The Shahenshah of Bollywood, Star of The Millennium, the Angry Young Man, the One Man Industry, our beloved Amitji is easily the most influential actor in Indian film history.
Although he has won four National Film Awards as Best Actor and 15 Filmfare Awards, as a playback singer, producer, television presenter but what got him there was anything but a walk on rose petals. Today on his birthday we celebrate his stepping stones.
1. He made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Bhuvan Shome. And what followed was a dry spell at the box office. With continuous flops yet unbreakable determination he went on, and eventually tasted success in the iconic Zanjeer as the dashing Vijay Khanna.
2. Behind the great hits were also fatal risks. On 26 July 1982, while filming Coolie, he suffered a near fatal intestinal injury, which resulted in a splenic rupture, bringing Big B dangerously close to an untimely end.
3. He experienced the cesspool of politics. He took a brief break from his film career and contested elections from Allahabad for the 8th Lok Sabha. Although his victory was huge, his political life was short lived.
4. What also took him down was the failure of his company ABCL. He was helped by his friend Amar Singh during this period for whose Samajwadi Party later, Jaya Bachchan won the Rajya Sabha seat. During his bankruptcy, filmmaker Yash Chopra also stood by him, offering him Mohabbatein.
5. The legendary comedian Mehmood also came as a saviour to Amitji as he provided him a roof to stay under, during his struggling period.
6. The man who now earns in crores for a movie was given 1000 rupees for his debut movie.
7. The world goes gaga when in his deep baritone he says “Vijay Dinanath Chauhan”, his impeccable dialogue delivery is what makes him king of hearts. However this voice failed to please the All India Radio as he was once rejected by a broadcaster for his voice.
Indeed, this man is an inspiration to us all, for what makes us human is the ability to make mistakes and the courage to stand tall again. Take a bow Sir!
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