1. Amitabh Bachchan
Had he not become an actor, Amitabh Bachchan, once famously joked, he would be selling milk in his native Allahabad.
It's inconceivable, of course, to imagine one of India's most adored super icon to be anything but India's most adored super icon today.
From a lanky nobody who starred in countless flops before getting noticed as the supporting character of Babu Moshai in Anand to playing countless avatars of Vijay in Zanjeer, Deewar, Trishul, Don and Agneepath, Big B kick started an era of incensed anger that fought and defeated all evil.
His heroics and anguish, which he conveyed with such genuine emotion and towering authority, made him a hit with everyone in the audience -- young, old, man, woman.
At the same, he showcased his terrific spectrum as a performer by tickling us to bits in Chupke Chupke, Namak Halal, Amar Akbar Anthony, Yaraana, Satte Pe Satta and Mr Natwarlal, conveying the intricacies of romance in Abhimaan, Kabhi Kabhie, Mili and Silsila.
But it's not mere star power or exceptional fortune that saw him sustain innumerable setbacks in personal and professional life. The survivor in AB battled controversies and nagging health issues to rise to the occasion every single time to kick start the most exciting phase of his career -- Eklavya, Cheeni Kum, Paa, The Last Lear and Sarkar.
At 70, the superstar is all set to make his Hollywood debut in a Baz Luhrrman's The Great Gatsby.
It may be a small role but good enough to get its own poster. Give it up for Bachchan!