Mithun Chakraborty


Mithun Chakraborty Born in Calcutta and educated at the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, where he studied chemistry, Mithun Chakraborty is a leading actor in the Bollywood and the south Indian film industry. He started his film career in a Bengali film made by Mrinal Sen. He shot into national prominence with his films Disco Dancer, Agneepath and was at one time , regarded as a rival to Amitabh Bachchan.

He has done and continues to do social service all over India.

IF LIFE IS A JOURNEY, then Mithun Chakraborty's has been a fascinating travelogue indeed. His voyage took off as a Naxalite in Calcutta, and his first station was the Film And Television Institute Of India, Pune. All he man?aged after graduation was paid dancing at social bashes as Rana Rez, or bit roles in 'Do Anjaane' and 'Phool Khile Hai Gulshan Gulshan'.
Then came his first featured role, as an ex?ploited tribal in Mrinal Sen's 'Mrigaya' (1976), which won him nothing less than his first Na?tional Award (the second came in 1998 for'Swami Vivekananda'). But in between these two awards separated by 22 years were commercial films of all kinds, after Mithun established his dancing and action creden?tials in Ravee Nagaich's 'Suraksha' (1978). Followed films like 'Disco Dancer' (which was a hit in China as well), 'Dance Dance' and the likes which gave him the image of a desi, rather crude navel-flaunt?ing John Travolta. The bhadralok of the Mumbai industry Shakti Samanta ('Khwab', 'Amne Saamne', 'Ahankaar'), Basu Chaterjee ('Prem Vivah', 'Shaukeen', 'Pasand Apni Apni'), Dulal Guha ('Dhuan', 'Sagar Sangam', 'Ilaaka') and Pramod Chakraborty ('Patita', 'Jagir') gave him respect?able but not-always-worthy vehicles.

Mithun also became a favourite with certain Southern direc?tors like K. Bapaiah , T. Rama Rao and Bapu. Through them, he got several of his meatiest and most-respected roles like 'Hum Paanch' (1981), 'Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye' (1983 and with a touch of villainy), 'Ghar Ek Mandir' (1984) and 'Prem Pratigya' (1989). On the heels of a consecutive streak of hits, beginning with the Mills-N-Boon-esque 'Pyarjhukta Nahin' (1985), the actor even rose to become one of our distributor's pet he?roes in the late '80s and early '90s, getting a fresh lease of life with his action avtaar in films like 'Aandhi Toofan', 'Jaal', 'Dilwala', 'Phool Aur Angaar' and 'Dalaal', side-by-side with the Chennai melodramas like 'Parivaar' and 'Pyar Ka Mandir'. He even added to his list of filmmakers names as revered as Manmohan Desai ('Ganga Jamuna Saraswati'), K. Vishwanath ('Jaag Utha Insaan'), J. Om Prakash ('Agnee') and Dev Anand ('Swami Dada') and banners as prestigious as B.R. Films ('Pratigyabadh') and Prakash Mehra Productions ('Dalaal'). His first marriage to Helena Luke had broken up and Mithun first lost his heart to Ranjeeta, the actress who really promoted his career in its initial years. After their break-up, Mithun found happiness in ex-actress Yogeeta Bali's arms and eventually got married to her. The only sore point in the marriage was Mithun's passionate liaison with Sridevi in the late '80s and his secret, whirlwind wedding with her.

But Mithun returned to Yogeeta after Sridevi dumped him in pusuit of a flourishing career. Mithun and Yogeeta have had a smooth sailing ever since. Together, they began the five-star Monarch Hotel in Ooty, where (hey settled down, and later adopted a daughter to add to their own sons. With Ooty as his base in the mid-'90s, Mithun too emerged as the monarch of a parallel film indus?try, shooting B-grade action flicks made by the likes of TLV Prasad, Rajiv Babbar and others, with skimpily-clad anonymous South?ern heroines and an equally skimpy budget of Rs. 60 lakhs, Mithun cornering almost half of it as his fees. Most of these films ? conceived, shot and released within three months ? recovered their invest?ments or made decent profits from the 'action-crazy' interiors of the North and East, and Mithun even managed a couple of Best Villain awards for one of the earlier suc?cesses in this genre ? 'Jallad' (1995). Later successes include 'ChandaaF, 'Shapath', 'Jodidar', 'Suraj', 'Kaalia', 'Raavan Raaj' and a few others. But today, this industry is on its last legs, though Mithun has made his moolah. The films are getting shod?dier, more difficult to sell (and watch) and keep coming in and vamoosing at a rate of one a month. A sad contretemps for an actor who achieved whatever he did primarily on his earthy talent, and proved that you don't have to look like either Adonis or a sweet confection to click hugely in capricious Bollywood.

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