Megastar Amitabh Bachchan turns 70 today

Amitabh Bachchan is an actor of the Hindi Film Industry.  He made his first appearance in films in the year 1969. His acting career thus spans a time-frame of four-decades. He is regarded as the “God” of Indian cinema and clearly is one of the most influential actors.

The 11th of October, 1942 marks his birthday. His birthday gets wide attention from his fans and the media. This year seems to be all the more special as he will be turning 70. His life has been a roller-coaster ride. On this special day let us peruse the various milestones in this life.

Early life-

Amitabh Bachchan was born in the city of Allahabad to Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He also has a sibling named Ajitabh.

His father was a Hindi poet whose poetry Amitabh later on, on various occasions has recited. Teji Bachchan too had an interest in theatre but kept to her domestic duties. Bachchan’s excellence in the field of acting and art thus can be safely said to have been influenced by his parents.

Film Career-

He got a break in films after a lot of struggling. He first debuted with the film “Saat Hindustani”.  The film was commercially unsuccessful however he won a National Award for the same for the Best Newcomer.

The film that followed was “Anand” which released in the year 1971. The film starred Rajesh Khanna who was in the peak of his career then. Amitabh played the supporting role in this film. The film was a huge hit commercially and also got rave reviews from the critics. Amitabh held his own in this film and gave a perfect performance in the role of a doctor. He also won his first Filmfare award for this film for Best Supporting Actor.

After doing a few more films Prakash Mehra offered his the lead role in the film “Zanjeer” (1973) that sealed the deal for him. Until this film, Amitabh had done films based on the romance theme. This film portrayed him in a different light. He played the role of an Inspector named Vijay Khanna. This is the film that cast him as the “angry young man”. This tag has ever since been attached to him. This is the same year he married Jaya Bachchan a successful female actor of Bollywood.

The duo together did quite a few films during this time, namely “Zanjeer” and “Abhimaan” (which released a month after his marriage). “Namak Haraam” is another milestone in his career. The film was a social drama and was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. He won his second Filmfare award for the Supporting Role for this film.

In the year 1975 released many of his films that belonged to different genres. This helped him in etching out his versatility. The films were “Chupke Chupke” which was a comedy, “Farar” which belonged to the crime drama genre and “Mili” which was based on the theme of romance.

This year had been ground-breaking for his career. Two of the films that released this year proved to be a milestone in his career that catapulted him to stardom. One was “Deewaar” that was directed by Yash Chopra and starred Shashi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. The film was a blockbuster in those times.

“Sholay” was the other release of that year. The film became one of the highest grossers of all time. The film starred his wife Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra and Hema Malini.

The films that followed were “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Kabhie Kabhie”. The former finally won him his first Best Actor award. The film also starred Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna. The latter was directed by Yash Chopra. It belonged to the romantic genre and was hugely appreciated by the audience and critics.

1978 turned out to be a crucial year for the actor. The four blockbusters- “Don”, “Kasme Vaade”, “Trishul” and “Muqaddar ka Sikander”- of that year saw him, in the lead. The back to back hits cemented his position in the industry. A French director named Francois Truffaut gave him the title of the “one-man industry”.

In the year 1979, Amitabh for the first time rendered his voice in the film “Mr. Natwarlal” in which he acted too. The film starred Rekha.  The same year released “Kaala Patthar” which too was critically acclaimed. In the year 1980 released the film “Dostana” that was a hit.

Around the same time it was being reported that Rekha and the much-married Amitabh were seeing each other. Despite all the link-ups the two starred in the Yash Chopra film “Silsila” that also starred Jaya Bachchan- his wife. The film went on to become a massive hit. Other credible films that followed were “Shaan” (1980), “Lawaaris” (1981) and “Shakti” (1982). The latter starred the superstar of those times, actor Dilip Kumar.

“Coolie” is another radical film in is body of work. While shooting for this film Amitabh suffered a fatal blow from his co-actor. It damaged his intestines and landed him in the nursing home. He remained critically ill for months in the nursing home. At times it was also reported that he was close to death. This was the time when the nation saw a massive public response to this news. His fans prayed at temples and also there were long queues of them outside the nursing home premises where he recovered.

This film had the climax sequence as one in which Amitabh needed to die. But this real-life incident where everybody witnessed his fan following made the director change the end of the film. The film released in the year 1983 and was also a box-office success.

Decline and survival-

The incident on the film-sets of “Coolie” cut-short his film career. After “Coolie” he took a break from acting and entered politics supporting his family friend Rajiv Gandhi. However, his career in politics ended after a short period of three years.

He returned to acting in the year 1988 with “Shahenshah” that was successful. However, his charisma began to decline around this time. He gave a few hits like “Hum” (1991) that won him another Best Actor award; and “Agneepath” (1990), however around this time nothing could save his declining star power.

In the year 1996, Amitabh Bachchan set-up his production house with the name of ABCL short for Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. However all the films that released under this banner bombed. The production house lost millions of money in everything that it tried to venture into starting from films to event management.

This was a time when he badly needed to revive his career to make for the loans that he had taken for establishing ABCL. He appeared in every film that came his way. “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” and “Sooryavanshi” that released around this time did moderate business. Other films such as “Lal Baadshah” and “Hindustan ki Kasam” (1999) were duds at the box-office.

It was in the year 2000 when he shed all inhibitions and tried his hands at television that things changed for him. He appeared as a television presenter for “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. This game-show made him reconnect with his fans and also helped repay his loans. He still, hosts the various seasons of this show.

His acting career too survived with the help of various films such as “Mohabbatein” (2000), “Baghban” (2003), “Black” (2005), “Sarkar” (2005), “Baabul” (2006), “Shootout at Lokhandwala” (2007), “Cheeni Kum” (2007), “Paa” (2009) and so on.

Personal life-

He married Jaya bhaduri in the year 1973. He has two children named Shweta and Abhishek. His son too is an actor today who is married to actress Aishwarya.

Today his film career is going very strong even at seventy. He survived the difficult times of his life and came out even stronger. He today balances between unconventional films and mainstream cinema. On this day we hope that he continues to give do more films and entertain us.