Bollywood legend Bachchan 'hale and hearty' after surgery

MUMBAI - Veteran Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was "hale and hearty" after undergoing a three-hour operation on Saturday for an abdominal ailment, a hospital official said.

Bachchan, 69, has a history of abdominal problems - the legacy of an accident suffered while filming three decades ago.

"The operation lasted three hours. Bachchan is hale and hearty now," a spokesman for the Seven Hills Hospital in India's entertainment capital Mumbai told AFP.

Bachchan, who acts in several films a year, is the father of top Bollywood star Abhishek who is wed to leading actress Aishwarya Rai.

He was admitted to hospital Saturday morning after complaining of abdominal pain earlier in the week, sparking worries about his health among thousands of his adoring fans.

Abhishek sought to reassure fans about the health of his father after the latest medical scare, saying the surgery had been successful.

"The surgery went off well and dad is now in the room resting," he wrote on microblogging website Twitter.

"The Big B," as he is known, has suffered abdominal problems since he ruptured his spleen during a fight scene on the set of the 1982 film "Coolie", after which he was critically ill for months.

His last major health problem was two years ago when he announced he was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and needed regular medical check-ups.

A regular on Twitter and an avid blogger, Bachchan was posting his health status till the day before the latest surgery.

"Set now for another trip to hospital, a destination that invites me more often than I would like," he tweeted.

Each Bachchan message attracts a huge readership and hundreds of comments contributed by Indians who view him as a national father figure.