His baritone is the most distinct in Bollywood and he has kept audiences mesmerized for over 40 years.

Today is Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday, and on this day we tell you 10 facts about the superstar that you did not know:

1. Amitabh wanted to be an engineer

Big B wanted to become an engineer and was interested in joining the Indian Air Force.

2. He started off in shipping

He had worked for the shipping company Shaw & Wallace as an executive and as a freight broker for Bird and Co. in Kolkata.

3. He starting salary was less than Rs 600

His first salary was Rs. 500. Or Rs 300? We can’t be too sure as there are conflicting reports- but we certainly know what he gets nowadays per film- Rs. 4-6 crore.

4. His name wasn’t supposed to be Amitabh

Amitabh’s father wanted to name him Inquilab (meaning revolution) before he thought of naming him as Amitabh (meaning unending brilliance)

5. Big B was signed by Sunil Dutt

He had been signed by Sunil Dutt for playing a mute in Reshma Aur Shera. It was because of a letter of introduction that had been written by then PM Indira Gandhi to her friend Nargis (Sunil Dutt’s wife).

6. Amitabh has slept on a bench in Marine Drive

During his initial days in the film industry, when struggle was the name of the game, Amitabh Bachchan had slept sometimes on a bench at Marine Drive. Whenever he passes by that particular bench, he point out at it nostalgically.

7. Bachchan Sr was called Big B from 1997

Big B. Ever thought when people actually started calling him that? Well, it was from 1997, when he made his second comeback with the movie Mrityudaata.

8. He once had the protection of the Afghan air force

When shooting Khuda Gawah, the then president of Afghanistan Najibullah Ahmadzai, provided Amitabh with Afghanistan’s air force, for his protection. Najibullah loved Indian films.

9. His choice of the most beautiful actor is not who you think

Katrina Kaif? No. Madhuri Dixit? No. According to Amitabh Bachchan the most beautiful Indian actress ever is Waheeda Rahman.

10. There is a comic book character based on him

Supremo, an Indian comic book character, is based on Amitabh Bachchan. Yes, you can now go ahead and Google Supremo. 

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Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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