With over 100 films in a career that included several box office successes, Amitabh Bachchan set himself apart from his predecessors who stuck to mostly romantic roles by taking on parts that portrayed defiant, angry yet sympathetic action heroes. With his deep baritone voice, and tall brooding persona, he pioneered this kind of character in Hindi Cinema and became emblematic of a new kind of action hero.
Born on Oct. 11, 1942 in Allahabad, India, Bachchan worked as a business executive and performed in theatre before embarking on a film career. One of the most prominent figures in the Indian film industry and known to all as the "Big B," he was married to actress Jaya Bhaduri with whom he co-starred in many films. Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as one of the seven protagonists in "Saat Hindustani" (1969), a film portraying the heroic story of seven Indians. It was only his 13th film, "Zanjeer" (1973), which catapulted him to fame. In the movie he played the role of a strict police officer; a part that landed him the title 'The Angry Young Man,' by the masses.
The year 1975 saw the release of two of Bachchan's biggest hits, "Sholay" and "Deewaar." Bachchan received his first Best Actor Award for "Amar Akbar Anthony" (1977), followed by many others. The adulation for him was undeniable when he was gravely injured during the filming of 'Coolie' (1983), leaving the entire nation in a national prayer vigil for his speedy recovery. In 1984, he entered politics as a personal favor for Political Leader Rajiv Gandhi and won a seat in parliament from his hometown of Allahabad. However, his stint did not last long, as he became involved in the infamous "Bofors Scandal," deciding to call it quits without finishing his term after only three years.
Bachchan reemerged into the Bollywood scene, sporting his trademark white beard and armed with a new production company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL). Unfortunately ABCL did not do well financially and ended up declaring bankruptcy. Not one to be held down for too long, he bounced back on the scene with the TV game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati," based on the UK game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and broke all TRP records. He was named "Superstar of the Millennium" by an online BBC poll and was the first Indian to be immortalized in wax at England's famous Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London, England.