The pioneer of Hindi Cinema, Amitabh Bachchan is the “Shahenshah” of Bollywood. With his impeccable on-screen presence and “dumdaar” dialogue delivery, he creates storm in the entire nation.
In the year 2000, he became the first living Asian to have been immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. With an array of magnetic performances, Amitabh Bachchan is ruling in main-stream cinema.
On his 74th birthday, let’s look back at his life journey which was not as smooth as it looks!
Early career: 1969-1972
Amitabh Bachchan made his debut in 1969 with Saat Hindustani. Then he appeared in critically acclaimed and commercial successful Anand (1970), where he starred alongside the reigning superstar at the time, Rajesh Khanna. Bachchan won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his intense performance.
Bachchan’s first major box office success came with his film, Zanjeer. The film established Amitabh in a new persona – the “angry young man.” The next decade propelled him to the peak of Bollywood superstardom.
He tossed out as a minimum one major hit every year, including Deewar (1975), Sholay (1975), Trishul (1978), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Don (1978), Kasme Vaade (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Lawaaris (1981).
Political Career: 1984-1987
He contested Allahabad’s 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. However, his pol-career was short-lived.
Career collapse: 1988-1999
In 1988, Bachchan returned to silver screen with “Shahenshah”, which was a box office massive success due to Bachchan’s comeback. After the release of “Khuda Gawah” in 1992, Bachchan went into semi-retirement for five years.
Bachchan setup Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (A.B.C.L.) in 1996 during his temporary sabbatical period with the vision of becoming a 10 billion (nearly 250 million $US) India’s premier entertainment company by the year 2000. A.B.C.L. produced few films which did not do well on screen.
ABCL was the head sponsor of the The 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore and lost over millions because of the poor management of the event. The disaster and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, ultimately led to its financial and operative collapse in 1997.
Amitabh Bachchan & 15-year Press Ban
Ban on Amitabh- a ban that tremble the film industry by its core. Stardust and all the leading film magazines got together to form an association and banned Bachchan for 15 years during the peak of his career.
A bunch of magazine house decided not to print anything about Amitabh, in any of their publication piece. Amitabh revealed that he had banned the press from entering his sets almost till the end of 1989.
Amitabh – The Second Innings
In the year 2000, Bachchan stepped up to host India’s adaptation of the British television game-show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). Reportedly, Bachchan charged a whopping Rs 25 lakhs per weekly episode which strengthen Bachchan and his family financially.
The Canara Bank also withdrew its law suit against Big B in November 2000. In the same year, Amitabh appeared in Yash Chopra’s box-office super hit, Mohabbatein, alongside Shah Rukh Khan.
Other colossal hits trailed, with Bachchan appearing as an older paterfamilias in Ek Rishtaa: A Bond of Love (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and Baghban (2003). As an actor, he sustained to feat a range of characters suiting with his profile, receiving critical acclaim for his performances like Black (2005), Sarkar (2005), Cheeni Kam (2007), Paa (2009) and recent Piku (2015), and Pink (2016).
Happy Birthday Amit Ji