Mithun Chakraborty (born Gouranga Chakraborty; 16 June 1950) is an Indian actor, producer and politician who predominantly worked in Hindi and Bengali language films. He is a former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament.[5][6] He is the recipient of three National Film Awards for best actor. In January 2024, Chakraborty was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour, by the Government of India.[7][8]

Mithun Chakraborty
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
3 April 2014 – 29 December 2016[1]
ConstituencyWest Bengal
Personal details
Born
Gouranga Chakraborty[2]

(1950-06-16) 16 June 1950 (age 73)
Calcutta, West Bengal, India[3]
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (2021–present)[4]
Other political
affiliations
CPI (M–L) (student days)
AITC
(2014–2016)
Spouses
  • Helena Luke
    (m. 1979; div. 1979)
  • (m. 1979)
Children4, including Mahakshay and Ushmey Chakraborty
RelativesSee Chakraborty family
Residence(s)Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Actor
  • producer
  • writer
  • singer
  • entrepreneur
  • television presenter
  • politician
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2024)
Years active1976–present

Chakraborty made his acting debut with the art house drama Mrigayaa (1976), for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor.[9] Chakraborty became an overnight sensation with the 1982 film Disco Dancer, which was a major box office success in India and the Soviet Union.[10] Besides Disco Dancer, Chakraborty is also remembered for his performance in many successful and memorable films both as a lead and character artist.[11][12][13][14]

In 1991, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Krishnan Iyer M.A. in the cult classic Agneepath. He later won two more National Film Awards for his performances in Tahader Katha (1992) and Swami Vivekananda (1998).[9] Chakraborty has appeared in more than 350 films, including Bengali, Hindi, Odia, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Punjabi[15] pictures. He is the record holder in the Limca Book of Records for 19 movie releases as lead actor in the year 1989 and the record is still unbroken in Bollywood as of July 2022.[16]

Chakraborty owns the Monarch Group, which has interests in the hospitality and educational sectors.[17][18] He has also started the production house Paparatzy Productions.[19] In 1992, he, along with Dilip Kumar and Sunil Dutt, set up a trust to help needy actors called Cine & T.V Artistes Association (CINTAA).[20] He was[21] also the Chairperson of Film Studios Setting & Allied Mazdoor Union, which takes care of the welfare of cine workers and resolves their demands and problems.[22][23][24][25] The television show Dance India Dance where Chakraborty is the Grand Master has already been entered in the Limca Book of Records and the Guinness World Records.[26] Chakraborty played a crucial role of mediator between Pranab Mukherjee of the Indian National Congress and Mamata Banerjee, winning the Mukherjee the support of Banerjee's party, the All India Trinamool Congress, in the 2012 Indian presidential election.[27] He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 7 March 2021, ahead of the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election.

Early life and education edit

Mithun Chakraborty was born on 16 June 1950 into a Bengali Hindu family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India to Basanta Kumar Chakraborty and Shanti Rani Chakraborty.[3][2][28] He studied at Oriental Seminary and then earned his B.Sc. degree[3] in Chemistry from Scottish Church College in Kolkata. After that, he attended and graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.[9] He was a Naxalite before entering films, but tragedy struck his family when his only brother was electrocuted and killed in a freak accident.[9][27] He returned to his family and left the Naxalite fold, even though this posed a grave risk to his own life.[29] During his days as a Naxalite, he became friends with Ravi Ranjan, a popular Naxal figure, known to his friends as "Bhaa" (the ultimate saviour). Bhaa was known for his manipulational skills and oratory abilities.[30]

Film career edit

Early career (1976–1981) edit

Chakraborty made his Hindi film debut in 1976 with Mrinal Sen's art-house film Mrigayaa, for which he won the National Film Award for Best Actor and became the first actor to win the prestigious award for his maiden venture.[31] The same year, he also played a brief role in Dulal Guha's moderately successful film Do Anjaane which had Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha and Prem Chopra in the lead.[32][33]

He made his debut in Bengali cinema with Arabinda Mukhopadhyay's Nadi Theke Sagare (1978) which was a blockbuster at the box office.[34][35][36]

His first solo commercial hit came in 1979 with Ravikant Nagaich's spy thriller Surakksha.[37] This was followed by four more successful Hindi films in Unees Bees, Hum Paanch (both 1980), Hum Se Badkar Kaun, Wardat (both 1981) and the Bengali film Kalankini Kankabati (1981).[38][39][40][41]

Stardom (1982–1995) edit

Chakraborty began 1982 with supporting roles in two successful films - Basu Chatterjee's Shaukeen and Umesh Mehra's Ashanti.[42] He rose to stardom with B. Subhash's dance film Disco Dancer.[43] Disco Dancer proved to be a superhit domestically and a mega blockbuster in overseas markets.[44] It also became the first Indian film to do a business of 1 billion (US$13 million).[45][46] Its soundtrack composed by Bappi Lahiri was a massive chartbuster and played a big role in the huge box office success of film, especially in countries like Soviet Union and China.[47][48] The same year, he established himself in Bengali cinema as well with Gautam Mukherjee's musical blockbuster Troyee.[49] After delivering a hit with Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye in 1983, he scored couple of successes in 1984, such as - Boxer, Ghar Ek Mandir, Baazi, Jagir and Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki.[50]

Chakraborty hit the big league in 1985 with Vijay Sadanah's romantic drama Pyar Jhukta Nahin opposite Padmini Kolhapure.[51] It did extremely well at the box office and went on to become a blockbuster and Mithun became Number one Super star of Bollywood.[52] This was followed by superhits in J.P. Dutta's Ghulami alongside Dharmendra and B. Subhash's Aandhi-Toofan co-starring Shatrughan Sinha.[53]

The success streak continued in 1986 with another blockbuster in K. Bapayya's family drama Swarag Se Sunder which also had Jeetendra, Jaya Prada and Kolhapure in the lead.[54][52] He also delivered a superhit in Dilwaala before concluding the year with three more commercial successes in Jaal, Zindagani and Nasihat.[55]

In 1987, Chakraborty starred in two of the highest grossing films of the year with T. Rama Rao's action thriller Watan Ke Rakhwale and B. Subhash's dance film Dance Dance.[56] While, Watan Ke Rakhwale was a superhit domestically, Dance Dance proved to be a bigger money spinner due to it emerging a huge blockbuster in Soviet Union. Its songs "Zooby Zooby" and "Zindagi Meri Dance Dance" became instant hits and remain popular till date.[57][58][59][60]

The period from 1988 to 1992 proved to be the best phase of Chakraborty's career with him getting both critical and commercial acclaim for his work. In these years, he delivered superhits in Waqt Ki Awaz, Pyar Ka Mandir (both 1988) and Ilaaka (1989), hits in Prem Pratigyaa, Mujrim (both 1989) and Trinetra (1991), semi-hits in Daata, Guru (both 1989), Hum Se Na Takrana (1990) and Pyar Ka Devta (1991).[61][62][63]

In 1990, he appeared in Mukul Anand's action crime film Agneepath which also had Bachchan, Rohini Hattangadi, Madhavi and Neelam in the lead.[64] Chakraborty received major praise for his performance and won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. At the ticket counters, Agneepath underperformed, but gained cult status in later years.[65]

He won his second National Award for Best Actor in 1992 for his portrayal of a freedom fighter in Buddhadeb Dasgupta's critically acclaimed Bengali film Tahader Katha.[66][9]

Chakraborty's career as a matinee idol faded in mid-90s as he took a break from mainstream Hindi cinema and started working in low-budget films, most of which sunk without a trace due to their poor quality.[67][68] From 1993 to 1995, he starred in many such films, but majority of them flopped badly at the box office, with few exceptions like Dalaal (1993), Cheetah (1994), Jallaad (1995) and Ravan Raaj: A True Story (1995) which also proved to be his final hit as a lead actor.[69][70][71]

Career fluctuations and return to prominence (1996–present) edit

 
Mithun at the premiere of a Bengali film Shukno Lanka

Post-stardom, Chakraborty continued to star in films which failed to propel his career forward.[72][73] He appeared in 100s of such films produced under his home banner Mithun's Dream Factory.[74][75][76]

Even he could not do the universally acclaimed Tamil film Iruvar (1997) as his character had to crop his hair, which would have affected his other 15 films at that time.[77] By this time, Chakraborty held the record for appearing in the most Hindi films as a hero.[27]

During this period, he saw minor successes in Shapath (1997), Chandaal (1998) and won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing Ramakrishna Paramahansa in G.V. Iyer's biographical drama Swami Vivekananda (1998).[78][79][80]

With his bollywood career taking a backseat, Chakraborty began to focus on Bengali films with the emergence of new century.

From 2000 to 2003, he appeared in some highly acclaimed films like - Nepaldev Bhattacharjee's Chaka (2000), Rituparno Ghosh's Titli (2002), Prasanta Bal's Ferari Fauj (2002) and Narayan Rao's Santrash (2003).[81]

He returned to mainstream Hindi films in 2005 with the highly anticipated films Elaan and Lucky: No Time for Love,[82][83] but contrary to expectations, both the films proved to be critical and commercial duds and failed to re-establish him.[84]

He finally made a solid comeback in 2007 with Mani Ratnam's Guru.[85] Guru got highly positive response from critics and proved to be a hit at the box office.[86][87] Chakraborty's performance of an honest editor met with immense acclaim and he received a nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor category.[88]

He also made a guest appearance in the song "Deewangi Deewangi" from Farah Khan's reincarnation drama Om Shanti Om.[89]

After another series of flops, he appeared in Rohit Shetty's multi-starrer comedy Golmaal 3 in 2010.[90] It did a business of 1.69 billion (US$21 million) and emerged a blockbuster at the box office.[91]

The huge success of Golmaal 3 was followed by two more major hits in 2012 with Housefull 2, OMG – Oh My God! and an average hit with Khiladi 786.[92][93]

Chakraborty had two full-fledged releases in 2013 - Enemmy and the much anticipated Boss.[94][95] Both Enemmy and Boss proved to be critical and commercial failures.[96][97]

He then played a supporting role in the Salman Khan starrer action comedy film Kick (2014).[98] The film took an initial of ₹260 million and collected 3.88 billion (US$49 million) by the end of it's run, emerging a blockbuster at the box office.[99]

In 2015, he made his Telugu and Tamil cinema debut with Gopala Gopala and Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka respectively. While Gopala Gopala did well at the box office, the latter proved to be a disaster.[100] That same year, he also appeared in Vibhu Puri's critically acclaimed historical drama Hawaizaada alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Pallavi Sharda.[101]

He made his Kannada film debut with the successful action thriller The Villain in 2018.[102]

In 2019, Chakraborty played an important role in Vivek Agnihotri's political thriller The Tashkent Files.[103] It received negative reviews from critics, but the audience reception was positive and as a result, it ran in cinemas for 100 days, eventually emerging a sleeper hit at the box office.[104][105]

After gap of an year, Chakraborty appeared in Ram Gopal Varma's horror thriller 12 'O' Clock.[106]

In 2022, he starred in two major box office successes, one in Hindi and one in Bengali. The first one was Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files based on Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus.[107] Despite receiving polarizing response from reviewers, it grossed 3.40 billion (US$43 million) worldwide and was declared a major blockbuster by the end of its run.[108][109] He received another nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor category for his performance of a Retired IAS in The Kashmir Files.[110] The next was Avijit Sen's family drama Projapoti alongside Dev.[111] It too emerged a blockbuster at the box office.[112]

He also made his digital debut in 2022 with Prime Video's web-show Bestseller.[113]

In 2023, he starred in Suman Ghosh's hit Bengali film Kabuliwala.[114]

Television career edit

 
Chakraborty in 2009

After the success of the Bengali competitive dance reality show Dance Bangla Dance, Chakraborty developed the concept of Dance India Dance, an Indian dance competition show that airs on Zee TV in India, produced by UTV Software Communications and has become India's largest dance-based reality show. The contestants get a chance to perform before a panel of judges composed of Terrence Lewis, Remo D'Souza and Geeta Kapoor. The selection of the season's Top 18 live show finalists are overseen by head judge Chakraborty. The show has won several television awards for most popular dance reality show.[115] Chakraborty was also the Grand Master of Dance India Dance Li'l Masters as well as the host of the reality show Dadagiri Unlimited on Zee Bangla channel. He replaced Sourav Ganguly as the host of the show. Chakraborty hosted the Bengali version of Bigg Boss and Rannaghore Rockstar on ETV Bangla.[116] Chakraborty made his acting debut on TV with the comedy show The Drama Company.[117][118]

Chakraborty appeared as co-judge in the Star Jalsha's Dance Dance Junior, also judged by Tollywood actors, Soham and Srabanti Chatterjee.[119][120][121]

He appeared as a co-judge with Karan Johar and Parineeti Chopra on the reality show titled Hunarbaaz: Desh Ki Shaan, which is premiere on Colors TV from January 2022.[122]

In the year 2023 he returned to sets of Dance Bangla Dance on Zee Bangla as Mahaguru.[123][124][125][126][127][128][129]

Political career edit

Chakraborty joined as a Member of Parliament[130] after he was nominated for the Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament elections by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee for her All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the West Bengal Rajya Sabha Assembly Polls which were held on 7 February 2014.[131] On 26 December 2016, he resigned as a Rajya Sabha MP.[132] Chakraborty joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 7 March 2021, ahead of the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kailash Vijayvargiya.[133][4]

Brand ambassador edit

Chakraborty was the ambassador of Panasonic electronics for India back in the late 1980s.[134][135] Now he is the face of GoDaddy, an internet domain registrar and web-hosting company. He was also the face of Channel 10, a unit of Bengal Media Pvt. Ltd. owned by Saradha Media Group,[136] and he later said "Saradha didn't pay my dues" as its branch Saradha Chit Fund collapsed.[137] Chakraborty is also the face of Manappuram Gold Loan for West Bengal state.[138]

Personal life edit

He first married actress Helena Luke in 1979, but after 4 months of marriage the couple separated and filed for a divorce.[139] He then married actress Yogeeta Bali in 1979.[140]

Chakraborty and Yogeeta have four children- Mimoh, Ushmey Chakraborty, Namashi Chakraborty and an adopted daughter Dishani Chakraborty.[141] In the 1980s, he was romantically linked to the actress Sridevi, whom he met on the sets of Jaag Utha Insan, and it was rumoured that the two were married. However, when Chakraborty refused to leave his wife Yogeeta Bali, Sridevi ended the romance and Chakraborty remained with his wife.[142][143]

On 10 February 2024, Chakraborty was hospitalized after complaining of chest pain and it was determined that he had suffered a stroke.[144] He was discharged on 12 February.[145]

Filmography edit

Awards and honours edit

In popular culture edit

Books on Mithun Chakraborty edit

Book Language Author Notes
Amar Nayikara Bengali Sumit Dey Mithun Chakraborty the cinema actor and his heroines.
Ananya Mithun Bengali Suman Gupta Biography of Mithun Chakraborty
Mithuner Katha Bengali Jayanta Ghosh
Cinemay Naamte Hole Bengali Mithun Chakraborty Mithun Chakraborty answering questions to his fans
Marbo Ekhane Lash Porbe Shoshane Bengali Ashishtaru Mukhaphadya Life story of Mithun Chakraborty
Arun Kumar Rav Hindi / Bhojpuri Himself Mithun Chakraborty answering questions of his fans
Leave Disco Dancer Alone English Sudha Rajagopalan Book about Mithun Chakraborty and soviet union cinema.
Mithun Chakraborty: The Dada of Bollywood English Ram Kamal Mukherjee Biographical book about Mithun Chakraborty
Tribute To Mithun Chakraborty English Sara Johnson A tribute to Mithun Chakraborty. The book is independently published by American writer Sara Johnson.

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