Bollywood’s legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan turns 76 today
Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 in Allahabad, India. In 1969, he debuted in ‘Saat Hindustani’. His role in 1972’s ‘Zanjeer’ made him an action movie star. In the 1980s, Bachchan held a seat in the Indian Parliament. In the ’90s, he started his own production company. He returned to acting in 1997, with ‘Mrityudaata’. In 2000, he began hosting the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
Bachchan went to Sherwood College boarding school before enrolling in Delhi University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. Once he graduated, he became a freight broker in Kolkata. After a few years in Kolkata, Bachchan was ready for a change. He decided to move to Bombay and take a stab at Bollywood show business. By this time, India had been independent for nearly two decades, and Hindi cinema was thriving. By the early 1970s, Bachchan had garnered popularity with audiences as the “angry young man” in a series of successful Hindi feature films. His starring role in ‘Zanjeer’ was particularly instrumental in launching him to stardom as an action-movie hero. Bachchan’s performances in films like ‘Laawaris’, ‘Coolie’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Silsila’, ‘Shaarabi’ and ‘Jaadugar’ continued to enamor fans of the tall and handsome action hero, and also landed him multiple Fanfare Awards. From the 1970s through the early ’80s, the swash-buckling Bachchan appeared in more than 100 films. He seized opportunities to work with India’s most acclaimed directors, such as Prakash Mehra, and dominated the silver screen with films like ‘Trishul’, ‘Sholay’ and ‘Chashme Buddoor’. In addition to acting, Bachchan’s roles often required him to sing.
In 1982, Bachchan had a serious accident while filming. Fans prayed for his recovery. Bachchan survived the accident, but it prompted him to change career paths. In 1984, he traded his Bollywood stardom for a seat in the Indian Parliament. His political aspirations proved to be short-lived; in 1987, he left his seat due to unexpected controversy. By the 1990s, the limelight surrounding Bachchan had begun to fade. But his decision to start his own entertainment production company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, and make himself CEO, put him back in the headlines.
Bachchan followed his true calling and returned to the silver screen in 1997 with the film ‘Mrityudaata’, produced by ABCL. In 2000, he also started hosting the Indian version of the television game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’. Despite a few box-office failures in the 1990s, in the 2000s, Bachchan climbed his way back up to stardom as a film actor, earning additional Filmfare and International Film Award nominations for his work on films like ‘Baghban’ (2003), ‘Khakee’ (2004) and ‘Paa’ (2009).