Salim Khan

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This article is about the actor and screenwriter. For the town, see Saleem Khan.
Salim Khan
सलीम खान
Khan in August 2011
Born (1935-11-24) 24 November 1935 (age 80)
Indore, Bhopal State, Central India Agency, India
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor, Scriptwriter
Years active 1959–1996 (Retired), 2013
  • Sushila Charak (m.1964–present)
    Helen (m.1981–present)
Children Salman Khan
Arbaaz Khan
Sohail Khan
Alvira Khan Agnihotri
Arpita Sharma (adopted)
Relatives Thakur Baldev Singh Charak (Father-in-law)
Malaika Arora Khan (Daughter-in-law)
Atul Agnihotri (Son-in-law)

Salim Khan (Hindi: सलीम खान born 24 November 1935) is a veteran Indian actor and screenwriter. In Hindi cinema, Khan is best known for being one half of the prolific screenwriting duo of Salim-Javed. He is the father of Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan. He is married to Sushila Charak (Salma Khan)[1] and to actress Helen.[2]

Early years[edit]

Khan with wife Helen
From left to right – Arbaaz Khan Salman Khan Sohail Khan

Khan was born in Indore in the Central Provinces and Berar (modern day Madhya Pradesh) into an affluent family which was descended from the Achakzai Pashtun tribe. His grandfather's grandfather, a certain Anwar Khan, had immigrated from Afghanistan to India in the mid-1800s and worked in the cavalry of the British Indian army,[3][4][5][6] and the family had generally tended to look for employment in government service. They had eventually settled in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and this is where Salim Khan grew up.

Salim was the youngest child of his parents, both of whom died by the time he was 14 years old. His father, Abdul Rashid Khan, had joined the police service and risen to the rank of DIG-Indore, which was the highest police rank open to an Indian during those days. Salim's mother died when he was only nine years old. She had suffered from tuberculosis for four years before her death, and therefore it was forbidden for the younger children come close to her or hug her; Salim therefore had little contact with his mother even before her early death. His father also died in January 1950, when he was only fourteen years old. Two months later, in March 1950, Salim (who attended St. Raphaels' School in Indore) appeared for his matriculation examination. He did moderately well, and enrolled in Holkar College, Indore, and completed his BA. His elder brothers supported him with funds drawn from the family's substantial wealth, to the extent that he was given a car of his own while he was a college student. He excelled in sports, especially cricket, and it was for being a star cricketer that he was allowed by the college to enroll for a master's degree at the end of his bachelors. During these years, he also became enamored of films, and received encouragement from classmates, who told him that with his exceptional good looks, he should try to become a film star.


Acting phase[edit]

While he was an MA student in Indore, Salim attended the wedding of Tarachand Barjatya’s son. Here, he was spotted by film director K. Amarnath, who was impressed by his good looks and offered him a supporting role in his forthcoming film Baraat. He would be paid Rs.1000/- as a signing amount and a monthly salary of Rs.400/- for the period of shooting. Salim accepted and moved to Mumbai, living in a small rented apartment in Mahim. While Baraat was duly made and released in 1960, it did not do too well, and in any case, his role was a minor one. Salim got into the usual 'struggle' situation of wannabe actors, working in minor roles, being typecast as a good-looking supporting actor, and gradually descending into B-grade films. Over the next decade, he acted in what he calls “indifferent roles," playing minor characters in a total of 14 films till 1970, and one final appearance in 1977. These included Teesri Manzil (1966), Sarhaadi Lootera (1966) and Diwaana (1967). His most substantial role, for which he did receive some notice, was in Teesri Manzil (1966), where his role as the hero's friend was a meaty one, and his entry scene got a very good build-up.


Main article: Salim-Javed

Salim met Javed Akhthar for first time during the making of the film Sarhadi Lootera. Salim was a small-time actor, and Sarhadi Lootera was one of the last films he acted in before he turned his attention to writing. Javed was a clapper boy for the film and was later made the dialogue writer as director S.M. Sagar was unable to find a dialogue writer. While working in this film their friendship began. Salim Khan used to assist writer/director Abrar Alvi at first and Javed Akhtar used to assist Kaifi Azmi. Abrar Alvi and Kaifi Azmi were neighbours, from there on Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar became friends. The duo hit it off well and formed a script-writing team that came to be known as Salim-Javed. Salim used to form stories and plots whereas Javed used to help Salim with the dialogues for those films. They used to brainstorm and come to conclusions regarding the final draft of the film.

Initially in the 1970s there was no concept of having same people write both screenplay, story and dialogue and also giving them credits in title. Rajesh Khanna is credited with giving Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first chance to become screenplay writers by offering them work in film Haathi Mere Saathi.[7] Javed Akhtar accepted in an interview that "One day, he went to Salimsaab and said that Mr. Devar had given him a huge signing amount with which he could complete the payment for his bungalow Aashirwad. But the film was a remake and the script of the original was far from being satisfactory. He told us that if we could set right the script, he would make sure we got both money and credit."[8] Salim-Javed were hired by G. P. Sippy's, Sippy Films as resident screenwriters and produced the screenplays for successful films like Andaz, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay and Don. Their first big success was the script for Andaz, followed by Adhikar (1971), Haathi Mere Saathi and Seeta Aur Geeta (1972). They also had hits in Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Zanjeer (1973), Haath Ki Safai (1974), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Don (1978), Trishul (1978), Dostana (1980), Kranti (1981), Zamana (1985) and Mr. India (1987). They have worked together in 26 films including two Kannada films – Premada Kanike and Raja Nanna Raja and 2 Telugu films - Yughandhar and Manushulu Chesina Dongalu. Of the 26 films they wrote 21 were hits. The scripts they wrote but which were not successful at box office include Aakhri Dao (1975), Immaan Dharam (1977), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Shaan (1980). Though they split in 1982, due to ego issues, some of the scripts they wrote were made into films later like Zamana and Mr. India which became successful. Salim-Javed, many a time described as "the most successful scriptwriters of all-time",[9] are also noted to be the first scriptwriters in Indian cinema to achieve star status.[10]


Salim Khan was not very active in films from 1996. He wrote scripts for ten films from 1983 to 1996, after his split with Javed Akhthar. Salman Khan collaborated with his father in Patthar Ke Phool and Majhdaar. He also scripted Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya and Auzaar.

Personal life[edit]

On 18 November 1964, Salim married Sushila Charak who later adopted the name 'Salma Khan.' Salma's father, Baldev Singh Charak, was a Dogra Rajput from Jammu, while her mother was a Maharashtrian lady.[11] Salim and Salma have four children together: Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and their daughter Alvira Khan Agnihotri. In 1981, Salim married the actress Helen. They adopted a daughter named Arpita, a daughter of a homeless woman who died on a Mumbai footpath.[12][13][14]



  1. ^ "Salman Khan’s mom Salma Khan and stepmom Helen share a strong bond". Dainik Bhaskar. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Helen elated over grandson’s birth". The Indian Express. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Mitra, Devirupa (17 May 2011). "Khans in Bollywood: Afghan traces their Pathan roots". IANS. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  4. ^ "Khans in Bollywood: Afghan traces their Pathan roots". Deccan Herald. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  5. ^ Swarup, Shubhangi (29 January 2011). "The Kingdom of Khan". OPEN. Retrieved 2014-07-17. Salim Khan, scriptwriter and father of Salman Khan, remembers the Afghan tribe his family historically belongs to. “It is Achakzai,” he says. “My family came to Indore 150 years ago, and worked as [part of the] cavalry in the time of the British.” Salman Khan is a fifth-generation Khan in India. 
  6. ^ Salman Khan grandfather is from Afghanistan ........ Retrieved 2014-10-01. Salman Khan: "My grandfather from Afghanistan... My grandfather from my mother's side comes from Jammu Kashmir..." 
  7. ^ "More facts about Rajesh Khanna". The Times of India. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Magic of Haathi Mere Saathi". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Sholay, through the eyes of Salim Khan, [1],
  10. ^ Ramesh Dawar (2003), Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema, Encyclopædia Britannica (India) Pvt. Ltd.
  11. ^ "Salman Khan: We would love to premiere a film in Kashmir, if theatres are re-opened". 
  12. ^ Wedding special: 6 facts to know about Arpita Khan
  13. ^ Arpita Khan Journey: From Homeless Kid To Wedding At Falaknuma Palace
  14. ^ The truth behind Salman Khan's family: Salma, Helen, Arbaaz, Sohail, Arpita, Alvira
  15. ^ "Salim Khan rejects Padma Shri, says he deserves a Padma Bhushan at least". Firstpost. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

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