Date of Birth
11 October 1942, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Amitabh Harivansh Srivastav
One Man Industry
Angry Young Man
6' 2" (1.88 m)
Son of well known poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He has a brother named Ajitabh. He completed his education from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Bombay to find work as a film star, in vain though, as film-makers preferred someone with a fairer skin, and he was not quite fair enough. But they did use one of his other assets - his deep baritone voice - which was used for narration and background commentary. He was successful in being cast in Saat Hindustani. He got his break in Bollywood after a letter of introduction from the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, as he was a friend of her son Rajiv Gandhi. This is how Amitabh made an entry in Bollywood, starting with Zanjeer, co-starred with his future wife-to-be Jaya Bhaduri, and since then there has been no looking back. He married Jaya Bhaduri, an actress in her own rights, he has two kids, Shweta and Abhishek. Shweta has been married, lives a non-filmy life and has a child. Being friends with Rajiv Gandhi, got him to decide to run for seat in the Congress from his hometown but had to leave midterm because of controversies, particularly after Rajiv and he were implicated in the now infamous "Bofors" case along with the U.K. based Hinduja Brothers. After a four year break, he was back in the unsuccessful Mrityudaata (1997), a comeback which the actor wanted to forget. Critics written him off but his career was saved with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998). But four flops in 1999 and incurring debt of over 90 Crores rupees of his sinking company ABCL saw him at an all-time low. To make matters worse, after the defeat of the Congress party, Amitabh lost considerable political support, the opposition made him a target, and his credit rating deteriorated to such an extent that a leading nationalized bank, Canara Bank, sued him for outstanding loans. He did bounce back, presenting the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire called "Kaun Banega Crorepati?" (2000). After a series of hits with Mohabbatein (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) and Baghban (2003) and his most recent Khakee (2004), a 60 plus Bachchan is showing no signs of slowing down and proving the critics wrong once again.
The trademark deep baritone voice, the tall, brooding persona, and intense eyes, made Amitabh Bachchan the ideal "Angry Young Man" in the 1970s, thereby changing the face of Hindi cinema. The son of the late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan, he was born in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. After completing his education from Sherwood College, Nainital, and Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, he moved to Calcutta to work for shipping firm Shaw and Wallace. Later, he moved to Bombay and struggled for a while to get his foot in the door of the Hindi film industry. The lanky, dark, and intensely brooding persona did not go down well with directors who were looking for wise-cracking, fair, loverboys - the trademark of the Indian hero in the 1960s. Starting with the low key Saat Hindustani, Bachchan struggled through many roles and was relegated at times to doing voice-overs and in one instance playing a deaf-mute (his deep baritone voice might have overshadowed the other actors!). He broke through with Zanjeer (the Chain) in 1973 playing opposite his real-life love interest and future wife Jaya Bhaduri. His persona seemed apt for the 1970s, capturing the resentment of underemployed youth and the increasing cult of violence. Bachchan reworked the image of the Hindi film hero with major hits like Deewar, Sholay, Trishul, Don, Kala Patthar, and Shakti. Adapting former screen idol Dilip Kumar's mannerisms and adding his own flamboyance, he popularized the violent melodrama. He proved that he had an equal flair for tragedies (Deewar, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Shakti) and comedies (Chupke Chupke, Don, Naseeb, Amar Akbar Anthony) as well. His most memorable performance was as the renegade against a harsh society in Deewar