He was the `Angry Young Man` of the seventies. His sonorous voice and acting skill exceeded the Arabian Sea and enchanted the whole world. He is Amitabh Bachchan, often referred to as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, one of the greatest actors of India, star of the millennium. He is also popularly known as Big B. Today is his 76th birth anniversary. Though 76 is just a number for him as he is still outspreading his luster in Indian silver screen.
Amitabh Bachchan was born in a Hindu-Sikh family of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in the year 1942. His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a famous Hindi poet. His mother, Teji Bachchan, is a Sikh-Panjabi from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named `Inquilaab`, inspired by the phrase `Inquilab Zindabad` by his parents. Later, however, his name was changed to Amitabh.
Amitabh’s strong desire to be an actor forced him to leave his workplace at the age of just 20 years. Bachchan made his film debut in 1969, as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen`s National Award-winning film Bhuvan Shome. His first acting role was as one of the seven protagonists in the film `Saat Hindustani`. Although the film was not commercially successful but Bachchan won his first National Film Award as Best New Comer for this film. His next film `Anand` where he shared screen with Rajesh Khanna was a commercial success. This film garnered Bachchan his first Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award.
Bachchan`s `Zanjeer` brought significant changes in his film career. He made his identity in Bollywood conceiving the `angry young man` persona. It was his first film as the main character, which gave him the box office success and a nomination for Best Actor in the Filmfare Award. It was the first of much collaboration between Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan. Later these trios have their blockbusters `Deewaar` and `Sholay`. According to India Times, Bachchan’s Deewaar is one of the first 25 unforgettable Bollywood films. His `Sholay` is one of the all India`s greatest commercially successful films. Bachchan also has acted in more than 190 films in five decades of his career.
Bachchan is regarded as one of the best and influential actors of Indian cinema too. For his exclusive reign in the 1970s and 1980s films, French film critic and director François Truffaut called him a "one-man industry"
Bachchan earned numerous awards in the career. Among them there are four National Film Awards for Best Actor, and many important international awards, including 15 Filmfare Awards. He is the most nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 41 nominations overall.
In addition to acting, Bachchan was also seen as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter. He entered politics in the 1980s and was elected in the Parliament of India from 1984 to 1987.
In recognition of his contributions to art and cinema, the Government of India honored him with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015. As recognition of his unique career in world movies, the government of France awarded him its highest civilian honour, Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2007. On his birth anniversary we, Bangla Insider, wish Big B sound health.