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30 Lesser Known Facts Every Fan Should Know About Amitabh Bachchan

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Amitabh Harivansh Rai Shrivastava Bachchan, an Indian actor, dubbed India's first "angry young man" for his on-screen roles, is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. He is often referred to as the "Shahenshah of Bollywood", "Star of the Millennium" or "Big B." Here are 30 facts about the actor:

  1. Bachchan is the first living Asian to have a wax model displayed at Madame Tussaud’s in London in June 2000. Later in 2009, another wax model was displayed in New York, in 2011 in Hong Kong and Bangkok, in 2012 in Washington DC and in 2017 in Delhi.
  2. He was awarded with Padma Vibhushan by The Government of India in the year 2015. The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award in India given for "exceptional and distinguished service."
  3. During the shooting of the 1983 movie "Coolie," he had a fatal injury while performing his own stunts. He had a splenic rupture and lost a large amount of blood, and immediately had a splenectomy. While he was hospitalized, it was reported that there wer mile-long queues of well-wishing fans outside the hospital.
  4. In the year 2007, the French Government conferred Bachchan with the Knight of the Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian honour, for his "exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond."
  5. While filming the movie "Khuda Gawah" in Afghanistan, the then President of Afghanistan, provided protection to Bachchan with nearly half of the country's air force. The movie "Khuda Gawah," is one of the most watched Indian films till date in the history of Afghanistan.
  6. The facial caricature of the Indian comic book character 'Supremo' in a series titled "The Adventures of Amitabh Bachchan," is based upon him. The series published in 1980s ran for approximately two years and occasionally carried messages from Bachchan to his fans.
  7. He was conferred with the Honorary Citizenship of the French town of Deauville, in the year 2003.
  8. Bachchan carried the Olympic torch on July 27, 2012, during the last leg of its relay, in London's Southwark.
  9. At one point of his life, before starting his acting career, he contemplated joining the Indian Air Force. However, he had always wanted to be an engineer.
  10. He had lent his voice and image to the Hindi and English language versions of the TeachAIDS software, an international HIV/AIDS prevention education tool developed at Stanford University in the year 2014.
  11. During his real-life near-death accident in the sets of "Coolie" movie, he lost a lot of blood and received 60 bottles of blood from 200 donors. Unfortunately, one of the donor was carrying Hepatitis B virus. It was only in the year 2000, that he discovered the virus, which resulted in cirrhosis of the liver. This incident led to him raising awareness about the Hepatitis B vaccine.
  12. Bachchan is the first artist in the history to have recieved the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, which was established in the name of Raj Kapoor, who is considered as "the greatest showman of Indian cinema."
  13. He launched a multi-faceted commercial enterprise known simply as Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, or ABCL, engaged in production, distribution and all other aspects of the entertainment industry, on his 61st birthday.
  14. While filming his first big hit "Zanjeer," the movie's cast and crew decided to go abroad if the movie becomes a successful hit. With the movie's success, he had to go along with his co-star Jaya Bhaduri, whom he was going to marry. However, he sought his father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a weel-known Indian poet, for approval as it was his first trip with Bhaduri. His father asked him to marry Bhaduri before they left the country.
  15. He has got a wide collection of Pens including one with a Safforon-colored ink. The collection reportedly includes around a thousand pens, which were are all gifted to him.
  16. Bachchan was honored with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Jhansi, India in 2004, the De Montfort University in Leicester, UK and the University of Delhi in 2006, the Leeds Metropolitan University in Yorkshire, UK in 2007, the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia in 2011, the Jodhpur National University in 2013, the Academy of Arts in Cairo, Egypt in 2015.
  17. While shooting the movie "Kaala Patthar," he was against Shatrughan Sinha playing the role of Mangal Singh, though Sinha was his old buddy. He even kept a distance from him on the sets and spoke very minimal with Sinha. Later, Sinha blamed Bachchan for his role of Mangal Singh getting severly slashed.
  18. In the movie "Coolie," in a particular fight scene, filming which he was seriously injured and hospitalized for while, the exact moment is marked with a freeze frame and a message - "This is the shot in which AMITABH BACHCHAN was seriously injured," is displayed in three languages - English, Hindi and Urdu.
  19. During the filming of the multi-starrer "Shootout at Lokhandwala," based upon the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout, Bachchan shot 23 scenes of his character a former chief justice turned private prosecutor Dhingra in just five hours.
  20. At the 2010 Asian Film Awards, he was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the world of cinema. He was also honored with several other achievement awards in many other International Film Festivals.
  21. Bachchan was made UNICEF goodwill ambassador for the Polio Eradication Campaign in India in 2002, when 1,556 polio cases were detected. Around 12 years later, on March 27, 2014, India was declared by World Health Organization as a Polio free country with no cases reported in three years.
  22. He is the first Indian actor to be paid over 1 Crore INR in remuneration for films. In fact, he was the only star till the 1990s to have been paid in crores.
  23. While filming the movie "Shahenshah," he fought with the director Tinnu Anand, over the costume for a particular scene. Bachchan wanted to wear a blazer, while Anand wanted him to wear a police uniform. He did not change and refused to leave his room for two hours. Later, Bachchan spoke with Anand's father Inder Raj Anand, who wrote the script and agreed to wear the police uniform when he said "a uniform is important to a policeman as behind it is the might of the nation."
  24. His first salary was a mere 300 INR, and his first salary in the media industry was 1000 INR. However, he went on to become the highest paid actor in the 1990s.
  25. Bachchan was honored with the Actor of the Century award at the Alexandria International Film Festival in Egypt in the year 2001, in recognition of his contribution to the world of cinema.
  26. Initially, his character as Iqbal A. Khan in "Coolie," was supposed die at the end of the movie. However, due to his real-life near-death accident during filming, the directors felt the audience will not accept a death as climax, and so changed the plot to a happy ending.
  27. He holds the record for being the most-nominated performer at the Filmfare Awards in any major acting category with a total of 39 nominations. He also holds the records for having the most Best Actor nominations - 30, and the most Best Supporting Actor nominations - 9.
  28. Bachchan has been involved in various humanitarian causes. He and his family donated 25 lakh INR (US$39,000) to charitable trust Plan India, that works for the betterment of the girl child. He has donated 11 lakh INR (US$17,000) to clear the debts of 40 beleaguered farmers in Andhra Pradesh, and 30 lakh INR (US$47,000) to clear the debts of some 100 Vidarbha farmers.
  29. He has a passion for collecting watches and is also known to never wear a watch twice.
  30. In a 1999 BBC "Youth Millennium" online poll, Bachchan was voted as the "greatest star of stage or screen," as the organization noted "Many people in the western world will not have heard of [him] ... [but it] is a reflection of the huge popularity of Indian films."
  31. Amitabh Bachchan Net Worth: $400 Million

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