“Itihaas badalne waale ka naam kabhi itihass mein nahin hota hai” … This famous dialogue from film ‘Gunda’ may be true for the movie, but the man who said this has definitely made a mark in the history of Hindi cinema with his unique style and charisma. The man we are talking about is none other than the dancing jack of Bollywood ‘Mithun Chakraborty’. Some call him ‘Mithun Da’ while many call him ‘Prabhuji’.
This tall, dark and handsome boy who stole the heart of millions with his debut film in 1976 continues to entertain the audience with his amazing wit and awesome performances. With many twists and turns, the actor’s personal life has been as dramatic as his films.
Mithun, originally named Gouranga Chakraborty was born in Kolkata to a Bengali family. Before starting his career in films, Mithun was a hard Naxalite but when his younger brother died in an unfortunate accident, he decided to quit. Mithun completed his education from a renowned college in Kolkata, from where he received his undergraduate degree in chemistry. Not many people know that Mithun also tried wrestling in his younger days. Another lesser known fact is that he had undergone expert training in martial arts too.
Mithun’s film career started just when he passed out from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune to study theatre and arts and this is the time when the actor changed his name from ‘Gouranga Chakraborty’ to ‘Mithun Chakraborty’.
Mithun debuted in the film ‘Mrigaya’ in 1976 directed by Mrinal Sen. And with his very first film he grabbed eyeballs and also got his first National Film award for the same. His stupendous performances in ‘Tahader Katha’ and ‘Swami Vivekananda’ also won him National Film Awards. There has been no looking back for the actor ever since.
Not only his rising persona, but his personal life too became the talk of the town when a brief affair with a model Helena Luke made headlines. Both tied the knot, but their marriage hit rock bottom and the couple got divorced soon.
Personal upheavals did not deter the film star from giving remarkable performances in ‘Mera Rakshak’ (1978), ‘Surakshaa’ and ‘Tarana’ (1979). It was on the sets of film ‘Khawab’ that Mithun fell in love with actress Yogeeta Bali and the couple tied the knot in 1979. Yogeeta was the third wife of singer and actor Kishore Kumar but their marriage didn’t work out well and ended in 1978.
Until 1982, Mithun had cemented his foothold in Indian film industry, but there came a film by B Subhash named ‘Disco Dancer’ in 1982 which made him an overnight sensation. Disco Dancer was dedicated to his dancing acumen and it went on to become a blockbuster hit, not only in India but the world over, especially in Russia. After many successful films, Mithun was seen as the next big thing after Amitabh Bachchan and he became the second highest paid actor in the industry.
Mithun’s life again took a turn in 1984 when he met Sridevi on the sets of ‘Jaag utha insaan’. By that time Sridevi had already established herself as a star. Both got along like a house on fire and had a whirlwind romance. Mithun was already married by then and it is believed that he married Sridevi secretly and the couple kept it under the wraps for long. It was only when a famous magazine published their marriage certificate in public, Mithun admitted to his third marriage. Learning this, Yogeeta tried committing suicide after which Sridevi ended her relationship with Mithun, knowing he had not divorced his wife and Mithun too returned back to his wife.
Mithun and Yogeeta have four children, three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Mahaakshay Chakraborty, also known as Mimoh, is an actor in Bollywood, who made his debut in the 2008 film Jimmy. And he has named his son ‘Mimoh’ after two of his most favourite stars, Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali. Other two are Rimoh Chakraborty and Namashi Chakraborty. Dishani Chakraborty is Mithun’s daughter.
Mithun has won many accolades but has remained grounded and approachable. It is a little known fact that his diehard fans in India, often call him ‘Prabhuji’ and they even wanted to build his temple, but Mithun denied it.
Jimmy Zhingchak takes its inspiration from the disco dancer, aka Mithun Da.Mithun Da has been a part of over 200 Indian films. He has also worked in Bengali and Bhojpuri Cinema.
He made a comeback to the Hindi film industry with film Elaan in 2005 which was not successful. In 2007, he did Mani Ratnam’s Guru for which he received critical acclaim. Even at this age, he continues to do films like before. Mithun is the Grandmaster of a Dance reality show and impresses the audience and performers alike, with his humour and spontaneity.
As many of Mithun’s films have been shot in Ooty, he is a bit superstitious about the place and has even opened a hotel and owns a house in the same place. The actor has great affection for animals and for the same reason he deems himself as a proud father of 38 dogs in Mumbai.
Mithun Da has also been involved in the promotion of football. The Bengal Football Academy is his brainchild and he raised the required funds for its launch. Mithun is also the co-owner of ICL cricket team Royal Bengal Tigers.
The yesteryear’s heartthrob who ruled Bollywood during 70s and 80s still holds an iconic status in the film industry and continues to impress audiences with his performance oriented roles. His passion for dance, a strong will and ceaseless hard work have made Mithun an inspiration not only for fellow actors but for everyone! KOI SHAK??