Amitabh Bachchan (pronounced [əmɪˈtaːbʱ ˈbətʃːən]; born 11 October 1942) is an Indian film actor, film producer, television host, occasional playback singer and former politician. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s for films such as Zanjeer, Deewaar and Sholay, and was dubbed India's "angry young man" for his on-screen roles in Bollywood.
However, they were struggling to find an actor for the lead angry young man role; it was turned down by a number of actors, owing to it going against the romantic hero image dominant in the industry at the time. Salim-Javed soon discovered Bachchan and saw his talent, which most makers didn’t. He was exceptional, a genius actor who was in films that weren’t good. According to Salim Khan, they strongly felt that Amitabh was the ideal casting for Zanjeer.
Salim Khan introduced Bachchan to Prakash Mehra, and Salim-Javed insisted that Bachchan be cast for the role.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. He earned his first Filmfare Award nomination for Best Actor, with Filmfare later considering this one of the most iconic performances of Bollywood history. The film was a huge success and one of the highest-grossing films of that year, breaking Bachchan's dry spell at the box office and making him a star.
It was the first of many collaborations between Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan; Salim-Javed wrote many of their subsequent scripts with Bachchan in mind for the lead role, and insisted on him being cast for their later films, including blockbusters such as Deewaar (1975) and Sholay (1975). Salim Khan also introduced Bachchan to director Manmohan Desai with whom he formed a long and successful association, alongside Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra. Eventually, Bachchan became one of the most successful leading men of the film industry. Bachchan's portrayal of the wronged hero fighting a crooked system and circumstances of deprivation in films like Zanjeer, Deeewar, Trishul, Kaala Patthar, Shakti, resonated with the masses of the time, especially the youth who harbored a simmering discontent owing to social ills such as poverty, hunger, unemployment, corruption, social inequality and the brutal excesses of The Emergency.
This led to Bachchan being dubbed as angry young man, a journalistic catchphrase which became a metaphor for the dormant rage, frustration, restlessness, sense of rebellion and anti-establishment disposition of an entire generation, prevalent in 1970s India.The year 1973 was also when he married Jaya, and around this time they appeared in several films together: not only Zanjeer but also subsequent films such as Abhimaan, which was released only a month after their marriage and was also successful at the box office. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram, once again along with Rajesh Khanna, in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role won him his second Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award.
In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. The film, directed and written by Manoj Kumar, addressed themes of honesty in the face of oppression and financial and emotional hardship, and was the top-earning film of 1974. Bachchan then played the leading role in the film Majboor. The film was a success at the box office.
Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired by the phrase Inquilab Zindabad (which translates into English as Long live the revolution) popularly used during the Indian independence struggle. However, at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant, Harivansh Rai changed the boy's name to Amitabh, which, according to a Times of India article, means the light that will never die. Although his surname was Shrivastava, Amitabh's father had adopted the pen name Bachchan (child-like in colloquial Hindi), under which he published all of his works. It is with this last name that Amitabh debuted in films and for all other practical purposes, Bachchan has become the surname for all of his immediate family.
Bachchan's father died in 2003, and his mother in 2007.Bachchan is an alumnus of Sherwood College, Nainital. He later attended Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. He has a younger brother, Ajitabh.
His mother had a keen interest in theatre and was offered a feature film role, but she preferred her domestic duties. Teji had some influence in Amitabh Bachchan's choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage.He is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri.
Indiatimes Movies ranks Deewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. The other, released on 15 August 1975, was Sholay, which became the highest-grossing film ever in India at the time, in which Bachchan played the role of Jaidev. Deewaar and Sholay are often credited with exalting Bachchan to the heights of superstardom, two years after he became a star with Zanjeer, and consolidating his domination of the industry throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1999, BBC India declared Sholay the Film of the Millennium and, like Deewar, it has been cited by Indiatimes Movies as amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.
In that same year, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare Awards awarded it with the special distinction award called the Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years. In 1976, he was cast by Yash Chopra in the romantic family drama Kabhie Kabhie. Bachchan starred as a young poet, Amit Malhotra, who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young girl named Pooja (Rakhee Gulzar) who ends up marrying someone else (Shashi Kapoor). The film was notable for portraying Bachchan as a romantic hero, a far cry from his angry young man roles like Zanjeer and Deewar.
The film evoked a favourable response from critics and audiences alike. Bachchan was again nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his role in the film. That same year he played a double role in the hit Adalat as father and son. In 1977, he won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Amar Akbar Anthony, in which he played the third lead opposite Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor as Anthony Gonsalves.
The film was the highest-grossing film of that year. His other successes that year include Parvarish and Khoon Pasina.He once again resumed double roles in films such as Kasme Vaade (1978) as Amit and Shankar and Don (1978) playing the characters of Don, a leader of an underworld gang and his look-alike Vijay. His performance won him his second Filmfare Best Actor Award.
He also gave towering performances in Yash Chopra's Trishul and Prakash Mehra's Muqaddar Ka Sikandar both of which earned him further Filmfare Best Actor nominations. 1978 is arguably considered his most successful year at the box office since all of his six releases the same year, namely Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Trishul, Don, Kasme Vaade, Ganga Ki Saugandh and Besharam were massive successes, the former three being the consecutive highest-grossing films of the year, remarkably releasing within a couple of months of each other, a rare feat in Indian cinema.In 1979, Bachchan starred in Suhaag which was the highest earning film of that year. In the same year he also enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success with films like Mr.
Natwarlal, Kaala Patthar, The Great Gambler and Manzil. Amitabh was required to use his singing voice for the first time in a song from the film Mr. Natwarlal in which he starred with Rekha. Bachchan's performance in the film saw him nominated for both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
He also received Best Actor nomination for Kaala Patthar and then went on to be nominated again in 1980 for the Raj Khosla directed film Dostana, in which he starred opposite Shatrughan Sinha and Zeenat Aman. Dostana proved to be the top-grossing film of 1980. In 1981, he starred in Yash Chopra's melodrama film Silsila, where he starred alongside his wife Jaya and also Rekha. Other successful films of this period include Shaan (1980), Ram Balram (1980), Naseeb (1981), Lawaaris (1981), Kaalia (1981), Yaarana (1981), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981) and Shakti (1982), also starring Dilip Kumar.
In 1982 he played double roles in the comedy Satte Pe Satta and action drama Desh Premee which succeeded at the box office along with mega hits like action comedy Namak Halaal, action drama Khud-Daar and the critically acclaimed drama Bemisal. He continued to give major box office hits like Coolie (1983), Andhaa Kanoon (1983), Sharaabi (1984), Mard (1985) and Aakhree Raasta (1986).
He then played his first antagonist role as an infatuated lover-turned-murderer in Parwana (1971). Following Parwana were several films including Reshma Aur Shera (1971). During this time, he made a guest appearance in the film Guddi which starred his future wife Jaya Bhaduri. He narrated part of the film Bawarchi.
In 1972 he made an appearance in the road action comedy Bombay to Goa directed by S. Ramanathan which was moderately successful. Many of Bachchan's films during this early period did not do well, but that was about to change.