich voice was excellent for narration. He has provided narrations for several films.
Suffered from a rare muscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis.
Father of Abhishek Bachchan
Is a vegetarian
Presenter of Kaun Banega Crorepati, India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire
The first Asian actor having a wax model of his likeness displayed at Madame Tussaud’s in London, UK
Became the highest paid Hindi actor along-with ‘Rajesh Khanna’ in year 1980 and both together held the title till 1987. From 1969-1979 Rajesh Khanna was the only highest paid Indian actor.
Was named Actor of the Millennium in a BBC News Poll ahead of such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and Marlon Brando.
Was considered ‘finished’ in the early nineties after super star status for 15 years. He had a string of flops from 1985 till 1999. In mid 80’s his political ambition also failed. In 1997 his company became bankrupt. But made an unexpected comeback as host of the popular TV quiz series”Kaun Banega Crorepati?” (2000) which put him right back on the number one spot of Bollywood actors, reaffirming his reputation as the living legend of Indian cinema.
Formed a popular screen couple with Rekha
He also sung in many movies such as Laawaris, Toofan and Silsila.
Became a grandfather in 1997 when his daughter Shweta gave birth to a daughter, Navya Naveli Nanda.
Works with the Indian government’s media campaign to publicize the National Immunization Days and encourage people to take their children to be vaccinated against polio and other deadly diseases.
Son of Harivansh Rai Bachchan, who passed away in January 2003.
Suffers from asthma.
His favourite screen name is Vijay, which he had as his character name in over 20 movies.
His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was considering naming him ‘Inquilab’ (which means ‘revolution’) before settling down for Amitabh which means ‘brilliance unlimited’.
On his 61st birthday, he relaunched ABCL as AB Corp. ABCL had to be closed after debts of more than millions of rupees. However, Amitabh has decided to relaunch it with a name change.
Actress Nirupa Roy is mostly cast as his mother and last time she featured was in Lal Baadshah (1999).
Has a double M.A. (Master of Arts) degree.
The facial caricature of the Indian comic book character ‘Supremo’ is based upon him.
Following a near fatal accident while shooting Coolie (1983/I), during which he suffered internal bleeding and required 17 bottles of blood, he became a champion for the cause of encouraging more people to donate blood.
Singer Sudesh Bhonsle dubs his voice for playback songs in many movies.
At the age of 58, he jumped from a height of 30 feet, along with co-star Manoj Bajpai, for his 2001 movie Aks (2001).
In 1996, he released an album called “Aby Baby”. This album was released under ABCL and featured songs like “Eer Bir Phatte” and remixes of his songs from his early movies “O Saathi Re” and “Kabhi Kabhi”. “Eer Bir Phatte” was inspired by one of his famous dialogues in his movie _Adalat (1976/I)_.
In 1984, he was honored by the Indian government with the Padma Shri Award for his outstanding contribution to the Hindi film industry.
He played double role in 10 films Aadalat (1976), Don (1978), Kasme Vaade (1978), The Great Gambler (1979), Desh Premee (1982), Satte Pe Satta (1982), Aakhree Raasta (1986), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Lal Baadshah (1999) and Sooryavansham (1999). Mahaan (1983) had him in a triple role.
He was closely associated with Indira Gandhi, the former Indian Prime Minister, and her son, Rajiv Gandhi. It was Mrs. Gandhi who wrote a letter of introduction for Amitabh, and that’s how he got his break in Bollywood.
He was the original choice to play a role in Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai (2003), which he declined and was finally played by Om Puri
His survival and his success could in short be termed best in his wife’s own words that “Amit ji is a loner !”
Although Amitabh Bachchan’s Immaan Dharam (1977) proved to be a disaster, the producer went ahead and announced Asmaan with Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, with Mohan Kumar in the director’s seat. Salim-Javed, who had penned the script of Immaan Dharam, were scripting Asmaan as well. However, the film was shelved subsequently.
Rakesh Kumar, who had directed Khoon Pasina (1977), Mr. Natwarlal (1979), Do Aur Do Paanch (1980) and Yaarana (1981), had turned producer and announced Charlie, with Amitabh Bachchan enacting the title role. Padmini Kolhapure had been cast opposite the Big B. However, the project never got made.
Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar were seen on screen for the first time in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982). But much before Shakti happened, Eagle Films had signed Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan for their new project, which was to be directed by Yash Chopra. However, the project did not materialize subsequently.
In 1976 Amitabh Bachchan was to star in Manoj Kumar’s Naya Bharat, alongside Amitabh it was also supposed to star Manoj Kumar, Hema Malini, Rajesh Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Zeenat Aman and Rishi Kapoor. The film was shelved subsequently.
Amitabh Bachchan, Parveen Babi, Mithun Chakraborty and Rati Agnihotri were teamed in Tala Chabi, produced by Romu Sippy and directed by Raj N. Sippy. One of the foremost character actors then, Pran, had been signed to enact the main villain’s role. An official announcement was made in April 1982. The movie never took off.
Amitabh Bachchan was supposed to play one of the lead roles in Shashi Kapoor’s Utsav (1984) however; Amitabh opted out of the film. Shashi Kapoor replaced him.
Amitabh Bachchan was the first choice of Rakesh Roshan’s King Uncle (1993). But since the actor wasn’t signing films then, Roshan opted for Jackie Shroff.
Prakash Mehra was planning on making Chankaya Chanddragupta and had signed Amitabh Bachchan for the main role. The movie was shelved.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra wanted Amitabh Bachchan to play the lead role of Inspector Inayat Khan in Mission Kashmir (2000). The reason why Amitabh Bachchan declined the role was because of his commitment to Yash Chopra’s Mohabbatein (2000).
Kader Khan wanted to direct him as the lead hero in Jaahil, unfortunately the movie was never made.
He hates the word Bollywood, the word that describes the Hindi film industry.
On 31 October 2006, he shocked the unit of a forthcoming movie Shootout at Lokhandwala by recording 23 scenes in 5 hours. Achieving this feat was unheard of.
His daughter, Shweta, is married to Nikhil Nanda, who is the grandson of Raj Kapoor. (Raj Kapoor’s daughter, Ritu, took on the last name of Nanda when she married Rajan).
His daughter, Shweta, was born on March 17th.
His mom, Teji Bachchan, passed away in Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India on December 22, 2007, after a prolonged illness, at the age of 93.
Has a mannequin of himself in Madam Tussaud’s Museum in England. Along with Shahrukh Khan, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan.
Suffers from vitiligo.
In the 2008 movie, Slumdog Millionaire, Amitabh Bachchan is the answer to Jamal’s first question in the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The question: Who was the star in the 1973 hit film Zanjeer? Through Jamal’s flashbacks we get to see Amitabh Bachchan in action.
Amitabh shared the tag of being highest paid Indian actor with Rajesh Khanna from 1980-1987 and was the 4 highest paid Hindi actor from 1976-1979.
I have never really been confident about my career at any stage.
Everyone must accept “that we will age and age is not always flattering”.
I wish I had time to learn all the languages of our country, I wish I knew how to play a musical instrument. There are many things that I feel I have missed out on.
(Referring to Abhishek Bachchan) “Like any other father I feel proud to see my son on the silver screen.”
(When asked about his dancing with Shilpa Shetty in Lal Baadshah (1999)) “But I would dance with my daughter if I could. And if I can dance with Shilpa Shetty, then I will do that.”
I have never been a superstar and never believed in it. For me if there was a superstar its Rajesh Khanna. His body of work, his sense of melody, involvement in music plus his fan following was really of a different league. He is the best superstar-cum-super-actor. The word “superstar” in the Indian film industry was for the first time coined for him.
The amount of things I have been through and the remarkable ways in which the body has reacted is just phenomenal. No wonder I became religious, because you don’t know why something’s happening to you and you don’t know how you bounced back.
His thoughts on working in Hollywood: “You don’t see Indians in Hollywood films around which a story can revolve. As soon as we have a social presence in your society, I am sure there will be many actors from our part of the world that will be acting in Hollywood films. I have always been a great admirer of Marlon Brando, Al Paccinno, Robert De Niro. I would love to walk into the frame, hold their briefcase!”
(2000) Whether it was in sets of Anand or Namak Haram, we never bickered or argued or tried to upstage one another in any manner. On the contrary Kaka does’n know this, but when I was working in Calcutta and keen to join films, the inspiration to join was Mr. Rajesh Khanna. Kaka had succeeded in Filmfare contest and I said “My God, here is an excellent opportunity where somebody is actually auditioned and here this gentleman who has made it and is doing so well.” Then wonder of wonders in 2 years Hrishida asked to work with Kaka. It was a dream come true for me.
(1991) It was a dream come true for me because of there was this great admiration for Kaka and his phenomenal success. The hysteria that he evoked was witnessed for first time in Hindi Films. And we were all part of that hysteria that followed Kaka. I got famous purely because I was working with Rajesh Khanna. People came and asked me questions like “How does he look?” So I became very important, thanks to Kaka. I have always maintained that person who is my senior will always remain senior. I have never argued about billings because I don’t think they mean anything. And I have had always greatest respect for Kaka.
Rajesh Khanna for me will remain the only superstar in true sense. He appeared in 153 films by 1991 – that is in a span of 25 years which already included 101 solo hero films and did only 21 multi star-cast films. Everyone knows his involvement in music of his films.He was so hardworking that each year he had minimum 3 films releasing and still managed to give 95 jubilee hits!! Hats off to him. My achievements are no-where near him. In-fact I did more multi star-cast films and less solo hero films than him. Once i got success in angry young man genre I had to stick to it and whenever I tried to do something different it was a failure so I stayed away from experimenting much. But Khanna never bothered about such things. In-spite of not working much after 1991 he has done 180 films and Am far behind him. I have highest regards for him since the 1965 when I heard about him then my respect only increased when I worked with him and till date I regard him as a greater actor.