Shah Rukh Khan

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Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan in a white shirt is interacting with the media
Khan at a media event for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012
Born Shahrukh Khan
(1965-11-02) 2 November 1965 (age 49)[1]
New Delhi, India[2]
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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 transparent.png

Shah Rukh Khan also known as SRK (born Shahrukh Khan; 2 November 1965), is an Indian film actor, producer and television personality. Referred to in the media as "Baadshah of Bollywood", "King of Bollywood" or "King Khan", he has appeared in over 80 Bollywood films in genres including romance, action and comedy. Described by the Los Angeles Times as perhaps "the world's biggest movie star", with a significant following in Asia and the Indian diaspora worldwide, Khan was reportedly the second-richest actor in the world in 2014, with an estimated net worth of US$600 million. His work in Bollywood has earned him numerous accolades, including 14 Filmfare Awards from 30 nominations.[a]

Khan started his career in theatre and appeared in several television series in the late 1980s. He made his Bollywood debut in 1992 with Deewana. Early in his career, Khan was recognised for his unconventional choice of portraying dark roles in the films Darr (1993), Baazigar (1993), and Anjaam (1994). He rose to prominence in a series of romantic dramas, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). He earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of an alcoholic in Devdas (2002), a NASA scientist in Swades (2004), a hockey coach in Chak De! India (2007), and a man with Asperger syndrome in My Name Is Khan (2010). For his contributions to film, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, and the Government of France has awarded him both the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Légion d'honneur.

Khan is currently co-chairman of the motion picture production company Red Chillies Entertainment and its subsidiaries, and is the co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders. In 2007, he made his debut as a television presenter with the Star Plus game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. The media often label him as "Brand SRK" because of his brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures. Khan's philanthropic endeavours have provided health care and disaster relief, and he was honoured with UNESCO's Pyramide con Marni award in 2011 for his support of children's education. He regularly features in listings of the most influential people in Indian culture, and in 2008 Newsweek named him one of their 50 most powerful people in the world.

Early life and background

Shah Rukh Khan standing beside his wife Gauri at a party in 2012
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.[2] He spent the first five years of his life in Mangalore where his maternal grandfather Ifthikar Ahmed served as chief engineer of the port in the 1960s.[4][5][b] According to Khan, his paternal grandfather Jan Muhammad was from Afghanistan.[7] Khan's father Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, an ethnic Pashtun (Pathan), was an Indian independence activist from Peshawar, British India (present-day Pakistan). He was a follower of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,[8] and affiliated with the All Indian National Congress.[9] He moved to New Delhi before the 1947 partition of India.[10] Khan's mother Lateef Fatima was the daughter of a senior government engineer.[11][c] His parents met when his mother was involved in an auto accident, and his father rescued her, took her to the hospital, and donated blood. They were married in 1959.[14] Khan described himself on Twitter as "half Hyderabadi (mother), half Pathan (father), some Kashmiri (grandmother)".[15] His cousin in Peshawar, Maqsood Ahmed, claims that the family is actually of Hindkowan origin, and also contradicts the claim that his grandfather was from Afghanistan.[9]

Khan grew up in the Rajendra Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi.[16] His father had several business ventures including a restaurant, and the family lived a middle class life in rented apartments.[17] Khan attended St. Columba's School in central Delhi where he received the school's highest award, the Sword of Honour.[17] In his youth, he acted in stage plays and received praise for his imitations of Bollywood actors, his favourites of which were Mumtaz and Amitabh Bachchan.[18] One of his childhood friends and acting partners was Amrita Singh, who later became a Bollywood actress.[19] Khan 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] where he studied acting under the mentorship of theatre director Barry John.[21] After Hansraj, he commenced studying for a Masters Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, but abandoned the course 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 in 1980,[d] and his mother died in 1991 from complications of diabetes.[25]

Although Khan was given the birth name Shahrukh Khan, he prefers his name to be written as Shah Rukh Khan, and is commonly referred to by the abbreviation SRK.[1] He married Gauri Chibber, a Punjabi Hindu, in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on 25 October 1991, after a six year courtship.[26][27] According to Khan, while he strongly believes in Islam, he also values his wife's religion. At home, his children follow both religions; the Qur'an is situated next to the Hindu deities.[28] 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[29] through a surrogate mother.[30] Khan has an older sister Shahnaz Lalarukh who was born in 1960.[2] After the death of their parents, she went into depression and Khan took on the responsibility of caring for her.[31][24] Shahnaz continues to live with her brother and his family in their Mumbai mansion.[32]

Acting career

1988–92: Television and film debut

Khan's first starring role was in Lekh Tandon's television series Dil Dariya, which he began shooting for in 1988. Because of its production delays, the 1989 television series Fauji became his television debut.[33] In the series, a realistic look at the training of army cadets, he played the leading role of Abhimanyu Rai, which earned him mass recognition.[34][35] This led to further appearances in Aziz Mirza's television series Circus (1989–90) and Mani Kaul's miniseries Idiot (1991).[36] He also played minor parts in the serials Umeed (1989) and Wagle Ki Duniya (1988–90),[36] and in the made-for-television English-language film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989).[37] Khan's appearances in these serials led critics to compare his look and acting style with those of film actor Dilip Kumar,[38] but he was not interested in film acting at the time.[36]

Two weeks after his mother's death in April 1991, Khan changed his decision to not act in films; he moved from Delhi to Mumbai to pursue a full-time career in Bollywood, and was quickly signed to do four films.[39] His first film offer was for Hema Malini's directorial debut Dil Aashna Hai,[23][34] and by June 1991, he had started his first shooting.[40] However, production delays meant that his second film Deewana, in which he starred alongside Divya Bharti as the second male lead behind Rishi Kapoor, was released first in June 1992.[41] Deewana became a box office hit and launched Khan's career in Bollywood.[42] He earned the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award for the performance.[43] Also released in 1992 were Khan's first films as the male lead, Chamatkar, Dil Aashna Hai, and the comedy Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, which was his first of many collaborations with actress Juhi Chawla.[44] His initial film roles saw him play characters who displayed high levels of energy and enthusiasm. According to Arnab Ray of Daily News and Analysis, "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 ... visceral, intense, maniacal one moment and cloyingly boyish the next."[45]

1993–94: The anti-hero

Among his 1993 releases, Khan garnered the most appreciation for portraying dark roles: an obsessive lover, and a murderer in the box office hits Darr and Baazigar respectively.[46] Darr marked the first of Khan's many collaborations with filmmaker Yash Chopra and his company Yash Raj Films. Khan's stammering and the use of the phrase, "I love you, K-k-k-Kiran," were popular with audiences.[47] For Darr he received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role, also known as the Best Villain Award.[48] Baazigar, in which Khan played the "consummate anti-hero",[49] an ambiguous avenger who murders his girlfriend, shocked Indian audiences with an unexpected violation of the standard Bollywood formula.[50] His performance in Baazigar, which would be his first of many appearances with actress Kajol, won him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor.[51] The Encyclopedia of Hindi Cinema in 2003 said "he defied the image of the conventional hero in both these films and created his own version of the revisionist hero".[51]

In 1994, Khan played a love-struck musician in Kundan Shah's comedy-drama film Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, a film which he later professed to have been his favourite role of his acting career.[52] His performance earned him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance, and in retrospective review from 2004, Sukanya Verma of referred to it as Khan's best performance.[53] Also in 1994, Khan played an obsessive lover in Anjaam, co-starring Madhuri Dixit. Although the film did not do well at the box office,[54] Khan's acting earned him another Filmfare Best Villain Award.[51] At the time, playing negative roles was considered risky for a leading man in Bollywood; Khan was subsequently credited for "pushing the envelope" by choosing to play such characters, through which he established his career in Bollywood.[45]

1995–98: The romantic hero

Shah Rukh Khan hugs Kajol
Khan with co-star Kajol in 2014 celebrating 1000 weeks continuous showing of their film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Khan starred in seven films in 1995, the first of which was opposite Salman Khan and Kajol in Rakesh Roshan's melodramatic thriller Karan Arjun, which became the second-highest grossing film of the year in India.[55] The only other success that year was with Aditya Chopra's directorial debut, the romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Khan did not initially want to play the role of a lover, but this film is credited with establishing him as a "romantic hero".[56] Lauded by both critics and the public, it became the year's highest-grossing production in India and abroad and was declared an "all time blockbuster" by Box Office India,[55][57] with a gross of over INR1.22 billion (US$20 million) worldwide.[58] It remains the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema; as of 2014, it was still playing at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai after 1000 weeks.[59] The film won ten Filmfare Awards, and Khan's performance as a young Non-resident Indian (NRI) who falls in love with Kajol's character during a trip across Europe won him critical acclaim and his second Best Actor Award at Filmfare.[51] The director and critic Raja Sen 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 [audience]. The performance itself is, like the best in the business, played well enough to come across as effortless, as non-acting."[60]

In 1996, all four of Khan's releases failed critically and commercially.[61] Chaahat, shot on location in Jaipur,[62] was universally panned, and in October 2013 Khan acquired the rights to the film from director Mahesh Bhatt after some ten years of campaigning.[63] In 1997, however, his starring role opposite Juhi Chawla in Aziz Mirza's romantic comedy Yes Boss earned him accolades that included a nomination for Best Actor at Filmfare.[64] Later that year, Khan starred in Subhash Ghai's diasporic themed social drama Pardes,[65] where he portrayed Arjun, a musician facing a moral dilemma. In their book A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism, social commentators Ato Quayson and Girish Daswani refer to Pardes as a benchmark film in the NRI genre.[66] Khan's final release of 1997 was a second collabaration with Yash Chopra in the popular musical romance Dil To Pagal Hai. Khan portrayed Rahul, a stage director caught in a love triangle between Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor. The film and his performance in it met with critical appreciation, with Khan winning his third Best Actor Award at Filmfare.[51] Author Ashok Raj considered Khan to have portrayed the role with "great gusto", exemplifying the ideal man as the director who is "caring, inspired, vivacious and, above all, highly creative". [67]

Khan performed the lead role in three films and made one special appearance in 1998. His first release was Mahesh Bhatt's action comedy Duplicate opposite Juhi Chawla and Sonali Bendre. The film, in which he portrayed a double role, was the first of his many collaborations with Yash Johar's production company Dharma Productions, but it did not perform well at the box office.[68] The same year, Khan won critical praise for his performance as an All India Radio correspondent who develops an infatuation for a mysterious terrorist played by Manisha Koirala in Dil Se..,[69] the third installment of Mani Ratnam's trilogy of terror films.[70][71] The film fared better overseas than in India, particularly in the UK,[72][73] where the BBC World Service later chose the popular song "Chaiyya Chaiyya", which was filmed with Khan and others dancing on top of a moving train,[71] as one of the world's top ten songs.[74] Authors Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti of Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance wrote that the "narrative of an obsessive and ultimately self-destructive quest of the citizen-professional protagonist is effectively consolidated in Dil Se through the star text of Shakrukh Khan and the lyrical-rhythmic motorization of bodies and nature in the song sequences". They compared Khan's romance in the film to the trajectory of love in ancient Arabic literature, believing the lyrics in two of the songs to have delivered an "apocalyptic fatalism".[75] His final release of the year was Karan Johar's romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in which he starred with Kajol and Rani Mukerji. 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 (Mukerji). Khan won the Best Actor award at the Filmfare Awards ceremony for the second consecutive year,[51] although he and several other critics believed his performance to have been overshadowed by that of Kajol,[76] Khan believing himself to have been merely "a glamorous add-on in the film".[77]

The roles in this phase of his career, and the series of romantic comedies and family dramas that followed, earned Khan widespread adulation from the audience, and established his image as an icon of romance in India.[78] Ashok Raj stated that Khan had become the "trendsetter for the silkily soft romances of the 1990s" and a "hot favourite of the youngsters, especially the teenagers".[79] He continued to have frequent associations with directors Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra, and Karan Johar, who moulded his image and made him into a superstar.[80] Khan became a romantic leading man without ever actually kissing any of his co-stars,[81] although he broke this rule in 2012, after strong urging by Yash Chopra.[82]

1999–2003: Career challenges

Khan's only release in 1999 was Baadshah, in which he starred opposite Twinkle Khanna. It underperformed at the box office but earned Khan a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Performance in a Comic Role.[83] Khan turned producer in 1999 in a collaboration with actress Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza for a production company called Dreamz Unlimited.[84] The company's first production, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000), starring Khan and Chawla, was a commercial failure.[85] It was released one week after Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, starring the then newcomer Hrithik Roshan, who became famous overnight. The critics were very harsh on Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and Khan himself, saying that he was no match for the younger Roshan.[86] For example, The Times of India headlined their review with "Goof Ups Unlimited",[86] and Swapna Mitter of spoke of Khan's predictable mannerisms, saying "Frankly, it's high time he innovated his act a little."[87]

Khan's next release of 2000 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 was a box office success.[85] Vinayak Chakravorty of Hindustan Times wrote that Khan "basks in his tailormade role, donning with panache the garb of a streetsmart tough".[88] Khan's next role was that of a Muslim archaeologist who is beaten to death during the unrest following the partition of India in Hey Ram, which was released in both the Tamil and Hindi languages. 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 Academy Awards that year.[89] Khan waved his fee for playing this part as a favour to Hassan.[90] His final release of 2000 was Aditya Chopra's romantic drama Mohabbatein, which co-starred Amitabh Bachchan. The film was a major financial success in India and abroad.[85][72] Khan's performance as a music teacher who encourages his students to rebel against their authoritarian principal (Bachchan) was praised by critics; Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama called him "outstanding".[91] Khan was awarded his second Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performance in Mohabbatein.[92]

Shah Rukh Khan views a book with Aishwarya Rai in 2002
Khan with co-star Aishwarya Rai at the home video launch of their film Devdas (2002)

In 2001, Dreamz Unlimited attempted a comeback with Khan portraying the title role in Santosh Sivan's historical epic Aśoka, a partly fictionalised account of the life of emperor Ashoka. The film was screened at the Venice Film Festival and the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival to a positive response,[93] but it performed poorly at Indian box offices.[94] As losses continued to mount for the production company,[86] Khan was forced to close, a sub-company that he had started along with Dreamz Unlimited.[95] Khan's next film was the family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, in which he reunited with Karan Johar as 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[94] and became the top-grossing Indian production of all time in the overseas market until 2006, earning over INR1.17 billion (US$19 million) worldwide.[58] Khan's portrayal of Rahul Raichand, an adopted son of Bachchan's character who disowns him for marrying a poor girl (Kajol), met with wide public appreciation. Taran Adarsh said, "Khan sparkles yet again", and that he performed the part "with amazing poise, class, honesty and maturity".[96] It earned him another nomination for the Filmfare Best Actor Award. Khan said that Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was a turning point in his career.[97] In December 2001, Khan suffered a spinal injury while performing an action sequence for a special appearance in Krishna Vamsi's Shakti: The Power.[98] He flew to Lucknow a week later for a series of stage shows, which further aggravated 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 but nothing effected a permanent solution.[98]

In 2002, Khan played the title 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; it was the most expensive Bollywood film ever made at the time.[99] Khan starred as a rebellious alcoholic opposite Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit. Khan's performance was well received and earned him another Filmfare Best Actor Award.[43] The film became the highest-grossing film of the year in India and abroad, earning INR840 million (US$14 million) worldwide.[58][100][101] Devdas won numerous awards, including 10 Filmfare Awards,[102][103] and received a special screening at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[104] It also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Language Film,[105] and was India's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.[89]

Because of Khan's spinal injury from 2001, he was in great pain while shooting several of his films.[98][106] By the beginning of 2003, his condition had worsened to the point where surgery was required.[98][107] On 24 February, he underwent Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in Wellington Hospital, London.[107][108][109] Khan resumed shooting in June 2003, but he reduced his workload and the number of films he did each year.[106] Khan's first film release of 2003 was Dreamz Unlimited's production of Aziz Mirza's Chalte Chalte, a romance dealing with the troubles faced by a married couple, in which Khan starred opposite Rani Mukerji. The film was moderately successful in India and fared better in other countries.[110][111] The fact that Juhi Chawla was not cast in this film led to a rift between the partners, and an end to Dreamz Unlimited.[112] Khan's next release was Kal Ho Naa Ho, a comedy-drama set in New York City; it was written by Karan Johar, directed by Nikhil Advani, and co-starred Jaya Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. Khan received unanimous critical appreciation for his portrayal of Aman Mathur, a man with a fatal heart disease. The Hindu said, "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".[113] A critical and commercial success, the film became the second-highest-grossing film domestically and the top-grossing Bollywood film in external markets in 2003.[72][110] It garnered a worldwide gross of INR780 million (US$13 million)[58] and earned Khan another Filmfare Best Actor Award nomination.[114]

2004–09: Resurgence

Shah Rukh Khan smiles as her poses for the camera
Khan filming Swades at the Kennedy Space Center in 2004

2004 was a critically and commercially successful year for Khan. He transformed Dreamz Unlimited into Red Chillies Entertainment, with his wife Gauri serving as a producer.[115] In the new company's first production, Khan starred in Farah Khan's directorial debut, the action comedy masala film Main Hoon Na. A fictionalised account of India–Pakistan relations, it became the second-highest earner of the year.[116] He then played in another India–Pakistan related story, as Air Force pilot Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh, in Yash Chopra's love saga Veer-Zaara. The film, in which Preity Zinta portrayed the Indian Singh's love interest, Pakistani woman Zaara Haayat Khan, was the highest grossing film of 2004 in India; it earned a worldwide gross of over INR940 million (US$15 million)[58][116] and was screened at the 55th Berlin Film Festival to critical appreciation.[117] Lastly, Khan received acclaim for his performance in Ashutosh Gowariker's social drama Swades, which also featured Gayatri Joshi. Swades narrates the story of a NASA scientist who returns to India to get in touch with his roots. Several film critics considered Khan's performance to be his best to date.[118] 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".[119] Filmfare included his performance in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances" of Bollywood.[120] Swades was featured on's list of the 10 Best Bollywood Movies of the Decade.[118] Khan was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award for all three of his 2004 releases and eventually won the award for Swades.[43]

Khan's only release in 2005—other than special appearances—was Paheli, in which he played dual roles opposite Rani Mukerji. It was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.[121] Despite failing at the box office, Paheli and Khan's performance in it were critically acclaimed.[122] It was chosen as India's official entry for the 79th Academy Awards.[89]

In 2006, Khan collaborated with Karan Johar for the third time in the romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The film had an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Kirron Kher, and told the story of two unhappily married people in New York who have an extramarital affair with each other. The film received polarising reviews from film critics but emerged as India's highest-grossing film in the overseas market,[72] earning more than INR1.13 billion (US$18 million) worldwide.[58] Khan then played the titular role in the action thriller Don, a remake of the 1978 film of the same name. The film, and Khan's performance in it, received mixed comments from film critics. His performance was extensively compared to that of Amitabh Bachchan, the actor in the original film.[123] Taran Adarsh said 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."[123] Conversely, Derek Elley of Variety said, "it's hard to accept [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".[124] Don performed well in India[125] and the overseas market.[72] It grossed INR1.04 billion (US$17 million) worldwide.[58] Both Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Don earned Khan Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards, which he co-hosted.[126]

Khan next starred in Yash Raj Films' Chak De! India (2007), a semi-fictional account of the Indian women's national hockey team, which became a critical and commercial success in India and abroad.[58][127] Khan said that while his background as part of his university's hockey team helped him during the filming,[128] he felt playing again after a long time was "very difficult and different". Khan tore a hamstring three days before the end of filming.[129] Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN wrote of Khan's 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".[130] Filmfare included his performance in their 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances".[131] Chak De! India won Khan another Filmfare Award for Best Actor.[43] In the same year, Khan starred in Farah Khan's reincarnation melodrama Om Shanti Om alongside Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade and Arjun Rampal. Khan played Om Prakash Makhija, a 1970s junior artiste who is reborn in the 2000s as a superstar named Om Kapoor. Khan's performance was generally well received by critics; Khalid Mohammed from Hindustan Times wrote, "the enterprise belongs to Shah Rukh Khan, who tackles comedy, high drama and action with his signature style—spontaneous and intuitively intelligent".[132] The film became the highest grossing motion picture of 2007 in India[133] and the external market[72] with a worldwide gross of over INR1.48 billion (US$24 million).[58] Om Shanti Om earned Khan his second nomination of the year for Best Actor at Filmfare.[134]

In 2008, Khan collaborated for the third time with Aditya Chopra on the romantic drama Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi opposite newcomer Anushka Sharma. Khan played Surinder Sahni, a shy man with low self-esteem, whose love for his young arranged wife Sharma causes him to transform himself into Raj, a loud, fun-loving alter-ego. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but achieved success at the box office.[135] Khan's performance was appreciated by critics; Rachel Saltz of The New York Times wrote, "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".[136] It earned Khan another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards. In December the same year, Khan suffered a serious shoulder injury while filming a small role in Mudassar Aziz's Dulha Mil Gaya. He underwent extensive physiotherapy sessions at the time but the intense pain left him almost immobile and he had arthroscopic surgery in February 2009.[137][138] Khan performed an extended, special appearance in the 2009 film Billu, playing Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan—a fictionalised version of himself.[139]


After turning down role that subsequently went to Anil Kapoor in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Khan began shooting My Name Is Khan, his fourth collaboration with director Karan Johar and his sixth with Kajol.[140] The film is based on a true story and set against the backdrop of perceptions of Islam after the 11 September attacks. Khan plays Rizwan Khan, a Muslim suffering from mild Asperger syndrome who sets out on a journey across America to meet the country's president. To provide an accurate portrayal of a suffer without disparagement, Khan spent several months researching his role by reading books, watching videos and talking to people affected by the condition.[141][142] Upon release, My Name is Khan received positive reviews from critics and became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time outside India.[58][72] Khan's performance was appreciated by most critics; Jay Wesissberg from Variety said, "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".[143] My Name is Khan earned Khan his eighth Filmfare Award for Best Actor,[43] equalling the record for the most wins in the category with actor Dilip Kumar.[144]

In 2011, Khan starred alongside Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor in Anubhav Sinha's science fiction superhero film Ra.One. The film follows the story of a London-based videogame designer who creates a villain character who escapes into the real world. It was billed as Bollywood's most expensive production; it had an estimated budget of INR1.25 billion (US$20 million).[145][146] Despite negative media coverage of the film's box office performance, Ra.One was a financial success with a gross of INR2.4 billion (US$39 million).[147][148] The film received mixed reviews from critics. For his portrayal of a dual role, Khan received mixed comments; while most critics praised his performance as the robotic superhero G.One, they criticised his portrayal of videogame designer Shekhar.[149]

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

Khan's second release of 2011 was Don 2, a sequel to the 2006 film Don.[150] To prepare for his role, Khan exercised extensively and performed most of the stunts himself.[151] His performance earned him positive reviews from critics; Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India said, "Shah Rukh remains in command and never loses his foothold, neither through the dramatic sequences nor through the action cuts".[152] The film was a major success in India and it became the year's highest-grossing Bollywood production abroad, earning a worldwide gross of around INR2.06 billion (US$33 million).[153][154] Don 2 was showcased at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival[155] and at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech in Morocco, where Don was also shown.[156] It earned Khan another nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards.[157]

Khan's only release in 2012 was Yash Chopra's drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan, which saw him once again in a romantic role, starring opposite Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. It was the fourth collaboration between Chopra and Khan[158] and was Chopra's last directorial venture before his death on 21 October 2012.[159] The film received positive to mixed reviews from critics in India and positive reviews from critics abroad. The author Anupama Chopra said, "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."[160] Jab Tak Hai Jaan became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time, both in India and abroad; setting several records and earning over INR2.11 billion (US$34 million) worldwide.[161][162] The film was showcased at the 2012 International Film Festival of Marrakech in Morocco.[156] For his performance in the film, Khan was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Actor.[163]

In August 2013, Khan starred in Rohit Shetty's action comedy Chennai Express for Red Chillies Entertainment. The film earned mixed critical reviews, broke many box office records for Hindi films in both India and abroad, and became the film quickest to enter the Bollywood 100 Crore Club at that point.[164][165][166] The film also broke the record of 3 Idiots to become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. It eventually grossed almost INR4 billion (US$65 million) in worldwide ticket sales[167] and as of 2013, is the second highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide.[166] On 7 March 2013—a day before International Women's DayThe Times of India reported that Khan had said that starting with this film, he wanted the name of his lead female co-stars to appear above his own in the credits.[168]

In 2014, the actor was featured in Farah Khan's ensemble comedy Happy New Year, which co-starred Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani; his third collaboration with the director.[169] Billed as a "musical heist", the film was centered around a dance contest. It became one of the biggest successes of the year.[170] Khan has signed on for director Rahul Dholakia's next film, titled Raees, produced by Excel Entertainment and co-starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui,[171] and also for Maneesh Sharma's film Fan, which will be produced by Yash Raj Films.[172]

Other work

Khan has occasionally done playback singing for his films, which is not common for Bollywood actors. In Josh (2000) he sang "Apun Bola Tu Meri Laila", which became popular on the music charts. He also sang in his own voice for Don (2006), and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).[173] For Always Kabhi Kabhi (2011), which was produced by Red Chillies, Khan participated in the lyrical composition.[174] Khan co-produced three films from 1999–2003 as a founding member of the partnership Dreamz Unlimited.[84] After the partnership was dissolved, he and wife Gauri restructured the company as Red Chillies Entertainment.[115] As of 2014, the company has produced or co-produced at least nine films.[175] Either Khan or Guari are usually given production credits, and Khan has appeared in most of the films, either in the lead role, or in a special guest appearance. There are other divisions of the company dealing with television production, visual effects, and advertising.[176] Khan was involved in several aspects of the making of Ra.One (2011). Aside from acting, he produced the film, volunteered to write the console game script, dubbed for it, oversaw its technical development and wrote the digital comics based on the film's characters.[177][178]

In addition to his pre-film career television appearances, Khan has hosted numerous televised awards shows, including the Filmfare, Zee Cine, and Screen Awards.[179][180][181] As a game show host, in 2007, he replaced Amitabh Bachchan for one season as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,[182] and a year later, Khan began hosting Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, the Indian version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.[183] In 2011, Khan returned to television, appearing on Imagine TV's Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout, the Indian version of Wipeout; scenes featuring Khan were shot at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai.[184] Contrary to his earlier television anchoring jobs, Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout performed poorly. It aired for only one season and became the lowest rated show hosted by a Bollywood star.[184]

Shah Rukh Khan dances with other performers in 2010
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 concert in Malaysia, and returned the following year to perform with Karisma Kapoor for the Shahrukh—Karisma: Live in Malaysia concert.[185] The same year, he participated in The Awesome Foursome world tour across the UK, Canada and the U.S. along with Juhi Chawla, Akshay Kumar and Kajol, and resumed the tour in Malaysia the following year.[186][187] In 2002, Khan featured with Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Preity Zinta and Aishwarya Rai in the show From India With Love at Manchester's Old Trafford and London's Hyde Park in the UK; the event was attended by over 100,000 people.[188] Khan performed alongside Rani Mukherji, Arjun Rampal and Ishaa Koppikar in a 2010 concert at the Army Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.[189] 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.[190] In 2013, Khan performed a tribute to his mentor filmmaker Yash Chopra at the Zee Cine Awards along with Katrina Kaif, Karisma Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.[191]

Khan started an association with the "Temptations" series of concert tours by singing, dancing and performing skits alongside Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra and other Bollywood stars in Temptations 2004, a stage show that toured 22 venues across the world.[192] The show played to 15,000 spectators at Dubai's Festival City Arena.[193] In 2008, Khan set up Temptation Reloaded, a series of concerts that toured several countries, including the Netherlands.[194] Another tour was held with Bipasha Basu and others in 2012 in Jakarta,[195] and in 2013 another series of concerts visited Auckland, Perth and Sydney.[196] In 2014, Khan performed in SLAM! The Tour in the US, Canada, and London,[197] and also hosted the Indian premiere of the live talent show, Got Talent World Stage Live.[198]

Humanitarian causes

Shah Rukh Khan seated on a panel with Dmitry Medvedev in 2010
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, including Pulse Polio and National AIDS Control Organisation.[199] He is a member of the board of directors of Make-A-Wish Foundation in India,[200] and in 2011 he was appointed by the UNOPS as the first global ambassador of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.[201] Khan stated in an interview with The Guardian that he keeps his charity work guarded because of his religious beliefs, remarking that "Somewhere in the Quran it says that if you do charity for a reason, it's not charity."[202] In 2009, when news broke that Khan had committed to bear all expenses for the treatment of two Kashmiri orphan children who suffered severe burns during a terrorist attack in Srinagar, it was revealed that he had been anonymously donating to Nanavati Hospital in Vile Parle for nine years.[203]

Khan has performed in charity and benefit concerts including the Help Telethon Concert to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. He, together with Rani Mukerji and director Karan Johar donated INR11.5 million (US$190,000) to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Tsunami Relief Fund for the tsunami-affected areas in India.[204][205] Khan organised and participated in the Temptations 2005 show in New Delhi, which raised funds for the disabled rights group National Centre For Promotional of Employment for Disabled People.[206] He and other Bollywood stars took part in the Rock on For Humanity concert, which raised over INR30 million (US$490,000) to help children affected by the 2008 Bihar flood.[207]

Khan has pledged to further the cause of child education in India.[208] He has recorded a series of public service announcements championing good health, child immunisation and proper nutrition,[209] and joined India's Health Ministry and UNICEF in a nationwide child immunisation campaign as part of National Rural Health Mission of India.[209] In 2011, he teamed up with Amitabh Bachchan and Judi Dench to promote Resul Pookutty's foundation that works to improve the living conditions of underprivileged people in India.[210] The same year, he received UNESCO's Pyramide con Marni award for his charitable commitment to provide education for children, becoming the first Indian to win the accolade.[211] During his multiple appearances at the NDTV Greenathon, Khan has adopted up to twelve villages to provide with electricity as part of the solar energy harnessing project's initiative Light A Billion Lives.[212][213]

In the media

Khan receives a large amount of media coverage in India, and is often referred to as "King Khan", "The Baadshah of Bollywood", and "The King of Bollywood".[202][214][215] Author Anupama Chopra cites him as an "ever present celebrity", with two or three films a year, constantly running television ads, print ads, and gigantic billboards lining the streets of Indian cities.[216] The object of a sometimes fanatical following, with a fan base estimated to exceed one billion,[217] in 2011, Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times declared him to be "the biggest movie star you've never heard of. And perhaps the world's biggest movie star, period."[e][219] Khan is one of the wealthiest and most powerful celebrities in India, topping the Forbes India's "Celebrity 100 list" for 2012 and 2013.[220][221] He was named by Newsweek as one of their 50 most powerful people globally in 2008,[222] and was ranked by the firm Wealth X as the second richest actor in the world after Jerry Seinfeld in 2014, with an estimated net worth of $600 million.[3] Khan owns several properties in India and abroad, including a house in New Delhi,[223] a GB£20 million apartment in London,[224] and INR4 billion (US$65 million) of property in Dubai that includes a villa on the Palm Jumeirah.[225][226]

Khan frequently appears on listings of the most popular, stylish, and influential people in India. He regularly featured among the top ten on The Times of India '​s list of the 50 most desirable men in India,[227][228] and in a 2007 poll by the magazine Eastern Eye he was named the sexiest man in Asia.[229] Khan is often referred to as "Brand SRK" by several media organisations because of his many brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures.[230][231] He is one of the highest paid Bollywood endorsers and one of the most visible celebrities in television advertising, with up to a 6 per cent share of the television advertisement market.[232][233] Khan has endorsed brands including Pepsi, Nokia, Hyundai, Dish TV, D'decor, LUX and TAG Heuer.[199][233] His popularity has been documented in several non-fiction films, including the two-part documentary The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan (2005),[234] and the Discovery Travel & Living channel's ten-part miniseries Living with a Superstar—Shah Rukh Khan (2010).[232][235] Several books about Khan were published in 2007, including Mushtaq Sheikh's Still Reading Khan, which describes Khan's family life and features rare photographs,[236] and Anupama Chopra's biography King of Bollywood: Shahrukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema, set against the backdrop of the Indian film industry.[237][238] In 2007, Khan became the third Indian actor to have his wax statue installed at London's Madame Tussauds museum.[239] Additional versions of the statue were installed at Madam Tussauds' museums in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York and Washington.[240]

In 2008, Khan partnered with Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta for acquiring the ownership rights of the franchise representing Kolkata in the Twenty20 cricket tournament Indian Premier League (IPL) for US$75.09 million, which was renamed as the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).[241] As of 2009, KKR was ranked as the IPLs most valued team with a brand value of $42.1 million.[242] The team was surrounded with controversy and performed poorly on the field during the first three years of the tournament.[243] Their performance improved during the fourth season in 2011; they became the champions in 2012[243] and 2014.[244]

Filmography and awards

Khan's work has likely garnered him more awards than any other Bollywood actor.[43] He has received 14 Filmfare Awards from 30 nominations,[245][a] including 8 for Best Actor; tied for the most in the category with Dilip Kumar.[144] Khan has won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Baazigar (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Devdas (2002), Swades (2004), Chak De! India (2007) and My Name Is Khan (2010). He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2005.[43] The Government of France has awarded him both the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,[246] and the Légion d'honneur, its highest civilian honour.[247]


  1. ^ a b Awards in certain categories come without a prior nomination.
  2. ^ There was some confusion because Khan seemingly contradicted himself in an interview, saying that he was born and brought up in Mangalore[6] but he later confirmed his birthplace as Delhi, and that he was brought up in Mangalore for the first five years.[5]
  3. ^ Although she was reported to be the adopted daughter of Shah Nawaz Khan, a Major General in the Indian National Army, the Indian Army denied those reports.[12] According to Khan, his father was related to Shah Nawaz.[13]
  4. ^ Various sources report Khan's age at the time as 15 or 16, but Chopra's book gives the date as 19 September 1980, making Khan 14 years old.[24]
  5. ^ Although Khan has an estimated fan base worldwide exceeding one billion, the bulk of his fanbase, like numerous other Bollywood stars, is in Asia and Indian diaspora communities worldwide,[218] which accounts for Zeitchik's reference to "the biggest movie star you've never heard of".


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