Filed under: Bollywood
Author: Rock Star
Bollywood’s legend Amitabh Bachchan celebrates his 70th Birthday today. Big B has appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades.
As he turns 70 here we presenting some unknown facts about favourite megastar:
1. Baritone voice- Amitabh Bachchan is known for his baritone voice and although he was rejected by All India Radio as an RJ (Radio Jockey), this turned out to be a blessing for Bollywood. He’s been a narrator (for Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari and the Oscar-winning French documentary March of the Penguins) and a playback singer (Sharaabi, Khuda Gawah, Paa. Kahaani, Bol Bachchan and Silsila to name a few).
2. Angry Young Man of Hindi Cinema-The term that was famously coined by English playwright John Osborne, went on to become a catchphrase for Amitabh Bachchan. He portrayed the rebellious and disillusioned man in films like Deewaar, Zanjeer, Trishul, Agneepath and Shakti).
3. Legendary actor- With a career spanning four decades, Amitabh Bachchan has worked with the best directors and co actors in the Indian film fraternity. He has award winning performances to his credit and his films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Namak Haraam, Deewar, Anand, Abhimaan, Sharaabi and Sholay watched till date. His hits like Agneepath and Don have been remade but none match the originals! He was the ‘Superstar’ of Indian cinema for a quarter century before his down fall.
4. Iconic public figure- Wherever Amitabh Bachchan goes, “Line wahi se shuru hoti hain”.
5. Family man- He is a doting father to both Shweta Nanda and Abhishek (AB Junior). His camaraderie and rapport with his children is evident at public events and in movies, where Big B and AB Junior have worked together. He recently made it to the success bash of Bol Bachchan to support Abhishek in spite of a hectic schedule.
6. Figher- During the shooting of Coolie in 1982, he had a near fatal accident while shooting a fight sequence with co-star Puneet Issar. He condition was termed critical and he spent many months in hospital. He was even close to death but chose to fight and with the well wishes of family and close friends, he bounced back to life. This was christened as his re-birth.
7. Professional- Come hail or storm, Amitabh Bachchan lives up to his commitments. Out of the many incidents, the particular one that comes to mind is during the shooting of the film Sharaabi where Amitabh Bachchan burnt his hands. But being the professional he is, he continued to shoot by putting his hand in his coat pocket which went on to become a fashion statement in itself!
8. Good diction- No one has a better command over English and Hindi the way Big B has. He’s articulate, well read and pronounces words to the tee. His fluency in both languages is impressive!
9. Dance- Amitabh Bachchan has his own unique style when it comes to dancing. He re interpreted Bhagwan dada’s dance style to give it the Amitabh stamp. This is evident in songs like (Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai, Khaike Paan Banaras Wala, Shava Shava and the list is endless).
10. Dialogue delivery- Amitabh’s dialogue delivery renders audiences speechless. From “Rishtey mein to hum tumhare Baap lagte hain, Naam hai Shahenshah” to “Don ka intezaar to 11 mulko ki police kar rahi hai, par don ko pakadna muskil hi nahi namumkin hai” dialogues form the USPs of his films.
11. Versatility- He has experimented with all genres of cinema from playing comic roles (Namak Halal) to the intensely romantic hero (Silsila) to the Angry Young Man (Deewar) to playing a child suffering from progeria (Paa) and a villain (Aankhen). Amitabh truly embodies the spirit of cinema!
12. Lineage- He is the son of the famous poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, whose original surname was Shrivastava, adopted the pen name Bachchan that signified a childlike spirit and it was this surname that Amitabh chose to use to make his debut in Hindi Cinema.
13. Superstar- After Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan was the second superstar of the country. But with the sad demise of Kaka (Rajesh Khanna), Big B recently Tweeted, “The word ‘superstar’ was invented for him, and for me it shall ever remain his and no others”. We appreciate the humility.
14. Connect with people- Amitabh Bachchan is a people’s person without having to make an effort. His connect with audiences, fans, celebrities, politicians and world leaders is effortless and come to him naturally and spontaneously.
15. Active blogger & Twitterati- He has his own official blog and is extremely active on the social networking site Twitter where he has 3, 646, 523 followers. Big B is conscientious and writes on many topical issues.
16. Moves with the Times- Whether it’s his dressing style or the roles he chooses (Cheeni Kum, Boom, Buddha Hoga Terra Baap) or it’s his approach to new age directors and actors, Big B knows how to keep up with gen next.
17. Real & reel life persona- Amitabh Bachchan has great poise, excellent diction, is a great orator, well read and spoken personality, an altruist and an actor unparalleled by any in the history of Indian cinema.
18. For giving trademark characters- From Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in Agneepath (which was his character name for 20 films) to Jay in Sholay and Subhash ‘Sarkar’ Nagare in Sarkar, no one can beat Amitabh when it comes to acting!
19. His chemistry with Rekha-His onscreen chemistry with co-actor Rekha sparked of many rumours that went on to link the two together. Big B was married to Jaya Bachchan then and the iconic film ‘Silsila’ is said to be inspired by this love triangle. Rekha and Amitabh were seen together in films like Do Anjaane, Silsila, Suhaag, Muqaddar ka Sikandar and Mr. Natwarlal. Till date, the camera pans on Amitabh and Rekha at all award functions.
20. Doting Grandfather- He’s known to be crazy about his grand children Navya Naveli Nanda, Agastya Nanda (Shweta Nanda’s kids) and baby Aaradhya Bachchan. The entire family is often seen at functions with Shweta Nanda’s children. And with the recent birth of Aishwarya and Abhishek’s daughter, baby Aaradhya, Big B can’t seem to get enough of her. At a recent press conference, Big B said he was eager to rush back home to play with Aaradhya. These kids are truly lucky to have him as their grandpa!
21. Doting father in law- Big B does not differentiate between his children Abhishek & Shweta and his daughter in law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Big B is very fond of his bahu and recently even went to the airport to receive her. The two are often seen at events together, to represent the Bachchan parivar. Ash said in an interview a while back that Amitabh Bachchan is the bestest.
22. Face of Supremo- Amitabh Bachchan is the facial caricature of the Indian comic book character ‘Supremo’ which is based on him.
23. For being vegetarian- At a time when celebrities across the world are now being conscious of their food choices and are even turning vegan, Amitabh Bachchan has always been a vegetarian by choice and has stuck to a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet.
24. Teetotaler-He abstains from alcohol and does not believe in social drinking. Though he’s given the best drunken performances in his movies, Big B’s a teetotaler! He’s not one to be embroiled in any drinking controversies and has always stayed clean from them!
25. Religious- Amitabh Bachchan is religious by nature (sometimes superstitious also) and follows Indian traditions, whether it involves Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding or it’s the naming ceremony of Aaradhya to wearing different rings for religious purposes, he sure follows what the ancient Indian sutras say!
26. Social responsibility- Amitabh Bachchan has always been a conscientious citizen and his support for UNICEF`s Pulse Polio campaign had a huge impact on the country, eradicating polio to a large extent in India. He was also the face of ‘Save Our Tigers’ campaign that promoted the importance of tiger conservation in India. As the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, he’s promoted different themes through the seasons including the latest, “Sirf gyan hi aapko aapka haq dilata hai”. All his efforts are truly lauded.
27. For making holi special- He makes bhang appealing and getting drunk on holi a ritual. And truly, no one brings on the colours of Holi the way Amitabh Bachchan does on the silver screen. Whether it’s his famous songs ‘Rang Barse’ or ‘Holi Khele Raghuvira’, Big B makes every Indian want to play Holi!
28. For being Big B-This one needs little guessing. He stands tall at 6′ 2″. He’s the biggest star of the Indian film industry. But here’s an interesting fact that not many know. Amitabh Bachchan launched a music label called Big B which released the music of the film Bandit Queen.
29. The best host on TV- His debut with Kaun Banega Crorepati as TV host brought him back to prominence. Now in its 6th season, no host has been as popular or loved by audiences as much as AB senior.
30. Completing four decades in Bollywood-He made his acting debut with Saat Hindustani in 1969 and there has been no looking back for Big B. He rose to stardom between 1973-1983 and it was during this period that he earned the catchphrase, ‘Angry young Man’ with Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer.
31. Recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan-He received the Padma Shri in 1984 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001 for his outstanding contribution to cinema.
32. A successful politician- Although his political ambitions were short-lived after he decided to take a break from Bollywood, he still had a magical stint in politics in the year 1984. He succeeded in defeating Hemvanti Nandan Bahuguna. It was hinted that he joined politics to help his friend Rajiv Gandhi. But Big B got dragged into the Bofors scandal and other controversies which prompted him to quit this line.
33. Big come back- Kaun Banega Crorepati is said to be the saving grace in Amitabh Bachchan’s career. At a time when he was in huge debt and forgotten by the industry, KBC’s offering in 2000 came as a blessing! As KBC’s host, he was an instant hit with masses! It reinstated his position and career and went on to recreate the phenomena called Amitabh Bachchan.
34. International superstar-France’s highest civilian honour, the Knight of the Legion of Honour was conferred on him in 2007. He was also voted as the “greatest star of stage or screen” in a BBC Your Millennium online poll in 1999. It was in the same year that Big B was voted for the Actor of the Century award at the Alexandria International Film Festival in Egypt in recognition of his contribution to the world of cinema. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award at Asian Film Awards in 2010.
35. Accessible to fans- It’s a ritual for AB senior to greet his fans whenever he’s in the country, who throng his house every Sunday to get a glimpse of the superstar!
36. A global citizen- He was conferred with the Honorary Citizenship of the French town of Deauville in 2003. He was also honoured with an Honorary Doctorate from the Leeds Metropolitan University in Yorkshire, UK, the De Montfort University in Leicester, UK and the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.
37. Making India proud- He is the first Asian to have his wax statue at London’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. On 27th July 2012, he carried the Olympic torch in London’s Southwark.
38. Giving Mumbai its famous landmark-Big B’s houses-Prathiksha and Jalsa, have become famous landmarks of the city and tourists include it in their Mumbai itinerary while visiting the city.
39. For his personal quotes- “Rajesh Khanna for me will remain the only superstar in true sense”. “The amount of things I have been through and the remarkable ways in which the body has reacted is just phenomenal. No wonder I became religious, because you don’t know why something’s happening to you and you don’t know how you bounced back”. “I have never really been confident about my career at any stage”. “Everyone must accept “that we will age and age is not always flattering”.
40. Punctuality- Big B is a stickler for time and is known for being extremely punctual on sets. He does not believe in wasting the producer’s time or money!
41. Good orator- Big B’s command over English and Hindi is phenomenal and the superstar can enthrall audiences with his sheer wit and intelligence and his gift of the gab!
42. Adapting to young directors- Big B is known to work well with the new age directors without meddling in their affairs. He’s known to respect their art and craft and has worked wonderfully well with directors like Karan Johar, Shaad Ali, Apoorva Lakhia, Samir Karnik, Farhan Akhtar and Kaizad Gustad.
43. Charismatic- Wherever Big B goes, there are shutterbugs ready to capture this charismatic personality. He has a way with words and people that makes him very likeable. He’s suave, classy and has a great persona.
44. Trendsetter- Fashion doesn’t make him, he makes fashion! From his sunglasses, to wristwatches (he has a fetish for them) to the floral print shirts, his formal suits and neck kerchiefs, Big B does it in style and makes fans follow suit!
45. Drunken scenes- It’s ironic that Big B who is a teetotaler has performed some of the best drunken scenes in films like Sharaabi, Namak Halal, Satte Pe Satta, Amar Akbar Anthony and Do Anjaaane.
46. Highest Awards and honours- Filmfare awards, National awards, Wax Statue at London’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Honorary doctorates, the Knight of the Legion of Honour. Phew! This list can go on and on.
47. Made comedy a trend- At a time when mains stream actors did not foray into full fledged comic roles, Amitabh broke that barrier with films like Namak Halal, Amar Akbar Anthony, Chupke Chupke and Mr. Natwarlal.
48. Shahenshah of Bollywood- Most superstars are known by a name in Bollywood and Big B is aptly called the Shahenshah because he rules the roost.
49. Light Suit in Yaarana- He came up with the idea of wearing the light suit in the hit song Saara Zamaana. Big B would constantly monitor the lights through a switch that he firmly held in his hands during the shooting of this song. And the end result was superb! From the steps, to the lights and his co-actor Neetu Singh, this song remains iconic!
50. Sincere actor- Big B gives his 100% to all films, irrespective of the banner, budget and co-actor. Whether it was standing on stage and just emoting (in the song O Saathi Re) or the emotional scenes in Baghban or a child suffering from progeria in Paa, Amitabh Bachchan has played every character to the tee!
51. Awe inspiring energy- It’s amazing the amount of work that Mr. Bachchan can do with multiple shoots, endorsements and various other commitments. Actor Ajay Devgn claims that it was Big B’s energy that motivated him to shoot even when he was unwell. “I was unwell and we started shooting for Bol Bachchan song with Mr. Bachchan. When I reached the sets, I had no energy to shoot but I saw Mr. Bachchan being energetic on the sets even though he was not in the pink of health. In fact, people told him not to strain too much as he was not keeping well, but Amitji continued to shoot. It motivated me so much that even I completed the shoot without any complain,” says Ajay. Adding, “At this age if he can be so hard working, why can’t we? He is surely a source of inspiration”.
52. A thorough gentleman- For giving respect to humanity irrespective of caste, creed, gender, age, religion and nationality.
53. Bows before his wife- Never mind the height difference, Big B is a doting and respectful husband to wife Jaya and has always given her due credit for his success. The two married in 1973 and Jaya was his co-star of many films. Jaya Badhuri (maiden name) was a big star when she met Amitabh who was struggling to find a foot hold in the film industry. They say it was her presence in his life that brought him all the luck! Rightly said, behind every successful man there is a woman!
54. Humility-As the Shahenshah of Bollywood who has been in the film industry for four decades, Big B is as humble as one can be. Whether it’s with his co-stars, junior actors, newcomers, audiences and fans, he greets all of them equally! He has also taken the ups and downs of life with grace and challenged them, and never let success or failure change him as a person.
55. Patriotic spirit- When Amitabh Bachchan was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia in 2009, the actor turned it down. This was his way of decrying the racial attacks on Indian students in Australia.
56. Beyond regionalism- Amitabh Bachchan is promoting tourism for three states in India including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala. This goes on to prove that the lad from Allahabad does not differentiate between different states and cultures. This is a sign of a genuine leader.
57. Giving respect to Indian cinema- Big B dislikes the term Bollywood. In an interview given to a known media house, he went on to say that the word Bollywood sounded like an abuse and was demeaning to the Hindi film industry.
58. Generous- It is a known fact that Big B worked for free for friend Shashi Kapoor’s directorial debut, Ajooba. Rohit Shetty had also said in an interview that Big B had really helped him when his father had passed away. It was his friendship with Rajiv Gandhi that prompted him to run for a seat in the Congress from his hometown. Even in KBC, as a host, he is always worried about contestants choosing the wrong answer and always asks them to re think before locking their answer. This has changed the decisions of many contestants who have gone on to become crorepatis.
59. Exudes warmth-As a host, celebrity and global citizen, he’s an absolute natural! People swarm to Big B like bees to a honeycomb.
60. Mark in Hollywood- He’s making his mark internationally with his Hollywood debut, The Great Gatsby. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire and senior Bachchan will play a character called Meyer Wolfsheim. It takes a talented director like Baz Luhrmann to recognize a legend!
61. Influential-Just his sheer presence in enough to make people smile, cry, go numb and render them speechless. He’s the face of the Polio campaign that has had a huge impact on the country. Since he’s been the brand ambassador, there has been a sharp decline in the number of polio cases being registered. As an endorser for various brands, he makes the product believable.
62. Iconic- This is self explanatory!
63. Double roles- From playing the villain in Satte pe Satta to playing the villain once again in Don, seeing Big B in doubles roles has always been a delight! Through films like Don, The Great Gambler, Aakhree Raasta, Kasme Vaade, Adalat, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, he did justice to the dual characters with ease!
64. Hit machine- He is the only actor who achieved at least one hit every year for 15 consecutive years from Bombay to Goa (1972) to Aakhree Raasta (1986).
65. Stuntman of Bollywood-Amitabh Bachchan was known for performing his own stunts. And one such stunt critically injured the actor while filming a fight sequence for the film Coolie with fellow actor Puneet Issar in 1982. At the age of 58, Big B jumped from a height of 30 feet, along with co-star Manoj Bajpai, for the waterfall scene in the movie Aks.
66. Emotional- During the sad demise of India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna, Big B cried and it was an emotional moment for all. It was son Abhishek who consoled his father.
67. Sharp memory-It is said Mr. Bachchan never forgets birthdays! He makes it a point to remember the special datesand occasions of family members, neighbours and loved ones, making it a point to wish them.
68. A poet- He writes occasionally and often cites his father’s poems as seen in the film Agneepath.
69. Family man-Big B makes it a point to have at least one meal with his family in spite of his hectic schedule and prefers wife Jaya to serve him his meals.
70. Fighting fit at 70- Big B is lean, fit and young even at the ripe old age of 70! He can give anybody a complex! This also has a lot to do with his attitude because he’s always young at heart!