Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942, to poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He has a younger brother, Ajitabh Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan is a legendary Bollywood actor and is commonly referred to as Big B or the Shahenshah of Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan's actual surname is Srivastava, but his father adopted the pen name of Bachchan. So, the family adopted this surname. Amitabh Bachchan has worked in almost 200 Indian films and a Hollywood film in a career that spans more than 40 years. He is married to actress Jaya Bachchan nee Bhaduri and the couple has two children, daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda and son Abhishek Bachchan (also an actor in Bollywood). Abhishek Bachchan is married to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (former Miss World and a famous Bollywood actor). Shweta Bachchan is married to businessman Nikhil Nanda. Amitabh Bachchan has three grand-children namely, Agastya Nanda, Navya Naveli Nanda and Aaradhya Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan completed his schooling from Sherwood College, Nainital, and attended the Kirori Mal College in Delhi before moving to Kolkata and then Mumbai in search of his career. Before making his debut in Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by All India Radio (AIR). After working in Kolkata, Amitabh Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as a narrator in Mrinal Sen's National Award-winning film Bhuvan Shome. READ: Meeting Amitabh Bachchan: A chat with the legend of Indian cinema (Interview).
In the same year, he also debuted on screen with Khwaja Ahmad Abbas' film Saat Hindustani (1969). The film, also starring Utpal Dutt, Anwar Ali and Jalal Agha, did not do well at the box office but is considered iconic now. Big B followed the film up with a role in film Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand in 1971, which starred the then superstar Rajesh Khanna in the lead. Amitabh Bachchan's role of a cynical doctor who undergoes a transformation after meeting a terminally ill patient won Amitabh Bachchan his first Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actor category. He followed the films with many like Parwana (in which he plays a negative role of an obsessed lover turned murderer), Reshma aur Shera, Bombay to Goa and even guest appeared in Guddi. Many of these movies did not fair well at the box office during the 1971-73 till his fortunes turned and established the young actor from Allahabad as a superstar of national fame and recognition with Prakash Mehra's revenge drama Zanjeer in 1973 starring Jaya Bhaduri. Zanjeer's box office success soon catapulted Amitabh Bachchan to super stardom and he became famous as the Angry Young Man of Hindi cinema; quickly ascending to stardom with consecutive successes at the box office.
Amitabh Bachchan married Jaya Bhaduri in 1973 and went on to give many brilliant performances like Abhimaan, Namak Haraam, Chupke Chupke, Mili with Jaya as his leading lady. The variety of roles brought him critical acclaim and he went on to do films with some of the all-time Bollywood greats like Yash Chopra (Deewar) and Ramesh Sippy (Sholay) in 1975. Both the movies went on to become top grossers and have gained a place in the Top 50 Must Watch Bollywood Films of all times.
Though Sholay did not win any Filmfare Award, the movie continues to be a cult among Indian cine lovers and internationally. After establishing himself as the Angry Young Man in films such as Deewar, Zanjeer, Kaala Patthar, among others, Big B successfully created a romantic hero image for himself in the romantic family drama Kabhie Kabhie in 1976. Bachchan starred as a young poet named Amit Malhotra who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young girl named Pooja (Raakhee). The multi-starrer also had other renowned actors like Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh and Waheeda Rehman.
Amitabh Bachchan continued to rule the box office with high grossing films like Trishul, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Mr Natwarlal, Kaala Patthar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Don, Suhaag, Adalat, Parvarish, Khoon Pasina, Silsila, Shakti, Dostana, Shaan, The Great Gambler to name a few. His pairing with Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna have long been some of the best on screen chemistry. His role opposite Rekha as his leading lady in hits like Muqaddar ka Sikandar and Silsila drew crowds in the thousands to the cinema halls. By 1982, there was no stopping Amitabh Bachchan. His tremendous fan following was apparent when he suffered a life threatening intestinal injury during his shooting at the sets of 1982 Coolie.
On 26 July 1982, while filming for the movie at the University Campus in Bangalore, Bachchan was supposed to film a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. An unfortunate stunt ruptured his spleen and he had to undergo an emergency splenectomy following which he stayed in hospital for quite some time. As he battled for his life, fans offered prayers and lined up in front of the hospital. No wonder that the movie was one of the biggest hits of 1983 and to this day Big B is grateful to his fans for their love and blessings. The incident made Manmohan Desai to re-write the ending of the movie. Though initially Amitabh Bachchan's character was supposed to die at the end of the same, the incident and the actors real life tryst with death convinced the director to re-write the end and ensure that he stays alive. Though the movie was a huge success, Bachchan was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis (MG) later in the year which affected his confidence and will.
It was then in the year 1984 he decided to quit movies to enter politics. Political Career 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 (68.2% of the vote). However, he resigned from politics after three years. Later, he was accused in the Bofors Scandal but was eventually found not guilty. The actor once again found himself in trouble after his company ABCL faced financial crisis. However, his old friend, Amar Singh, helped him during a financial crisis due to the failure of his company ABCL. Bachchan started to support Amar Singh's political party, the Samajwadi Party.
Comeback of the Shahenshah: In 1988, Bachchan returned to films, playing the title role in Shahenshah, which was a box office success, after which for a long time his films did not work at the box office. Finally with the release of the 1990 film Agneepath, Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance as a Mafia don. In an attempt to revive his career after the debacle of Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (ABCL), he was seen in the average grosser Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham (1999) however, other films such as Lal Baadshah (1999) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) were box office failures. Amitabh Bachchan's career saw a revival with Yash Chopra's film Mohabbatein, directed by Aditya Chopra where he acted alongside super star Shah Rukh Khan. After which he was seen in films such as Dev, Aankhen, Khakee, Bhootnath and Bhootnath Returns, Bunty aur Babli, and was highly appreciated in Aks, Black, Baghban, Paa, among others.
In 2000, Bachchan hosted the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), the Indian adaptation of the British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire show which was well received, making Amitabh Bachchan a super success even with the younger audience. In 2016, Amitabh Bachchan was lauded for his role of a lawyer in the women's empowerment film Pink. He was also seen in T3EN the same year. Bachchan will now be seen in Yash Raj Films' Thugs of Hindostan with Aamir Khan which is scheduled to release in 2018. READ: Pink movie review: Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu’s powerful film with brilliant performances!
Awards: Amitabh Bachchan has won four National Awards for Best Actor in movies Agneepath in 1990, Black in 2005, Paa in 2009 and Piku in 2015. In all, Amitabh Bachchan has won 13 Filmfare Awards. With 41 nominations, Amitabh Bachchan is the most-nominated performer in a major acting category at Filmfare Awards. He has won five Filmfare Awards for Best Actor for his performances in Amar Akbar Anthony, Don, Hum, Black and Paa. Also, he won the Filmfare Critics Best Actor Award for his roles in Aks in 2001, Black in 2005 and Piku in 2015. Adding to the list are his two awards in the Supporting Actor category for Filmfare Awards for the movies Anand in 1972, Namak Haram in 1974 and Mohabbatein in 2001, among other awards by Filmfare.
Citizen Honours: In June 2000, Amitabh Bachchan became the first living Asian to have been modeled in wax at London's Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Subsequent statues were installed in New York in 2009, Hong Kong in 2011, Bangkok in 2011 and Washington, DC in 2012. In 2003, he was conferred with the Honorary Citizenship of the French town of Deauville. The Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015. France's highest civilian honour, 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.