Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan is an Indian film actor
Amitabh Bachchans trademark deep baritone voice, tall, brooding persona and intense eyes, made him the ideal Angry Young Man, setting him apart from the cluster of Bollywoods lover boys. However, his unconventional looks did work against him at the beginning of his Bollywood career, but he stayed around long enough to be become the icon of the Indian film industry.Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad in 1942, to Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab. However, at the suggestion of fellow poet, Harivansh Rai changed the name to Amitabh which means, the light that would never go off. Though his surname was Shrivastava, he replaced it with Bachchan, which was his fathers pen name. Amitabh Bachchan studied in Allahabad at Jnana Pramodhini and Boys High School. He completed his education at Sherwood College in Nainital and Kirori Mal College in Delhi. His first job was in Shaw Wallace. Amitabh later worked as a freight broker for a shipping firm called Bird and Co., in Kolkata, a job he quit to pursue a career in acting.
In 1969, Amitabh made his debut with Saat Hindustani, which won him the National Film Award for Best Newcomer. After this came movies like Reshma Aur Shera, Parwana, and Anand in 1971. He made a huge impact with his performance in Hrishikesh Mukherjees Anand alongside Rajesh Khanna, winning him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. His breakthrough as a lead was in the film Zanjeer (1973) which established his persona of the angry young man of Bollywood. Amitabh reworked the image of the Hindi film hero with major hits like Deewar, Sholay, Trishul and Don. He popularised the violent melodrama genre but had an equal flair for tragedies (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Shakti) and comedies (Chupke Chupke, Amar Akbar Anthony) as well. His status as a demi god was evident when the entire nation prayed for his recovery when he met with a fatal injury during the making of Coolie in July, 1982.
In 1984, Amitabh entered politics in support of long time friend Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabads Lok Sabha seat and won by a huge margin. Accusations of him being involved in the Bofors Scandal made him quit politics, although, later on, he was proved innocent. Amitabh returned to films with blockbusters like Shahenshah, Agneepath, Hum and Khuda Gawah. A series of flops in mid 90s and the collapse of his company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. landed him in immense debts. He returned back to movies but with no success.In the year 2000, he stepped up to host the television show Kaun Banega Crorepati and later was seen in Mohabbatein along with Shah Rukh Khan. Both these ventures proved extremely successful. Since then Amitabh has been on a roll. At sixty plus, with all the endorsements and accolades, he is a greater icon than he was at the height of his popularity three decades ago.
In recent past we have seen Amitabh doing vastly different roles in fims like Sarkar Raj, The Last Lear, Paa, Teen Patti and Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap.He was last seen in Prakash Jhas Aarakshan in 2011, the film failed to do well at the box office but Amitabhs role was widely appreciated.
2. Early career 1969 1972
Amitabh Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani. The movie was not a financial success, but Bachchan won his first National Film Award. This was followed by hit film Bombay to Goa.Comedian Actor Mehmood is responsible for his first commercial break in this film.The critically acclaimed and commercially successful Anand (1970) followed, where he starred alongside the reigning superstar of the industry at the time, Rajesh Khanna. Bachchan held his own despite playing a supporting role, and won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his intense performance.Anand was followed by many unsuccessful films such as Reshma Aur Shera (1971) and Parwaana (1971). Then came 1973, and the start of the road towards the iconic status he would eventually come to hold for millions worldwide.
3. Stardom 1973 1983
Bachchans first major box office success came when director Prakash Mehra cast him in the leading role for his film, Zanjeer. The movie was a sharp contrast to the romantic themed ones that had generally preceded it, and established Amitabh in a new persona the angry young man action hero of Bollywood. The next decade catapulted him to the pinnacle of Bollywood superstardom. He churned out at least one major hit every year, including Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975) , Trishul (1978), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Don (1978), Kasme Vaade (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Lawaaris (1981).
Although the above mentioned films cemented his status as Bollywoods pre eminent action hero, Amitabh displayed a flair for more than just action roles. His remarkable comic timing was on display in such hits as Chupke Chupke (1975), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and Namak Halaal (1982). He was also successful as a romantic lead, with particularly notable performances in Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and Silsila (1981). In 1982 he was critically injured while filming Coolie. He spent many months recovering and resumed filming later that year. The film was released in 1983 and due to the huge publicity of Bachchans accident, the film was a box office success
4. Political career 1984 1987
In 1984, Amitabh briefly entered politics in support of long time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabads Parliament seat against H. N. Bahuguna, a well known politician, and won his MP candidacy by the highest victory margin ever for a parliamentary candidate in Indian history (68.2% of the vote).His political career, however, was short lived He resigned after three years, leaving his term incomplete. The resignation followed Bachchans implication in the Bofors scandal by a newspaper, which he vowed to take to court. Bachchan was eventually found not to be guilty of involvement in the ordeal. But since then he detached himself from the Gandhi family and after the demise of Late Rajiv Gandhi he was in deep financial crises because of losses in ABCL. His old friend Amar Singh helped him during the crisis. So he started supporting Mulayam in his political campaigns in an unofficial capacity. Jaya Bachchan joined Samajwadi Party and became a Rajya Sabha Member. In February of 2007, the Samajwadi Party in conjunction with the TDP, DMK, and other fronts wants to nominate Amitabh Bachchan for the candidacy of President of India. But Bachchan has said that he has no plans to contest the presidential election.
5. Career slump 1988 1999
In 1988, Bachchan returned to films with Shahenshah, which was a box office success due to the hype of Bachchans comeback. After the success of his comeback film however, his star power began to wane as all of his subsequent films failed at the box office. The 1991 hit film Hum looked like it might reverse this trend, but the momentum was short lived as his string of box office failures continued. Notably, despite the lack of hits, it was during this period that Bachchan won his second National Film Award, for his memorable performance as a Mafia don in the 1990 film Agneepath. These years would be the last he would be seen on screen for some time. After the release of Khuda Gawah in 1992, Bachchan went into semi retirement for five years. One of his delayed films Insaniyat was finally released in 1994 but was also a box office failure.Bachchan setup Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (A.B.C.L.) in 1996 during his temporary retirement period with the vision of becoming a 10 billion (approx 250 million $US) Indias premier entertainment company by the year 2000. ABCLs strategy was to introduce products and services covering the entire gamut of the Indias entertainment industry. Its operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, celebrity and event management. Soon after the company was launched in 1996, the first film produced by the company was Tere Mere Sapne which was a modest success at the box office. And it helped launch the career of actor Arshad Warsi who went onto become a successful comic actor. ABCL produced a few other films none of which did well.In 1997, Bachchan attempted to make his acting comeback with the film Mrityudaata, produced by ABCL. Though Mrityudaata attempted to reprise Bachchans earlier success as an action hero (portrayed as an angry man) , unfortunately, like most of ABCL ventures, the film was a failure both financially and critically. ABCL was the main sponsor of the The 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore and lost millions due to the poor management of the event. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997. The company went into administration and was later on declared as a failed company by Indian Industries board. The Bombay high court, in April of 1999 restrained Bachchan from selling off his Bombay bungalow Prateeksha and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were disposed of. Bachchan had, however, pleaded that he had mortgaged his bungalow to Sahara India Finance for raising funds for his company.
Bachchan later attempted to revive his acting career and had average success with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham (1999) but most, however, then believed that Bachchans glory days were over as all his other films such as Lal Baadshah (1999) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) were box office failures.
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