Mithun Chakraborty Was Called Gareebo Ka Amitabh Bachchan
Mithun Chakraborty Was Once Called ‘Gareebo Ka Amitabh Bachchan’ ( Photo Credit – Facebook )

The Disco Dancer of Bollywood has created a legacy that’s beyond compare. Mithun Chakraborty has been an integral part of Bollywood cinematic history. He is known for his iconic roles in movies like OMG, Chaalbaaz, Gunda, and so many more. But the charming hero of the masses had quite the tough roller coaster ride to fame. The 74-year-old movie star had to face a lot of discrimination in the beginning. He also got trolled for his skin color in an era of predominantly lighter-skinned heroes. Even after winning a National Award, Mithun Chakraborty was called Gareebo Ka Amitabh Bachchan.

Mithun Chakraborty, who could perfectly co-ordinate with the complex steps of dances to the fast beat disco numbers of Bappi Lahiri, actually played a cult icon in India. With his films and songs, he gave ‘the party’ to the population, but before this, they fired up Mithun for his gap teeth, dark complexion, and pronounced Bengali accent. Although he was awarded the National Award for his debut film Mrigayaa (1976), the actor was often found doing films that could be described as B-grade at best and people gave him the tag of ‘Gareebon ka Amitabh’.

Until the ‘70s and ‘80s, Bollywood heroes were born out of royalty, and Mithun broke the norms. He achieved stardom through another route other than being elbow-to-elbow with Bachchan. He was addressed as Mithun da – the king of B-grade movies like Gunda; he had his fans as proletarian working men. Nevertheless, he wanted to become popular among people, commenting, ‘I am a pioneer, you know, I appeared on the stage with disco dancing and karate, but after some time, I wanted to have all sorts of spectators.


To come out of the B-grade relegation, Mithun fully understood that he had to work with the Fashion queens of Bollywood. The movie showed the struggle from a B to an A-grade actor since he, too, had his struggles in life. In 2022, he described the fight in the film industry as follows, “No one remembers the LOSERS here except being good. You have to fight to get here. I had to fight. ”

Initially, Mithun could not get the attention of any of the top actresses of that time or the inside connections. But things changed for Mithun when the director Brij Sadanah introduced Mithun as the hero in Taqdeer, and Zeenat Aman seconded him. Taqdeer made Mithun an A-category actor. Mithun went on to shoot successful films such as Yaadon Ki Kasam and Baat Ban Gayi. He also starred in Ashanti and Hum Se Hai Zamana.

Over nearly five decades, Mithun Chakraborty has juggled Hindi and Bengali cinema and acted in over 300 films. He has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Odia, and Bhojpuri films. He has won two Filmfare Awards and three National Awards for Mrigayaa (1976), Tahader Katha (1992), and Swami Vivekananda (1998). Despite playing a secondary role to Amitabh in Agneepath, he stole the show as Krishnan Iyer, MA. Though his life story is biopic-worthy, Mithun doesn’t want one made. He feels it might break the audience’s hearts and discourage them due to its tragic elements.

Chakraborty was last seen in Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files. 

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