Amitabh Bachchan Biography

Early Life

Amitabh Bachchan was born on 11 October 1942.

Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired by the phrase Inquilab Zindabad popularly used during the Indian independence struggle.

His mother, Teji Bachchan,was a social activist and Punjabi Sikh woman from Lahore. His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a Hindi-speaking Kayastha Hindu poet. He has a younger brother, Ajitabh.

Bachchan is an alumnus of Sherwood College, Nainital. He later attended Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.

Amitabh Bachchan Biography – Entry into Bollywood

Bachchan made his film debut in 1969, as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s National Award-winning film Bhuvan Shome. His first acting role was as one of the seven protagonists in the film Saat Hindustani.

Movie Anand (1971) followed, in which Bachchan starred alongside Rajesh Khanna. His role as a doctor with a cynical view of life garnered Bachchan his first Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award.

Bachchan was struggling, seen as a “failed newcomer” who, by the age of 30, had twelve flops and only two hits (as a lead in Bombay to Goa and supporting role in Anand).

Zanjeer was a crime film with violent action, in sharp contrast to the romantically themed films that had generally preceded it, and it established Amitabh in a new persona—the “angry young man” of Bollywood cinema.

The year 1973 was also when he married Jaya, and around this time they appeared in several films together.

Amitabh Bachchan Biography – Injury

On 26 July 1982, while filming Coolie, in the University Campus in Bangalore, Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury during the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar.

Nevertheless, he resumed filming later that year after a long period of recuperation. The producer released the movie in 1983, and partly due to the huge publicity of Bachchan’s accident, the film was a box office success and the top-grossing film of that year.

In 1984, Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. His political career, however, was short-lived: he resigned after three years, calling politics a cesspool.

After a three year stint in politics from 1984 to 1987, Bachchan returned to films in 1988, playing the title role in Shahenshah, which was a box office success.

Amitabh Bachchan Biography – Formation of ABCL

Bachchan turned producer during his temporary retirement period, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (ABCL) in 1996.

ABCL overpaid most of its top level managers, which eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997.

Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career, and eventually had commercial success. One project that did particularly well for Bachchan was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black (2005).

Amitabh Bachchan Biography – Later Life

In 2013 he made his Hollywood debut in The Great Gatsby making a special appearance opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

The Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

The then-President of Afghanistan awarded him the Order of Afghanistan in 1991 following the shooting of Khuda Gawah there.

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”.

On 27 July 2012, Bachchan carried the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London’s Southwark.

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