Legendary Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan has turned 70. Trivia for his fans!
1. He is a double MA.2. He wanted to become an engineer and had been keen to join the Indian Air Force.
3. He worked in Calcutta for the shipping firm Shaw & Wallace as executive and as a freight broker for Bird & Co.
4. His first salary was Rs 500 (not less, considering the times!)
5. It was in Calcutta that he bought a second-hand Fiat as his first car. Not a bad car in that zamana!
6. Though his surname was Srivastava, his father had adopted the pen name Bachchan. Amitabh has stuck to this name only. How would have Amitabh Srivastava sounded?
7. His actual height is 74 inches or 1.88 m, the tallest-ever top star in Hindi cinema.
8. His father considered naming him Inqilaab (Revolution) before deciding on Amitabh (unending brilliance). (Legendary
poet Shri Sumitra Nandan Pant suggested his name Amitabh)
9. He made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome. (In addition, imagine this voice was rejected by AIR!)
10. Sunil Dutt signed him for a mute’s role in Reshma Aur Shera because of a letter of introduction from then PM Indira Gandhi to friend Nargis. (Referrals always work)
11. Kalyanji – Anandji helped him in his struggling days and even introduced him to Prakash Mehra.
12. During his struggling days, Amitabh Bachchan had spent a few nights on a bench at Marine Drive, Mumbai. He loves to point out to the bench every time he drives past it. (Like the lampshades under which scholars have studied!)
13. Director Satyajit Ray also used Bachchan’s voice in his 1977 Shatranj Ke Khiladi.
14. Yet his baritone voice saw two rejections from the All India Radio. Ameen Sayani, radio ace, turned him down too in Mumbai. (Kya kehte hain Ameen sahib ab? You lost a real awaz ki dunia ka dost!)
15. He debuted in Saat Hindustani.
16. AB was paid Rs 1,000 for his debut film where he struck a lifelong friendship with Tinu Anand.
17. Comedian Mehmood was also a mentor to Bachchan in his days of struggle and offered him place to stay in his own home. He still mentions this in his blogs. Gratitude!
18. The superstar has given 12 consecutive flops before his first big hit Zanjeer. (Failures are the pillars to success!)
19. His favourite screen name is Vijay as seen in over 20 movies. Another common name has been Amit.
20. Big B met his future wife Jaya at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and later on the sets of Guddi. And it is said on seeing him she said, “Kaisi kaisi shakal ke log hero banne aa jate hain!”
21. AB married Jaya Bhaduri in 1973 after a long courtship. Eyewitnesses of their romance include actress Nadira and common mentor Hrishikesh Mukherjee. (Late Rajesh Khanna used to warn Jaya for going around with AB as he did not like him much, perhaps had some insecurity!)
22. Amitabh – Jaya are the only real life couple to have starred on-screen for 30 years from Ek Nazar to Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, 28 years after their marriage.
23. He is the only actor to have had a minimum one jubilee a year from 1971 (Anand) to 1988 (Shahenshah). He had no release in 1987 except for a cameo in Jalwa.
24. He has played more double roles than any other actor has. In Mahaan, he had a triple role.
25. He holds the record for most number of best actor nominations for popular film awards.
26. AB was the first choice for Shashi Kapoor’s role in Utsav and Jackie’s in King Uncle.
27. His last film, which cast actress Nirupa Roy as his mother, was Lal Baadshah in 1999.
28. He started being called Big B in late ’90s after his second comeback with Mrityudaata. (It was more of a go back!)
29. During the shooting of Khuda Gawah, Afghani president provided AB with his country’s air force for protection. It was the most watched Indian film in the history of Afghanistan.
30. Big B always maintains that no Hindi actress is more beautiful than Waheeda Rahman.
31. Salim – Javed had originally written Mr. India with Amitabh Bachchan in mind. (I bet he would have overshadowed the
Mogambo more than Anil could!)
32. The song “Rang Barse” from Silsila and some lyrics from Alaap were penned by his father, Dr. Harvanshrai Bachchan. So is the poetry in Agneepath.
33. He is the only actor to star in a remake of his own film as hero as well as villain. (Sholay we are talking about)
34. He is a vegetarian and a teetotaler. (That is an achievement being in glam industry)
35. Amitabh Bachchan is ambidextrous. (Bole to, he can write with his both hands)
36. The Indian comic character Supremo is based on him.
37. Jaya is often heard saying, “Amitji is a loner!” Perhaps, he needs time to miss and remember Rekha!
38. The first Asian actor to have a wax model of his likeness displayed at Madame Tussauds’ in London. Another statue was installed in New York and Hong Kong in 2009.
39. In 2001, Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the “Actor of the Century” award at an Alexandria Film Festival in Egypt.
40. Was named Actor of the Millennium in a BBC News Poll ahead of such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin and Marlon Brando.
41. In 2003, he was conferred with the honorary citizenship of the French town of Deauville.
42. Bruce Willis once commented, at the opening of Planet Hollywood, that AB was ‘bigger than any Hollywood star.’
43. Was awarded the Padma Bhusan in 2001. (No Bharat Ratna yet)
44. When he was out of work at the turn of the millennium, he called and asked Yash Chopra for a project. Mohabattein happened.
45. Has been known to suffer from asthma.
46. Also a rare muscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis.
47. Despite his near-fatal accident and subsequent myasthenia gravis (a muscular disorder), AB performed a stunt from a height of 30 feet for a scene in Aks.
48. On October 31, 2006, he shocked the unit of Shootout at Lokhandwala by recording 23 scenes in 5 hours!
49. His daughter, Shweta, is married to Nikhil Nanda, whose mother is the late Raj Kapoor’s daughter.
50. AB loves comfort. The flooring at his home is Italian marble, the bath fittings are from France and Germany.
51. It is said both his bungalows, Pratiksha and Jalsa, put together would be worth Rs 160 Crore!
52. Interestingly, Jalsa was gifted to the actor. (His brother’s wife Ramola Bachchan had gifted it to Jaya)
53. Amitabh Bachchan is very fond of suits. His favourite is Gabbana. They have been designing his suits for the past 30 years.
54. The fabric is especially imported from Italy, the thread from France and buttons from England. (Reminded of J. L. Nehru)
55. His other favourite brand is Fratelli Rosetti, with prices starting from Rs 35,000.
56. The Big B owns 11 cars, including one Lexus, two BMW’s and three Mercedes. (The list seems endless)
57. His favourite is the Lexus. The car is bulletproof.
58. The car has radial tyres that are normally used for Formula 1 races. The cost of each tyre is Rs 2.5 lakh.
59. When they were young, his kids Shweta and Abhishek asked him to not come to school because it caused too much commotion. (Ha ha ha!)
60. The Big B has a passion for collecting watches. It is said he never repeats his watches. His favourite brand is Longines, which costs about Rs 2 lakh.
61. His other interest is collecting pens. The actor has a collection of over thousand pens. Mont Blanc gifts him a special pen every year on his birthday.
62. AB loves to visit London and Switzerland.
63. In London, he prefers to stay at St James Court, five minutes from Buckingham Palace.
64. According to ad pandits, a company once paid him Rs 10 Crore for 10 days. That works out to Rs 7,000 per minute!
65. He hates the word Bollywood, the word that most use to describe the Hindi film industry.
66. He also dislikes the word Beti B, coined for his granddaughter Aaradhya. He preferred to call her bitiya. Jaya, his wife, calls Aaradhya Strawberry.
67. On the 27th of July, 2012, Amitabh Bachchan was given the due honour to carry the Olympic torch during the last leg of it’s relay in London’s Southwark.
68. Saat Hindustani is his only black-and-white film.
69. Was one of the judges for the 1995 Miss World beauty pageant. (Before ABCL organized one in India) .
70. On the 11th of October 2013 he will be 71 and, perhaps, one more ‘fact’ will be added.