Amitabh Bachchan Turns 70
From Bollywood and South celebrities to politicians and bureaucrats, everyone was in full attendance at a bash to ring in megastar Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday.
The party organised by Bachchan's wife Jaya saw a host of well known personalities, dressed in their best, turning out at Reliance Media works in film city in Goregaon.
Bachchan was dressed in a knee-length black velvet kurta. Son Abhishek Bachchan walked holding wife Aishwarya's hand and mother Jaya on his other side. Daughter Shweta Nanda with husband and her children were also seen.
The 'Big B' waved at the media, posed for shutterbugs and thanked everyone.
Son Abhishek said, "It is glamorous 70 and we all are really happy to be here celebrating his birthday with family, friends and everyone."
Daughter-in-law Aishwarya added, "We all are really happy that everyone have come today to celebrate his birthday. We are thankful to everyone for their presence."
When veteran actor Dilip Kumar came with wife Saira Bano, Abhishek and Aishwarya touched their feet to seek blessings.
Celebrities like Karan Johar and mother Hiroo, business tycoon Mukesh Ambani's mother Kokilaben, late actor Shammi Kapoor's wife and son Aditya Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor arrived too.
Ramesh Sippy who directed Bachchan in Sholay said Bachchan was a thoroughly professional actor.
"Bachchan has always been sincere and committed to work. He is a thorough professional. That is why he has lasted so long," Sippy said.
Recalling his association with Bachchan, the director said, "My association with him is for close to 40 years. My first film with him Sholay is considered to be one of the greatest films of Indian cinema. I am happy to have worked (with him) in films like Shaan, Shakti and Akayla. We have always had lot of trust and understanding for each other".
Apart from the film-world others who came to greet the actor included Anil Ambani, Aditya Godrej, Kumar Manglam Birla, Mulayam Singh Yadav with son Akhilesh, Chaggan Bhujbal, Uddhav Thackeray with wife and son.
Also present at the bash were Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini, Pran, Jeetendra, Waheeda Rehman, Prem Chopra, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor with wife Neetu, Moushumi Chatterjee, Aruna Irani, Yash Chopra with wife Pamela, Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor, Subhash Ghai, Jeetendra, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Preity Zinta, Vidya Balan, Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit with husband, Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Juhi Chawla, Anil Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Govinda.
"We are like a family. I love Amitji. We share fond memories as we did Kaante together. He is a wonderful actor and a very good human being," Sanjay Dutt said.
Actor Anil Kapoor called him the "hugest" star.
"He played a terrific innings. And I wish him luck and happiness. He is an iconic figure," Shabana Azmi said.
Said Bipasha Basu, "Not even actors of 30 years of age can match his energy. He is active, he is energetic, full of life. I wish him happiness."
Vidya Balan felt Big B is not only an inspiration for actors but everyone.
Actress Sridevi who worked with Bachchan in films like Khuda Gawah, Aakhri Raasta says he has an aura around him.
"His growth has been tremendous. The kind of roles he challenged to do is something no one can do. He is just amazing," she said.
Big B played a cameo in R Balki's home production English Vinglish featuring Sridevi in the lead. "It was great working with him again. Sharing screen space with him is always an honor," she said.
Recalling the shoot of English Vinglish, Sridevi said, "On the first day of the shoot everyone looked amazed. They all were waiting for the scene to happen. I must say he (Bachchan) still carries the aura around the moment he enters a set ...There is so much of positive energy that he carries. It was great working with him".
Actor Shah Rukh Khan, who attended Big B's birthday party last night, tweeted, "Danced with Amitji and Jaya aunty to all the songs I have grown up listening. Too much fun. Thanks Abhishek, Aishwarya and Aaradhya for the warmth."
R Balki who directed Bachchan in Cheeni Kum, Paa and recently released English Vinglish, directorial venture of his wife Gauri, said he was once in a lifetime actor.
"He is once in a lifetime actor and the best way to respect and be friendly with him is to continue adoring him. He is an icon," Balki said.
"We are fortunate to be living in an era where people like him are there. I don't think there will be another Amitabh Bachchan in next 100 years. He is a talented actor, he is hard working and dedicated to his work. He is a great human being," he said.
Bachchan's make-up man for 40 years, Deepak Sawant says he inculcated three qualities from the megastar: punctuality, eating right kind of food and staying fit.
"He is very dedicated and hard working. Even at this age he is working with as much zeal and enthusiasm as he was earlier. He is so energetic and well versed about everything. I don't think anyone can match him," Sawant told PTI.
South's superstar Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi with son Ram Charan Teja, Nagarjuna, Rana Dagubbati and others also came.
"I am too small to talk about him. I wish him all the happiness," Ram Charan Teja said.
The party began from 8 pm onwards, the entrance area had black curtains all over and live music being played in band baaja style on Bachchan's all popular songs like 'Pardesiya', 'Main Hoon Don', 'Muqadar Ka Sikander' and other hit songs.
A string of celebrities from the world of marquee, including south actors Rajanikanth and Chiranjeevi among others, besides corporate bigwigs Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla wished the actor on his birthday in advance at Film City last night.
The veteran actor's career spanning over four decades has progressed through many ups and downs.
Bachchan, whose baritone is one of his USPs, initially faced rejection for it during his struggling years. Though he made his acting debut through Saat Hindustani in 1969, the 1973 blockbuster Zanjeer established his famous 'angry young man' image followed by Hrishkesh Mukherjee's Anand where he shared the screen space with Rajesh Khanna.
Big B's rise to super-stardom continued with hits like Namak Haram, Deewar, Sholay, Trishul, Don, Kabhie Kabhie, Silsila, and Yaraana.
In 1984, Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics. He became a Congress MP from Allahabad seat. However, he soon left the politics.
During 1988-92 he gave films like Shahanshah, Hum, Agnipath, Khuda Gawah to name a few.
He founded Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL) in 1996, which was later mired in financial crisis.
In 2000, Bachchan appeared in Yash Chopra's Mohabbatein. He played role of a old, stern figure which won him the third 'Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award'. He continued performing in a number of films.
In 2007, Bachchan made a debut appearance in an English-language film, Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear. He also acted in films based on variety of themes like Bhootnath, Sarkar Raj, Paa.
Bachchan was slated to play a supporting role in his first international film, Shantaram, directed by Mira Nair and starring Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in the lead but the project could not take off.
Bachchan's television career has been equally illustrious with popular quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian adaptation of British show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
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