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Aamir Khan


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Family background

Aamir Khan was born in 1965 in Bandra's Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai, India in a Muslim family that has been actively involved in the Indian motion picture industry for several decades. His father, Tahir Hussain, is a film producer while his deceased uncle, Nasir Hussain, was a film producer as well as a director. Being a descendant of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, his roots can be traced to the city of Herat, Afghanistan. He is also a descendant of former President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain and a second cousin to former Chair Person of Rajya Sabha, Dr Najma Heptullah. [4]

[edit] Film career

Khan first began his film career as a child actor in a home production, produced and directed by Nasir Hussain, titled Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973) and Madhosh (1974). Eleven years later, he made his adult acting debut in a role that went quite unnoticed in Ketan Mehta's Holi (1984).

Khan's first notable leading role came in 1988 in the film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak which was directed by his cousin and Nasir Hussain's son Mansoor Khan. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was a breakthrough success at the box office, effectively launching Khan's career as a leading actor. Having the typical 'chocolate hero' looks, he was publicised as a teen idol. After that, he went on to appear in several other films in the late '80s and early '90s: Dil (1990), which became the highest grossing film of the year,[5] Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) (for which he also wrote the screenplay), and Rangeela (1995). Most of these films were successful critically and commercially.[6][7][8]

Khan continued to act in just one or two films a year, an unusual trait for a mainstream Hindi Cinema actor. His only release in 1996 was the Dharmesh Darshan directed commercial blockbuster Raja Hindustani in which he was paired opposite Karisma Kapoor. The film earned him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award, after eight previous nominations, and went on to become the biggest hit of the year, as well as the third highest grossing Indian film of the 1990's.[9] Khan's career had seemed to hit a plateau at this point of time, and most of the films to follow for the next few years were only partially successful. In 1997, he co-starred with Ajay Devgan and was paired opposite Juhi Chawla in the film Ishq, which was a critical failure, but performed well at the box office. In 1998, Khan appeared in the moderately successful Ghulam, for which he also did playback singing.[10] John Mathew Matthan's Sarfarosh (1999) was Khan's first release in 1999 which was also moderately successful gaining an above average box office verdict, although the film was highly appreciated amongst the critics and Khan's role as a dedicated, honest and an uncorrupt cop engaged in fighting border terrorism, was well received, as did his role in Deepa Mehta's art house film Earth. His first release for the new millennium, Mela, in which he acted alongside his real-life brother Faisal Khan, was both a box-office and critical bomb.[11]

Khan founded his own production company, Aamir Khan Productions, to help finance his long time friend Ashutosh Gowariker's dream of making the film Lagaan. The movie was released in 2001, starring Khan as the lead actor. The film was a major critical and commercial success,[12] and was slelected as India's official entry to the 74th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. It was eventually chosen and nominated in that category along with four other foreign films, but lost to No Man's Land. Additionally, the film gathered critical acclaim at several international film festivals, apart from winning numerous Bollywood awards, including National Film Awards. Khan himself won his second Filmfare Best Actor Award and commented on loss of Lagaan at the Oscars, saying, "Certainly we were disappointed. But the thing that really kept us in our spirits was that the entire country was behind us".

The success of Lagaan was followed by Dil Chahta Hai later that year, in which Khan co-starred with Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan, with Preity Zinta playing his love interest. The film was written and directed by the then newcomer Farhan Akhtar. According to critics, the film broke new grounds by showing Indian urban youth as they really are today. The characters depicted were modern, suave and cosmopolitan. The film did moderately well and was a success mostly in urban cities.[12]

Khan then took a four year break citing personal problems, and returned in 2005 with Ketan Mehta's Mangal Pandey: The Rising playing the title role of a real-life sepoy and a matyr who helped spark the Indian Rebellion of 1857 or the 'First War of Indian Independence'.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's award-winning, Rang De Basanti, was Khan's first release in 2006. His role was critically acclaimed,[13] earning him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance and various nominations for Best Actor. The film went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year,[14] and was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars. Although the film was not shortlisted as a nominee, it received a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the BAFTA Awards in England. Khan's work in his next movie, Fanaa (2006) was also appreciated,[15] and the film went on to become one of the highest grossing Indian films of 2006.[14]

His 2007 film, Taare Zameen Par (about a teacher who befriends and helps a dyslexic child), which Khan produced and also starred in, marked his directorial debut. The film, which was the second offering from Aamir Khan Productions, opened to excellent responses from critics and audiences alike. His work won him two awards at the Filmfare, the Best Movie and the Best Director awards, and established his status as a competent director and a story-teller.

[edit] Personal life

During the years of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Khan married Reena Dutta. His parents did not approve of their marriage because of her not being a muslim. As a result, Khan's marriage stayed a secret both from his parents and the media for a while. Dutta made a brief appearance in the popular song sequence Papa Kehte Hain in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The story of Khan's marriage garnered major public attention when it was first revealed. Even so, Reena Dutta maintained a low profile and continued her job at a travel agency. They had two children, a son named Junaid and a daughter, Aira, and led a quiet family life away from the public eye. Reena was involved, briefly, in Khan's career when she worked as a producer for Lagaan. In December 2002, Aamir filed for divorce, ending the 15-year marriage, with Reena taking the custody of both their children.

On December 28, 2005, Aamir married Kiran Rao who had been an assistant director to Ashutosh Gowariker during the filming of Lagaan.[16]

Recently, his brother Faisal caused a media scandal by accusing Khan of mistreating him and forcing him to take medication. Faisal has been said to be mentally unstable. On October 31, 2007, the Bombay high court granted temporary custody of Faisal to their father, Tahir Hussain. Khan's family came out in a public statement, supporting him on all counts in this matter. The statement was also signed by his former wife, Reena Dutta.[17]

Although he has received numerous Indian awards, Khan rarely attends Indian award functions, and says that he does not believe in the authenticity of the selection and winning process. He made an exception when he attended the Oscars for the nomination of Lagaan. In 2007, Khan was invited to have a wax imitation of himself put on display at Madame Tussauds in London.[18] However, Khan politely declined stating that, "It's not important to me... people will see my films if they want to. Also, I cannot deal with so many things, I have bandwidth only for that much. "[19]

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