Looking back on the multifaceted career of Jaya Bachchan, who is celebrating her birthday today



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As legendary actor and politician Jaya Bachchan turns a year older, we take this opportunity to celebrate her authentic personality, acting prowess and bold career choices. The powerhouse is a successful actress, a Member of Parliament, a Padma Shri recipient, a proud parent and grandmother and a loving wife. Filmfare delves into her multifaceted life and examines the various achievements of the successful actor.


Her entry into the film industry

Her very first film was Satyajit Ray’s Bengali film Mahanagar, with which she made her debut at the age of 15. This impressive debut led to two more collaborations with Satyajit Ray. Her experience with Ray inspired her to join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). She would later graduate from the institute with a gold medal. Her moment of glory finally came when Hrishikesh Mukherjee cast her in Guddi in 1971. In the film, she would play the part of a star-struck teenager. With the commercial success of the film, she created a place for herself in the industry as a girl next door. She embodied middle-class characters in films like Uphaar, Piya ka Ghar, Parichay, Koshish and Bawarchi. However, she also made bold filming choices, moving away from her routine characters as she experimented with films such as Jawani Diwani and Anamika. In Jawani Diwani, she played a glamorous role, and in Anamika, she played a gray role of an amnesia-faking heroine. She proved her mettle with both unexpected movie choices.

Jaya Bachchan

The actress was so natural on screen that people stopped believing they were watching a movie. The actress is said to have a natural look without makeup and conquer millions of hearts with her refreshing personality. Gautam Rajadhyaksha, the leading photographer of the time, once said that her face had the most perfect bone structure.

Jaya Bachchan


All about her love life

Jaya Bachchan first met Amitabh on Guddi’s sets. This was when Jaya was already a superstar, but Amitabh Bachchan was a struggling actor. Even then, she predicted that he would become a superstar, and no one else agreed with her. Her strong intuition proved successful, later on when Amitabh Bachchan took his place as the top actor of the time. Speaking later in an interview, Jaya said: “I was introduced to him on the sets of Guddi.. I was impressed with him and somewhat impressed because he was the son of Harivanshrai Bachchan. I felt he was different, although people laughed at me when I said that. I expressed my feelings and said he would make it big, even though I knew he wasn’t your usual stereotypical hero. I quickly fell in love with him.” Their romance blossomed on the sets of Ek Nazar and since then the couple has been together for over five decades.

Jaya and Amitabh became a hit on the screen with back-to-back hit movies like Zanjeer, Chupke Chupke, Abhimaan, Silsila, Mili and Sholay. The couple married in 1973 in an intimate ceremony. She was pregnant during the shooting of Sholay.


Later on, she also played an important role in reviving Amitabh Bachchan’s career. She wrote the story for Shahenshah, a film released in 1988. This film marked the return of Amitabh Bachchan to the silver screen while he took a three-year hiatus. The film was a huge commercial success.

Jaya Bachchan


Jaya as a loving mother

During the filming of Sholay, she was pregnant with her daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda. After Sholay, with the exception of Silsila, she did not make any new films. The actress took a sabbatical from the film industry so she could focus all her attention on parenting.


She said in an interview that quitting Bollywood was completely her decision and she was not influenced by her husband in any way. She would receive consecutive offers for movies, but staying close to her children and raising them well was a priority for her.

Ever since Abhishek came into her life, he was the apple of her eye. When the actress was asked to describe her parenting skills and the values ​​she passes on to her children, she told a leading daily newspaper in a 1998 interview: “A little bit of traditional values, a little bit of scientific, modern values; both Indian and Western, because we have the influence of both cultures in our house. I have always said that I would rather have you as good people than as successful scientists, doctors or actors.”


In a popular interview that went viral, Jaya Bachchan joked that she had to take care of three children. When the interviewer “Three?” asked, Amitabh intervened and said that he was the third child after Shweta and Abhishek.

Jaya Bachchan


Career after sabbatical

This hiatus lasted for 17 years, after which she appeared in 1995 in a Marathi movie called Akka. After that, she made other notable films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ho Na Ho, Fiza and more.


She then entered politics and is currently serving as a Member of Parliament in her fourth term in Rajya Sabha. The female powerhouse is very passionate about the work she does as an MP. Commenting on her experience with politics, she said: “I enjoy visiting parliament, listening to the discussions and asking questions. It’s a stimulating environment and it opens up your world view.”


Speaking about her contrasting careers, she said in an interview: “I am fortunate to have a home in both Mumbai and Delhi and to be a part of the cinema and the political world. Both are different and exciting.”

In an interview with a leading publication in 1998, the actress was asked, “What or who is the real Jaya – the traditional woman or the smart business owner?” To this she replied, “I think both. I think Indian women, women in general, have a tremendous capacity to give. They can run an organization well because in some ways it’s like running a house; it has need a method. They work and manage all the time. Time management is so important. It comes easily to me.”

The actress is also involved in social work; however, she doesn’t like to draw a lot of media attention for her charity. In 1998 she told a leading publication: “Not much is known because I hate everything that draws too much attention and focuses on me. I get tired of it otherwise. I have been working with the Indian Association for 20 years for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. It is an accessible organization. Everyone works voluntarily, although we have a number of professionals who help us. We train children in various fields, hold competitions and give scholarships and prizes.

The Legend’s Achievements

The actress has starred in a total of 47 films, she has also won 14 Filmfare Awards, with 8 awards for best actress, three awards for best supporting actress, two special awards and a Lifetime Achievement award. She has also been awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Prize, the fourth highest civilian honor awarded to her by the Government of India.

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