Amitabh Bachchan ( born Amitabh Harivansh Srivastav on October 11, 1942), is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema.
Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards and twelve Filmfare Awards. He holds the record for most number of Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987.
Bachchan is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri. They have two children, Shweta Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan. Abhishek is also an actor and is married to actress Aishwarya Rai.
Born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, Amitabh Bachchan hails from a Hindu Kayastha family. His father, Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well-known Hindi poet, while his mother, Teji Bachchan was a Sikh from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named Inquilab, inspired from the phrase Inquilab Zindabad, during the Indian independence struggle, but was re-christened Amitabh which means, "the light that would never go off." Though his surname was Srivastava, his father had adopted the pen-name Bachchan, under which he published all his works. It is with this last name that Amitabh debuted in films, and, for all public purposes, it has become the surname of all members of his current family.
Amitabh is the elder of Harivansh Rai Bachchan's two sons, the second being Ajitabh. His mother had a keen interest in theatre and had been offered a role in a film, but preferred her domestic duties. She had some degree of influence in Bachchan's choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage. Bachchan's father passed away in 2003, and his mother on December 21, 2007.
Bachchan has a double M.A. (Master of Arts) degree. He attended Allahabad's Jnana Prabodhini and Boys' High School (BHS), followed by Nainital's Sherwood College, where he majored in the art stream. He later went on to study at Kirori Mal College of the University of Delhi and completed a Bachelor of Science degree. In his twenties, Bachchan gave up a job as freight broker for the shipping firm, Bird and Co., based in Calcutta, to pursue a career in acting.
He married actress Jaya Bhaduri on June 3, 1973, according to Bengali rites. The couple has two children: daughter Shweta and son Abhishek.