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, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Punjabi pictures. He is the record holder in the Limca Book of Records for 19 movie releases as lead actor in the year 1989 and the record is still unbroken in Bollywood as of July 2022.
Chakraborty made his Bollywood debut with Mrinal Sen's National Award winning film Mrigayaa (1976), for which he won the National Film Award for Best Actor. After playing a few minor roles in films such as Do Anjaane (1976) and Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1978), his first major successful film was the 1978 film Mera Rakshak. During those days Chakraborty was supported by his Nadi Theke Sagare co-star Debashree Roy. He 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. His combination with Deepak Bahry also happened for the first time in 1979 with Tarana and they would go on to collaborate on many hit films together in the 1980s such as Humse Badhkar Kaun, Hum Se Hai Zamana and Woh Jo Hasina. Another important film for Chakraborty in the late 1970s was Prem Vivah, directed by Basu Chatterjee.
In 1982, he shot to superstardom with his most recognisable leading role in the musical Disco Dancer, which extended Chakraborty's popularity across India and into Russia and established him as a dancing star. The film's director Babbar Subhash teamed up with Chakraborty again with the cult musical films Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984), Dance Dance (1987) and Commando (1988) which were also successful. 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's most successful family dramas included Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye (1983), Ghar Ek Mandir (1984), Swarag Se Sunder (1986) and Pyaar Ka Mandir (1988). His comedies included Shaukeen (1982) Pasand Apni Apni (1983) and Baat Ban Jaye (1986) and action films such as Jagir (1984), Jaal (1986), Dilwala (1986), Muddat (1986), Watan Ke Rakhwale (1987), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988), Waqt Ki Awaz (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Daata (1989) and Guru (1989). These films remain his most commercially successful films to date. 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 a high number of releases, sometimes it affected the business of his own films, as happened in 1989, where he had a record 19 films, including super hits like Ilaaka, Mujrim, Prem Pratigya and Daata, and hits like Ladaai, Guru and Bees Saal Baad.
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.
Mithun's Dream Factory films still continued to hold the audiences. He featured in Prasanta Bal's period drama Hindustani Sipahi (2002), based on veteran actor and dramatist Utpal Dutt's Bengali play Ferari Fauj. 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.
In 2006 he starred in the movie MLA Fatakeshto and its sequel Minister Fatakeshto in 2007 both of which were blockbusters. 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 Odia film Ae Jugara Krushna Sudama in which he co-starred with Odia icon Uttam Mohanty was also a huge success. The last Bengali hits for Chakraborty were Handa and Bhonda, Nobel Chor and Le Halwa Le.
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