When Amitabh Bachchan said he’d give up acting due to a medical condition | Bollywood


Filmmaker-actor Tinnu Anand has revealed how Amitabh Bachchan explained his ailment to him, ahead of Shehenshah shoot when he was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis in 1984. Tinnu was speaking to Radio Nasha in an interview when he recalled the time when he spent a year thinking he would never be able to complete his ambitious project (Shahenshah). (Also read: Amitabh reveals why he was hired for polio campaign)

Amitabh Bachchan in a still from Shahenshah. 
Amitabh Bachchan in a still from Shahenshah. 

Tinnu said that he once reached the sets of Mard in Mysore only to realise that Amitabh had been injured. He then reached Bangalore to meet the actor who asked him to sit down. “I was told to wait in the hotel where I will meet Amitabh. And then finally, when he arrived, he knew the kind of jittery person I was. He said, ‘Just sit down, please, before you fall.’ I’ve got bad news for you’. He asked me to cancel my schedule as he got something called Myasthenia Gravis. It is a disease of the muscles. He said, ‘During the shoot when I was taking a sip of water, it got stuck in my throat. The message to my brain did not go that I need to swallow it, so it got stuck. I nearly died, suffocating on it.’ He then explained that he had been asked to go to Bombay for a checkup and complete rest. He said the doctors had warned him that I might never be able to work again’.”

Amitabh was shooting for Mard in 1984, and was yet to begin production of Shahenshah when he was diagnosed. He had to take break lasting for more than a year at the time.

The filmmaker further said that he collapsed upon hearing Amitabh declare that he may never act again and the actor had to call for an ambulance. Tinnu also said that creditors began asking him for all the money they had invested in Shahenshah after a report quoted Amitabh as saying that he was sorry but he needed to give up on acting. Things changed only a year later when Tinnu visited Ajitabh and he promised that the actor will complete all his pending films once his treatment is done.

In The Times of India report, Amitabh was quoted as saying, “I know I am quite ill. It doesn’t look as if I will ever be able to face the camera again. Anyways, people are getting fed up of me doing the same role over and over again, aren’t they?”

A report that appeared in India Today magazine in 1984, quoted producer Manmohan Desai (producer of Mard) thus: “The newspaper reports are just sensationalistic. To the best of my knowledge, he is merely suffering from overwork. I did not detect anything particularly wrong during our shooting in the south.”


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