Shah Rukh Khan

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Shah Rukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan CE.jpg
Khan at the audio launch of Chennai Express (2013)
Born (1965-11-02) 2 November 1965 (age 48)
New Delhi, India[1]
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India[2]
Occupation Actor, producer, television presenter
Years active 1988–present
Net worth Increase US $600 million (2014)[3]
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Gauri Khan (m. 1991)
Children 3
Signature ShahRukh Khan Sgnature.jpg

Shah Rukh Khan also known as SRK (born Shahrukh Khan; 2 November 1965),[4] is an Indian actor, producer, television personality and philanthropist. Referred to in the media as "Baadshah of Bollywood" or "King Khan", he has appeared in over 50 Hindi films in genres ranging from romance to action and comedies. His work in Bollywood has garnered him numerous achievements, including fourteen Filmfare Awards from thirty nominations. His eighth Filmfare Best Actor Award win put him in a tie for the most in that category. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2005, while the Government of France awarded him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007 and later in 2014, the Légion d'honneur, their highest civilian award for his contribution to films. He was named the second richest actor in the world in 2014, with a net worth of $600 million.

Starting his career in theatre and several television series' in the late 1980s, he later made his Bollywood debut in 1992 with Deewana. Early in his career, Khan was recognised for his unconventional choice of portraying negative roles in films such as Darr (1993), Baazigar (1993), and Anjaam (1994). He later rose to prominence by playing a series of roles in romantic comedies or dramas like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). Khan subsequently earned wide critical appreciation in the drama Devdas (2002), for his portrayal of a NASA scientist in Swades (2004), a hockey coach in Chak De! India (2007), and as the titular character in My Name Is Khan (2010). Thirteen of the films he has acted in have accumulated gross earnings of over INR1 billion (US$17 million) worldwide,[5] making him one of the most successful leading actors of Hindi cinema.[6]

Khan currently occupies the position of co-chairman of the motion picture production company, Red Chillies Entertainment and its subsidiaries. He is also co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders. The year 2007 marked his debut as a television presenter with the Star Plus gaming show Kaun Banega Crorepati. Khan is often labelled by the media as "Brand SRK" due to his various brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures. He has also been involved in philanthropic endeavors related to health care, relief funds and children's education, for which he was honoured with the UNESCO's Pyramide con Marni award in 2011. Khan is considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history with a massive fan following, which led the Los Angeles Times to describe him as "the world's biggest movie star."[7] He regularly features in listings of the most influential names in Indian culture and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world.

Early life and background

Khan with his wife Gauri in 2012; they married before he began his film career

Khan was born on 2 November 1965 in New Delhi, India,[1] and brought up in Mangalore for the first five years of his life.[8][a] His grandfather Ifthikar Ahmed served as chief engineer in Mangalore port in the 1960s.[10] His father, Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, an ethnic Pashtun, was an Indian independence activist from Peshawar, British India (present-day Pakistan).[11] According to Khan, his paternal grandfather was originally from Afghanistan.[12] Shahrukh Khan's father came to New Delhi from Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar before the 1947 partition of India.[13] His mother, Lateef Fatima, was the daughter of a senior engineer with the government.[14] Although she was reported to be the adopted daughter of Shah Nawaz Khan, Major General in the Indian National Army, those reports were denied by the army.[15] In fact Khan says that his father was related to Shah Nawaz Khan. His parents met when his mother was in an auto accident and his father gave blood for her.[16] Regarding his origin, Khan described himself on Twitter as "half Hyderabadi (mother), half Pathan (father), some Kashmiri (grandmother)".[17]

Growing up in Rajendra Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi,[18] Khan attended St. Columba's School where he received the school's highest award, the Sword of Honour.[19] He enrolled at Hansraj College (1985–1988) to earn his Bachelors degree in Economics, but spent much of his time at Delhi's "Theatre Action Group" (TAG).[20] There he studied acting under the mentorship of theatre director Barry John.[21] Though he started a Masters Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, he later opted out to pursue his career.[22] He also attended the National School of Drama, Delhi during his early career in Bollywood.[23] His father died of cancer when Khan was in his mid teens, and his mother died in 1990 after a prolonged illness.[24] The death of Khan's parents at an early age affected him greatly, as he was very attached to them. He described these events as a motivator for the hard work ethic in his own life.[25]

After the death of his mother, Khan moved to Mumbai in 1991.[26] He married Gauri Chibber, a Punjabi Hindu, in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on 25 October 1991.[27][28] According to Khan, while he strongly believes in Islam, he also values his wife's religion. At home, his children follow both religions, with the Qur'an being situated next to the Hindu deities.[29] They have a son Aryan (born 1997) and a daughter Suhana (born 2000).[22] In 2013 they became parents of a third child named AbRam[30] through a surrogate mother.[31] Khan's older sister Shehnaz also lives with them in their mansion named Mannat in Mumbai.[32]

Film career

1988–92: Television and film debut

Khan's first starring role was in Lekh Tandon's television series Dil Dariya, but due to production delays, the 1988 television series, Fauji was his television debut. He played the leading role of Commando Abhimanyu Rai in the critically acclaimed show, which earned him mass recognition.[26][33] This led to starring roles in Aziz Mirza's television series Circus (1989–90) and Mani Kaul's miniseries Idiot (1991).[34] He also played a minor role in the made-for-television English-language film, In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989).[35] His appearance in these teleserials led critics to compare his look and acting style with that of film actor Dilip Kumar.[36]

In 1991, Khan shifted base to Mumbai and received his first film offer with Hema Malini's directorial debut Dil Aashna Hai.[23][26] However, due to production delays, his second film, Deewana (1992) released first.[37] There, he starred alongside Divya Bharti as the second lead behind Rishi Kapoor. The film became a box office hit, and launched his career in Bollywood.[38] He earned the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award for the performance.[39] In 1992, he played the titular character in the comedy, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, which was his first of many collaborations with actress Juhi Chawla, and proved to be a box office hit.[40]

1993–94: The Anti-Hero

In 1993, Khan garnered appreciation for portraying negative roles, that of an obsessive lover and a murderer, respectively, in the box office hits, Darr and Baazigar.[41] The "Encyclopedia of Hindi Cinema" analyzed that "he defied the image of the conventional hero in both these films and created his own version of the revisionist hero."[42] Darr marked the first of many collaborations of Khan with film-maker Yash Chopra and his banner Yash Raj Films. Khan's stammering in the film and the usage of the phrase, "I love you, K-k-k-Kiran," were popular with audiences.[43] His other major release, Baazigar, in which he played an ambiguous avenger who murders his girlfriend, shocked the Indian audiences with an unexpected violation of the standard Bollywood formula.[44] His performance in Baazigar, which would be his first of many paired with actress Kajol, won him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award.[42]

In 1994, Khan played the role of a love-struck musician in Kundan Shah's dramedy Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, a performance that earned him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance. In a retrospective review in 2004 for, Sukanya Verma called it Khan's best performance.[45] Khan, himself in 2006, considered this film to the best film that he has acted in.[46] After that, Khan once again played an obsessive lover in Anjaam, co-starring Madhuri Dixit. Though the film was a commercial failure,[47] Khan's performance earned him the Filmfare Best Villain Award.[42]

1995–97: The Romantic Hero

In 1995, Khan starred in two box-office blockbusters. His first release was Rakesh Roshan's melodramatic thriller Karan Arjun, in which Khan was a part of an ensemble cast that included Salman Khan, Kajol, Mamta Kulkarni, Raakhee and Amrish Puri. The film, which dealt with the concept of reincarnation, became the second-highest grossing film of the year in India.[48] He followed that with Aditya Chopra's directorial debut, the romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Khan did not initially want to play the role of a loverboy, but this film is credited with establishing him as a romantic hero.[49] A major critical and commercial success, the film became the year's top-grossing production in India and abroad,[48][50] being declared an "all time blockbuster". It remains the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema, and as of 2013, it was still playing at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai.[51] Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has grossed over INR1.2 billion worldwide.[52] The film won ten Filmfare Awards, and Khan's performance as a young NRI who falls for Kajol's character while on a trip across Europe, won him critical acclaim and his second Best Actor Award at Filmfare.[42] Raja Sen of said, "Khan gives a fabulous performance, redefining the lover for the 1990s with great panache. He's cool and flippant, but sincere enough to appeal to the junta [audience]. The performance itself is, like the best in the business, played well enough to come across as effortless, as non-acting."[53] Khan appeared in a total of seven films that year.

1996 proved to be a disappointing year for Khan, as the four films he appeared in were critical and commercial disappointments.[54] However, in 1997, his starring role in Subhash Ghai's social drama Pardes earned him success, including a nomination for Best Actor at Filmfare. The film, which also featured Mahima Chaudhry and Apurva Agnihotri, saw him portray the role of Arjun, a musician facing a moral dilemma. He then featured in Aziz Mirza's romantic comedy, Yes Boss, opposite Juhi Chawla. Upon release, the film performed moderately well at the box-office.[55] His final release of the year was Yash Chopra's blockbuster musical romance, Dil to Pagal Hai. The project, about a love triangle, also featuring Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor, marked his second collaboration with the film maker. Khan essayed the role of Rahul, a stage director who falls in love with one of his new actresses. The film as well as his performance met with critical appreciation; he won his third Best Actor Award at Filmfare.[42][55] He appeared in a few other productions that year, including the action thriller Koyla.

1998–2002: International recognition

In 1998, Khan appeared in three films and one special appearance. His first release was Mahesh Bhatt's action comedy, Duplicate opposite Juhi Chawla and Sonali Bendre. The film, which saw him portray a double role, marked his first of many collaborations with Yash Johar's production company, Dharma Productions. The film however, failed to do well at the box office.[56] He then won critical praise for his performance in Mani Ratnam's acclaimed Dil Se... The film was the third in Ratnam's trilogy of terror films that depict human relationships against a background of Indian politics, after Roja (1992) and Bombay (1995).[57][58] Khan played the part of Amarkant "Amar" Varma, an All India Radio correspondent, who develops an infatuation for a mysterious terrorist, played by Manisha Koirala.[59] published, "Khan delivers a compelling performance [...] He plays the part with taut restraint, and expresses exasperation superbly."[60] The film failed financially in India, but emerged as a commercial success overseas,[61] becoming the first Indian film to enter the top 10 at the United Kingdom box office.[62]

His final release of the year was Karan Johar's candyfloss romance, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which paired him with Kajol and Rani Mukerji. The film was declared an "all time blockbuster", with a worldwide gross of over INR1 billion.[63] Khan played the role of Rahul Khanna, a college student, who falls in love with his best friend, Anjali (Kajol) after the death of his wife, Tina (Rani Mukerji), years after breaking contact with her. His performance won him the Best Actor award at the Filmfare Awards ceremony for the second consecutive year.[42] Khan's only release in 1999, Baadshah opposite Twinkle Khanna, under performed at the box office, but he earned a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Performance in a Comic Role.[64] Khan turned producer in 1999 in a collaboration with actress Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza for a production company called Dreamz Unlimited.[65] Their first production was Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000), starring Khan and Chawla. The film opened to mixed reviews from critics and audiences, and failed to generate much commercial success.[66]

Khan's next release was Mansoor Khan's action drama Josh. The film starred Khan as the leader of a Christian gang in Goa, with Aishwarya Rai playing his twin sister. The film emerged as a box office success.[66] Vinayak Chakravorty of Hindustan Times wrote that Khan "basks in his tailormade role, donning with panache the garb of a streetsmart tough."[67] He next played the role of a Muslim archaeologist, beaten to death during the unrest following the partition of India in Hey Ram. Directed by and co-starring Kamal Hassan, the film was critically acclaimed and was selected as India's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars that year.[68] Additionally, for the Tamil version of the film, Khan dubbed for his own lines.[69] His final release of the year was Aditya Chopra's romantic drama, Mohabbatein, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan. The film was a major financial success,[66] again including internationally,[61] and Khan's performance as a music teacher was acclaimed by critics, with Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama calling him "outstanding".[70] Khan was awarded his second Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performance.[71]

Khan with co-star Aishwarya Rai at the home video launch of their film Devdas (2002)

In 2001, Khan produced and essayed the titular role in Santosh Sivan's historical epic, Aśoka, a partly fictionalised account of the life of Ashoka the Great. The film was screened at the Venice Film Festival and the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival to a positive response,[72] but did poorly in India.[73] The film, which also featured Kareena Kapoor received generally positive reviews with Khan receiving favourable reactions for his performance; concluded that "he puts in a strong performance, in this well defined role."[74] He next reunited with Karan Johar in the family drama, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, in which he featured as a part of an ensemble cast that included Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. The film was a major financial success in India[73] and the top-grossing Indian production of all-time in the overseas market until 2006, earning over INR1.17 billion worldwide.[52] Khan's portrayal of Rahul Raichand, an adopted son of Bachchan's character, who disowns him for marrying a girl belonging to a lower socio-economic group than his family, played by Kajol, met with wide public appreciation. Taran Adarsh said, "Khan sparkles yet again", noting that he performed the part "with amazing poise, class, honesty and maturity".[75] It garnered him another nomination for the Filmfare Best Actor Award. Khan termed Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham as "a turning point in his career".[76]

In 2002, Khan played the titular role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period romance, Devdas. This was the third Hindi film adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel of the same name, and was the most expensive Bollywood film ever made at the time.[77] Featuring opposite Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, Khan's performance as a rebellious alcoholic was well received, and he won another Filmfare Best Actor Award.[39] The film surfaced as the highest-grossing film of the year in India and overseas, earning a revenue of INR840 million (US$14 million) worldwide.[52][78][79] Devdas won numerous awards, including 10 Filmfare Awards (including 'Best Scene'),[80][81] and received a special screening at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[82] It also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Language Film,[83] and was India's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.[68] In an interview with, Khan commented, "We stars live in this bubble where everyone is smiling at you, where everyone loves you. Somehow, you lose touch with real, deep down sadness. Working on this film put us in touch with that emotion."[23] After the release of the film, Khan took a six months break from acting. He explained that during his break, he "just enjoyed the feeling of being sad".[23] Khan appeared in three other productions that year, including the long delayed family-drama Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam.

In December 2001, while filming a special appearance for Krishna Vamsi's Shakti: The Power, Khan suffered a spine injury while doing an action sequence.[84] He flew to Lucknow a week later for a series of stage shows which led to further aggravation of his condition. By the time he returned to Mumbai, Khan was experiencing severe pain. He was subsequently diagnosed with a prolapsed disc between vertebrae six and seven. Khan tried multiple alternative therapies from homoeopathy to Reiki but nothing offered a permanent solution; he was in pain during the shooting of Devdas.[84]

2003: Spine surgery

Due to his injury, Khan also shot for Chalte Chalte (2003) while in acute pain, and continued thus with the shoot for Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).[84][85] By the beginning of 2003, his condition severely worsened.[84][86] In February, Khan was told by doctors that he had to undergo an urgent Anterior Cervical Discectomy.[86][87][88] The surgery took place on 24 February in Wellington Hospital, London and lasted for one hour – a titanium disc was inserted in his spine and he was discharged after two days, but faced several post-operative issues.[84][87] Afterwards, he resumed shooting Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and Main Hoon Na (2004) in June of the same year, but the injury resulted in Khan cutting down noticeably on work and reducing his number of films per year.[85]

His first film to release that year was his own production of Aziz Mirza's, Chalte Chalte, a romance dealing with the troubles faced by a married couple, opposite Rani Mukerji. The film was moderately successful in India and additionally, fared better in the overseas markets.[89][90] His following release was Kal Ho Naa Ho, a dramedy set in New York City; written by Karan Johar, directed by Nikhil Advani and co-starring Jaya Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. Khan received unanimous critical appreciation for the portrayal of Aman Mathur, a man with a fatal heart disease. The Hindu noted, "His enthusiasm unbounded, his energy unbridled, Shah Rukh is in form here. And as a guy with a few days to live and a life to spend in a moment, he looks for your sympathy. He reduces many to tears. And with each tear he rises a rank higher in the echelons of actors".[91] The film was a critical and commercial success, becoming the second highest grossing film domestically and the top-grossing Bollywood film in the overseas market that year.[61][89] Its total gross worldwide is INR780 million.[52] The film earned him another Filmfare Best Actor Award nomination.[92]

2004–10: Dominance at Filmfare

2004 was a critically and commercially successful year for Khan. He transformed Dreamz Unlimited into Red Chillies Entertainment, with his wife Gauri also serving as a producer.[93] He produced and starred in Farah Khan's directorial debut, the action comedy Main Hoon Na, a fictionalized account of the India–Pakistan relations, which emerged as the second highest earner of the year.[94] He then played an Indian Air Force pilot, Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh in Yash Chopra's love saga Veer-Zaara. The film was the biggest hit of 2004 in India, with a worldwide gross of over INR940 million[52][94] and was screened at the 55th Berlin Film Festival to critical appreciation.[95] Veer-Zaara, which narrated the love story of Singh and a Pakistani woman, Zaara Haayat Khan, played by Priety Zinta, fetched Khan appreciation; Rama Sharma from The Tribune wrote, "Shah Rukh Khan here scales the heights of sensitivity, rising above the mundane. His expressions are mature and reach out to touch the heart of the common man."[96]

In December of that year, Khan received wide critical acclaim for his performance in Ashutosh Gowariker's social drama, Swades. Also featuring Gayatri Joshi, Swades narrated the story of a NASA scientist who returns to India to get in touch with his roots. Several film critics considered Khan's performance in the film to be his best till date.[97] Critic Jitesh Pillai said, "Ultimately your heart leaps out to the magical Shah Rukh Khan, who unarguably gives his career's finest performance. [...] you can feel the earnestness of his intentions, the wetness of his tears".[98] Filmfare included his performance in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances".[99] The film itself was featured on's list of the 10 Best Bollywood Movies of the Decade.[97] Khan was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for all three of his releases in 2004, and eventually won the award for Swades.[39]

Khan's only release other than special appearances in 2005, Paheli opposite Rani Mukerji, was screened at the Golden Globes, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.[100] It was also chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars for the 79th Academy Awards.[68] Despite flopping at the box-office, Paheli was critically acclaimed, as was Khan's performance, which Raja Sen said "justifies his supremacy in the film world".[101]

In 2006, Khan collaborated with Karan Johar for the third time for the adult-drama, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. With an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Kirron Kher, the film told the story of two unhappily married couples in New York, which results in an extramarital affair.The film received polarizing reviews from film critics but emerged as India's biggest grosser in the overseas market,[61] with earnings of over INR1.13 billion worldwide.[52] He subsequently essayed the titular role in the action thriller, Don, a remake of the 1978 film of the same name. The film as well as Khan received mixed comments from film critics. His performance was extensively compared to that of Amitabh Bachchan, the actor in the original.[102] Taran Adarsh noted that Khan "does very well as Don. He enacts the evil character with flourish. But he fails to carry off the other role [Vijay] with conviction. It looks made up, it doesn't come natural to him at all."[102] Conversely, Derek Elley of Variety argued that "it's hard to accept him (Khan) as the title character" and that "Khan is far more convincing as Vijay, playing up to his rom-com fanbase with plenty of boyish humor."[103] The film fared well in India[104] and was the second highest grossing film of the year in the overseas market.[61] It grossed a total of INR1.04 billion worldwide.[52] Both Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Don earned him Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards, which he co-hosted.[105]

In 2007, Khan featured in Yash Raj Films' Chak De! India, a semi-fictional account of the Indian women's national hockey team. Khan noted that while his background helped him during the filming (he was part of his university's hockey team),[106] he felt playing again after a long time was "very difficult and different". Khan tore a hamstring three days before the filming was over.[107] Chak De! India was a major critical and commercial success in India and abroad,[108] earning over INR1.03 billion worldwide.[52] Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN wrote about his performance, "For the first time since Swades, Shah Rukh plays a role without any of his typical trappings, without any of his trademark quirks. [...] He plays Kabir Khan like a real flesh-and-blood human being."[109] Filmfare also included his performance in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances".[110] Chak De! India became the third-highest grossing film of 2007[111] in India and won Khan yet another Filmfare Award for Best Actor.[39] In the same year, Khan starred in Farah Khan's second film, Om Shanti Om alongside Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade and Arjun Rampal. In the re-incarnation melodrama, Khan essayed the role of Om Prakash Makhija, a junior artiste from the 1970s who is reborn in the 2000s as a superstar named Om Kapoor. His performance was generally well received by critics; Khalid Mohammed from Hindustan Times wrote, "[T]he enterprise belongs to Shah Rukh Khan, who tackles comedy, high drama and action with his signature style – spontaneous and intuitively intelligent."[112] The film emerged as the year's highest grossing motion picture in India[111] and the overseas market[61] with a worldwide gross of over INR1.48 billion.[52] Om Shanti Om earned Khan his second nomination of the year for Best Actor at Filmfare.[113]

In 2008, Khan collaborated with Aditya Chopra for the third time for the romantic drama, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, opposite newcomer Anushka Sharma. Khan played Surinder Sahni, a shy man with a low self-esteem, whose love for his accidental wife (Sharma), causes him to transform himself into the loud and fun-loving alter-ego of Raj. The film received mixed reviews from film critics, but was declared a blockbuster at the box-office.[114] His performance was appreciated by critics, with Rachel Saltz of The New York Times writing, "The Surinder/Raj dual role seems tailor-made (probably was) for Mr. Khan, who gets to show off his twin talents: he suffers nobly and entertains with panache."[115] It earned him yet another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare ceremony. In December of the same year, Khan suffered a serious shoulder injury while filming for a small part in Mudassar Aziz's Dulha Mil Gaya. He subsequently underwent extensive physiotherapy sessions at the time, but due to immense pain that left him almost immobile, he had to undergo an arthroscopic surgery in February 2009.[116][117] In 2009, Khan had an extended special appearance in the film Billu, playing a fictional version of himself, Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan.[118]

After turning down an opportunity to star in Danny Boyle's award winning Slumdog Millionaire, Khan began shooting for My Name Is Khan, his fourth collaboration with director Karan Johar and sixth with actress Kajol.[119] Based on a true story, and set against the backdrop of perceptions of Islam, post the 11 September attacks, the film featured Khan as Rizwan Khan, a Muslim man suffering from mild-Asperger syndrome who sets out on a journey across America to meet the country's President. Khan spent several months researching by reading books, watching videos and talking to people affected with the disorder in an effort to properly portray the character.[120] In an interview with Hindustan Times he said, "Whenever you're dealing with a disorder or a near atypical situation, the first thought is that the sort of parameters you have to set that in no which way you are derogatory or deriding the disorder [...] The second part is you have to come as close to reality in depicting that characterization and so one had to study a lot and one does get worried"[121] Upon release, My Name is Khan received positive reviews from critics and became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time in the overseas market.[52][61] Khan's performance in the film was appreciated by most critics with Jay Wesissberg from Variety reviewing, "Khan uses the mannerisms associated with Asperger's – averted eyes, springy steps, stuttered repetitions of memorized texts – yet captures the personality beneath the condition in a standout performance sure to receive the Autism Society's gold seal of approval."[122] My Name is Khan fetched Khan his eighth Filmfare Award for Best Actor,[39] tying the record for most all time wins in the category with actor Dilip Kumar.[123]

2011–13: Major commercial successes

In 2011, Khan produced and starred in Anubhav Sinha's science fiction superhero film Ra.One, alongside Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor. The film, which follows the story of a London-based videogame designer who creates a villain that escapes the reel world into the real world, was billed as Bollywood's most expensive production with an estimated budget of INR1.25 billion.[124][125] Khan was involved in several aspects of the making of Ra. One—he volunteered to write the film's console game script, dubbed for it, and oversaw its technical development; he also authored the digital comics based on the film's characters.[126][127] Despite negative media perception over the film's box office performance, Ra.One emerged as a financial success, with a gross of INR2.4 billion,[128][129] but received mixed reviews from critics. For his portrayal of a dual role in the film, Khan received mixed comments; while most critics praised his performance as the robotic superhero G.One, they panned the one of Shekhar, the videogame designer. Daily News and Analysis said, "Khan is in his element and endearing as superhero G.One, but annoyingly [over the top] as video game creator Shekhar".[130]

Khan with his Jab Tak Hai Jaan co-stars Katrina Kaif (left) and Anushka Sharma (right) at a promotional event in 2012

His second release of the year was Don 2, a sequel to the 2006 hit, Don.[131] In order to prepare for his role, Khan exercised extensively and performed most of the stunts himself.[132] His performance fetched him positive comments from critics with Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India noting, "Shah Rukh remains in command and never loses his foothold, neither through the dramatic sequences nor through the action cuts."[133] The film was a major success in India and it went on to become the year's highest-grossing Bollywood production abroad with a worldwide gross of more than INR2.06 billion.[134][135] Don 2 was showcased at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival[136] and along with Don at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech in Morocco.[137] Additionally, it earned him another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare ceremony.[138]

Khan's only release in 2012 was Yash Chopra's romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan, opposite Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. It served as the fourth collaboration between Chopra and Khan, the former returning as a director after eight years post Veer-Zaara,[139] and would eventually become Chopra's last directorial venture before his death on 21 October 2012.[140] The film received positive to mixed reviews from critics in India and positive reviews from critics overseas. Jab Tak Hai Jaan went on to become one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time both in India and abroad, and was declared a "worldwide blockbuster" with revenue of over INR2.11 billion.[141][142] The film was showcased at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech in Morocco.[137] For his performance in the film, Khan was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

In August 2013, Khan produced and appeared in Rohit Shetty's action comedy Chennai Express under his own company Red Chillies Entertainment. Despite earning mixed critical response, the film broke a majority of the box office records of Hindi films in India and abroad, and became the fastest film to enter the coveted Bollywood 100 Crore Club at the time.[143][144][145] The film went on to break the record of 3 Idiots thus becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. It eventually grossed almost INR4 billion (US$66 million) in worldwide ticket sales[146] and is currently the second highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide.[145] Starting with this film, which was released on Women's Day, Khan wishes to have the name of his lead female co-star appear above his own in the credits.[147]

Recent work

Khan has finished filming for Farah Khan's ensemble comedy Happy New Year which is now in post production, and will feature Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani alongside him.[148] He has also recently signed director Rahul Dholakia's next film titled Raees, co-starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Maneesh Sharma's film titled Fan; produced by Excel Entertainment and Yash Raj Films respectively.[149][150]

Non-film work


In addition to his pre-film career television appearances, Khan has played host on some game shows. In 2007, he replaced Amitabh Bachchan as the host of the third season of the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, popularly known as KBC, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.[151] A year later, Khan began hosting the game show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, the Indian version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.[152]

In 2011, he returned to television with Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout, the Indian version of the American game show Wipeout, on Imagine TV. Although it was organized in Argentina, the end-game bits featuring Khan were shot at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai.[153] Contrary to his previous two television anchoring jobs, this show opened with dismal viewer ratings and continued declining through its run, eventually ending in less than a month with fifteen episodes aired.[153] He has also hosted the Filmfare Awards and other awards shows numerous times.[154]

Stage performances

Khan during a performance in a concert at the Army Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2010

Khan is a frequent stage performer and has participated in several world tours and concerts. In 1997, he performed in Asha Bhosle's: Moments in Time in Malaysia. He returned to another concert there the following year with Shahrukh—Karisma: Live in Malaysia concert with Karisma Kapoor.[155] The same year he participated in the "The Awesome Foursome" world tour across the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America along with Juhi Chawla, Akshay Kumar, Kajol.[156] In 1999, he resumed the tour in Malaysia, in which Salman Khan and Twinkle Khanna replaced Akshay Kumar and Kajol.[157] In November 2002, Khan took part in the Fire & Flames concert in Malaysia, alongside Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan and Raageshwari with a 40-member troupe of dancers and singers including Shreya Ghoshal.[158] In the same year, he participated in the show From India With Love in the UK, along with Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Preity Zinta and Aishwarya Rai. It took place at two outdoor venues, Manchester's Old Trafford and London's Hyde Park, with over 100,000 spectators.[159]

In 2010, Khan performed alongside Rani Mukherji, Arjun Rampal and Ishaa Koppikar for a concert at the Army Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh,[160] and the next year he joined Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in the Friendship Concert, celebrating 150 years of India-South Africa friendship in Durban, South Africa.[161] In 2013, he performed a tribute to his mentor, filmmaker Yash Chopra at the Zee Cine Awards along with Katrina Kaif, Karisma Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.[162]

In 2004, Khan started his association with the "Temptations" series of concert tours, by singing, dancing and performing skits in Temptations 2004, alongside Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra and others in 22 stage shows across the globe.[163] One performance was for 15,000 spectators at Dubai's Festival City Arena.[164] In 2008, Khan set up Temptation Reloaded, a series of concerts showcased across several different countries. The show, which featured Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Ganesh Hegde, Javed Ali and Anusha Dandekar, started at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands.[165] The tour was held again in 2012 in Jakarta, with Bipasha Basu and others,[166] and in 2013 another series of concerts was held across Auckland, Perth and Sydney. That show featured Madhuri Dixit, Jacqueline Fernandez, Honey Singh and Meiyang Chang.[167]


Khan at a Tag Heuer press conference, promoting the Carrera Monaco GP watch in 2012

Khan is often labelled by the media as "Brand SRK" due to his various brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures.[168][169] Celebrity endorsements as a new trend in India began in the late 1980s. Khan's first foray into the world of advertising was with Liberty Shoes in 1988. He also did work for Brahmaputra Tea in 1993.[170] From 1999 onward, his career in television ads increased significantly.[171] He is one of the top paid Bollywood endorsers and one of the most visible celebrities in television ads, with up to a 6 percent share of TV ad volume.[172][173] A survey conducted by AdEx India ranked him first on the list of top-notch brand ambassadors for the year 2008,[174] a year in which he endorsed the highest number of brands among Indian celebrities on television with 39.[175] Some of the prominent brands Khan has endorsed include Pepsi, Nokia, Hyundai, Dish TV, D'decor, LUX and TAG Heuer.[171][173] Khan has been crowned "Brand Ambassador of the Year" at various business awards ceremonies.[176] In 2005, he launched his own perfume, labelled "Tiger Eyes by SRK" by the French perfume brand Jeanne Arthes.[177]

In addition to promoting products, Khan has been called upon to represent sport leagues, resorts and states as their brand ambassador. These include: Force India, the Formula One racing team representing India in international motor race championships (in 2007);[178] the live entertainment theatre and leisure destination Kingdom of Dreams (in 2010);[179] the Champions League Twenty20, an annual international cricket competition between the top domestic teams from major cricketing nations (in 2011),[180] the state of West Bengal (in 2011);[181][182] and for Prayag Film City, a film complex situated in Chandrakona in West Bengal (in 2012).[183]

For a time, Khan's brand value was thought to have declined slightly, due to his status as an ageing superstar. For example, Pepsi dropped him for the younger star Ranbir Kapoor in 2009.[169] However, as of 2013, he was still among the top celebrity endorsers,[184] as Forbes India named him "Shah Rukh Inc", and declared him India's biggest brand.[185] In 2014, it was reported that he doubled his fee for Pan Masala, after learning that they had first approached another actor.[186] At INR20 crore (US$3.3 million), this would be one of the largest ever deals for a Bollywood actor.[187]

Ownership of IPL cricket team

Khan interacting with the media after KKR's maiden IPL title

In 2008, Khan in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta acquired ownership rights for the franchise representing Kolkata in the Twenty20 cricket tournament Indian Premier League, for a price of US$75.09 million, and have since named the team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).[188]

As of 2009, KKR was one of the richest teams in the IPL and had been ranked as the most valued with a brand value of $42.1 million.[189] Financially, Kolkata Knight Riders were the most profitable and successful franchise among the other teams in the IPL as well.[190] The team was surrounded with controversy and poor on-field performance through the first three years of the tournament.[191] Its performance improved from the fourth season in 2011, and they eventually became the champions in 2012[191] and 2014.[192]

Khan performed at the opening ceremony of the 2011 season alongside Sunidhi Chauhan and Shriya Saran, where they danced to a variety of Tamil songs,[193] and again in 2013, alongside Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Pitbull.[194]

In April 2012, Khan was served a notice by the Rajasthan Police for smoking in public after he was seen smoking on camera during a match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals.[195] In May of the same year, he received a five-year ban from the Wankhede Stadium by the Mumbai Cricket Association for arguing with security guards and officials after a match between his team and The Mumbai Indians.[196] Khan later apologised to his fans after his team won the final match at Chennai.[197]

Humanitarian causes

Khan is known for keeping a low profile and secrecy on his social commitments and humanitarian work.[198] In an interview with The Guardian he stated that his reason for keeping his charity work guarded was because of his religious beliefs. He said: "Somewhere in the Quran it says that if you do charity for a reason, it's not charity."[199] In 2009, when news leaked out that Khan had committed to bear all the expenses for the treatment of two Kashmiri orphan children who suffered severe burns during a terrorist grenade attack in Srinagar, it was also revealed that he had been anonymously donating to the hospital for the last nine years.[200]

Khan with Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia during the latter's visit to India in 2010

Khan has been brand ambassador of various governmental campaigns throughout the years, notably those of Pulse Polio and National AIDS Control Organisation.[171] He is a member of the board of directors of Make-A-Wish Foundation in India,[201] and in 2011, was appointed by the UNOPS to be the first global ambassador of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.[202]

Khan has performed in charity and benefit concerts including the Help Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and he together with Rani Mukerji and director Karan Johar, donated INR1.15 crore (US$190,000) for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Tsunami Relief Fund for the tsunami-affected areas in India.[203][204] He organised and participated in the Temptations 2005 show in New Delhi which helped to raise funds for the National Centre For Promotional of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a leading disabled rights group,[205] and took part in The Rock on For Humanity concert along with other Bollywood stars, which raised over INR30 million for helping the children affected by the Bihar floods.[206]

Khan has pledged his dedication to further the cause of child education in India.[207] He has recorded a series of public service announcements championing good health, child immunisation and proper nutrition,[208] and joined hands with India's Health Ministry and UNICEF for a nationwide child immunisation campaign as part of National Rural Health Mission of India.[208] In 2011, he teamed up with Amitabh Bachchan and English actress Judi Dench to promote Resul Pookutty's foundation that works to better the living conditions of the underprivileged in India.[209] The same year, he was honoured with UNESCO's Pyramide con Marni award for his charitable commitment towards providing education for children, becoming the first Indian to win the accolade.[210] During his multiple appearances at the NDTV Greenathon, Khan has adopted up to twelve villages to provide with electricity under the solar energy harnessing project in its title initiative 'Light A Billion Lives'.[211][212]


One of the most celebrated actors in India,[213] Khan is particularly known for his devotion to his work and his ability to commit heavily to each role.[214][215] Director Aziz Mirza describes him as a "natural" actor who has "a rawness in him" and "a crowd appeal, even when he was just with friends."[216] Despite the adulation, Khan has often been criticised for his lack of subtly in performing roles.[217] In a review for the film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), a critic suggested: "Someone give the man an oxygen tank before he overacts himself unconscious."[218] In the book Everybody Wants a Hit: 10 Mantras of Success in Bollywood Cinema, author Derek Bose writes: "The joke going around then was that Shahrukh Khan had no more than five expressions to play about with and by cleverly juggling them in film after film, made his mark as a superstar".[219]

Khan at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008

Khan's film roles have spanned a wide array of genres, and various character types.[220] His initial film roles saw him play characters that displayed a high level of energy and enthusiasm; Daily News and Analysis published that "he came, sliding down stairs on a slab of ice, cartwheeling, somersaulting, lips trembling, eyes trembling, bringing to the screen the kind of physical energy not seen since Shammi Kapoor in his heydays. This was a totally different kind of acting from we had ever seen – visceral, intense, maniacal one moment and cloyingly boyish the next."[221] He subsequently established his career in Bollywood by playing anti-hero roles in Baazigar and Darr (both 1993).[221] At the time, playing a negative role was considered a risk for a leading man in Bollywood, and he was subsequently credited for "pushing the envelope" by choosing to play such characters.[220][221]

Beginning in 1995, Khan began portraying romantic lead roles in a series of romantic comedies and family dramas that led Harish Dugh of The Indian Express to write: "The die was cast when Khan replaced the Bachchan bravado with the portrayal of a very humane and likeable, simple and feeling young man."[220][222] These roles earned him widespread adulation from the audience and established his image as an icon of romance in India.[222] However, his typecasting in such roles has met with polarising reactions from commentators; the author Arnab Ray wrote that he "became trapped in the conventional romantic lover-boy image, continuing to essay, over the years, a series of roles that were mind-numbingly alike",[221] while the writer Aseem Chhabra noted that he "plays the romantic man with such pizzazz and in the old-world style that he is treat to watch, as he woos the hearts of his co-stars and his audience!".[223] In 2013, the author Anupama Chopra added: "You have to admire his ability to play the romantic hero. We've seen him do it for two decades but he still makes it compelling."[224]

Khan has intermittently tried to break away from romantic roles, and has garnered praise for portraying more complex and challenging characters in such films as Dil Se.. (1998), Swades (2004), Chak De! India (2007) and My Name Is Khan (2010).[213][220] In 2010, Filmfare included two of his performances—from Swades and Chak De! India—in its listing of the "80 Iconic Performances".[99][110] The Indian Express concluded: [Khan] has tailored and leveraged his acting skills in such a versatile manner as to impress a demanding audience world-over with his ability to change his acting in a manner unforeseen in the annals of Indian cinema."[220]

Wealth and popularity

Khan was given the birth name "Shahrukh" ("Face of the King"), but prefers his name to be written as "Shah Rukh Khan", and is commonly referred to by the abbreviation of SRK.[4] Khan is considered one of the biggest movie stars in the world and is cited in the media as "King Khan", "The Baadshah of Bollywood", and "The King of Bollywood".[199][225][226] In 2011, the Los Angeles Times published: "He is the biggest movie star you've never heard of. And perhaps the world's biggest movie star, period."[7] Khan's popularity in India has been attributed to his emergence during the liberalisation and changing economic scenario of the 1990s, as he was able to personify "the restless spirit of post-liberalization, ambitious, assertive and yet feel-good India."[227][228][229]

Khan is considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful celebrities in India. In 2009, Khan's net worth was estimated at over US$540 million[230] In 2013, Khan was placed in the 114th position in a listing of the wealthiest Indians, according to the Hurun Report, with personal assets of over US$400 million.[231][232] In 2014, the firm Wealth X ranked Khan second in their listing of the richest actors in the world with an estimated net worth of US$600 million. Khan was the only Bollywood actor to feature in the list.[3][233][234] Khan occupied the top slot of Box Office India's top actors list for the first time in 1994, and repeated the feat in 1995, 1998, and from 2002 to 2008.[235] For his work in the 2000s, Khan was considered one of the ten "Most Powerful Entertainers of the Decade" by FICCI.[236] In 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world.[237] Khan was placed in first place on Forbes India's "Celebrity 100 list", a list based on the income and popularity of Indian celebrities, for the years 2012 and 2013.[185][238] Khan owns several properties in India and abroad. His residence in Mumbai, Mannat, is a tourist spot and a heritage building, deemed important to the town-scape and hence exempt from demolition.[2] He owns a house in New Delhi,[239] a £20 million apartment in London,[240] and INR4 billion in property in Dubai, including a villa on the Palm Jumeirah.[230][241]

In a 2007 poll by the magazine Eastern Eye, Khan was named the sexiest Asian man;[242] he was also ranked third in 2008[243] and 2011.[244] He has regularly featured among the top ten in The Times of India's list of the 50 most desirable men in India.[245][246] His dimples have been cited by the media as one of his distinctive physical features.[247] Khan has also achieved recognition as a style icon in India.[248] In 2011, the British edition of GQ magazine featured him as one of the best dressed men in the world.[249] The following year, the Indian edition of GQ included him in their listing of Bollywood's 11 best dressed men.[250] Despite his fame, in August 2009 Khan was detained at the Airport in Newark, New Jersey when a name similar to his "popped up on the computer". He was taken to a room where officers and other detainees recognised him and were asking for autographs.[251]

In the media

Khan at the launch of his official Opus, in 2011

Khan's popularity has been documented in several Indian and international non-fiction films. In 2005, Nasreen Munni Kabir produced and directed a two-part documentary entitled The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan. Featuring the "Temptations 2004" concert tour, the film contrasted Khan's inner world of family and daily life with the outer world of his work.[252] Khan has also been the subject of the Danish film Larger Than Life (2003) and the German film Shah Rukh Khan: In Love with Germany (2008).[253][254] In 2010, the Discovery Travel & Living channel produced a ten-part miniseries entitled Living with a Superstar-Shah Rukh Khan.[172][255] That same year, Discovery Channel aired a television special entitled Revealed: Shah Rukh Khan, in which several specialists, ranging from social anthropologists, filmmakers, scholars, critics and lifestyle commentators analysed the impact of Khan's image in India and abroad.[255] The actor-director Makarand Deshpande directed a feature film named Shahrukh Bola "Khoobsurat Hai Tu" (2010) centering around an obsessive female fan of Khan.[256]

In 2005, Khan was the subject of 20 paintings from the Indian artist Anjana Kuthiala.[257] Greatly inspired by M.F. Husain's work with actress Madhuri Dixit, Kuthiala chose Khan to be the muse and subject of her collections.[258] Khan and three other Bollywood actors (Priyanka Chopra, Kajol and Hrithik Roshan) had their likenesses made into a series of miniature dolls for Hasbro and the UK-based Bollywood Legends Corporation.[259] In 2007, Khan became the third Indian actor to have his wax statue installed at London's Madame Tussauds museum.[260] Additional versions of the statue were subsequently installed at the museums in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York and Washington.[261]

Several books about Khan appeared in 2007. First was Still Reading Khan, a book by Mushtaq Sheikh detailing Khan's family life and featuring rare photographs.[262] That book was re-released in a second edition at the end of the year with the title Shah Rukh Can.[263] Anupama Chopra published a biography of Khan, set against the background of the Indian film industry, entitled King of Bollywood: Shahrukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema.[264] Also in 2007, the writer Deepa Gahlot released the book SRK: King Khan which features an analysis of Khan's life and career.[265] In 2012, Khan became the first Indian actor, and the second Indian citizen after Sachin Tendulkar, to have his biography published by Kraken Opus entitled King Khan: The Official Opus of Shah Rukh Khan.[266][267]

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1992 Deewana Raja Sahai Filmfare Award for Best Debut
1993 Baazigar Ajay Sharma / Vicky Malhotra Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1994 Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa Sunil Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance
1994 Anjaam Vijay Agnihotri Filmfare Award for Best Villain
1995 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Raj Malhora Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1997 Dil To Pagal Hai Rahul Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Rahul Khanna Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2000 Mohabbatein Raj Aryan Malhotra Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
2002 Devdas Devdas Mukherjee Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2004 Swades Mohan Bhargava Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2007 Chak De! India Kabir Khan Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2010 My Name Is Khan Rizwan Khan Filmfare Award for Best Actor

Awards and nominations

Khan's work in Bollywood films has garnered him numerous achievements, including fourteen Filmfare Awards from thirty nominations, including eight for Best Actor; tied for the most in the category with Dilip Kumar. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2005,[39] and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 2007 for his contribution to films.[268] He was honoured with France's highest civilian honour, the Légion d'honneur on 1 July 2014.[269]

See also


  1. ^ There was some confusion because Khan seemingly contradicted himself in an interview, saying that he was born and brought up in Mangalore[9] but he later confirmed his birthplace as Delhi, and that he was brought up in Mangalore for the first five years.[8]


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Bibliography and further reading

External links