Amitabh Harivansh Rai Shrivastava Bachchan ( born 11 October 1942) is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s for movies like Zanjeer and Deewaar, and was dubbed India’s first “angry young man” for his on-screen roles in Bollywood. Referred to as the “Shahenshah of Bollywood”, “Star of the Millennium” or “Big B”,he has since appeared in over 190 Indian films in a career spanning almost five decades.Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.So total was his dominance on the movie scene in the 1970s and 1980s that the French director François Truffaut called him a “one-man industry.”
Bachchan has won numerous accolades in his career, including four National Film Awards as Best Actor and many awards at international film festivals and award ceremonies. He has won fifteen Filmfare Awards and is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 41 nominations overall. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter. He has hosted several seasons of the game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, India’s version of the game show franchise, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He also had a stint in politics in the 1980s.
The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contributions to the arts.The Government of France honoured him with its highest civilian honour, Knight of the Legion of Honour, in 2007 for his exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond. Bachchan made his Hollywood debut in 2013 with The Great Gatsby, in which he played a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim.
Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in north central India.His ancestors hailed from a village called Babupatti in the Raniganj taluka of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.His father Harivansh Rai Srivastava (Bachchan) was a well-known Hindi poet and his mother Teji Bachchan was a Punjabi Sikh from Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Punjab.Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired by the phrase Inquilab Zindabad popularly used during the Indian independence struggle. In English, Inquilab Zindabad means “Long live the revolution.” However, at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant, Harivansh Rai changed the boy’s name to Amitabh, which 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.”