Being in the showbiz is tough. It’s undeniably dicey. One moment you have the world at your feet, and in the very next, you are struggling to pay your bills. But the allure of the limelight is too tempting to ignore, and millions of aspiring actors and actresses flock Mumbai, the city of dreams, to make it big, fully aware that the profession offers no stability. Here are some Bollywood stars who reached the pinnacle of success and then sunk to the lowest depts. While some managed to restore their career, many chose to end their lives.
1. Amitabh Bachchan
Image: Soundcity TV Africa
The undisputed numero uno of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan struggled for long before he became a star with Zanjeer in 1973, and it was a northwards rise since. He formed the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL) in 1995 to involve in film production and event management. ABCL went bankrupt, thanks to a botched up attempt to bring the 1996 Miss World contest to India. Hundreds of cases were slapped against Amitabh and creditors would land at his doorsteps and threaten him. Amitabh, at that time, acted in some of most brainless films of his career, like Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Laal Baadshah (1999), and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999), to earn money and pay off his dues.
2. Jackie Shroff
Image: India West
Girls used to swoon over the rakish charm of this actor, ever since he made his presence felt with Hero (1983), directed by his mentor Subhash Ghai. He was one of the most bankable Bollywood stars in the eighties and had several hit films under his belt. Like Amitabh Bachchan, he formed his own production house, Jackie Shroff Entertainment Ltd. Some failed business deals, including the trouble with Sony Entertainment Television, and Jackie had to sell his flats to pay off bank loans. He failed to return the loan he took from film producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who was ready to drag him to court, had not Salman Khan intervened at the right time.
3. AK Hangal
Image: The Quint
In the seventies and eighties, there were hardly any Hindi films that did not feature this gentleman of an actor. Known for his performances in Bawarchi (1972), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), and Tamas (1988), AK Hangal acted in 225 films in a career spanning more than four decades. However, fame could not keep the hard times at bay for this former freedom fighter. He went bankrupt and was unable to pay his medical expenses. Only when Bollywood stars Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, and Jaya Bachchan intervened and appealed to the industry that help started to trickle in.