#LivingLegendsOfCinema: Mithun Chakraborty will forever reign over hearts

He played dual roles in 19 films, has a Limca record for 19 film releases as a lead actor in a single year, and has been dubbed “Disco King” and “Grand Master”. We can only speak of the one and only Mithunda! Did you just imagine her doing her signature pelvic thrust? We did too. Born Gouranga Chakraborty on June 16, 1950, the charismatic Mithun Chakraborty has enjoyed several successes during his decades-long acting career. His 1982 film Disco Dancer was legendary, a hit both in India and across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa; it was the highest-grossing foreign film ever made in the Soviet Union, making Chakraborty a household name there. His popularity was such that when the then leader of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev visited India and Rajiv Gandhi introduced him to Amitabh Bachchan as India’s greatest superstar, Gorbachev said his daughter only knew Mithun Chakraborty!

And this is the fame that Chakraborty gained from a single film. His first Bollywood film in 1976, Mrinal Sen’s Mrigayaa, won him the National Film Award for Best Actor. He won his second National Film Award for Best Actor for the critically acclaimed Bengali-language film in 1992 Tahader Katha. Chakraborty also won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Agneepath (1991) and for best performance in a negative role for Jallaad (1996). From his early films such as Mera Rakshak (1978), Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1978), to Taxi Chor (1980), Hum Paanch (1980), Wardat (nineteen eighty one), Ghar Ek Mandir (1984), Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki (1984), Ilaaka (1989), Himmatwala (1998), Heeralal Pannalal (1999). It’s no wonder, then, that his heroism and larger-than-life manners remain a source of inspiration for the film industry. More recently he has delivered delightful performances in films such as Golmaal 3 (2010), Full house 2 (2011), and The Tashkent files (2019).

Chakraborty also runs the dance reality TV shows as a judge. He started this round with Dance bangla dance, a competitive dance reality show in Bengali, and, after its phenomenal success, developed a concept for a pan-Indian show – Dance India Dance – which is now one of the nation’s biggest dance-based reality shows. He was also a judge at Dance India Dance Little Masters, earning him the nickname of Grand Master. There is no doubt that this icon will forever dominate hearts, and her story of struggles and success will continue to inspire us.

By Kalwyna Rathod

Photograph: BCCL

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