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Amitabh Bachchan

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He is not called number one anymore. Because legends are not serialised. They are left in cosy isolation with the promise of immortality. For over 25 years, it seems like the Big B has literally taken the industry on lease. No one has been able to defend the vulnerable citadel of mega-stardom for as many years as he has. Amitabh Bachchan began his career with an insignificant role
in Saat Hindustani in 1969. And in 1971, he played a mute in Sunil Dutt’s film Reshma Aur Shera. And, with his performance
as Babu Moshai, the doctor friend of the hero, in Anand, he proved his potential as an actor. However it was with Zanjeer,
he single-handedly changed the course of his own destiny. He symbolized and identified with the bold, new, angry generation.
As writer Javed Akhtar analysed, “People were waiting for someone to have the guts to tear the system”. Slowly but steadily he rose in stature to the dizzy heights of indisputable stardom. He reigned supreme for two decades churning out hits one after the other, despite surviving a brush with death, myasthenia gravis, his brief spell with politics and defamation due to his alleged involvemant in the Bofors scandal. His films like Shahenshah in 1988 and Hum in
1991 were propelled almost entirely by his star appeal. “I have never been able to come to terms with this so-called success of mine,” he admits modestly. “I always mistrusted it. I always thought tomorrow will be a different day. Maybe it won’t last. So there was no question of any kind of change. Either in my relationships or my attitude.” However he feels it was the others who changed their attitudes towards him. Who had preconceived notions. All those people who were in awe of
what they thought he was. After Mukul Anand’s blockbuster Khuda Gawah in 1992, Amitabh decided
to take a break from acting. And in 1995, when the legend reappeared as the head of his own entertainment corporation, ABCL, India’s premier entertainment conglomerate, the zeroes multiplied on his comeback film’s pay cheque to an unprecedented Rs 3 crore. Although age and indifferent health have taken their toll on the Bachchan looks, the intensity in
his eyes remains undiminished. Amitabh Bachchan is a phenomenon never seen before, maybe never seen again.

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