From the city of Allahabad to the city of dreams – Mumbai and becoming the Shahenshah of Bollywood, it has been a very long journey for Amitabh Bachchan.
His journey had started in a small household of Allahabad where he was born to Harivansh Rai and Teji Bachchan. Not many people know that he was initially named Inquilab by his parents. It was later when his name was officially changed to Amitabh.
His father was a known poet and his mother was interested in theatre, which is probably where the veteran actor got his interest in acting from. However, it was Big B himself who had once said that as a child he had never thought of entering the film industry ever.
After his initial schooling in Allahabad, he went to Sherwood College in Nainital, where he found his passion for acting. After he completed his education, he moved to Calcutta and did jobs like a freight broker to earn a living.
It was finally in the year 1968, when Amitabh decided to leave everything and come to the city of dreams to pursue his passion of acting. So he just boarded a train and came to Bombay to try his luck. What he didn’t know was that his looks would prove to be a great hurdle in getting a break in Bollywood.
The filmmakers saw his tall and lanky figure as something not suitable for the screens. At 6 feet 3 inches, Amitabh was always considered too tall to be an actor. His dark complexion too posed an issue in getting roles in films. Even his deep voice could not help him much in getting a job at All India Radio.
After facing several rejections, he was almost on the verge of giving up. But seems like his fate wanted him to be a superstar and that’s when he got his first break in B-town in the year 1969. Khwaja Ahmed Abbas offered him a role in his film Saat Hindustani which kick-started Big B’s journey in this industry. Although the film could not do wonders at the box office, Amitabh won the National Award for the best newcomer.
However, his struggle didn’t end there. He went on to do several voice overs and smaller roles. But it didn’t help him much in making a name. The turning point in his career came with the film Anand. He had the role of a supporting actor alongside the superstar Rajesh Khanna. But his performance didn’t go unnoticed. Having a film that gained appreciation of the critics and numbers at the box office was something that he needed and it happened with Anand.
Since then, he has seen both successes and failure. But one things that has remained constant is his remarkable performances. From Zanzeer to Deewar and Kabhie Kabhie, he has been a part of some of the best movies of the Hindi film industry. Even when it comes to the new age cinema, he has worked in films like Paa, 102 Not Out, Pink and Badla setting benchmarks for the younger lot of actors.
Not just the big screen, but he has won hearts with his presence on the small screen as well. As the host of the game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, Big B has impressed the audience with his humble and down to earth nature.
Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award are some of the honors he has received. Being the angry young man of Bollywood and at the same time being the Shehenshah, he is one of the most loved personalities in the country.
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