Born on 11 October in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, the Shahenshah of Bollywood turns 76 today. Amitabh Bachchan was the first-born child of renowned Hindi poet Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He has one younger brother, Ajitabh. A graduate from Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College, he had pursued his primary and secondary education from Sherwood College in Nainital. The actor holds two Master’s degrees in Art. In 1973, Amitabh Bachchan married Bollywood actress Jaya Bhaduri. Voted ‘Star of the Millenium’ by the BBC, living legend Amitabh is known form blockbusters like Sholay, Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Agneepath, Satte Pe Satta, Baghban and many more during a career spanning over 200 films.
15 Interesting Facts About Amitabh Bachchan
- Harivansh Rai Bachchan wanted to name him Inquilab, meaning ‘revolution’. The real surname of Amitabh Bachchan is Srivastava, which he replaced with ‘Bachchan’, his father’s pen name.
- He started his acting career with the Hindi movie Saat Hindustani, his only black-and-white film, in 1969; he was paid Rs 1000.
- He was a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome. Though he came to be known for his rich baritone voice, he was rejected by All India Radio (AIR) twice.
- On 2 August 1982, he suffered a near-fatal injury on the sets of the film Coolie and was hospitalised in Mumbai. The filmmakers are said to have subsequently changed the movie’s ending (Amitabh was supposed to die as per the original script). The superstar marks this day as his second birthday.
- He has battled a rare neuro-muscular disorder, myasthenia gravis, for many years. He is also asthmatic.
- He is perhaps the only actor to play the role of the son of his real-life son (with Abhishek Bachchan, in movie Paa). What’s more, he has starred as a couple with his real-life wife Jaya Bhaduri in more than 30 films, before and after marriage.
- The living legend was the first Asian actor to get a wax model displayed at Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London. He also has a wax statue at Bangkok, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Washington DC and Singapore.
- He has been honoured with all the three Padma awards – the Padma Shri (1984), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2015) – for his exceptional contribution to cinema.
- The government of Afghanistan provided the Bollywood superstar and the film crew with its country’s air force for protection during the shooting of Khuda Gawah in the strife-torn country. The film was the most-watched Indian film in Afghanistan’s history.
- A tall actor with a height of 6 feet 2 inches, Amitabh is vegetarian, teetotaller and ambidextrous as he can write with both hands.
- Bachchan has acted in over 20 movies as ‘Vijay’, his most popular screen name. He has also starred in two different films with same name, Deewar, in 1975 and 2004.
- Amitabh Bachchan has had a stint in politics. He was the Lok Sabha MP from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, for five years after winning on a Congress ticket in 1984.
- He was perhaps the first superstar to begin the practice of a weekly ‘darshan’ at his Mumbai residence, Jalsa, every Sunday.
- Bachchan has had his share of lows in Bollywood. He gave 12 consecutive flops after the super hit Deewar.
- He has played more double roles (15) than any other leading actor of Bollywood, including in Don, The Great Gambler, Toofan, Satte Pe Satta, Bemisal, Desh Premee. This includes a triple role, that of a father and two twin sons, in Mahaan.