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Amitabh Bachchan Biography

Movies | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Who is Amitabh Bhachchan?

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was born on the 11th of October, 1942. He is an Indian actor who first gained popularity in the early 1970’s as the “angry young man” of Hindi cinema and has since then appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning over four decades.

Amitabh Bachchan is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.

Awards and recognition

He has won a staggering number of awards in his career, including four National Film awards, three of which are in the Best Actor category, and fourteen Filmfare Awards. He is the most nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 37 nominations overall.

Apart from acting, Bachchan has also worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter. He is also the recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan civilian awards from the Indian government.

Early life and childhood

Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well known Hindi Poet, and his mother, Teji Bachchan was a Sikh from Faisalabad, now in Pakistan. Amitabh was initially named Inquilaab, inspired from the famous phrase Inquilab Zindabad, but at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant, Harivansh Rai changed his name to Amitabh which means “the light that would never go off”.

Amitabh’s mother had some degree of influence in his career choice because she always insisted that he should take center stage. After completing his education, Bachchan worked as a freight broker for a shipping firm in Kolkata, but then later gave that up to pursue a career in acting.


In 1969, Bachchan made his film debut as a voice narrator in Mrinal Se’s National Award winning film Bhuvan Shome. Thereafter he got his first acting role as one of the seven protagonists in ‘Saat Hindustani’ and even though the film was not a financial success, Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Newcomer.

Bachchan from then on starred in a number of films which became huge box-office hits like ‘Anand’, ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Deewar’ and ‘Sholay’ with the latter becoming the highest grossing film of all time in India, earning INR 2,36,45,00,000. Bachchan in this film played the role of Jaidev and in 1999, BBC India declared it the “Film of the Millennium’ and like Dewaar, has been cited by Indiatimes movies as amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.

Trying Times

He suffered a near fatal accident in 1982, during the shoot of ‘Coolie’ – he pushed through his injuries and returned to set 5 months later. The accident had a deep impact on national sentiment as the nation came together top ray for his recovery. The period between 1988 – 1999 was a testing period for Bachchan. Almost all of his movies flopped and even his production house which was set up by him, failed to produce box-office hits.

After nearly a decade, things started to turn with his appearance in Yash Chopra’s Mohabbatein which turned out to be a huge box-office hit. Post that film he was part of a series of films which were hits like ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’, ‘Baghban’ and ‘Black’ and ‘Paa’ which helped re-establish himself as one of the industry’s most sought after actors.

It is said that his stint as host for the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati which was a huge success is what paved the way for his re-entry into Bollywood and every one admits that since, then great actor has never looked back.