Mithun Chakraborty Biography
Mithun Chakraborty (Bengali: মিঠুন চক্রবর্তী Miṭhun Chôkroborti, Hindi: मिथुन चक्रवर्ती) (born Gouranga Chakraborty) is a National Film Award-winning Indian film actor, social activist and entrepreneur. Chakraborty made his acting debut with the arthouse drama Mrigaya (1976), for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor. In his heyday during the 1980s, he had earned a huge fan following as a dancing star and went on to establish himself as one of the most popular and leading actors of India, particularly recognised for his role of street dancer Jimmy in the 1982 hit, Disco Dancer.
Altogether Chakraborty has appeared in more than 200 Bollywood films as well as a number of Bengali and Bhojpuri films. Mithun also owns the Monarch Group which has interests in the hospitality sector.
He was born at Dimla, Bengal and educated at the renowned Nilphamari Government College, Nilphamari, from where he earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry (BSc). After that he attended and graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
It is a little known fact that Mithun was a staunch Naxalite before entering the film industry. But tragedy struck his family when his only brother got accidentally electrocuted and killed in a freak accident. Mithun returned to his family and left the Naxalite fold, even though doing so posed a grave risk to his own life from the Naxalites, because this was considered a one-way road (it was an unwritten law somewhat like an Omerta, that one could not abandon the Naxalite cause once it had been embraced). This proved to be a turning point in his life and became one of the prime causes that led to his iconic status. Another lesser known fact is that he had undergone expert training in martial arts
Mithun is married to Indian actress Yogita Bali and has four children, three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Mimoh Chakraborty is an actor in Bollywood, who made his debut in the 2008 film Jimmy.
Numerous sources claim that Chakraborty had a relationship with actress Sridevi from 1986 to 1987, and that Sridevi ended the relationship when she found out that he had not divorced his first wife, Yogita Bali. Chakraborty and Sridevi were believed to have been secretly married and that the union was later annulled.
Mithun made his film debut in the 1976 Mrinal Sen directed film Mrigaya for which he won the coveted National Film Award for Best Actor. After his debut he played some supporting roles in films such as Do Anjaane (1976) and Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1977) which did not gain him any recognition. He shot into prominence in the late 1970s with the low budget Ravikant Nagaich directed spy film Surakshaa (1979) and the early 1980s with leading roles in hit films such as Hum Paanch (1980) and Wardaat (1981) (a sequel to Surakshaa).
His breakthrough role finally came in the musical drama Disco Dancer (1982) which was a huge success due to its hit music and remains a cult favourite to this day. This film and other musical films such as Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984) and Dance Dance (1987) showcased him as a talented dancer.
He also starred in a number of successful romantic and family dramas during the 1980s, such as Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye (1983), Pyaar Jhukta Nahin (1985), Swarg Se Sunder (1986), and Pyaar Ka Mandir (1988). These films remain his most commercially successful films to date.
He was widely recognised as an action hero in hit films like Wanted (1983), Boxer (1984), Jagir (1984), Jaal (1986), Watan Ke Rakhwale (1987) Commando (1988), Waqt Ki Awaaz (1988), Guru (1989), Mujrim (1989) and Dushman (1990). During the mid 1980s he was regarded as a rival to Amitabh Bachchan as he did dozens of films in the action and drama genre that showcased him as an angry young man at odds with the ills of society and corruption. This characterization was similar to Bachchan's one. Likewise, he has worked with some of the biggest actresses of his time and Bollywood in general, like Zeenat Aman, Padmini Kolhapure, Rati Agnihotri, Rekha, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and more.
Mithun achieved not only commercial success but also tremendous critical acclaim. His performances in Tahader Katha and Swami Vivekananda, were widely appreciated and won him National Film Awards. He also won two Filmfare awards: The Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance in the 1990 film Agneepath, and the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his performance in Jallad. Apart from it, he was praised for his performances in films like Pyaar Ka Mandir (1988) and Mujrim (1989).
During the mid 1990s he shifted his focus from mainstream Hindi cinema and went into starring in low-budget B-grade movies. These movies were mainly produced to cater to the audiences of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, where Mithun has a cult-following even today, thanks to his Bhojpuri movies. In the late 1990s he took a break from acting and relocated to Ooty where he set up some businesses. He was the highest tax payer in the country for five consecutive years, from 1994 to 1999.
He made a comeback to the mainstream Hindi film industry in 2005 with the film Elaan which was not successful. After a few supporting roles in films such as Lucky: No Time for Love (2005) he won acclaim for his performance in Kalpana Lazmi's Chingari (2005). In 2007 he starred in Mani Ratnam's hit film Guru for which he received much critical acclaim. Guru was the first film of his to be commercially successful since his comeback. Mithun has had 4 releases in 2008, My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves, Don Muthuswami, C Kkompany and Heroes, in which only Heroes did very well, rest didn't. His upcoming films are Zindagi Tere Naam, plus films like Veer with Salman Khan,Phir Kabhi with Dimple Kapadia, Soham directed Luck with Sunjay Dutt. His latest releases Subhash Ghai film Yuvvraaj in which he appeared in a cameo and Chandni Chowk To China failed at the box office.
Mitun is the Grand Judge of the show Dance India Dance on Zee TV.
Mithun Chakraborty has also been involved in promotion of Football in his native Bengal. The Bengal Football Academy is his brainchild and Mithun raised the necessary funds for the launch of this academy.
Mithun Chakraborty is also the co-owner of Royal Bengal Tigers, a cricket team of the Indian Cricket League