Name : Amitabh
Full / Real Name : Amitabh Srivastav/Amitabh Bachchan
Born : 16 Oct., 1942
Notable Films : Lawaris, Mahaan, Mr. Natwarlal, Naseeb, Pukaar, Silsila
Contributed by : K Vijay Kumar
Amitabh Bachchan was born to the noted Hindi poet - Harivanshrai Bachchan, and Teji. Interested in the world of the theatre and acting, he worked for some years as a freight broker for a shipping firm in Calcutta. He appeared in one or two print advertisements before leaving for Bombay in 1968, hoping to make a name in films.

His first film was K A Abbaas' "Saat Hindustani". Then followed small, but significant roles in Sunil Dutt's Reshma aur Shera, and as a villain in Parwana (opposite Naveen Nischol). The first few years were difficult, until Hrishikesh Mukherjee cast him first as an intense doctor in Anand, opposite an ebullient Rajesh Khanna. Then, two films in 1973 changed his destiny and the face of Hindi films for ever. When Hrishikesh Mukherjee made Namakharaam, the roles were reversed. Amitabh stole the thunder despite Rajesh Khanna dying a dramatic death in the film, and in Zanjeer he created and epitomized the role of the "angry young man", principled, relentless and irreverent, even unto the law. His most successful films were based on this persona (Deewar, Don, Trishul) though he performed equally well in comedies (Chupke Chupke, Namakhalaal) or in romantic roles (Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila).

Gifted with a rich baritone voice, he first made his foray into singing with "mere paas aao" in Mr. Natwarlal, more a recitation for a gaggle of children than a song. The song was an immediate success. He went on to top the charts with his "mere angane me" in Lawaris. In Silsila, he went head to head with Lata Mangeshkar in the tandem - neela aasamaa so gayaa, and in a duet. In Mahaan, he sang one version of the tandem song - jidhar dekhoon terii tasveer - with Kishore Kumar singing the other version. Clearly, he is no singer, but he did manage to create a few memorable songs.

He won the President's award for his role in Agneepath, and the Padma Bhushan in 2001. He took a sabbatical from films soon after Khuda Gawah (1992) before returning in the late 90s. While notable success in films has eluded him in his second innings, he has made "Kaun Banega Karodpati" a formidable game show with his presence as host.