Amitabh Bachchan’s 77th birthday: From his struggle with TB to the meaning of his name, 77 lesser known facts about actor

Happy birthday Amitabh Bachchan: As the country’s biggest star turns 77 on Friday, we bring you the most interesting facts from his life.
Happy birthday Amitabh Bachchan: He was recently selected unanimously for Dadasaheb Phalke Award.(PTI)
Happy birthday Amitabh Bachchan: He was recently selected unanimously for Dadasaheb Phalke Award.(PTI)
Updated on Oct 11, 2019 01:10 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

On Amitabh Bachchan’s 77th birthday, here are 77 unknown facts about the ‘star of the millennium.’ Check them out here:

1. When he worked in Kolkata, Amitabh used to share his room with eight people.

2. He own a Lexus, two BMWs and three Mercedes and five more cars. His favourite is the bulletproof Lexus. It has radial tyres that are used for Formula 1 races. The cost of each tyre is Rs 2.5 lakh.

3. Amitabh often walked barefoot from his Juhu home to the Siddhivinayak temple to take Lord Ganesha’s blessings.

4. His moniker Big B was invented in the late 90s after his comeback movie Mrityudaata.

5. Amitabh’s was rejected by the All India Radio for his baritone. He failed in both the Hindi and English tests there.


6. Amitabh means ‘the light that will never die’. His father Harivansh Rai Bachchan initially wanted to name him Inquilab but name was changed at the suggestion of fellow poet Sumitranandan Pant.

7. His elder brother Ajitabh encouraged Big B to enter Bollywood.He was the one to click his portfolio pictures.

8. Amitabh prefers being called an actor rather than a star.

9. The actor once took off early from work as he had a stage play that day. However, when his boss, along with his wife, went to see the play, he was disappointed to find Amitabh just managing the curtains.

10. Amitabh loves collecting watches and pens. Mont Blanc gifts him a special pen every year on his birthday.


11. Amitabh drank heavily when he shifted to Kolkata after graduation. He now avoids smoking and alcoholic drinks, even avoids tea and coffee.

12. He also hates when someone addresses the Hindi film industry as Bollywood.

13. Amitabh Bachchan doesn’t get angry. He only acts angry if his role demands it.

14. He loves to stay connected and cannot do without his laptop and mobile phone.

15. He and Jaya planned a holiday abroad after the success of Zanjeer in 1973. However, Amitabh’s father said they should get married first. They promptly got married and left for the holiday.

16. On the day Anand was released (1971), he had filled up his car at a fuel station in the morning. The same evening when he returned for more petrol, everyone recognised him there!

17. Amitabh is ambidextrous.

18. When shooting for Khuda Gawah in 1992, the then President of Afghanistan provided Amitabh with half of his country’s air force for protection. The movie was one of the most watched Indian films in Afghanistan.


19. Amitabh had a life-threatening accident while shooting for his hit film Coolie in 1983.

20. The Indian Press Trust issued daily bulletins on his health when he was hospitalised.

21. As one would expect, Amitabh Bachchan’s favourite onscreen name is Vijay. He has played a character called Vijay more than 20 times.

22. Big B founded Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited in 1995, which suffered huge loss, forcing him to take up acting again after three years.

23. Amitabh played the character of Cassio in a Hindi production of Othello by his father. His mother Teji Bachchan played Desdemona’s maid.

24. Amitabh has a double major in Science and Arts from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University and regrets not being able to get into St Stephen’s College.


25. He had his first date in college. It was reported to his mother by someone who saw him on the date.

26. Amitabh’s real surname is Shrivastava and ‘Bachchan’ was actually the pen name chosen by his father. Amitabh liked this name and used it as his surname, too.

27. Amitabh’s first salary was Rs. 500, of which, Rs. 300 was his rent.

28. Amitabh keen to join the Indian Air Force while growing up. He wanted to be an engineer.

29. His first poem got published in the magazine Dharamyug in 1982. He wrote it when he was hospitalised.

30. He writes a blogpost almost daily. It is titled Bachchan Bol.


31. He was to do two films with Amjad Khan and Kader Khan as directors. Titled Lambuji Thinguji and Jaahil, the films never took off.

32. He was approached for Shashi Kapoor’s role in Utsav and Jackie Shroff’s role in King Uncle.

33. Rang Barse, from Silsila and some lyrics from Alaap were written by his father. So is the poetry in Agneepath.

34. He was part of both Sholay, and its remake Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag.

35. Wife Jaya often says, “Amitji is a loner!”

36. Sunil Dutt signed him for a role in Reshma Aur Shera as a mute because of a letter of introduction from the then PM Indira Gandhi to Nargis, Sunil Dutt’s wife.

37. Amitabh is the only actor to have played son to his real son with R Balki’s Paa. Abhishek plays father to Amitabh, who suffers from progeria in the film.

38. Indian comic book character Supremo is based on his face.

39. He judged the 1995 Miss World beauty pageant.

40. Amitabh has played more double roles than any other actor. In the film Mahaan, he even had a triple role.

41. Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta is an author and also married to Nikhil Nanda, whose mother is the late Raj Kapoor’s daughter.


42. His bungalows, Pratiksha and Jalsa, put together, would be worth Rs. 160 crore!

43. Jalsa was gifted to the actor by filmmaker Ramesh Sippy as fees for his performance in the 1982 film, Satte pe Satta.

44. Amitabh Bachchan’s favourite suits are from Gabbana. They have been designing his suits for the past 30 years. The fabric is especially imported from Italy, the thread from France and buttons from England.

45. Shweta and Abhishek asked him to not come to their school because it caused too much commotion.

43. He prefers to stay at St James Court when in London. It is five minutes from Buckingham Palace.

47. For his debut film, he was paid Rs. 1,000 and struck a lifelong friendship with actor- filmmaker Tinnu Anand.

48. His first dog was a Silky Sydney who was extremely attached to him.


49. Amitabh and Jaya met at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. They later worked together in Guddi.

50. He did plays at Miranda House and got whistled at by the girl students there.

55. Die Hard actor Bruce Willis once said that Amitabh Bachchan was ‘bigger than any Hollywood star’.

56. He was cast in Mohabbatein when he called Yash Chopra, asking him for work at the turn of the new millennium.

57. Jaya says that his eyes were what attracter her to him. “His eyes. But it’s impossible to many personal things.”

58. He shocked the unit of the film Shootout at Lokhandwala in 2006 by recording 23 scenes in 5 hours!

59. The flooring at his home is Italian marble, the bath fittings are from France and Germany.


60. Amitabh is an asthma patient. He also has a rare muscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis.

61. In Kolkata, he bought a second-hand Fiat as his first car.

62. Jaya was pregnant with their first child, Shweta, when they were filming Sholay. By the time the film was premiered, she was pregnant with their second child, Abhishek.

63. Amitabh Bachchan had spent a few nights on a bench at Marine Drive, Mumbai in his days of struggle. He loves to point out to the bench every time he drives past it.

64. Bachchan’s voice was used in Satyajit Ray’s 1977 film Shatranj Ke Khiladi.

65. A company once paid him Rs. 10 crore for 10 days of ad shoot. That works out to Rs. 7,000 per minute!


66. Amitabh and Rekha’s much-talked about ‘love story’ has always remained a mystery, as both the actors never accepted their relationship in public.

67. Saat Hindustani is his only black-and-white film.

68. After Puneet Issar punched him on Coolie sets, Amitabh first bowed to the crew and them dropped on the ground in pain outside, just minutes later. Puneet, reportedly, didn’t get any work for six years after that.

69. Amitabh calls Aaradhya bitiya, while Jaya calls her Strawberry.

70. On July 27, 2012, Amitabh carried the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London’s Southwark.

71. Amitabh Bachchan got the whole crew of Yudh hooked on a gaming app. He would borrow Anurag Kashyap’s iPad for it all the time.

72. Big B has 38 million followers on Twitter and is among the most followed Indian celebs on the social media platform.


73. Amitabh Bachchan has hosted 10 out of 11 seasons of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Only Shah Rukh Khan took the chair for the third season.

74. Amitabh suffered 12 back-to-back flops before his first hit Zanjeer.

75. He has won the Filmfare Award 15 times and has been nominated 41 times.

76. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

77. For eight years, Amitabh did not know he was suffering from tuberculosis. “I don’t mind saying this publicly I am a tuberculosis survivor, Hepatitis B survivor... Bad blood infusion went in and 75% of my liver is gone but because I was able to detect it even after a period of 20 years, when 75% of my liver is gone. I am still surviving on 25%,” he said.

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