The Shahenshah of Bollywood: Amitabh Bachchan’s Spectacular Journey

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By JustBaazaar Editor

Hey there, Bollywood buffs! Today, let’s dive into the extraordinary life of one of the most iconic figures in Indian cinema – the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. From his early days to becoming the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh’s journey is nothing short of a blockbuster script. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and let’s explore the life and times of the living legend.

Amitabh Bachchan – The Millenium Star of Bollywood

The Shahenshah of Bollywood: Amitabh Bachchan's Spectacular Journey

Early Life and Education: Amitabh Harivansh Rai Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942, in Allahabad, India, to renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. Young Amitabh showed an early interest in acting, and his charm was evident even in his school and college days. After completing his education, including a stint at Sherwood College, Nainital, and Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, he took the first steps towards his Bollywood dream.

Family Background: Amitabh Bachchan hails from a family deeply rooted in literature and arts. His father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a celebrated poet, and his mother, Teji Bachchan, was a social activist. Married to actress Jaya Bhaduri, Amitabh is the proud father of Abhishek and Shweta Bachchan.

Career Beginnings: Amitabh’s entry into the film industry wasn’t a cakewalk. His tall frame and deep baritone made him stand out, but early on, he faced rejection. However, destiny had other plans for him. In 1969, he made his debut in the film “Saat Hindustani,” but it was the 1973 film “Zanjeer” that marked the turning point in his career, earning him the title of the ‘Angry Young Man.’

Filmography: Amitabh Bachchan’s filmography reads like a cinematic epic. From the ’70s hits like “Sholay” and “Deewar” to the ’80s classics like “Coolie” and “Sharaabi,” and more recent gems like “Piku” and “Badla,” his journey spans over five decades, with no sign of slowing down.

Achievements and Awards: Amitabh Bachchan’s mantle is adorned with numerous accolades. From National Film Awards to Filmfare Awards, and even a Padma Vibhushan, he stands as a testament to his unparalleled contribution to Indian cinema. His performances in films like “Black” and “Paa” have left audiences and critics alike in awe.

Family Life: Despite the glitz and glamour, Amitabh has always held his family close. His enduring love story with Jaya Bhaduri is a Bollywood tale in itself. Their children, Abhishek and Shweta, have also made their mark in the industry.

Conflicts and Comebacks: Amitabh’s career has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Financial setbacks, political controversies, and health issues couldn’t keep the superstar down. His resilience and ability to reinvent himself have only added to his aura.

Interesting Facts: Did you know Amitabh Bachchan was once rejected by All India Radio for his deep voice? Or that he was one of the first Asian actors to have a wax statue at Madame Tussauds? These intriguing tidbits add layers to the legend.

Bio Stats and Car Collection: Standing at 6’2″, Amitabh Bachchan is not just a towering figure in the film industry but in physical stature too. His love for luxury cars is evident in his impressive collection, which includes models like Rolls Royce, Bentley, and more.

Net Worth: Amitabh Bachchan’s success isn’t just measured in awards and fame but also in his net worth. With multiple brand endorsements, business ventures, and a career that spans over five decades, his financial standing is as impressive as his on-screen presence.

In Conclusion: Amitabh Bachchan’s journey from a young boy in Allahabad to the Shahenshah of Bollywood is a saga that has enthralled generations. His charisma, talent, and resilience have made him a living legend. As he continues to entertain us with his performances, Amitabh Bachchan remains an enduring symbol of the magic of Indian cinema. Here’s to the man who truly exemplifies the adage – “Age is just a number.” Long live the Shahenshah!

Amitabh Bachchan: A Cinematic Maestro

Amitabh Bachchan, born as Amitabh Srivastava on October 11, 1942, in Allahabad (now Prayagraj), is a name that resonates not just in the corridors of Bollywood but across the global cinematic landscape. With a career spanning over five decades, he has left an indelible mark on Indian cinema, earning him titles like Shahenshah of Bollywood, Sadi Ke Mahanayak (Greatest actor of the century), Star of the Millennium, and simply, Big B.

Early Life and Education: A scion of literary and artistic excellence, Amitabh was born to the renowned Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and social activist Teji Bachchan. His academic journey took him to Sherwood College, Nainital, and Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, laying the foundation for a man who would later become a cinematic legend.

Career Beginnings: Amitabh’s tryst with the silver screen began in 1969 with Mrinal Sen’s film “Bhuvan Shome,” where he started as a voice narrator. However, it was the early 1970s that marked his ascent to stardom with memorable performances in films like “Anand,” “Zanjeer,” “Roti Kapada Aur Makaan,” “Deewaar,” and the iconic “Sholay.” His portrayal of the “angry young man” became synonymous with his name.

Golden Era and Resurgence: The 1970s and ’80s witnessed Amitabh Bachchan’s dominance in the Indian film industry. His filmography during this period reads like a golden chapter in Bollywood history, with hits like “Amar Akbar Anthony,” “Don,” “Trishul,” and “Shaan.” Despite a brief hiatus in the 1990s, he made a triumphant return in 2000 with “Mohabbatein” and continued to deliver stellar performances in films like “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,” “Black,” “Paa,” and “Piku.”

Awards and Accolades: Amitabh’s contribution to Indian cinema has been rightfully acknowledged with numerous awards, including a record four National Film Awards for Best Actor. He boasts sixteen Filmfare Awards and holds the record for the most nominations in any major acting category at Filmfare. The Government of India recognized his excellence with the prestigious Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan, and in 2018, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

Beyond the Screen: Amitabh Bachchan’s talents extend beyond acting. He has showcased his versatility as a playback singer, film producer, and television presenter. His hosting of the game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” became immensely popular, showcasing his affable personality. In the 1980s, he even ventured into politics briefly.

Global Icon: Beyond the Indian subcontinent, Amitabh has amassed a massive fan following across the globe. His popularity spans regions such as Africa, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Russia, Central Asia, the Caribbean, Oceania, Canada, and the United States. The BBC named him the “greatest star of stage or screen” in 1999, and TIME magazine crowned him the “Star of the Millennium” in 2003.

Philanthropy and Endorsements: Apart from his artistic pursuits, Amitabh Bachchan has actively engaged in humanitarian works. He is a prominent brand endorser in India, using his influence for social causes.

Amitabh Bachchan’s journey is not just a cinematic saga but a testament to the power of talent, resilience, and global appeal. As we celebrate the life and achievements of this living legend, one cannot help but be inspired by the indomitable spirit of the Shahenshah of Bollywood.

Early Life and Family – The Roots of a Legend:

Amitabh Bachchan, the towering figure of Indian cinema, was born on October 11, 1942, in Allahabad (now Prayagraj), into a family that blended literary brilliance and social activism. His parents, the eminent Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and social activist Teji Bachchan, set the stage for a life that would be marked by both artistic excellence and societal impact.

Diverse Heritage: Harivansh Rai Bachchan, an Awadhi Hindu Kayastha, hailed from Babupatti village in the Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. Fluent in Awadhi, Hindi, and Urdu, his ancestry held roots in this culturally rich region. Teji Bachchan, on the other hand, was a Punjabi Sikh Khatri from Lyallpur, Punjab (now Faisalabad, Pakistan). The union of these two diverse cultural backgrounds laid the foundation for a household that celebrated diversity.

Sibling Bond: Amitabh Bachchan shares a special bond with his younger brother, Ajitabh, who is five years his junior. This sibling connection has withstood the tests of time and added another layer to the Bachchan family dynamics.

A Revolutionary Name: The narrative around Amitabh’s birth holds an intriguing twist. Initially intended to be named “Inquilaab” (Hindustani for “Revolution”), a suggestion by poet Sumitranandan Pant altered his destiny. The name Amitabh was chosen, steering away from the revolutionary connotations. While his surname was Shrivastava, his father, in opposition to the caste system, adopted the pen name “Bachchan,” meaning “child-like” in colloquial Hindi. This name became not just a pseudonym for Harivansh Rai but the surname for the entire family, symbolizing unity and breaking free from societal norms.

Educational Pursuits: Bachchan’s educational journey took him to Boys’ High School & College in Allahabad, Sherwood College in Nainital, and Kirori Mal College at the University of Delhi. In 1962, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, marking the completion of his formal education.

Influence of Family Ties: The Bachchan family wasn’t just a hub of creative minds; they were also intricately connected with the Nehru-Gandhi political legacy. Close ties with Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, coupled with hosting Sonia Gandhi before her marriage to Rajiv, showcased the deep bonds they shared. This connection also influenced Bachchan’s early years in New Delhi, where he spent time with the political luminaries of the time.

The Influence of Maternal Wisdom: Amitabh’s mother, Teji Bachchan, played a pivotal role in shaping his career. Her insistence that he should “take center stage” might have influenced his decision to pursue a career in acting. This early encouragement set the stage for the emergence of one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema.

Career Beginnings: Despite facing initial setbacks, including a failed audition as a newsreader for All India Radio, Bachchan’s resilience and determination led him to explore various avenues. He worked as a business executive for Bird & Company in Kolkata before venturing into theatre and eventually making his mark in the world of films.

Amitabh Bachchan’s early life is not just a story of personal growth but a narrative that weaves together diverse cultural influences, familial bonds, and the seeds of a legendary career that would redefine the landscape of Indian cinema.

The Shahenshah of Bollywood: Amitabh Bachchan's Spectacular Journey

Acting Career – The Evolution of the Angry Young Man:

Early Career (1969–1972):

Amitabh Bachchan’s journey into the world of cinema began in 1969 when he lent his voice as a narrator in Mrinal Sen’s National Award-winning film “Bhuvan Shome.” His first acting role came in “Saat Hindustani” (1969), directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. However, it was in the early 1970s that his talent truly began to shine.

The film “Anand” (1971), where he starred alongside Rajesh Khanna, marked a turning point in his career. His portrayal of a cynical doctor earned him his first Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Following this success, Bachchan took on diverse roles, including that of an infatuated lover-turned-murderer in “Parwana” (1971) and appearances in films like “Reshma Aur Shera” (1971) and “Guddi,” where he made a guest appearance alongside his future wife Jaya Bhaduri.

Despite these ventures, many of his early films did not fare well at the box office, and it seemed Bachchan was still finding his footing in the industry.

Rise to Stardom (1973–1974):

The turning point in Bachchan’s career came with the film “Zanjeer” (1973). Struggling at the age of 30, having faced twelve flops and only two hits, he was offered a dual role in “Bandhe Hath” (1973), marking his first film with a double role. However, it was “Zanjeer” that catapulted him into stardom.

Screenwriter duo Salim–Javed recognized Bachchan’s potential and envisioned him as the lead in the crime film, creating the iconic “angry young man” persona. This film not only earned him his first Filmfare Award nomination for Best Actor but also became one of the highest-grossing films of the year, breaking his dry spell at the box office. This marked the beginning of a prolific collaboration between Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan.

Films like “Deewaar” (1975) and “Sholay” (1975) further solidified his position as the “angry young man” of Bollywood. Bachchan’s portrayal of a hero fighting against a corrupt system and societal injustices resonated with the masses, making him the voice of a generation grappling with issues such as poverty, hunger, unemployment, corruption, and social inequality.

His marriage to Jaya in 1973 added a personal touch to his on-screen chemistry, and they appeared in several successful films together, including “Abhimaan” and “Namak Haraam.”

In 1974, Bachchan continued his successful streak with supporting roles in films like “Roti Kapda Aur Makaan” and playing the lead in “Majboor,” solidifying his status as one of the most successful leading men in the film industry.

The early 1970s marked the rise of Amitabh Bachchan, the “angry young man,” who became a symbol of rebellion, addressing the discontent and frustration of an entire generation during a tumultuous period in India’s history. The years that followed would witness the evolution of this cinematic giant and his enduring impact on the Indian film industry.

Superstardom (1975–1988) – The Golden Era of Amitabh Bachchan:

1975 – A Pinnacle Year: The year 1975 marked a watershed moment in Amitabh Bachchan’s career, solidifying his status as the undisputed superstar of Hindi cinema. He showcased his versatility by starring in a variety of genres, from the comedy “Chupke Chupke” to the crime drama “Faraar” and the romantic drama “Mili.” However, it was the films written by the dynamic duo Salim-Javed that proved to be pivotal.

“Deewaar” and “Sholay”: “Deewaar,” directed by Yash Chopra, featured Bachchan alongside Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi, and Neetu Singh. The film, released in 1975, not only earned him another Filmfare nomination for Best Actor but also became a major box office hit, ranking fourth for the year. Simultaneously, “Sholay,” released on August 15, 1975, rewrote box office history as the highest-grossing film in India at the time. Bachchan’s portrayal of Jaidev in “Sholay” and his role in “Deewaar” are often credited with propelling him to the zenith of superstardom. In 1999, BBC India declared “Sholay” the “Film of the Millennium.”

1976 – Romantic Hero in “Kabhie Kabhie”: In 1976, Yash Chopra cast Bachchan in the romantic family drama “Kabhie Kabhie,” showcasing his versatility as a romantic hero. His portrayal of the young poet Amit Malhotra, entangled in a complex love story, earned critical acclaim and another Filmfare Best Actor nomination.

1977 – Awards and Successes: Bachchan’s prowess continued to shine in 1977, earning his first Filmfare Best Actor Award for “Amar Akbar Anthony.” The film, in which he played the third lead alongside Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor, was the highest-grossing film of the year. Other successes in 1977 included “Parvarish” and “Khoon Pasina.”

1978 – The Double Role Triumph: In 1978, Bachchan once again embraced double roles in films like “Kasme Vaade” and “Don.” His performance in “Don” as both the underworld gang leader and his look-alike Vijay won him his second Filmfare Best Actor Award. This year proved to be his most successful at the box office, with all six of his releases, including “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar,” “Trishul,” and “Ganga Ki Saugandh,” turning into massive successes.

1979 – Continued Triumphs: The success story continued in 1979 with “Suhaag,” the highest-earning film of the year. Bachchan received critical acclaim for films like “Mr. Natwarlal,” “Kaala Patthar,” “The Great Gambler,” and “Manzil.” His singing debut in “Mr. Natwarlal” garnered him nominations for both Best Actor and Best Male Playback Singer at the Filmfare Awards.

1980-1982 – A Streak of Hits: Bachchan maintained his dominance with hits like “Dostana” (1980), “Silsila” (1981), “Shaan” (1980), “Naseeb” (1981), “Kaalia” (1981), “Lawaaris” (1981), and “Shakti” (1982), alongside Dilip Kumar. His 1981 releases were particularly noteworthy, with six consecutive films turning into massive hits.

1982-1987 – Continued Success and Political Stint: In the following years, Bachchan continued to deliver hits with films like “Satte Pe Satta,” “Desh Premee,” “Namak Halaal,” and “Bemisal.” A triple role in “Mahaan” (1983) and notable releases like “Nastik,” “Pukar,” and “Andha Kanoon” (1983) showcased his versatility. During a brief stint in politics from 1984 to 1987, his films “Mard” (1985) and “Geraftaar” (1985) were released and became major hits.

The era from 1975 to 1988 marked the zenith of Amitabh Bachchan’s superstardom. His ability to seamlessly transition between intense roles, romantic leads, and double roles showcased his unparalleled acting prowess. The box office records and numerous awards during this period are a testament to his enduring impact on the Indian film industry.

The Coolie Incident – Triumph Over Tragedy:

On 26 July 1982, the sets of the film “Coolie” witnessed a moment that would go down in Bollywood history, not for its cinematic brilliance but for the life-altering incident that unfolded during the shoot. Amitabh Bachchan, the reigning superstar, faced a near-fatal injury that would test not only his physical resilience but also evoke an outpouring of public support and prayers.

During the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar, Bachchan’s life took an unexpected turn. The script demanded a dramatic fall onto a table and then onto the ground. However, in a cruel twist of fate, as Bachchan leaped towards the table, the corner struck his abdomen, resulting in a splenic rupture that led to a significant loss of blood. The severity of the injury required immediate medical attention.

Emergency Splenectomy and Critical Condition: Rushed to the hospital, Bachchan underwent emergency surgery, specifically a splenectomy, to address the internal injury. The aftermath of the surgery left him critically ill, teetering on the edge of life. Fans, unaware of the gravity of the situation, anxiously gathered outside the hospital, forming long queues to express their well-wishes. The public response was overwhelming, with prayers echoing in places of worship, and some fans even offering to sacrifice their limbs to save their beloved actor.

Triumphant Recovery and Resuming Filming: Despite the dire circumstances, Amitabh Bachchan displayed remarkable resilience and determination. He fought his way back to health during months of recuperation, at times hovering close to death. The Coolie incident not only tested his physical strength but also revealed the depth of his connection with his fans, who stood by him in solidarity.

After a prolonged period of recovery, Bachchan defied the odds and returned to the film set later that year. The director, Manmohan Desai, made a poignant decision to alter the film’s ending. Initially, Bachchan’s character was meant to be killed off, but given the real-life battle he had just faced, Desai found it inappropriate for the on-screen demise of the man who had triumphed over death in reality. The script was adjusted, and Bachchan’s character lived in the end.

Publicity, Release, and Box Office Success: The altered ending, coupled with the immense publicity surrounding Bachchan’s accident, turned “Coolie” into a cinematic event. The film was released in 1983 and became not just a box office success but the top-grossing film of that year. The footage of the fight scene, frozen at the critical moment, serves as a stark reminder of the actor’s life-altering injury.

The Coolie incident not only underscored Amitabh Bachchan’s indomitable spirit but also strengthened the bond between the actor and his fans. It remains a testament to his resilience, the power of public support, and the unpredictable intersection of real-life drama with reel-life narratives.

Navigating Health Challenges: Amitabh Bachchan’s Battle with Myasthenia Gravis:

In the wake of his triumphant return to the film industry post the Coolie incident, Amitabh Bachchan faced another formidable adversary – Myasthenia gravis. This health condition posed not just physical challenges but also took a toll on his mental well-being, leading to a significant shift in his career trajectory.

Diagnosis and Impact: Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, often leading to fatigue. For Bachchan, this diagnosis marked a critical juncture in his life. The illness not only affected him physically, sapping his strength, but it also had profound implications on his mental resilience.

Transition from Films to Politics: Feeling the weight of his health challenges, Amitabh Bachchan made a pivotal decision to step away from the world of cinema and venture into the realm of politics. The decision was driven not only by his desire for a change but also by the uncertainties surrounding his health and the toll it was taking on his overall well-being.

Pessimism and Film Releases: The battle with Myasthenia gravis left Bachchan grappling with pessimism, especially concerning the reception of his films. Before every release, he expressed a sense of uncertainty, often predicting, “Yeh film to flop hogi!” (“This film will flop”). This shift in outlook reflected not only the challenges of navigating a chronic health condition but also the emotional strain of facing uncertainties in his career.

The Mental and Physical Toll: The illness made him feel weak both mentally and physically, presenting a formidable challenge to the iconic actor. The toll it took on his confidence and optimism was palpable, and Bachchan found himself in a space where concerns about his health overshadowed the anticipation of cinematic success.

Despite these challenges, Amitabh Bachchan’s decision to enter politics showcased his resilience and determination to continue contributing to society in a different capacity. The health issues he faced during this period added a layer of complexity to his life, but they also marked a turning point that led to new endeavors and a different chapter in his illustrious career.

Career Fluctuations and Sabbatical (1988–1992): Navigating Peaks and Valleys:

Amitabh Bachchan’s journey in the late 1980s and early 1990s was marked by a series of highs and lows, a rollercoaster ride in his illustrious career that included a foray into politics and a subsequent return to the world of cinema.

Political Interlude (1984–1987): After a stint in politics spanning from 1984 to 1987, Bachchan decided to make a comeback to the silver screen in 1988. His return was eagerly awaited by fans who were eager to witness the resurgence of the iconic actor.

Shahenshah (1988) – A Box Office Success: Bachchan’s return to films in 1988 was marked by the action-packed drama “Shahenshah,” where he essayed the titular role. The film proved to be a box office success, reigniting the fervor around the megastar’s on-screen presence. However, this triumph was a precursor to a period of career fluctuations.

Career Setbacks (1989): Despite the initial success of “Shahenshah,” Bachchan’s subsequent films, including “Jaadugar,” “Toofan,” and “Main Azaad Hoon,” all released in 1989, faced disappointment at the box office. The string of failures hinted at a shifting landscape in Bollywood, and Bachchan found himself grappling with a phase where his star power seemed to be on the decline.

Brief Success with “Aaj Ka Arjun” and “Hum” (1990–1991): In the early 1990s, Bachchan experienced a brief resurgence with films like the crime drama “Aaj Ka Arjun” (1990) and the action crime drama “Hum” (1991). His powerful performances in these movies earned him his third Filmfare Best Actor Award. However, the momentum gained during this period was short-lived, and the subsequent films failed to sustain the upward trajectory.

National Film Award for “Agneepath” (1990): Notably, despite the box office challenges, this era saw Bachchan’s excellence recognized with his first National Film Award for Best Actor. His portrayal of a Mafia don in the cult film “Agneepath” (1990) showcased his versatility and garnered critical acclaim.

Semi-Retirement (1992–1997): After the release of the critically acclaimed epic “Khuda Gawah” in 1992, Bachchan made a significant decision to step into semi-retirement for the next five years. Apart from the delayed release of “Insaniyat” (1994), which also proved to be a box office failure, the actor remained absent from the silver screen.

This period of semi-retirement marked a unique chapter in Bachchan’s career, allowing him to take a step back, reassess, and prepare for the next phase of his cinematic journey. The highs and lows of these years underscored the dynamic nature of the film industry and the resilience of a megastar who continued to evolve with the changing times.

Amitabh Bachchan: A Tale of Business Ventures and Cinematic Resurgence (1996–1999):

The late 1990s marked a transformative phase in Amitabh Bachchan’s career, witnessing his foray into business ventures, the establishment of Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (ABCL), and a resilient comeback to the silver screen.

Entrepreneurial Pursuits with ABCL (1996): In 1996, during his temporary retirement from acting, Bachchan ventured into the realm of business by setting up the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (ABCL). The company aimed to diversify its portfolio across India’s entertainment industry, encompassing film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, television software production and marketing, and celebrity and event management.

Successful Film Production with “Tere Mere Sapne” (1996): ABCL’s debut film, “Tere Mere Sapne,” released in the same year, proved to be a box office hit. The film not only showcased Bachchan’s acumen as a producer but also served as a launchpad for actors like Arshad Warsi and southern film star Simran.

Acting Comeback and Challenges (1997): In 1997, Amitabh Bachchan attempted a return to acting with the film “Mrityudata,” produced by ABCL. Despite seeking to recapture his earlier success as an action hero, the film faced both financial and critical failure. Simultaneously, ABCL, which had sponsored the 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, encountered financial challenges, leading to legal battles and eventually resulting in its operational collapse.

Financial Setbacks and Legal Battles (1997–1999): The aftermath of ABCL’s financial turmoil was significant. The company went into administration, declared a failed entity by the Indian Industries board. Legal battles ensued, and Bachchan found himself restrained by the Bombay High Court from selling his Bombay bungalow ‘Prateeksha’ and two flats until pending loan recovery cases were resolved. Bachchan contended that he had mortgaged his property to raise funds for his company.

Cinematic Resurgence (1998–1999): Undeterred by the setbacks, Amitabh Bachchan made a determined effort to revive his acting career. Despite the initial failure of “Mrityudata,” he found commercial success with films like “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” (1998) and “Major Saab” (1998). The film “Sooryavansham” (1999) received positive reviews, contributing to the resurgence of Bachchan’s cinematic journey.

Mixed Bag at the Box Office (1999): While “Sooryavansham” garnered acclaim, other films like “Lal Baadshah” (1999) and “Kohram” (1999) experienced box office setbacks. The mixed bag of successes and failures mirrored the unpredictable nature of the film industry.

Amitabh Bachchan’s journey during this period exemplifies resilience, adaptability, and the ability to navigate challenges both on and off the screen. The late 1990s laid the foundation for the iconic actor’s continued contributions to Indian cinema in the years to come.

Amitabh Bachchan: Return to Prominence (2000–Present)

Resurgence in the New Millennium (2000–2007): The onset of the new millennium marked the resurgence of Amitabh Bachchan, with notable performances and successful films that solidified his position as a legendary actor.

  • “Mohabbatein” (2000) and Subsequent Hits:
    • In 2000, Bachchan featured in Yash Chopra’s “Mohabbatein,” playing a stern elder figure in rivalry with Shahrukh Khan’s character. This marked his return to commercial success and earned him his third Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
    • Following “Mohabbatein,” he appeared in family dramas like “Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love” (2001), “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…” (2001), and “Baghban” (2003), portraying roles of an older patriarch.
  • Versatility and Critical Acclaim (2001–2005):
    • Bachchan showcased his acting versatility with critically acclaimed performances in films like “Aks” (2001), “Aankhen” (2002), “Kaante” (2002), “Khakee” (2004), and “Dev” (2004). His role in “Aks” earned him his first Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.
  • Culmination with “Black” (2005):
    • “Black” (2005), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, emerged as a significant milestone. Bachchan’s portrayal of an aging teacher earned him accolades, including his second National Film Award for Best Actor, fourth Filmfare Best Actor Award, and second Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.
  • Commercial Success with Family Collaborations (2005–2007):
    • Collaborating with son Abhishek, films like “Bunty Aur Babli” (2005), “Sarkar” (2005), and “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna” (2006) achieved box office success.
    • Despite “Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag” (2007), a remake of “Sholay,” facing commercial failure, Bachchan’s performance in Rituparno Ghosh’s “The Last Lear” received acclaim.
  • Diversification into Hollywood (2007):
    • In 2007, he made his Hollywood debut with a special appearance in “The Great Gatsby,” featuring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

Box Office Success and Critical Acclaim (2008–2015): The subsequent years witnessed a blend of box office successes and critically acclaimed performances.

  • Highlights:
    • Films like “Bhoothnath” (2008), “Paa” (2009), “Pink” (2016), and “Piku” (2015) showcased his versatility and received widespread acclaim.
    • “Paa” earned him his third National Film Award for Best Actor and fifth Filmfare Best Actor Award.

Continued Versatility and International Collaborations (2016–Present):

  • Diverse Roles and Critical Praise (2016–2018):
    • In 2016, “Pink” received critical acclaim, establishing Bachchan as a performer attuned to socially relevant roles.
    • Films like “Bhoothnath Returns” (2014), “Piku” (2015), and “102 Not Out” (2018) highlighted his continued versatility.
  • Hollywood Endeavors and Telugu Debut (2013–2019):
    • Making his Hollywood debut with “The Great Gatsby” (2013), he continued to explore diverse roles.
    • In 2019, he made his Telugu debut in “Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.”

Recent Projects and Upcoming Ventures (2020–Present):

  • Recognition and Awards (2020–2022):
    • “Gulabo Sitabo” (2020) earned him the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.
    • In 2021, “Chehre” showcased his mystery thriller prowess.
  • Extensive Filmography (2022):
    • Bachchan’s 2022 projects include “Jhund,” “Runway 34,” “Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva,” “Goodbye,” and “Uunchai.”
    • He is set to appear in Nag Ashwin’s “Kalki 2898 AD.”

Amitabh Bachchan’s journey in the 21st century stands as a testament to his enduring talent, versatility, and continued impact on the Indian film industry. As he embraces diverse roles across genres and languages, his cinematic legacy remains an integral part of the global film landscape.

Amitabh Bachchan: Other Work – Television Appearances

Hosting Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC):

  • Introduction to KBC (2000):
    • In the year 2000, Amitabh Bachchan ventured into television by hosting the first season of “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC), the Indian adaptation of the popular British television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The show was a remarkable success from the outset.
  • Successive Seasons:
    • Following the success of the initial season, Bachchan continued to host subsequent seasons, further solidifying his presence on the small screen. The show’s format involved participants answering a series of increasingly difficult questions to win a cash prize.
  • Hiatus and Return (2005–2006):
    • A second season of KBC was launched in 2005; however, Bachchan had to take a hiatus due to health issues in 2006. Despite the setback, he made a triumphant return to host the fourth season.
  • Consistent Hosting (2000–Present):
    • Bachchan’s association with KBC has been consistent, and he has continued to host the show since his return for the fourth season. His charismatic presence and affable hosting style have contributed significantly to the enduring popularity of the show.

Venturing into Reality TV:

  • Host of Bigg Boss (2009):
    • In 2009, Amitabh Bachchan took on the role of hosting the third season of the reality show “Bigg Boss.” His involvement added star power to the show and contributed to its viewership.

Sony Entertainment Television Series – Yudh (2014):

  • Entry into Fictional Television:
    • Bachchan made his debut in fictional television with the Sony Entertainment Television series titled “Yudh” in 2014. The series featured him in the lead role of a businessman dealing with challenges in both his personal and professional life.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Awards and Accolades for KBC:
    • The success of KBC resulted in numerous accolades, including recognition by CNN IBN, which awarded the “Indian of the Year-Entertainment” to Team KBC and Bachchan. The show also garnered several major awards in its category.

Continued Impact on Television:

  • Consistent Viewership:
    • Subsequent seasons of KBC, hosted by Bachchan, continued to receive high viewership, and the show maintained its status as a major television event.

Amitabh Bachchan’s foray into television hosting, particularly with the widely popular KBC, showcased his ability to connect with audiences across different mediums. His continued involvement in television reflects the enduring appeal and versatility of the legendary actor.

Amitabh Bachchan: Voice Acting

Distinctive Baritone Voice: Amitabh Bachchan is renowned for his distinctive deep, baritone voice, which has become an iconic aspect of his persona. His resonant voice has lent itself to various roles, including narration, playback singing, and presenting in a wide range of programs.

Narration in Films:

  • Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977): Bachchan’s narration skills were showcased in Satyajit Ray’s 1977 film “Shatranj Ke Khiladi,” where his voice added depth to the storytelling.
  • Lagaan (2001): He provided narration for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s critically acclaimed film “Lagaan” in 2001, contributing to the film’s immersive narrative experience.

Voice-Over Work in Movies: Amitabh Bachchan has also contributed voice-over work for several movies, enhancing the cinematic experience with his powerful and expressive voice. Some notable films include:

  • Bhuvan Shome (1969):
  • Bawarchi (1972):
  • Balika Badhu (1975):
  • Tere Mere Sapne (1996):
  • Hello Brother (1999):
  • Fun2shh… Dudes in the 10th Century (2003):
  • Parineeta (2005):
  • March of the Penguins (2005) – Indian version:
  • Jodhaa Akbar (2008):
  • Swami (2007):
  • Zor Lagaa Ke…Haiya! (2009):
  • Ra.One (2011):
  • Kahaani (2012):
  • Krrish 3 (2013):
  • Mahabharat (2013):
  • Kochadaiiyaan (Hindi Version) (2014):
  • CBI Documentary (2014) – sanctioned by Central Bureau of Investigation:
  • The Ghazi Attack (2017):
  • Firangi (2017):

Diverse Genres and Languages: Bachchan’s voice-over work spans diverse genres, from Bollywood films to documentaries. His ability to convey emotion and captivate audiences through his voice has made him a sought-after voice artist in the Indian film industry.

Amitabh Bachchan’s contribution to voice acting goes beyond the traditional roles of an actor, showcasing his versatility and leaving an indelible mark on the auditory aspect of Indian cinema.

Amitabh Bachchan: Business Investments and Financial Challenges

Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL):

  • Around 1994, Amitabh Bachchan ventured into business and founded Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL), a company involved in event management, film production, and distribution.
  • However, ABCL faced financial troubles, and its projects, including films like “Mrityudata” and “Major Saab,” did not perform well at the box office.
  • The Miss World 1996 pageant, organized and managed by ABCL, also added to the financial strain.

Financial Crisis and Bankruptcy:

  • The failure of ABCL led to significant debt, and Bachchan faced a challenging financial situation, nearly reaching bankruptcy.
  • In response to the financial crisis, Bachchan sought opportunities in the television industry and approached Yash Chopra for work during this difficult period.

Recovery and TV Career:

  • Amitabh Bachchan’s foray into television proved to be a turning point in his career. Hosting the immensely successful game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC) marked his comeback and contributed significantly to rebuilding his financial standing.

Investments and Business Ventures:

  • Despite the setbacks, Bachchan rebounded and made successful investments in various business ventures:
    • In 2013, he acquired a 10% stake in Just Dial, a local search engine, which yielded substantial gains.
    • He holds a 3.4% equity stake in Stampede Capital, a financial technology firm specializing in cloud computing for financial markets.
    • The Bachchan family made investments in Meridian Tech, a U.S.-based consulting company, by purchasing shares worth $252,000.
    • Their overseas investment extended to, a cloud-based content distribution platform.

Panama Papers and Paradise Papers:

  • Bachchan’s name appeared in both the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, leaked confidential documents revealing offshore investments. These revelations stirred controversy and discussions about celebrities’ involvement in offshore financial activities.

Financial Resilience:

  • Despite the challenges, Bachchan’s strategic investments and diverse business portfolio have contributed to his financial resilience and success in later years.
  • His ability to adapt to changing circumstances and explore new opportunities showcases his resilience and business acumen.

Amitabh Bachchan: Political Career and Controversies

Entry into Politics (1984):

  • In 1984, Amitabh Bachchan took a hiatus from his acting career and entered politics, lending his support to Rajiv Gandhi, a long-time family friend and the then Prime Minister of India.
  • He contested the Allahabad Lok Sabha seat for the 8th Lok Sabha against H. N. Bahuguna, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Bachchan won the election with an impressive victory, securing 68.2% of the votes, one of the highest victory margins in Indian elections.

Resignation and Controversies (1987):

  • In 1987, Bachchan resigned from his political seat, sparking speculations and controversies.
  • Allegations linking Bachchan’s brother, Ajitabh Bachchan, to the “Bofors scandal” emerged, contributing to the controversies surrounding his political career.

Financial Crisis and Support from Amar Singh:

  • During the financial crisis resulting from the failure of his company, ABCL, Amar Singh, Bachchan’s old friend, played a significant role in providing support.
  • Amar Singh was associated with the Samajwadi Party, and Bachchan started endorsing and supporting the party after this period.

Association with Samajwadi Party:

  • Jaya Bachchan, Amitabh’s wife, joined the Samajwadi Party and served as an MP in the Rajya Sabha, representing the party.
  • Bachchan actively participated in political campaigns, advertisements, and events for the Samajwadi Party.

Controversies and Allegations:

  • Bachchan faced controversies, including accusations related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He was accused of using the slogan “blood for blood,” which he denied.
  • In 2014, Bachchan was summoned by a court in Los Angeles for allegedly instigating violence against the Sikh community. He offered to fight the case in court and requested proof from the accusers.

Relationship with Indira Gandhi and Film Press:

  • Bachchan claimed to have faced a ban by the film press during the emergency years due to his family’s friendship with then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Involvement in Rajiv Gandhi Foundation:

  • Bachchan served as one of the trustees of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, indicating his continued association with the Gandhi family.

Legal Proceedings and Clarifications:

  • Legal proceedings, court appearances, and clarifications marked Bachchan’s political journey, with controversies often intertwined with his involvement in the political landscape

Amitabh Bachchan: Awards and Honours

Film Awards:

  • Throughout his illustrious career, Amitabh Bachchan has received numerous industry awards for his outstanding performances.
  • In 1991, he became the first artist to receive the prestigious Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, named after Raj Kapoor.
  • At the Filmfare Awards in 2000, he was crowned “Superstar of the Millennium,” recognizing his unparalleled contribution to Indian cinema.

International Recognition:

  • In 2001, Bachchan was honored with the Actor of the Century award at the Alexandria International Film Festival in Egypt, acknowledging his global impact on cinema.
  • Various international film festivals have conferred honors upon him, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Asian Film Awards.

Citizenship and Government Awards:

  • In 2003, the French town of Deauville bestowed upon him the Honorary Citizenship.
  • The Government of India recognized his contributions with several prestigious awards: Padma Shri (1984), Padma Bhushan (2001), and Padma Vibhushan (2015).
  • In 2019, he was honored with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, one of the highest honors in Indian cinema.
  • The Order of Afghanistan was awarded to him by the President of Afghanistan in 1991, following the shooting of the film “Khuda Gawah.”

State and Civic Honours:

  • The Government of Madhya Pradesh honored him with the Rashtriya Kishore Kumar Samman for 2002–2003.

French Legion of Honour:

  • France’s highest civilian honor, the Knight of the Legion of Honour, was conferred upon him by the French Government in 2007. This honor recognized his exceptional career in cinema and beyond.

Olympic Torchbearer:

  • In a unique recognition, Bachchan, at the age of 69, carried the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London’s Southwark on July 27, 2012.

Amitabh Bachchan’s awards and honors not only acknowledge his immense contributions to Indian cinema but also highlight his global recognition and impact beyond the realm of movies.

Top 50 FAQs About Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan, the legendary actor of Indian cinema, has had a career spanning several decades, marked by highs and lows, triumphs, and tribulations. Here, we present the top 50 frequently asked questions about Amitabh Bachchan, along with detailed answers.

1. Who is Amitabh Bachchan?

  • Amitabh Bachchan is a renowned Indian film actor, producer, television host, and former politician, regarded as one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema.

2. When was Amitabh Bachchan born?

  • Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942, in Allahabad, British India (now Prayagraj, India).

3. What is Amitabh Bachchan’s full name?

  • His full name is Amitabh Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

4. How did Amitabh Bachchan enter the film industry?

  • He made his acting debut in Saat Hindustani (1969) and gained prominence with the film Zanjeer (1973).

5. What is the significance of the “Angry Young Man” persona?

  • The “Angry Young Man” persona, popularized by Bachchan, portrayed the frustration and disillusionment of the common man with societal issues.

6. Tell us about the Coolie incident in 1982.

  • In 1982, Bachchan suffered a near-fatal injury while filming Coolie. He had a splenic rupture and remained critically ill, but he recovered and continued his career.

7. Why did Amitabh Bachchan enter politics?

  • He entered politics in support of Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 and won a landslide victory in the Allahabad Lok Sabha constituency.

8. What is Amitabh Bachchan’s contribution to television?

  • He gained immense popularity as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

9. How did ABCL, his production company, face financial troubles?

  • ABCL faced financial collapse due to the failure of films like Mrityudata and Major Saab, leading to bankruptcy.

10. What led to Bachchan’s comeback in the late ’90s?

  • Bachchan’s comeback included successful films like Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Sooryavansham, revitalizing his career.

11. Which awards has Amitabh Bachchan won?

  • Bachchan has received numerous awards, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

12. Has he ever worked in Hollywood?

  • Yes, he made his Hollywood debut in The Great Gatsby (2013).

13. What is Amitabh Bachchan’s contribution to voice acting?

  • His deep, baritone voice has been featured in narration, playback singing, and voiceovers for various films.

14. How did Amitabh Bachchan manage his financial crisis in the ’90s?

  • He overcame financial troubles with support from friend Amar Singh and by taking on TV projects.

15. Tell us about Bachchan’s political controversies.

  • He faced controversies, including allegations related to the Bofors scandal and his role during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

16. What are his recent film projects?

  • Recent projects include Badla (2019), Gulabo Sitabo (2020), and upcoming films like Kalki 2898 AD.

17. Why is he called the “Shahenshah” of Bollywood?

  • The title “Shahenshah” (Emperor) was given after his role in the film of the same name and reflects his iconic status.

18. How did Bachchan contribute during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • He actively used social media to raise awareness and funds during the pandemic.

19. What is Bachchan’s role in Indian advertisements?

  • He is a prominent figure in Indian advertisements, endorsing various products and services.

20. Is Amitabh Bachchan active on social media?

  • Yes, he is active on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, engaging with his fans.

21. Tell us about his family life.

  • Bachchan is married to Jaya Bachchan, and they have two children, Abhishek and Shweta.

22. How many National Awards has he won?

  • He has won four National Film Awards for Best Actor.

23. What is his connection to the Miss World 1996 controversy?

  • ABCL, his company, organized Miss World 1996, which contributed to its financial troubles.

24. What are Bachchan’s contributions to charity?

  • He supports various charitable causes, including Polio eradication and child health.

25. What is Amitabh Bachchan’s net worth?

  • As of [latest available data], his net worth is estimated to be [amount].

26. Tell us about his iconic films.

  • Iconic films include Sholay, Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony, and Kabhi Kabhie.

27. How many languages can he speak?

  • Bachchan is proficient in Hindi, English, Urdu, and several Indian languages.

28. Is he associated with any sports?

  • He is associated with Pro Kabaddi League and Kerala Blasters Football Club.

29. What is his role in the film Paa?

  • He played the role of a progeria-affected 13-year-old boy in Paa (2009).

30. Tell us about his literary contributions.

  • Apart from acting, he is a published author and has written for newspapers.

31. How many films has Bachchan done with Shah Rukh Khan?

  • They have worked together in several films, including Mohabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

32. Has he received any international awards?

  • Yes, he has received honors at international film festivals and the Knight of the Legion of Honour.

33. What is Amitabh Bachchan’s fitness routine?

  • He follows a disciplined fitness routine, including regular workouts and a healthy diet.

34. Tell us about his relationship with his co-stars.

  • Bachchan is known for his camaraderie with co-stars, and many consider him a mentor.

35. Is Amitabh Bachchan a philanthropist?

  • Yes, he is involved in various philanthropic activities and social causes.

36. What are his contributions to Indian classical music?

  • Bachchan has lent his voice to several songs, contributing to the richness of Indian classical music.

37. Has he ever worked with international actors?

  • He worked with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in The Great Gatsby (2013).

38. Tell us about his fashion style.

  • Known for his charismatic style, Bachchan’s fashion choices have influenced generations.

39. What is his association with the Indian Premier League (IPL)?

  • He was associated with the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the IPL.

40. How has Bachchan contributed to promoting Indian cinema globally?

  • His international projects and collaborations have significantly contributed to promoting Indian cinema worldwide.

41. Tell us about his role in the film Pink.

  • In Pink (2016), he played a retired lawyer with bipolar disorder, earning critical acclaim.

42. What is his stance on social issues?

  • He often uses his platform to raise awareness about social issues, including gender equality and healthcare.

43. What is his connection to the city of Allahabad?

  • Allahabad is his birthplace, and he maintains a strong connection with the city.

44. How did Bachchan contribute to the success of Kaun Banega Crorepati?

  • His charismatic hosting played a pivotal role in the success of the show.

45. Has he ever faced controversies in his film career?

  • Yes, controversies have been part of his career, including legal battles and political controversies.

46. Tell us about his role in the film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

  • In Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), he played an important role in this multi-starrer film.

47. What is his take on the changing landscape of Indian cinema?

  • Bachchan has expressed admiration for the evolving cinema landscape and the opportunities it provides.

48. Tell us about his association with director Shoojit Sircar.

  • He collaborated with Shoojit Sircar for films like Piku (2015) and Gulabo Sitabo (2020).

49. How did Bachchan contribute to the success of the film Sholay?

  • His portrayal of Jai in Sholay (1975) is iconic and contributed significantly to the film’s success.

50. What are Bachchan’s future projects?

  • He has several upcoming projects, including Kalki 2898 AD, showcasing his continued commitment to acting.

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