Son of well known poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He has a brother named Ajitabh. He completed his education from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Bombay to find work as a film star, in vain though, as film-makers preferred someone with a fairer skin, and he was not quite fair enough. But they did use one of his other assets, his deep baritone voice, which was used for narration and background commentary. He was successful in being cast in Saat Hindustani. He got his break in Bollywood after a letter of introduction from the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, as he was a friend of her son, Rajiv Gandhi. This is how Amitabh made an entry in Bollywood, starting with Zanjeer, co-starred with his future wife Jaya Bhaduri, and since then there has been no looking back.
He married Jaya Bhaduri, an accomplished actress in her own right, and they had two children, Shweta and Abhishek. Shweta is married, lives a non-filmy life and has two children.
Being friends with Rajiv Gandhi, got him to decide to run for seat in the Congress from his hometown but had to leave midterm because of controversies, particularly after Rajiv and he were implicated in the now infamous "Bofors" case along with the U.K. based Hinduja Brothers.
After a four year break, he was back in the unsuccessful Mrityudaata (1997), a comeback which the actor wanted to forget. Critics written him off but his career was saved with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998). But four flops in 1999 and incurring debt of over 90 Crores rupees of his sinking company ABCL saw him at an all-time low. To make matters worse, after the defeat of the Congress party, Amitabh lost considerable political support, the opposition made him a target, and his credit rating deteriorated to such an extent that a leading nationalized bank, Canara Bank, sued him for outstanding loans. He did bounce back, presenting the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire called Kaun Banega Crorepati? (2000). After a series of hits with Love Stories (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) and Baghban (2003) and Khakee (2004), this elderly Bachchan is showing no signs of slowing down and proving the critics wrong once again.