His grandfather, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a well-known poet of Urdu and Hindi. The original last name of the family is "Srivastava"; "Bachchan" was in fact a pen name used by his grandfather. However, when his father Amitabh Bachchan entered films, he did so under his father's pen name. Now he is never known as anything but Abhishek Bachchan.
Although he made a strong debut in J.P.Dutta's Refugee along with Kareena Kapoor in 2000, the movie was not considered a success. In a span of four years, Bachchan went on to do many more movies, without any major box-office successes. However, with his performance in Mani Ratnam's Yuva, he proved his mettle as an actor. He portrayed the character of Lallan which earned him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award and every other supporting actor award at the major film award functions.
In 2004 he starred in Dhoom, produced by Yashraj Films, the film was the first hit of his career. In 2005 he shot to fame with four consecutive hits which were Bunty Aur Babli, Sarkar, Dus and Bluffmaster. He recently won his second Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for Sarkar. His recent release Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) is also doing extremely well at the box office. He was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai alongside many other co-stars.
He was engaged to actress Karisma Kapoor in 2002, an engagement later broken. Recently, much media attention has focused on Bachchan's alleged romantic involvement with fellow Bollywood celebrity and Miss World 1994, Aishwarya Rai. Gossip has linked him with a number of actresses.