Gourang Chakraborty (born 16 June 1952), better known by his stage name Mithun Chakraborty (informally referred to as Mithun Da), is an Indian film actor, singer, producer, writer, social worker, entrepreneur, television presenter and a former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament. He is the recipient of two Filmfare Awards and three National Film Awards. He made his acting debut with the art house drama Mrigayaa (1976), for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor.
He began his career as a junior actor and went on to establish himself as one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. He is recognized as one of the best "dancing-heroes" in Bollywood with his "Disco and Desi" fusion-style dancing that is popular among the masses.
Chakraborty is best remembered for his role as Jimmy in the 1982 all-time-blockbuster movie Disco Dancer, which was a superhit in India and also in many other countries, especially the Soviet Union and Russia. In Russia, Chakraborty and Raj Kapoor are the most popular Indian actors.
Besides Disco Dancer, Chakraborty is also remembered for his performance in films such as Suraksha, Saahas, Wardat, Pyar Jhukta Nahi, Dance Dance and Agneepath. In 1991, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Krishnan Iyer Nariyal Paniwala in the film Agneepath.
He later won two more National Film Awards for his performances in Tahader Katha (1992) and Swami Vivekananda (1998). Chakraborty has appeared in more than 350 films, including Bengali, Hindi, Odia, Bhojpuri, Telugu and Punjabi pictures.
Chakraborty owns the Monarch Group, which has interests in the hospitality sector. and educational sector. He has also started the production house Paparatzy Productions. 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). He was 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. The Television show Dance India Dance where Chakraborty is the Grandmaster has already been entered in Limca Book of Records and Guinness World Records Chakraborty played a crucial role of mediator between Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee, winning the Congressman the support of the Trinamool chief in the 2012 presidential election.
Early life and education
Chakraborty was born in Barisal, then in East Pakistan and now Bangladesh, on 16 June 1952.He was educated at the Scottish Church College in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, where he earned his degree in Chemistry. After that, he attended and graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He was a Naxalite before entering films, but tragedy struck his family when his only brother was electrocuted and killed in a freak accident. He returned to his family and left the Naxalite fold, even though this posed a grave risk to his own life. During his days as a Naxalite, he became friends with Ravi Ranjan, a popular Naxal figure, known to his friends as "Bhaa" (the ultimate savior). Bhaa was known for his manipulational skills and oratory abilities.
Mithun Chakraborty made his debut in the 1976 Mrinal Sen-directed film Mrigaya, for which he won the National Film Award for Best Actor. After the successful Mera Rakshak, Chakraborty rose to stardom with the low budget spy film Surakshaa (1979), directed by Ravikant Nagaich. The film was so successful that many movies starring Chakraborty in the lead were launched. The combination with Deepak Bahry also happened for the first time in 1979 with Tarana. Another important film for Chakraborty in the late 1970s was Prem Vivah, directed by Basu Chatterjee.
Mithun Chakraborty literally ruled Bollywood in the 1980s, with the brand of impossible heroics and made-for-the-front-row lines as he starred in over 110 releases in this decade. Chakraborty played the lead role of Bheema in the super-hit multi-starrer movie Hum Paanch (1980). And, in 1982, Disco Dancer extended Chakraborty's popularity across India and into Russia. Even today, youngsters copy the "Mithun-style dance". He also did lighter roles in Shaukeen, Sun Sajna and Aamne Samne. His 1985 superhit movie Pyar Jhukta Nahin reconfirmed his top star status. That same year, he was also appreciated for his role as Javar in the JP Dutta film, Ghulami. Chakraborty also became India's highest tax payer in 1986. Chakraborty went on to star in a number of romantic and family dramas during the 1980s, such as Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye, Ghar Ek Mandir, Pyaar Jhukta Nahin, Swarag Se Sunder and Pyaar Ka Mandir. These films remain his most commercially successful films to date. He was also widely recognized as an action hero in films such as Jagir, Jaal, Dilwaala, Watan Ke Rakhwale and Waqt Ki Awaz. His performances never won any award in 1986 and 1987 as the Filmfare Awards were never announced due to technical reasons. As Chakraborty always had higher number of releases, sometimes it affected the business of his own films, as happened in 1989, where he had a record 19 films.
Chakraborty had another 100 plus releases in this decade too, starting with Agneepath, which won him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Films such as Shandaar,Gunahon Ka Devta, Pyar Ka Devta,Trinetra and Mere Sajana Saath Nibhana followed. In 1992, the critically acclaimed Bengali film Tahader Katha won him his second National Film Award for Best Actor. In this period he decided to take a break from Mumbai. He shifted his entire family to Ooty and he constructed The Monarch Hotel. Chakraborty then decided to do movies only to be shot at Ooty and nearby locations and he provided discount rates to the film crew to stay in his hotel as well. This strategy paid off as numerous films starring Chakraborty were launched every week, so he shifted his focus from mainstream Hindi cinemas to low-budget movies. Dalaal was released followed by other low-budget films such as Phool Aur Angaar, Ravan Raaj: A True Story and Shapath, which created a market for low-budget productions.
Jallad won him the Filmfare Best Villain Award and Star Screen Award Best Villain for the year 1995. His economical film production was popular as Mithun's Dream Factory. Even he could not do Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar as his character had to crop his hair, which would have affected his other 15 films at that time. By this time, Chakraborty held the record for appearing in the most Hindi films as a hero. A third National Award followed in 1998, this time as the Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of Ramakrishnan in G. V. Iyer's Swami Vivekananda. Once again, the overdose of Chakraborty releases affected the business as 1998 and 1999 itself had almost 30 releases. Meantime, he paid more taxes than anyone else in the country in the mean period for 5 continuous years, from 1995 to 1999. This decade proved Chakraborty as a businessman more than a star as low-budget filmmakers were given their due by Mithun. He operates hotels in Masinagudi and Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Mysore, Siliguri and Kolkata.
Mithun's Dream Factory films still continued to hold the audiences, moreover he started doing more Bengali films and gave consistent films like Titli, Guru, Barood, Yuddho, Tulkalam and Rehmat Ali. Chakraborty also made a comeback to the mainstream Hindi film industry in 2005 with the film Elaan. After a few supporting roles in films such as Lucky: No Time for Love (2005) and Dil Diya Hai (2006), he starred in Mani Ratnam's film Guru. He was also acclaimed for his villainous role in Kalpana Lajmi's Chingaari (2005). His 2009 movie Zor Lagaa Ke...Haiya! won multiple International awards and Chal Chalein was appreciated by critics for its bold theme. The critically acclaimed Phir Kabhi with Dimple Kapadia had a première through a direct to home (DTH) release in September 2009 and won as many as six awards in as many categories at the Los Angeles Reel Awards of 2009.
Chakraborty's recent films include Veer, (2010) with Salman Khan and Golmaal 3 (2010), with Ajay Devgn. And in 2012, he did 3 films with Akshay Kumar, Housefull 2, OMG – Oh My God! and Khiladi 786. His home production Enemmy (2013) was with his son Mimoh Chakraborty and actor Sunil Shetty and he did Anthony D'Souza's Boss (2013) with Akshay Kumar. In Subhash Ghai's Kaanchi... (2014), he played an evil politician wearing facial prosthetics that won him critical acclaim. Kick with Salman Khan earned more than ₹375 crore worldwide, and at the time was the third highest-grossing Bollywood film. Chakraborty also had Entertainment and Hawaizaada as recent releases and now he is playing the lead role in Geher, an horror film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and Anil Sharma's Genius.
Parallel to his Bollywood career, Mithun Chakraborty has also worked in Bengali commercial films as well as in realistic or arthouse movies including Troyee, made in 1982. He appeared in director Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Tahader Katha, which got him his second National Award in 1992. Chakraborty occasionally did Bengali films such as Anyay Abichar, Swarna Trishna and Jiban Yuddha, but after 2000, he has concentrated more on Bengali films. He also appeared in Goutam Ghose's Gudia in 1999 as well as Rituparno Ghosh's Titli in 2002. In 2008, he collaborated again with Buddhadeb Dasgupta for Kaalpurush and later appeared in films Shukno Lanka and Target: The Final Mission. His performances in Mrigaya, Tahader Katha, Kaalpurush and Titli won him National Film Awards and nominations. His debut Bhojpuri film Bhole Shankar is considered the biggest Bhojpuri film. Similarly, his Oriya film Ae Jugara Krushna Sudama in which he co-starred with Oriya icon Uttam Mohanty was also a huge success. The last Bengali hits for Chakraborty were Handa and Bhonda, Nobel Chor and Le Halwa Le.
Chakraborty's Telugu language film Gopala Gopala with Daggubati Venkatesh, Shriya Saran, Pawan Kalyan, Bengali film Herogiri along with actor Dev and Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka, the Tamil film and its Telugu version Malupu were released successfully along with Debaditya Bandopadhyay's Bengali film Naxal, while his long delayed film Ek Nadir Galpo: Tale of a River has been officially released and became a success at the box office.
Chakraborty's Bengali film, the science fiction Jole Jongole was successfully released in February 2017. Chakraborty's upcoming Bengali films are Buddhuram Dhol Duniya Gol and White Mischief while the long delayed Hason Raja has been resumed with Chakraborty opposite Raima Sen. Chakraborty is also making his Kannada film debut with The Villain starring Shiva Rajkumar and Sudeep in lead roles.
After the success of the Bengali competitive dance reality show Dance Bangla Dance, Mithun 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 Mithun Chakraborty. The show has several Television Awards for Most Popular Dance Reality Show. Chakraborty was also the Grand Master of Dance India Dance Li'l Masters as well as the host of the reality show titled 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. Now Chakraborty is working on the comedy show "The Drama Company" which airs on Sony TV.
Chakraborty joined as Member of Parliament 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 February 7, 2014. On 26 December 2016, he resigned as a Rajya Sabha MP.
Chakraborty was the ambassador of Panasonic electronics for India back in the late 1980s. 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, and he later said "Saradha didn't pay my dues" as its branch Saradha Chit Fund collapsed. Chakraborty is also the face of Manappuram Gold Loan for West Bengal state.
In the late 1970s, Mithun Chakraborty had a relationship with actress Sarika, who he had worked with, but they eventually broke up. He then had a relationship with model-actress Helena Luke, who he married in 1979, but the marriage ended shortly thereafter. He then married actress Yogeeta Bali, who he met in 1979.
During the 1980s, Chakraborty had a love affair with popular actress Sridevi. Sridevi had fallen in love with Mithun Chakraborty on the sets of Rakesh Roshan's Jaag Utha Insan (1984). Sridevi and Mithun Chakraborty had long been rumored to have gotten married secretly, which Mithun Chakraborty later admitted to the press after a fan magazine published their marriage certificate.
Awards and honours
- 1976 - Best Actor for Mrigayaa
- 1992 - Best Actor for Tahader Katha
- 1995 - Best Supporting Actor for Swami Vivekananda
- Other honors
In popular culture
- The title character of the comic book Jimmy Zhingchak is a parody of Mithun Chakraborty.
- The 2010 film Golmaal 3 also parodies Chakraborty's film career as a dancing star. The film even has the songs Disco Dancer and Yaad Aa Raha Hai which were in the film Disco Dancer.
- In the 2011 film Delhi Belly, Aamir Khan parodies Chakraborty in the song I Hate You (Like I Love You) dressed as 'Disco Fighter'.
Books on Mithun Chakraborty
|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||Mithuner katha / edited and compiled by 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 to his fans|