Amitabh Bachchan

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Posted by pompos 04/12/2009 @ 15:09

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News headlines
Amitabh Bachchan to jig with Peter Andre at the IIFA - Spicezee
And while our desi machos are yet to give any confirmations about their reported performances, international big wigs are vying to set the stage ablaze, hoping to boogie with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. In awe of Big B's magnetism,...
When Prakash Mehra met Amitabh Bachchan - Indian Express
Till then, Amitabh Bachchan had lurked, like every other star aspirant, on the periphery of success; post Zanjeer, he was both the unstoppable force and the immovable object that kept every other potential star at bay for two full decades....
QUT recognises the special genius of India's biggest movie star ... - The Westender
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will recognise the legendary career of India's biggest film star when Amitabh Bachchan is awarded the title of Doctor of the University in July. QUT's highest honorary award will be conferred on Mr Bachchan at...
Abhishek Bachchan: 'Filmmaking as an Enterprise Has Become More ... - Knowledge@Wharton
If Bollywood superstars are like royalty, actor Abhishek Bachchan is a crown prince. The son of Amitabh Bachchan, who ruled over Bollywood filmdom since the 1970s, and actress Jaya Bachchan, the younger Bachchan initially struggled to find his footing...
Karan celebrates birthday with friends - Times of India
The guest list includes Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, Imran Khan, Kajol,...
'Amitabh's eyes says it all in 'Rann'' - Hindu
Bangalore (IANS): Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan says more with his eyes and body language than the dialogues in Ram Gopal Varma's Rann, says co-star and Kannada actor Sudeep. "There are many sequences in the film which feature me and Bachchan sir...
Will Bachchan jig with Peter Andre? - Daily News & Analysis
However, what's most interesting is that Amitabh Bachchan might make an entry on stage and do a jig with him. A source says, "Peter has been confirmed by the IIFA officials and he will be belting out his biggest hits for the audiences....
Stars to grace Iifa Awards - Indiantelevision.com
The presence of Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutt and producer-director Subhash Ghai amongst others...
I want to direct a film: Resul Pookutty - Hindustan Times
Oscar winning sound engineer Resul Pokutty says his ultimate dream is to direct a film and if possible he would like to work with Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. "I want to direct a film. Any film student ultimately wishes to direct a film and I...
The moustache makes it... - Tonight
The director said that he was pleasantly surprised when he learned that it was Amitabh Bachchan who initially got in touch with Dutt and sounded him out about the part that he felt was "tailor made for him". "I still remember the three-hour narration...

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan in Anand (1970)

Amitabh Bachchan (Hindi: अमिताभ बच्चन IPA: , born Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan on October 11, 1942), is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Bollywood cinema, 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 Shrivastava, 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. 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.

Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani, a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and featuring Utpal Dutt, Madhu and Jalal Agha. Though the film was not a financial success, Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Newcomer.

The critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Anand (1971) followed, where he starred alongside Rajesh Khanna. Bachchan's role as a doctor with a cynical view of life garned him a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. Amitabh then played the role of an infatuated lover in Parwaana (1971) opposite Navin Nischol, Yogeeta Bali and Om Prakash and was a rare instance of him portraying the villain. This was followed by several films which were not particularly successful at the box office including Reshma Aur Shera (1971). During this time, he made a guest appearance in the film Guddi which starred his future wife Jaya Bhaduri opposite Dharmendra. Noted for his deep baritone voice early on in his career, he narrated part of the film Bawarchi. In 1972, he made an appearance in the road action comedy Bombay to Goa, directed by S. Ramanathan. He starred alongside actors such as Aruna Irani, Mehmood, Anwar Ali and Nasir Hussain.

1973 saw significant development in Bachchan's career when director Prakash Mehra cast him in the leading role for the film Zanjeer (1973) as Inspector Vijay Khanna. The film was a sharp contrast to the romantically themed films that had generally preceded it and established Amitabh in a new persona — the "angry young man" of Bollywood cinema, a reputation he was to acquire in pictures that followed it. It was his first film as the leading protagonist to achieve box office success and earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. 1973 was also the year he married Jaya and around this time they appeared in several films together, not only in Zanjeer but in films such as Abhimaan which followed and was released only a month after their marriage. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role opposite Rajesh Khanna and Rekha was praised and won him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in the highest grossing film of that year, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. The film, directed and written by Manoj Kumar, addressed themes of honesty in the face of oppression and financial and emotional hardship was a critical and commercial success, placing Amitabh opposite Kumar himself, Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman. Bachchan then played the leading role in film Majboor, released on December 6, 1974, which was a remake of the Hollywood film Zigzag starring George Kennedy. The film was only a moderate success at the box office In 1975, he starred in a variety of film genres from the comedy Chupke Chupke, the crime drama Faraar to the romantic drama Mili. However 1975 was the year when he appeared in two films which are regarded as important in Hindi cinematic history. He starred in the Yash Chopra directed film Deewar, opposite Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, and Neetu Singh, which earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975, ranking in at number 4. Indiatimes Movies ranks Deewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. Released on August 15, 1975 was Sholay (meaning flames), which became the highest grossing film of all time in India, earning Rs. 2,36,45,00,000 equivalent to US$ 60 million, after adjusting for inflation. Bachchan played the role of Jaidev opposite a cast which included some of the top names in the industry including Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. In 1999, BBC India declared it the "Film of the Millennium" and like Deewar, has been cited by Indiatimes movies as amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. In that same year, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare awards awarded it with the special distinction award called Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years.

After the success of films such as Sholay at the box office, Bachchan had now consolidated his position in the industry and from 1976 through to 1984 would receive an unprecedented number of Filmfare Best Actor Award Awards and nominations. Although films such as Sholay cemented his status as Bollywood's pre-eminent action hero, Bachchan illustrated that he was flexible in other roles, successfully playing the romantic lead, in films such as Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and comic timing in comedies such as Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and earlier, in Chupke Chupke (1975). In 1976, he was once again cast by director Yash Chopra in his second film, Kabhi Kabhie, a romantic tale in which Bachchan starred as a young poet named Amit Malhotra who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young girl named Pooja played by actress Rakhee Gulzar. The emotional eclectic of the dialogue and softness of the subject matter proved a direct contrast to some of Amitabh's earlier grittier action pictures and those he would later go on to play. The film saw him again nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was a box office success. In 1977, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Amar Akbar Anthony where he played the third lead opposite Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor as Anthony Gonsalves. 1978 was possibly the most accoladed year of his career and he starred in all four of the highest grossing films of India in that year. He once again resumed double roles in films such as Kasme Vaade as Amit and Shankar and Don playing the characters of Don, a leader of an underworld gang and his look alike Vijay. His performance won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award and considerable critical acclaim as with his performances in Trishul and Muqaddar Ka Sikander which both earned him further Filmfare Best Actor nominations. On account of this unprecedented run and success he encountered at this stage in his career, he was billed a "one-man industry" by the French director François Truffaut.

In 1979, for the first time, Amitabh was required to use his singing voice for the film Mr. Natwarlal in which he starred alongside Rekha. His performance in the film saw him nominated for both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and the Filmfare Best Male Playback Awards. In 1979, he also received Best Actor nomination for Kaala Patthar (1979) and then went on to be nominated again in 1980 for the Raj Khosla directed film Dostana, in which he starred opposite Shatrughan Sinha and Zeenat Aman. Dostana proved to be the top grossing film of 1980. In 1981, he starred in Yash Chopra's melodrama film Silsila, where he starred alongside his wife Jaya and rumoured lover Rekha. Other films of this period include Ram Balram (1980), Shaan (1980), Lawaaris (1981), and Shakti (1982) which pitted him against legendary actor Dilip Kumar.

While filming Coolie in 1982, Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury during the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. Bachchan was performing his own stunts in the film and one scene required him to fall onto a table and then on the ground. However as he jumped towards the table, the corner of the table struck his abdomen, resulting in a splenic rupture from which he lost a significant amount of blood. He required an emergency splenectomy and remained critically ill in hospital for many months, at times close to death. The public response included prayers in temples and offers to sacrifice limbs to save him, while later, there were long queues of well-wishing fans outside the hospital where he was recuperating. Nevertheless, he spent many months recovering and resumed filming later that year after a long period of recuperation. The film was released in 1983, and partly due to the huge publicity of Bachchan's accident, the film was a box office success.

The director, Manmohan Desai, altered the ending of Coolie after Bachchan's accident. Bachchan's character was originally intended to have been killed off but after the change of script, the character lived in the end. It would have been inappropriate, said Desai, for the man who had just fended off death in real life to be killed on screen. Also, in the released film the footage of the fight scene is frozen at the critical moment, and a caption appears onscreen marking this as the instant of the actor's injury and the ensuing publicity of the accident.

Later, he was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis. His illness made him feel weak both mentally and physically and he decided to quit films and venture into politics. At this time he became pessimistic, expressing concern with how a new film would be received. Before every release he would negatively state, "Yeh film to flop hogi!" ("This film will flop").

In 1984, Amitabh took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabad's Lok Sabha seat against H. N. Bahuguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and won by the highest victory margin in general election history (68.2% of the vote). His political career, however, was short-lived: He resigned after three years. The resignation followed the implication of Bachchan and his brother in the "Bofors scandal" by a newspaper, which he vowed to take to court. Bachchan was eventually found not guilty of involvement in the ordeal.

His old friend, Amar Singh, helped him during a financial crisis due to the failure of his company ABCL. Therefore Bachchan started to support Amar Singh's political party, the Samajwadi party. Jaya Bachchan joined the Samajwadi Party and became a Rajya Sabha member. Bachchan has continued to do favors for the Samajwadi party, including advertisements and political campaigns. These activities have recently gotten him into trouble again in the Indian courts for false claims after a previous incident of submission of legal papers by him, stating that he is a farmer.

A 15 year press ban against Bachchan was imposed during his peak acting years by Stardust and some of the other film magazines. In his own defense, Bachchan claimed to have banned the press from entering his sets almost till the end of 1989.

In 1988, Bachchan returned to films, playing the title role in Shahenshah, which was a box office success due to the hype of Bachchan's comeback. After the success of his comeback film however, his star power began to wane as all of his subsequent films failed at the box office. The 1991 hit film, Hum, looked like it might reverse this trend, but the momentum was short-lived as his string of box office failures continued. Notably, despite the lack of hits, it was during this period that Bachchan won his second National Film Award, for his performance as a Mafia don in the 1990 film Agneepath. These years would be the last he would be seen on screen for some time. After the release of Khuda Gawah in 1992, Bachchan went into semi-retirement for five years. In 1994, one of his delayed films Insaniyat was released but was also a box office failure.

Bachchan turned producer during his temporary retirement period, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (A.B.C.L.) in 1996, with the vision of becoming a 10 billion rupees (approx 250 million $US) premier entertainment company by the year 2000. ABCL's strategy was to introduce products and services covering the entire section of the India's entertainment industry. Its operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, celebrity and event management. Soon after the company was launched in 1996, the first film was produced by the company. Tere Mere Sapne failed to do well at the box office but launched the careers of actors such as Arshad Warsi and South films star Simran. ABCL produced a few other films, none of which did well.

In 1997, Bachchan attempted to make his acting comeback with the film Mrityudaata, produced by ABCL. Though Mrityudaata attempted to reprise Bachchan's earlier success as an action hero, the film was a failure both financially and critically. ABCL was the main sponsor of the The 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore but lost millions. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, coupled with the fact that ABCL was reported to have overpaid most of its top level managers, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997. The company went into administration and was later declared a failed company by Indian Industries board. The Bombay high court, in April 1999, restrained Bachchan from selling off his Bombay bungalow 'Prateeksha' and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were disposed of. Bachchan had, however, pleaded that he had mortgaged his bungalow to Sahara India Finance for raising funds for his company.

Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career and had average success with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham (1999) but other films such as Lal Baadshah (1999) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) were box office failures.

In the year 2000, Bachchan stepped up to host India's adaptation of the British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? entitled, Kaun Banega Crorepati. As it did in most other countries where it was adopted, the program found immediate success. The Canara Bank withdrew its law suit against Bachchan in November 2000. Bachchan hosted KBC till November 2005, and its success set the stage for his return to film popularity.

In 2000, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Yash Chopra's box-office hit, Mohabbatein, directed by Aditya Chopra. He played a stern, older figure that rivalled the character of Shahrukh Khan. Other hits followed, with Bachchan appearing as an older family patriarch in Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and Baghban (2003). As an actor, he continued to perform in a range of characters, receiving critical praise for his performances in Aks (2001), Aankhen (2002), Khakee (2004), Dev (2004) and Black (2005). Taking advantage of this resurgence, Amitabh began endorsing a variety of products and services, appearing in many television and billboard advertisements. In 2005 and 2006, he starred with his son Abhishek in the hit films Bunty Aur Babli (2005), the Godfather tribute Sarkar (2005), and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). All of them were successful at the box office. His later releases in 2006 and early 2007 were Baabul (2006), Eklavya and Nishabd (2007), which failed to do well at the box office but his performances in each of them were praised by critics. He also made a guest-appearance as himself in the Kannada movie Amruthadaare, directed by Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar.

In May 2007, two of his films Cheeni Kum and the multi-starrer Shootout at Lokhandwala were released. Shootout at Lokhandwala did very well at the box office and was declared a hit in India, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and was declared an overall average hit.

In August 2007, a remake of his biggest hit, Sholay (1975), entitled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, proved to be a disaster at the box office and was also poorly received by critics.

Bhoothnath, in which he plays the title role as a ghost, was released on May 9, 2008. Sarkar Raj, released in June 2008, was a sequel to his 2005 film Sarkar. Sarkar Raj received a positive response at the box-office.

Bachchan was scheduled to co-host the second Live Earth event, Live Earth India 2008, with Jon Bon Jovi, in Mumbai India on December 8, 2008.

On January 26th 2009, Amitabh was the chief guest for the opening of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai.

In November 2005, Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to Lilavati Hospital's ICU once more, to undergo surgery for diverticulitis of the small intestine. This occurred after Bachchan complained of pains in his abdomen some days prior. During the period and that following his recovery, most of his projects were put on hold, including the television show he was in the process of hosting, Kaun Banega Crorepati. Amitabh returned to work in March 2006.

Bachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been a narrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes. Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed with Bachchan's voice, that he decided to use his voice as commentary in Shatranj Ke Khiladi since he could not find a suitable role for him. Before entering the film industry, Bachchan applied for an announcer's job with All India Radio, although he was rejected.

In the runup to the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, 2007, Bachchan made a film extolling the virtues of the Mulayam Singh government. His Samajwadi Party was routed, and Mayawati came to power.

On June 2, 2007 a Faizabad court ruled that he had illegally acquired agricultural land designated specifically for landless Dalit farmers. It was speculated that he might be investigated on related charges of forgery, as he has allegedly claimed he was a farmer. On July 19, 2007, after the scandal broke out, Bachchan surrendered the land acquired in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and Pune. He wrote to the chief minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, to donate the lands that were allegedly acquired illegally in Pune. However, the Lucknow Court has put a stay on the land donation and said that the status quo on the land be maintained.

On October 12, 2007, Bachchan abandoned his claim in respect of the land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki district. On December 11, 2007, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court gave a clean chit to Bachchan in a case pertaining to alleged fraudulent allotment of government land to him in Barabanki district. A single Lucknow bench of Justice said there was no finding that the actor "himself committed any fraud or manipulated any surreptitious entry in the revenue records".

After receiving a positive verdict in Barabanki case, Amitabh Bachchan intimated to Maharashtra government that he did not wish to surrender his land in Maval tehsil of Pune district.

In January 2008 at political rallies, Raj Thackeray, the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, targeted Amitabh Bachchan, asserting that the actor was "more inclined" towards his native state than Maharashtra. He expressed his disapproval of Amitabh's inaugurating a girls' school named after his daughter-in-law, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, rather than in Maharashtra. According to media reports, Raj's censure of Amitabh, whom he admires, stemmed out of his disappointment of not being invited to Amitabh's son Abhishek's marriage to Aishwarya, despite invitations to his estranged uncle Bal and cousin Uddhav.

Responding to Raj's accusations, the actor's wife, SP MP Jaya Bachchan, said that the Bachchans were willing to start a school in Mumbai, provided the MNS leader donated the land build it. She told the media, "I heard that Raj Thackeray owns huge properties in Maharashtra, in Mumbai—Kohinoor Mills. If he is willing to donate land, we can start a school in the name of Aishwarya here." However, Amitabh abstained from commenting on the issue.

On March 23, 2008, more than a month and half after Raj's remarks, Amitabh finally spoke out in an interview to a local tabloid saying, "Random charges are random; they do not deserve the kind of attention you wish me to give." Later, on March 28, at a press conference for the International Indian Film Academy, when asked what his take was on the anti-migrant issue, Amitabh said that it is one's fundamental right to live anywhere in the country and the constitution entitles so. He also stated that he was not affected by Raj's comments.

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Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai and Rajinikanth at the Machu Pichu, Peru site during a song picturization for Endhiran

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan (Birthname: Aishwarya Rai, Tulu: ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯಾ ರೈ) born 1 November 1973 is an Indian actress and former Miss World. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and gained fame after winning the Miss World title in 1994.

Rai, who made her movie debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998), which earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award South. She came to the attention of Bollywood in the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her performance in the film won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 2002 she appeared in Bhansali's next project, Devdas (2002), for which she won her second Best Actress Award at the Filmfare. After a low phase in her career during 2003-2005, she appeared in the blockbuster Dhoom 2 (2006), which turned out to be her biggest Bollywood commercial success. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007) and Jodhaa Akbar (2008), which were commercially successful and got her critical acclaim. Rai has thus established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in the Indian film industry.

During her career, Rai has acted in over forty movies in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali including the international productions Bride & Prejudice (2003), Mistress of Spices (2005), The Last Legion (2007) and The Pink Panther 2 (2009) in English.

Rai was born in Mangalore to Krishnaraj Rai and Vrinda Rai. Her family belongs to the Bunt community of Mangalore. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai who works in Navy and has also co-produced one of Rai's movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003). At an early age her parents moved to Mumbai where she attended the Arya Vidya Mandir high school in Santa Cruz. Rai then entered Jai Hind College at Churchgate for one year, and then moved to Ruparel College in Matunga to finish her "HSC" studies. She did well in school and planned to become an architect and went on pursuing studies in architecture. She can communicate in several languages, including her mother tongue Tulu, as well as Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil. She started studying architecture but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.

While pursuing her studies in architecture, Rai began modeling on the side. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won the second place behind Sushmita Sen, and was crowned Miss India World. She went on to win the Miss World title the same year, where she also won the Miss Photogenic award. She abandoned her studies after winning the pageant and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London. Rai then started working as a professional model and then moved on to her current profession as an actress.

Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil bipoic film, Iruvar (1997) with Mohanlal, The controversial film was a critical success and won many awards including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South. Rai appeared in dual roles, opposite veteran actor Mohanlal, with one of her roles being a cinematic depiction of political leader and ex-actress J. Jayalalitha. Rai made her Bollywood debut in the film, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol, which also released that year; the film did not do well at the box office, and was also panned by critics. However, her third project, S. Shankar's Tamil film, Jeans (1998) was a critical and commercial success, earning her the Filmfare Best Actress Award South. The film, was also noted for the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, dubbing Rai as the "seventh wonder of the world", with the music video comparing her to six other prominent world monuments.

In 1999 Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan, the film was centered around a Love triangle and won critical acclaim and was her first Bollywood box office success. She won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for the film. In the same year she appeared in Subhash Ghai's Taal , in which she played the role of a young village girl Mansi, who becomes a big Pop star after being hurt by her lover played by Akshay Khanna, the film was an average performer in India but was a big success among the international audience, especially in the United States, where it became the first Indian film to reach the top 20 on Variety's box office list. the film gave her another nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare; her performances in the films was applauded by critics and earned her critical acclaim .

In 2000, she appeared in Mansoor Khan's Josh alongside Shahrukh Khan and Chandrachur Singh, in which she played a Catholic girl named Shirley who falls in love with the sibling of her Brother's enemy. The film was a commercial success. Later that year she appeared in Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai opposite Anil Kapoor. It was a moderate success and her performance earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Later that year she played a supporting role in the Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, the film was a major commercial success and became the second highest grosser of the year, it also earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. Later that year, she also starred in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain, alongside Mammooty, Ajith Kumar and Tabu.

In 2002, Rai appeared alongside Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay famous novel by the same name. She played the role of Paro (Parvati), the love interest of the protagonist played by Khan. The film received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. and became the highest grossing film of the year both in India and overseas. Devdas won numerous awards including 10 Filmfare Awards, and Rai received her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance. In 2003, she acted in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film, Chokher Bali, an adaptation of one of Rabindranath Tagore's novels by the same name. She portrayed the character of a young woman called Binodini, who is left to her own devices when her sickly husband dies soon after they are married. That year she also appeared in her home production Dil Ka Rishta alongside Arjun Rampal and Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho alongside Abhishek Bachchan, none of which succeeded.

In 2004 she appeared in Gurinder Chadha's Bollywood-style English adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bride and Prejudice alongside Martin Henderson. In the film she portrayed the role of Lalita Bakshi, the film's counterpart of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen's novel. This was followed by Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Jayapradha, in the film she played a negative role for the first time in her career. In the same year she appeared in in her second film with Rituparno Ghosh, Raincoat alongside Ajay Devgan. The film was highly acclaimed by the critics, whereas Rai received rave reviews for her performance.

In 2005 she appeared in Shabd a film based on a love triangle alongside Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan. The film was a box office flop wheraeas it received average reviews from the critics. Her next release that year was Paul Mayeda Berges's The Mistress of Spicesbased upon the novel The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in which she starred alongside Dylan McDermott. The film received negative review by critics and was also a commercial failure. The same year she made a special appearance in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli in a hugely popular seven-minute dance sequence for the song "Kajra Re", alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan.

In the year 2006, Rai starred in J P Dutta's Umrao Jaan an adaptation of the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905), written by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. She portrayed the role of a real life courtesan and poetess by the same name from 19th century. The film was a critical and commercial failure, though Rai's work was generally well received. Critic Taran Adarsh wrote, "Aishwarya Rai looks ethereal. She has looked heavenly and performed so convincingly. She emotes through her expressive eyes and the consistency in her performance is evident from start to end". Later that year she appeared as a master thief, Sunheri, in Yash Raj Films's Dhoom 2 directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, with an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and Uday Chopra. The film turned out to be a blockbuster and became the highest grossing film of the year in India. The film also sparked a controversy for a scene containing a kiss between her and Hrithik Roshan. Her performance earned her a sixth nomination for Filmfare Best Actress Award.

In 2007 she appeared in Mani Ratnam's Guru as Sujata, speculated to be based on the life of Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, it was a rag to riches story about an ambitious small town man who ends up as the owner of the biggest corporation in India. The film was premièred at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international premiere in Canada. The film was critically acclaimed and performed well at the box office, becoming one of the highest grossers of the year. Rai won the critical acclaim, with one critic writing, "Aishwarya Rai stuns you with a powerful performance. Known for her angelic looks all the while, the actor will make people sit up and notice the reservoirs of talent in Guru". Rai got her seventh nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for the film. In the same year she starred in Jag Mundhra's British film Provoked as Kiranjit Ahluwalia(an NRI woman who killed her abusive husband after facing severe domestic violence) alongside Naveen Andrews. The film was panned by critics and was also a commercial failure, though rai received positive reviews from critics. In the same year she appeared as a female Indian warrior from Kerala named Mira, in Doug Lefler's epic film The Last Legion alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster. The film was a critical failure.

In 2008, she starred alongside Hrithik Roshan in Ashutosh Gowariker's historical drama Jodhaa Akbar playing the role of Jodha Bai, the Hindu wife of the Muslim Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, played by Roshan. The film was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest Bollywood grossers that year. She earned her eighth nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare for her performance. Later that year she co-starred with husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan in Ram Gopal Verma's Sarkar Raj, playing the CEO of a major power company proposing to establish a new power plant in rural Maharashtra.

Rai returned to the Tamil film industry and is working with Rajinikanth for the movie Endhiran, directed by S. Shankar, in an interview to the news channel Aaj Tak she confirmed a fee of Rs 6 crores for the film, making her the highest paid actress in India. She is also slated to co-star with Vikram in Mani Ratnam's next film, Ashokavanam which is also to be simultaneously made in Hindi, titled Raavan, with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead. She set to appear in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next film opposite Hrithik Roshan, Vipul Shah's Action Replay opposite Akshay Kumar, Abhinay Deo's next film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bharadwaj's next directorial venture.

In 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema. In the same year she refused to accept the second-highest Order Of France, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as her father was suffering from serious illness, and she wanted her whole family to attend the award function. She is only the fourth Indian actor after Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and Shahrukh Khan to be chosen for an Order Of France .

In 1999 Rai participated in a world tour called the Magnificent Five along with Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherji, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna.

In 2003 she became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2004 she travelled all the way to Siachen Glacier, which at a height of 13000 ft is the highest battlefield in the world, to boost the morale of the jawans for a special New Year episode on the NDTV show, Jai Jawan. In 2005, she became a brand ambassador for Pulse Polio, a campaign established by the Government of India in 1994 to eradicate Polio in India.

In February 2005, Rai performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of 2004 tsunami earthquake in company with other Bollywood stars.

In 2006 she appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian art, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi.In 2008 she along with her family laid the foundation of a special school for underprivilged girls in the Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh.The school will be made by her family and is going to be named after her.

In Summer 2008, Rai joined her husband and father-in-law along with Preity Zinta and Ritesh Deshmukh, Shilpa Shetty on the Unforgettable World Tour. The first leg of the tour covered the USA, Canada, London, and Trinidad. The second leg of the tour will most likely happen by the end of this year 2008. Amitabh's company AB Corp Ltd. along with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd are behind the concert.

Aishwarya has previously dated Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi. She is married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan who is three years her junior. After much speculation concerning their relationship, her engagement to Abhishek Bachchan was announced on January 14, 2007. The announcement was later confirmed by Amitabh Bachchan. Rai married Bachchan on April 20, 2007 according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which she belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha in Juhu, Mumbai. Though the wedding was a private affair intended for the Bachchan and Rai family and friends, the involvement of the media turned it into a national extravaganza.

Rai has been the most popular face of Indian cinema globally. In 2004 she was chosen by Time magazine as one of the World's "100 Most Influential People", and appeared on the cover of Time magazine, Asia Edition in 2003. She was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on 2 January 2005, which said that "at least according to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts", she was "The World's Most Beautiful Woman". In October 2004 a wax figure of Rai was put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum. She was the 6th Indian and the second Bollywood personality after her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan to get this honour.

In 2005 she became a global brand ambassador of L'Oreal alongside Andie Macdowell, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz. The same year, a special Tulip in Netherland was named "Aishwarya Rai" after her. Rai became the first Indian to appear on such shows as Late Show with David Letterman, and was the first Bollywood personality to appear on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe" segment. In 2005, Harpers and Queen's list of 10 Most beautiful women in the world ranked her at the 9th spot.

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Abhishek Bachchan

Abhishek Bachchan with wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the IIFA Awards (2007).

Abhishek Bachchan (Hindi: अभिषेक बच्चन, born February 5, 1976 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) is an Indian actor and the son of Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. He is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai.

Bachchan debuted with J.P. Dutta's Refugee (2000). In 2004, the actor delivered a hit and a critically acclaimed performance, in the films Dhoom and Yuva. His performance in the latter was praised, for which he received several awards, including his first Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actor category, an award he would win for the two next years as well. Since then, Bachchan has starred in films that have been commercially and critically successful, establishing himself as one of the leading actors in the industry.

Abhishek Bachchan is the son of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and actress Jaya Bachchan; his elder sister is Shweta Bachchan-Nanda (b. 1974). His grandfather, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a well-known poet of Hindi literature. The original last name of his parental family is Srivastav, Bachchan being the pen name used by his grandfather. However, when his father Amitabh entered films, he did so under his own father's pen name. Bachchan is of Punjabi Sikh heritage from his grandmother Teji's side, while also of Bengali Kulin Brahmin descent from his mother Jaya Bhaduri's side.

Bachchan was dyslexic as a child. He attended Jamnabai Narsee School and Bombay Scottish School in Mumbai, Modern School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, and Aiglon College in Switzerland. He then went to the U.S. to complete his education at Boston University, but left midway to pursue his acting career when his father's company, ABCL, was facing trouble.

Bachchan began his career with Navin Patel's moderately successful Refugee (2000), which also starred Kareena Kapoor, although Kapoor received more public exposure from the film. In a span of four years, Bachchan went on to do many more movies, without any major box-office successes. These included Kuch Naa Kaho (2003) with Aishwarya Rai, whom he would marry in 2007.

In 2004, his performance in Mani Ratnam's Yuva proved his mettle as an actor. The same year, he starred in Dhoom his first hit. In 2005, Bachchan shot to fame with four consecutive hits: Bunty Aur Babli, Sarkar, Dus, and Bluffmaster. He won his second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Sarkar. Bachchan also received his first Filmfare nomination in the Best Actor category.

His first 2006 release, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, was one of India's highest grossing films of the year. He was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai, alongside many other co-stars. Bachchan's second release Umrao Jaan failed to do well at the box office, but his third film that year, the sequel Dhoom 2, did very well—although, as in the first Dhoom, critics found that Hrithik Roshan, as the antagonist, stole the show.

In 2007, Bachchan starred in Guru, receiving much acclaim for his performance, and the film emerged as his first solo hit. In May 2007, he made a brief appearance in the successful Shootout at Lokhandwala. His next release, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which released in June 2007, failed to do well in India but did better overseas, especially in the UK. While the film itself received mixed reviews, Bachchan won praise for his performance.

In summer 2008, Bachchan, his wife, his father, and fellow performers Preity Zinta, Ritesh Deshmukh, and Madhuri Dixit starred in the Unforgettable World Tour stage production. The first leg covered the U.S, Canada, Trinidad, and London, England.

Bachchan is also involved in the functional and administrative operations of his father's company, originally known as ABCL, and rechristened as AB Corp. Ltd. That company, along with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., developed the Unforgettable production.

In October 2002, at Amitabh Bachchan's 60th birthday celebration, Abhishek Bachchan and Karisma Kapoor announced their engagement. The engagement was called off in January 2003.

After much speculation concerning their relationship, Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai announced their engagement on January 14, 2007. The couple were married on April 20, 2007, according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which Rai belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha, in Juhu, Mumbai, but was heavily covered by the entertainment media. The couple is considered a supercouple in India, and is often referred by the portmanteau "Abhiaish" (for Abhishek and Aishwarya).

Bachchan's paternal grandmother Teji Bachchan died on December 21, 2007.

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Shahrukh Khan

Khan with his wife and children

Shahrukh Khan (Hindi: शाहरुख़ ख़ान, Urdu: شاہ رخ خان) born November 2, 1965, sometimes credited as Shah Rukh Khan, is an Indian actor, who has been a prominent Bollywood figure, as well as a film producer and television host.

Khan began his career appearing in several television serials in the late 1980s. He made his film debut in Deewana (1992). Since then, he has been part of numerous other commercially successful films and has earned major critical acclaim for many of his performances. During his years in the Indian film industry, he has won thirteen Filmfare Awards, seven of which are in the Best Actor category.

While some of Khan's best-known films, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Chak De India (2007) and Om Shanti Om (2007), remain some of Bollywood's biggest hits, films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Veer-Zaara (2004) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) have been top-grossing productions in the overseas market, making Khan one of the most successful actors of Hindi cinema. Since 2000, Khan branched out into film production and television presenting as well. He is the founder/owner of two production companies, Dreamz Unlimited and Red Chillies Entertainment. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world.

Khan was born in 1965 to Muslim parents of Pathan descent in New Delhi, India. His father, Taj Mohammed Khan, was an Indian freedom fighter from Peshawar, British India. According to Khan, his grandfather was originally from Afghanistan. His mother, Lateef Fatima, was the adopted daughter of Major General Shah Nawaz Khan of the Janjua Rajput clan. He served as a General in the Indian National Army of Subash Chandra Bose. Khan's father came to New Delhi from Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar before the partition of India, while his mother's family came from Rawalpindi, British India. Khan has an elder sister named Shehnaz.

Khan attended St. Columba's School where he was accomplished in sports, drama, and academics. He won the Sword of Honour, an annual award given to the student who best represents the spirit of the school. Khan later attended the Hansraj College (1985-1988) and earned his Economics (honors). Though he pursued a Masters Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, he later opted out to make his career in Bollywood.

After the death of his parents, Khan moved to Mumbai in 1991. In that same year, before any of his films were released, he married Gauri Chibber (who is a Hindu) in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on 25 October 1991. They have two children, son Aryan Khan (b. 1997) and daughter Suhana (b. 2000). According to Khan, while he strongly believes in Allah, he also values his wife's religion. At home, his children follow both religions, with the Qur'an being situated next to the Hindu gods.

In 2005, Nasreen Munni Kabir produced a two-part documentary on Khan, titled The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan. Featuring his 2004 Temptations concert tour, the film contrasted Khan's inner world of family and daily life with the outer world of his work. The book Still Reading Khan, which details his family life, was released in 2006. Another book by Anupama Chopra, "King of Bollywood: Shahrukh Khan and the seductive world of Indian cinema", was released in 2007. This book described the world of Bollywood through Khan's life.

Khan has been awarded a number of honours. In April 2007, a life-size wax statue of Khan was installed at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, London. During the same year, he was accorded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Arts and Literature) award by the French government for his “exceptional career”.

In October 2008, Khan was conferred the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka which carries the honorific Datuk (in similar fashion to "Sir" in British knighthood), by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, the head of state of Malacca in Malaysia. Khan was honored for "promoting tourism in Malacca" by filming One Two Ka Four there in 2001. Some were critical of this decision.

Khan studied acting under celebrated Theatre Director Barry John at Delhi's Theatre Action Group (TAG). In 2007, John commented thus on his former pupil that, "The credit for the phenomenally successful development and management of Shahrukh's career goes to the superstar himself." Khan made his acting debut in 1988 when he appeared in the television series, Fauji, playing the role of Commando Abhimanyu Rai. He went on to appear in several other television serials, most notably in the 1989 serial, Aziz Mirza's Circus, which depicted the life of circus performers. The same year, Khan also had a minor role in the made-for-television English-language film, In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones, which was based on life at Delhi University and was written by Arundhati Roy.

Upon moving from New Delhi to Mumbai in 1991, Khan made his Bollywood movie debut in Deewana (1992). The movie became a box office hit, and launched his career in Bollywood. His performance won him a Filmfare Best Male Debut Award. His second movie, Maya Memsaab, generated some controversy because of his appearance in an "explicit" sex scene in the movie. In 1993, he won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Baazigar. Later, in 1995, Khan starred in Aditya Chopra's directorial debut Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, a critical and commercial success, for which he won his second Filmfare Best Actor Award and which entered its twelfth year in 2007 in Mumbai theaters. By then the movie had grossed over 12 billion rupees, making it as one of the biggest movie blockbusters. 1996 was a disappointing year, however, as the movies he released that year failed to do well at the box office.

He later starred in a number of successful films including Yash Chopra's Dil to Pagal Hai (which became that year's second highest grossing movie and for which won his third Filmfare Best Actor Award), Subhash Ghai's Pardes (one of the biggest hits of the year), and Karan Johar's 1998 debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (another box office "hit"). He also won acclaim for his performance in Mani Ratnam's Dil Se which did not do well in the Indian box office, but was a commercial success overseas. Khan's only release in 1999, Baadshah, was an average grosser.

Khan's success continued with Aditya Chopra's 2000 film, Mohabbatein, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan. It did well at the box office, and Khan's performance won him his second Critics Award for Best Performance. He also starred in Mansoor Khan's Josh, which was also a box office success. In that same year, Khan set up his own production house, Dreamz Unlimited with Juhi Chawla. Both Khan and Chawla starred in the first movie of their production house, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. His work with Karan Johar continued as he collaborated on Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham which was the second biggest hit of the year. He also received favorable reviews for his performance as Emperor Asoka in the historical epic, Asoka. Khan also starred in the 2002 remake of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's well-known novel Devdas, which was one of the biggest hits of that year. Additional box office hits included Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, which did well at the box office, and Yash Chopra's Veer-Zaara, which was the biggest hit of 2004 in both India and overseas. Khan's performance in the film won him awards at several award ceremonies. In that same year, he received critical praise for his performance in Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades, which won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award for the sixth time, although the movie was a box office failure. He was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for all three of his releases in 2004, winning it for Swades. Khan's collaborative work with Karan Johar continued with Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna which did well in India and much more so in the overseas market. He also starred in Don - The Chase Begins Again, the 2006 remake of the 1978 hit Don which was a box-office success.

Khan's success continued with a few more highly popular films. One of his most successful works was the multiple award-winning 2007 film, Chak De India, about the Indian women's national hockey team. Earning over Rs 639 million, Chak De India became the third highest grossing movie of 2007 in India and won yet another Filmfare Best Actor Award for Khan. and was critically acclaimed. In the same year Khan also starred in Farah Khan's 2007 film, Om Shanti Om. The film emerged as the year's highest grossing film in India and the overseas market, as well as earned him another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare ceremony. Khan's more recent films include the 2008 release, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Billu which is soon to be released.

As of 2009, Khan is filming My Name is Khan, due for a November 2009 release. While on one shoot in Los Angeles, along with his wife Gauri and director Karan Johar, he took a break from filming to attend the 66th Golden Globe Awards, held in Los Angeles, California, on 11 January 2009. Khan introduced Slumdog Millionaire along with a star from the film, Freida Pinto.

Khan turned producer when he set up a production company called Dreamz Unlimited with Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza in 1999. The first two of the films he produced and starred in: Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000) and Asoka (2001) were box office failures. However, his third film as a producer and star, Chalte Chalte (2003), proved a box office hit.

In 2004, Khan set up another production company, Red Chillies Entertainment, and produced and starred in Main Hoon Na, another hit. The following year, he produced and starred in the fantasy film Paheli, which did poorly. It was, however, India's official entry to the Academy Awards for consideration for Best Foreign Language Film, but it did not pass the final selection. Also in 2005, Khan co-produced the supernatural horror film Kaal with Karan Johar, and performed an item number for the film with Malaika Arora Khan. Kaal was moderately successful at the box office. His company has gone on to produce Om Shanti Om (2007), in which he starred, and Billu (2009), in which he played a supporting role as a Bollywood superstar.

In 2008, Red Chillies Entertainment became the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the BCCI-backed IPL cricket league.

In 2007, Khan replaced Amitabh Bachchan as the host of the third series of the popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The previous had hosted the show for five years from 2000-05. On 22 January 2007, Kaun Banega Crorepati aired with Khan as the new host and later ended on 19 April 2007.

On 25 April 2008, Khan began hosting the game show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, the Indian version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, whose last episode was telecasted on 27 July 2008, with Lalu Prasad Yadav as the special guest.

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Hema Malini

Hema Malini 19072007 BKKIFF.jpg

Hema Malini (Tamil: ஹேமமாலினி) (born October 16, 1948) is an Indian actress, director and producer, as well as a Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer. Making her acting debut in Sapno Ka Saudagar (1968), she went on to appear in numerous successful Bollywood films, most notably those with actor and future-husband Dharmendra. She was initially promoted as "Dream Girl", and in 1977 starred in a film of the same name. During this period, she established herself as one of Hindi cinema's most celebrated leading actresses, noted for both her comic and dramatic roles, and her accomplished classical dancing.

Malini is one of the most successful female filmstars in the history of Indian cinema. Appearing in over 150 films in a career span of 40 years, she has starred in a large number of hit films, and her performances in both commercial and arthouse cinema, were often recognised.

She is a member of India's Bharatiya Janata Party and represents the party in Rajya Sabha, the upper House of parliament. She now spends most of her time involved in charitable and social ventures, though she still makes occasional appearances in films.

Hema Malini R. Chakravarty was born in Ammankudi, Tiruchirapalli district, Tamil Nadu to, V.S.R. Chakravarty and Jaya, a film producer.

Hema Malini was educated at Chennai. She acted in a short episode as dancer in Pandava Vanavasam, a 1961 Telugu film. Hema first tried to enter films in 1964, but was rejected; Tamil director Sridhar said she had no star appeal. She persisted and found her niche in Bollywood. She debuted in a 1968 film Sapnon Ka Saudagar ("The Dreamseller"), playing a young teen opposite the ageing superstar Raj Kapoor. With Dev Anand in Johnny Mera Naam (1970), Hema became a top star. She worked with him again in Tere Mere Sapne (1971), among other films, with the latest being Aman Ke Farishtey (2003). Hema double-roled with Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar in 1972s Seeta Aur Geeta as the top female star in Bollywood. She became one of the reigning divas of the Bollywood film industry, and her fans called her The Dream Girl of Bollywood (an allusion to the movie of the same name where she starred opposite Dharamendra).

Hema starred in many movies throughout the 1970s and 1980s and is perhaps best remembered for her glamour, style, and accomplished classical dancing. She formed a hit pair with Dharmendra, and the duo performed a number of hit movies like Sholay, Charas, Aas Paas, Jugnu, Seeta Aur Geeta, The Burning Train. She also achieved some strong dramatic or comic moments in films like Trishul, Joshila, Lal Patthar, Meera and Satte Pe Satta.

After taking a back seat from films for a number of years in the 1990s and early 2000s, Hema has recently made a comeback of sorts. She co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in the successful film Baghban (2003), and played a cameo role (also opposite Bachchan) in the 2004 blockbuster Veer-Zaara. In both films, she played a beautiful, self-possessed, old married woman rather than the ingenuinee roles of her earlier career.

She tried her hand at directing and made the 1992 film Dil Aashna Hai which featured an all-star cast including Shahrukh Khan and the late Divya Bharti.

She also directed and starred in the TV serial Noopur, in which she was depicted as a Bharatanatyam dancer going to America.

She is a dedicated Bharatanatyam artiste, a classical dance of India. Her two daughters have trained in the related Odissi school of dance, and the three have performed together at several charity dance concerts. Top Bollywood stars like Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra proposed to her, but she married Dharmendra a Jatt Sikh on 2 May 1980, who was already married with four children; two sons: Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and two daughters. Later Dharmendra and Hema Malini had two daughters: Esha Deol (born 1982) and Ahana Deol. Her daughter Esha, coached by her mother, is also an accomplished classical dancer.

In 2005, on the TV show Koffee with Karan, she said that she taught her daughters Tamil language very well, but had to hire a tutor to help her daughter Esha Deol learn Punjabi for a film. Apparently, Esha's father Dharmendra, whose mother tongue is Punjabi, converses with Hema and his daughters only in Hindi and English.

Hema Malini and her husband have been involved in politics, as members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, with the support of the BJP. In February 2004, she joined the party officially. With her film career less hectic, she has been an active member of the party, attending party meetings and rallies and campaigning for the party through various elections.

Hema Malini's niece is actress Madhoo who had starred in two big hits Phool Aur Kaante (1991) and Roja.

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Amjad Khan

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Amjad Khan (Hindi: अमजद खान, 12 November 1940 – 27 July 1992) was an acclaimed Indian actor and director He worked in over 130 films in his film career spanning nearly twenty years. He enjoyed iconic popularity for his villain roles in Hindi language films — he is most famous for playing the role of the dacoit Gabbar Singh in Sholay (1975).

Amjad Khan was born in Hyderabad. He the son of legendary actor Jayant, to Muslim parents. He was the brother of fellow actor Imtiaz Khan and Inayat Khan who only acted in one film. In 1957, he was cast in the movie Ab Dili Dur Nahin, as a child artist. His family hails from the pathan region of Afghanistan.

Khan did schooling at St Theresa's High School, Bandra. He attended R D National College, Bandra and was the General Secretary - the highest elected student body representative. He had already gained a reputation of being a heavyweight "dada" and was feared and respected.

In 1972, he married Sheila Khan, and the following year, she gave birth to their first child, Shadaab Khan, who acted in a few films. He also had a daughter Ahlam Khan and another son Seemaab Khan.

Before Amjad came to films he was a theatre actor. His first film was as a child artist at the age of 17 in the film Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957). He had assisted K. Asif in the film Love and God in the late 1960s and had also made a brief appearance in the film which would have been his official film debut. But the film was left incomplete after K. Asif's death in 1971 and it ended up releasing in 1986. In 1973, he made his film debut in Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973).

In 1975 he was offered the role of a dacoit Gabbar Singh for the film Sholay (meaning flames) by Salim who was one of the film's writers. For his preparation for the role Amjad read Abhishapth Chambal, a book on Chambal dacoits written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri (actress Jaya Bhaduri's father). Amjad shot to stardom with the movie. His portrayal of Gabbar Singh is considered by many to be the first depiction of pure evil on the screen in Indian Cinema; a totally evil character who doesn't make excuses for its evil.

The movie Sholay is one of the all time blockbuster movies in India and one of the highest earners, and although the movie had a cast of superstars including Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra the most memorable character was considered to be that of Gabbar Singh. Amjad Khan later appeared in advertisements as Gabbar Singh endorsing Brittania biscuits, and it was the first incidence of a villain being used to sell a popular product.

After the success of Sholay Khan continued to play villain roles in many subsequent Hindi films in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s - superseding, in terms of popularity and demand, the earlier Indian actor, Ajit - portraying more sophisticated and urbane criminal bosses, mastermind of bank robberies, murders and conspiracies to seize power. He often acted as villain opposite Amitabh Bachchan as the hero.

Khan was also acclaimed for playing many other unconventional roles. In the critically acclaimed film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan played the helpless and deluded monarch Wajid Ali Shah, whose kingdom, Avadh, is being targeted by British colonialists from the British East India Company. He played his only positive roles opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Yaarana (1981) where he played Bachchan's character's best friend and in Laawaris as Amitabh's father. In the art film Utsav (1984), he portrayed Vatsayana, the author of the Kama Sutra. In 1988 he appeared in the Merchant-Ivory English film The Perfect Murder as an underworld don. He also played comic characters in films such as Qurbani (1980) and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986). In 1991, he again played Gabbar Singh in Ramgarh Ke Sholay, a parody of the legendary film which also included a look-alike of Amitabh Bachchan and Dev Anand.

He also ventured into directing for a brief period in the 1980s directing and also starring in Chor Police (1983) and Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi (1985) but both films failed to do well at the box office.

Amjad was also the President of the Actor's GUILD association. As mentioned earlier, he had been a leader in college and was respected in the adult film industry too.He would intervene and negotiate disputes between actors and directors/producers. There was one such dispute in which Dimple Kapadia had agreed to play a role of a mother in a movie and later backed down. The entire film producer community tried to boycott her. Amjad did intervene on behalf of the actor's guild.

In 1976, he had met with a near fatal accident on the Bombay-Goa road, when he drove his car into a tree while trying to avoid a boulder. The drugs administered to him for treatment caused a serious weight problem for the rest of his life. As a result of his increasing weight he died in 1992 after suffering from a heart failure at the age of 51.

Several of the films he had completed when he was alive were released after his death - right until 1996.

His funeral procession passed from his house in Pali Hill to the Muslim Burial in Bandra East. All major movie stars at that time attended and could be seen walking through the narrow lanes of Bandra.

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Source : Wikipedia