Shah Rukh Khan is an Indian film star who has gained international recognition by dint of talent and hard work. The undisputed Badshah of tinsel town, Khan started out as a young lad without any roots in the film industry and for an unheralded entrant in the showbiz world then, King Khan’s current status and aura is nothing less than a phenomenon.
Shah Rukh Khan is many men moulded into one name. Be it the quintessential lover boy, a sensitive son, a doting father, a charged up patriot, a comic enactor or even a reel life hero, Khan’s bounty of roles finds beckoning in every actor’s dream kitty.
SHAH RUKH KHAN BIOGRAPHY
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Born on 2nd November, 1985 to Mir Taj Muhammad Khan and Lateef Fatima in New Delhi, Khan’s early life was very much the story of every middle class existence. He completed his schooling from Delhi’s St. Columbia’s School and pursued a bachelors degree in Economics from Hans Raj College under Delhi University. And while Khan proceeded to obtain his Masters Degree in Mass Communication from the Jamia Milia Islamia University, he dropped out of studies to pursue his passion for acting.
SRK was a brilliant student while in school, and he also excelled in sports. He also had an inclination for the arts and acted in numerous stage plays. His adeptness in imitating famous Bollywood actor earned him appreciation.
Even during the course of his bachelor’s study, Khan studied acting at Delhi’s Theater Action Group. Honing his skills under the tutelage of theater director Barry John, Khan later went on to enroll himself at the prestigious National School of Drama for an acting course during his initial years in showbiz.
FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND MID LIFE
True to his portrayal of the ever loyal romantic heroes in his films, Shah Rukh Khan has always been a one man woman even in real life. He ultimately entered wedlock with wife Gauri Khan on 25th October,1991, after a six year courtship. Though a Muslim, SRK’s marriage was performed in accordance with Hindu rituals as his wife belonged to a Hindu family. The beautiful couple has been blissfully married for more than 25 years now and are blessed with three children- sons Aryan (1997) and Abram (2013), and a daughter named Suhana (2000).
SHAH RUKH KHAN CAREER
Though a doyen of Indian cinema and the world stage at present, SRK started out with television and made his debut in 1989 with the show Fauji (Soldier), though by that time he had already shot for another serial named Dil Dariya. However, production issues led to the delay of Dil Dariya and Khan finally debuted with Fauji where he enacted the role of Abhimanyu Rai as the lead. SRK’s starring in the realistic drama series brought him immense popularity.
Fauji was followed by Aziz Mirza’s tele series Circus (1989-90) and Mani Kaul’s mini series Idiot (1991). Serials like Umeed, Wagle Ki Duniya, tele film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones also witnessed Khan in minor roles.
While Khan has remained forever engrossed in films ever since his foray into mainstream Bollywood, he still continues to dazzle at the small screen with his appearances. As the host of numerous award shows in recent times and also as the host of popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati in 2007, the medium that had been the launch pad for SRK’s acting career has found him in full association. In 2008, Khan started hosting another game show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tej Hain? and after a few unsuccessful ventures, returned to telly in 2017 as the host of Ted Talks India Nayi Soch on Star Plus.
Initially, Khan was hesitant to make his foray into films as he did not consider himself good enough for the silver screen. However, not being able to cope up with the grief of his mother’s demise in 1991 forced Shah Rukh Khan to change his decision as he started immersing himself in work to overcome the trauma.
A decision to shift base from his hometown Delhi to film city Mumbai paid off as Khan quickly landed up with four films in his kitty. Khan debuted in Bollywood with Deewana (1992) where he starred alongside Divya Bharati as the second male lead after Rishi Kapoor. The film was a resounding success at the box office and earned SRK the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award for his performance.
In his very next project Chamatkar, Khan landed up the lead role while also proving his acting prowess in Hema Malini’s directorial debut Dil Aashna Hai while his comic avatar in Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman co starring Juhi Chawla immediately found a resonance with the audience.
DIVERSION FROM THE USUAL
While SRK’S initial films portrayed him as the hero with virtues galore, a carefree lad frolicking about, a humorous man and so on, what followed in the couple of years thereafter was a contradictions of sorts as Khan started starring in projects where he played the antagonist.
While in Darr, SRK shocked the audience with his scheming portrayal of an obsessive lover, his role in Baazigar, though negative, was less torturous, psychologically. Baazigar, co starring Kajol, won Khan his first Filmfare award for the Best Actor (Male) while Darr earned him a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor in a Negative Role. And though SRK lost out in the final race with Darr, his legendary dialogue “I love you K-k-kiran” and the style of its utterance attained immortality among a large section of the movie going population.
Another role as an obsessive lover in Anjam, alongside Bollywood beauty Madhuri Dixit finally earned Khan a Filmfare for Best Villain, while comedy drama Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa bestowed SRK with the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance.
Some of SRK’s most noteworthy performance followed thereafter, with Rakesh Roshan’s melodramatic thriller Karan- Arjun which became the second highest grosser of the year in India; as well as the cult romance saga Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema.
SRK also starred in romantic comedy Yes Boss which once again earned him a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor; socially stirring drama Pardes, one of the first Indian films to succeed in the US; musical romantic film Dil Toh Pagal Hai for which Shah Rukh Khan won his third Filmfare Award for Best Actor; action comedy Duplicate for which Khan received special praise despite the film being a box office failure; romantic drama Dil Se.., a Mani Ratnam terror film; the iconic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which redefined love and romance for a generation of Indians.
Shah Rukh Khan is probably one among those actors who wasn’t afraid to venture out in every genre, and he performed comic role with as much ease with which he stuck to his image of Bollywood’s lover boy, he did justice to his every character, delivering menace when needed and sticking to his amiable, free spirited characters as per the demand of the script. He has been equally convincing in his enactions in certain offbeat roles, in patriotic ventures, of socially stirred up characters, of emotionally draining scenes and trying to live up to virtually every other sentiment expected of him.
SRK turned producer in 1999 in collaboration with a production company called Dreamz Unlimited and churned out the first film Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani along with Juhi Chawla. The film bombed at the box office and critics were dismissive of Khan’s performance, as they could not find any innovation in the same.
Dreamz Unlimited attempted a resurgence of sorts in 2001 with another production venture, a historical drama film Asoka. However, this film too failed to live up to the expectations and thereafter in 2004 (after a fallout with the producers over the inability to cast Juhi Chawla in Chalte Chalte), SRK transformed Dreamz Unlimited into Red Chillies Entertainment, with wife Gauri as a co producer. The company’s debut offering Main Hoon Naa did considerably well and went on to become the second highest grossing film of the year.
CONTINUING BOX OFFICE RULE
Meanwhile, Khan acted in various films and despite reducing his workload owing to a spinal injury, continued to deliver blockbusters like Mohabattein which won him another Filmfare Critics’ Award for Best Performance; highest grossing Indian film overseas of the time Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham; the most expensive Bollywood movie ever of that period Devdas (which went on to win 10 Filmfare awards, including one for SRK and also a BAFTA Award for a film not in the English language.
Other projects where SRK shone included the top grosser in external markets of the year Kal Ho Naa Kaho; Veer-Zara which earned critical acclaim at the 55th Berlin Film Festival; the first Indian picture to be shot inside the NASA research centre at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Swades; fantasy drama Paheli which was India’s entry at the 79th Academy Awards as the Best Foreign Language Film; musical romantic drama with a difference Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna; remake of the cult classic Don; one of the most realistic performances in semi fictional film Chak De! India which fetched him another Filmfare for Best Actor and enlistment by Filmfare as among the Top 80 Iconic performances; reincarnation melodrama Om Shanti Om in a double role; another double role in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi; a standout performance as a person suffering from mild Asperger Syndrome in My Name Is Khan; science fiction superhero flick Ra.One (in yet another double role) which was showcased at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival; Yash Chopra’s swansong venture Jab Tak Hain Jaan, et al.
BEYOND HIS PRIME?
His more recent works include action comedy Chennai Express,which enjoyed a short stint as the highest grosser of Bollywood; Farah Khan’s ensemble comedy Happy New Year which was critically unappealing but commercially successful; comedy drama Dilwale; yet another dual enactment in Fan; coming of age drama Dear Zindagi; an anti hero in crime drama Raees; and attempted a romantic resurgence with Jab Harry Met Sejal, which unfortunately turned out to be a flop.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
A winner of 14 Filmfare Awards in different capacities including 8 for Best Actor, Shah Rukh Khan undoubtedly has cemented his role as one of the most credible performers of Bollywood. Though the National Award is a glaring miss in his collection of accolades, his cinematic exploits is second to none. A recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri from the Indian Government in 2005, SRK has gone on to collect international laurels as well, with the France Government awarding him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007,and its highest civilian honour, the Légion d’honneur in 2014.
Apart from multiple awards pertaining to his cinematic prowess and excellence as a true actor, Khan has also been lauded for his status as an influential star worldwide. In 2011 Steven Zeitchik of the LOs Angeles Times declared SRK as”the biggest movie star you’ve never heard of…perhaps the world’s biggest movie star, period”. With an estimated wealth of US $400-600 million, Khan also topped Forbes celebrity list of the world’s richest persons three times in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
An endorser of multiple brands, Khan has been forever present in the public realm. As per a popularity survey, SRK is recognised even more than Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise worldwide. The third Indian actor to have his wax statue at the iconic Madame Tussauds Museum in London, Shah rukh Khan is undoubtedly one of the most visible public figures and with an anticipated fan following of more than one billion, commands enormous respect and recognition in the world stage.
Philanthropy and social causes has as much beckoned Shah Rukh as has glitz and glamour. A brand ambassador of various government campaigns like Pulse Polio and National AIDS Control Organisation, SRK is also a member of the board of directors of Make-A-Wish foundation in India. As the first global ambassador of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council under UNOPS since 2011, Khan has been an active champion of good health and proper nutrition and has been collaborating with India’s Health Ministry and UNICEF in a nationwide child immunisation campaign. In 2011, he became the first Indian to receive UNESCO’s Pyramide con Marni award for his rooting of children’s education.
2014 saw Khan become the ambassador for the Interpol campaign “Turn back Crime”. Again, the very next year, Shah Rukh received a privileged degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The World Economic Forum honored SRK with their 2018 Annual Crystal award for championing children’s and women’s rights in India.
Apart from being a brilliant actor, Khan has also made his mark in partnering businesses. While his production company Red Chillies Entertainment continues to rake in the moolah with numerous production ventures, Shah Rukh Khan is also the proud owner of the Indian Premier League franchisee, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and is seen actively rooting for his team in the league matches.
SRK also has his fair tryst with controversies during his more than two decades long stay in Bollywood. While his once soured relationship with Bollywood Bhaijaan Salman Khan has now taken a turn for the better, their tumultuous relationship has been one of the most gossip worthy anecdotes in the media.
SRK’s association with KKR also has resulted in a major controversy, whereby he was denied entry to the Wankhede cricketing ground in Mumbai and barred for life from entering the premises due to an alleged brawl and misbehavior with officials.
Apart from his alleged link up with Priyanka Chpra, Shah Rukh Khan has come out rather clean as far as his relationships with female co actors is concerned; however, Khans international stature and eminence could not save him from falling into trouble with airport authorities in foreign countries.
Shah Rukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s most loved actors. SRK’s films have been fodder for our thoughts on romance, love and sorrow and remain hugely relatable and iconic. SRK is truly one true star and a personality with an enigma. The ever green Baadshah of Bollywood!