Being called a superstar is kind of like giving a big compliment to a movie actor. But deciding who’s a superstar and who’s not can be confusing. These days, many successful actors get called superstars because of good publicity. But about 25-30 years ago in Bollywood, people had a clearer idea. Only a few actors were seen as superstars, even if others had more successful movies.
One person who never got the superstar title despite having 50 hit movies is Mithun Chakraborty. He started acting in the 70s and got a National Award for his movie Mrigayaa. In the 80s, he became a big deal with movies like Disco Dancer and many others. Mithun acted in 270 Bollywood films, and 51 of them were hits, including three super-successful ones. Still, people didn’t call him a superstar.
Mithun had more hits than famous actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, and Akshay Kumar. Even though these guys were called superstars, Mithun beat them in the number of hit movies. Rajesh Khanna had 42 hits, Akshay had 39, Salman 38, Shah Rukh 34, and Amitabh had fewer hits than Mithun.
Mithun was a trailblazer too. His movie Disco Dancer became the first Indian film to join the 100-crore club. It made over Rs 6 crore in India, which was a lot in the early 80s. But it became a sensation in the Soviet Union, earning more than Rs 94 crore.
The total worldwide earnings reached Rs 101 crore. This record held for over a decade until Hum Aapke Hain Koun broke it. Even when we consider inflation, Disco Dancer is still the highest-grossing Indian film overseas, beating movies like Dangal and Secret Superstar.