Amitabh Bachchan (born 1942) acted on the stage, worked as a radio announcer and freight company executive, before achieving huge success as a cinema actor with a stream of box-office hits in the 1970s. Bachchan introduced a new series of types into the mainstream Hindi cinema, as also new and sophisticated performance codes. A mass outpouring of sentiment attended his near-fatal accident during a film shooting in 1983, leading thereafter to a short and controversial political career with Rajiv Gandhiís Congress Party. A subsequent downturn of box office fortunes was followed by a bid to cash in on the star image as corporate leader. The Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited sought to break into film-making, television software, advertising and event management, but collapsed, leaving the starís company in massive debt. In a remarkable turnaround, Bachchan capitalized on his charismatic presence to anchor the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Still much in demand as a cinema actor, the star also has a presence on television, in reruns and advertisement campaigns.
Author: House of World Cultures
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New Perspectives from India
(19 September 03 - 16 November 03)