A World-Class Character Actor
Amir Khan’s illustrious career in acting and directing is telling of his commitment in only giving his best in everything he does. What sets Aamir apart from his contemporaries is his dedication to his craft and his unparalleled passion in the industry. He is known as someone who doesn’t do anything for show. Very seldom do we see that kind of actor these days. But Aamir Khan doesn’t care less about how others see him. As long as he believes that he is not doing anyone wrong, he doesn’t think twice about speaking his mind.
Aamir’s involvement in many social causes has also earned the respect not only of his Indian fellowmen, but also of his growing fan-base around the world. Most of his films tell politically sensitive stories that are not for the faint-hearted. Watching his films, even the most frigid could be moved to tears. More than just an actor, Aamir Khan is a storyteller of the highest caliber. While most actors are known for their looks or awesome depiction of characters, Aamir’s skills include convincing portrayal, command over direction, song-writing and singing prowess, and breathtaking presence on screen.
The reason we don’t see much of him in the movies in spite of his stellar status is that he limits his works to one or two films every year, saying that he doesn’t want to preoccupy himself with work. A very simple man, nothing makes Aamir happier than being able to spend quality time with his kids and wife, Kiran.
Does Not Call Himself a Child Actor
Born on 14 March 1965 to Zeenat Hussain and Tahir Hussain, a producer, Aamir Hussain Khan’s love for acting runs in his blood. His uncle, Nasir Hussain, is a director. In fact, Aamir appeared in one of his films, "Yaadon Ki Baaraat," in 1973 and in another film titled "Madhosh" the following year. Contrary to what most people would like to believe, Aamir does not consider himself a child actor.
"It wasn’t that I was a child actor in the acting profession. It was essentially because my uncle was a film maker. He was making a film and he said, 'Why don’t you do this part that I have for a kid?' That was a one-off for me. I had nothing to do with films thereafter." (Source: JonWilks)
Aamir has three more siblings, namely Faisal Khan, Farhat Khan, and Nikhat Khan. Acting and filming were far from his mind as a young boy probably because he wasn’t encouraged by his parents to take that path. They wanted Aamir to have a more secure profession.
"My family were dead against it. They wanted me to be in a steady profession, like a doctor or an engineer or something. They were protective…” (Source: JonWilks)
Aamir attended the Narsee Monjee College in Mumbai where he completed his Standard 12 and even became a tennis champion in Maharashtra. However, Aamir did not stay indifferent towards film. When he was 16 years old, his friend asked his help in making a film. That opened Aamir’s eyes, leading him to realize that his passion is in filmmaking, much to his father’s chagrin. His life was never the same again after that homemade film was shown. It sparked a lifelong interest that soon launched him into stardom.
Aamir’s List of Movies
Aamir first appeared in Holi as a grown actor with a more substantial role albeit not a major one. Prior to that, Aamir realized he had a peculiar interest beyond acting; that he wanted to actually work behind the camera. He tells his humble beginnings in an interview:
“I also wanted to learn about film-making. So, that’s why I was working as an assistant first. In this period I did one film as an actor, which is actually my first film. It was a film called Holi, which Ketan (Mehta) directed. And what is interesting is that I didn’t… it wasn’t so much that I wanted to act in it but I wanted to be on the set… because… we had heard that Ketan and Jehangir (Chaudhri, the cameraman) were going to use a steady cam, which was a new thing at that time. So, I was like, ‘God… I want to see the steady cam and I want to know how it works and what it looks like.’
So, I got into the film to watch actually how it all happens. I was one of the 30 kids in the film and… Ashutosh was there, Niraj Vora was there, Amol Gupte, they were all there… whole lot of people.
Eventually the steady camera didn’t land up, so I never got to see it. But it was fun—a good experience working with so many people. Also, before this while I was assisting Mahendra Joshi, in theatre, I did a couple of diploma films. So all this was a process for me to learn you know, working in FTII films with the students. They needed actors, as their acting course had shut down. So, they would ask actors from Mumbai and Delhi to come and do their diploma films. So I did a few diploma films.” (Source: NaachGaana.com)
Three more years passed before Aamir was given a break in the film “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” where he played the role of Raj in 1988. His looks and acting skills were not missed by viewers and critics. He won the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award and received the National Film Award - Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) – Actor for that film. He was also nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award. With his initial success, Aamir took all the opportunity that came his way, increasing his workload. The following year, he did two more movies, “Love Love Love” and “Raakh.” Between the two, Raakh emerged as the more successful. Again, he was nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award and received the National Film Award - Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) – Actor. The following year kept Aamir busy as he did five films: "Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin," "Awwal Number," "Jawani Zindabad," "Tum Mere Ho," and "Dil." More awards followed suit and before he knew it, he was a star! He did twelve more movies in a span of five years: "Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin," "Afsana Pyar Ka," "Daulat Ki Jung," "Isi Ka Naam Zindagi," "Parampara," "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar," "Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke," "Andaz Apna Apna," "Baazi," "Aatank Hi Aatank," "Bollywood Dreams," and "Akele Hum Akele Tum."
Some of them were successful, while others ended up having mediocre sales in Bollywood box office. Having stayed a number of years in the film industry, Aamir realized two things. One is that he couldn’t spend all of his precious time just doing movies as it doesn’t make him happy. Two is that he couldn’t really trust the judgment of award-giving bodies. Since then, he decided not to attend awarding ceremonies of organizations that to him lack credibility. He has gained the reputation of a snob, ignoring events that he feels are not giving due regard to films that are worth more recognition than what they give.
From then on, Aamir only did one or two movies every year and stopped attending functions altogether, except for ones that he thinks are worth his time. According to him:
"I have no objections to film awards per se. I just feel that if I don’t value a particular film award, then I won’t attend it either. Apart from the National Film Awards, I don’t see any other award ceremony that I should give value to. My personal experience about these award ceremonies is that I don’t trust them. I have no faith in them so I would prefer to stay away." (Source: Wikipedia)
By this time, people are not only intrigued by this uncompromising actor but are also beginning to either intensely love him or hate him. Aamir admits to being sensitive. He recounted in one of his interviews that he used to have a row with the press because of the sensational news they were writing about him. Well, that’s Aamir, he doesn’t sugarcoat. Apart from innate skills, that’s another thing that makes him different from the rest of his contemporaries.
From 1996 to 2000, he only did the following films: "Raja Hindustani," "Ishq," "Ghulam," "Earth," "Sarfarosh," "Mann," and "Mela." But he would later on be touted as an icon in his first Aamir Khan Productions-produced masterpiece, “Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India.” Lagaan became a huge success in Bollywood and even earned a slot in the Academy Awards. It defined Aamir not only as an actor, but as a producer who had fine taste. Although the film was directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Aamir was credited for his insights and contribution to the film. Along with that success came more awards and controversy. He was accused of putting up his own productions so he could ghost direct. His matter-of-fact reply to that was:
"I have no energy to direct films for others. When I direct, it will be for myself."
He has risen to such great heights that he was ranked second among the "Greatest Actor" in the film personalities’ category in the Best of India poll conducted by Zee News. Four more films followed—"Dil Chahta Hai," "The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey," "Rang De Basanti," and "Fanaa"—before Aamir tries his hands at directing. The movie “Taare Zameen Par” (Like Stars on Earth, Every Child is Special) was his debut movie as a director. He played the role of the teacher who went through the same challenges as the dyslexic student he helped in the movie. The story is about coming into terms with one’s own gift and acceptance of a person regardless of how different he/she may seem from the rest. It earned raves not only in India, but also all over the world. Touching and endearing, Every Child is Special became an official box office. Again, Aamir proved that he doesn’t just act well, he also directs amazingly!
The following year, 2008, Aamir appeared in another successful movie titled “Ghajini.” It was special because it became the highest grossing film in India. It was, however, toppled by “3 Idiots” a year after. Fortunately, he also starred in 3 Idiots as the lead character, Shamaldas 'Rancho' Chanchad.
He again appeared in “Mumbai Diaries” in 2010 directed by his second wife, Kiran Rao. Two years later, Amir Khan Productions released “Talaash,” its third movie. They are currently doing the post production of “Dhoom 3” set to be shown in 2013 and “Peekay” the following year.
Reena and Kiran
When Aamir was 21 years old, he fell in love with a Hindi girl three years his junior, Reena. With Aamir coming from a conservative Muslim family, he was quite sure that their parents wouldn’t approve of their marriage. The two decided to elope and wed secretly. They remained married for 16 years and had two children named Junaid and Ira. Everybody was surprised when news came out about their divorce. The two has remained friends afterwards.
Aamir met his second wife, Kiran, on the set of Lagaan. She was the assistant director of the film but their relationship did not go beyond work. They became closer shortly after Aamir and Reena divorced. He married Kiran in 2002 but has one child with ex-girlfriend Jessica Hines, a British writer, who they named Jaan Harry Hines on 14 September 2003. It was not possible for Aamir and Kiran to have a child due to medical reasons so the two decided to heed doctors’ advice—using a surrogate. They welcomed their new family member in 2011.
In spite of his busy schedule, Aamir still found time to make good on the promise he made to his mother and took her to Mecca for the Hajj. Aamir could be endearing if he wants to. More than anything else, it’s Aamir’s no-nonsense attitude that adds to the industry’s integrity. Aamir is a great actor in his own right but he’s got so much self-respect that he doesn’t resort to changing who he is just to earn people’s approval. In 2013, he was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. It’s a relief to know that someone like him is making such a huge impact. We could learn a lot about integrity and passion from this man.
Organizations and Programmes Supported
- Eye Donation
- Kaun Banega Crorepati
- Kutch Earthquake
- Humanity Trust, HANSPUKUR, WEST BENGAL
- Narmada Bachao Andolan committee
- Janlokpal Bill Movement
- The Child Protection bill
- National Film Awards
Awards and Achievements
- 1989: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
- 1989: Received National Film Award - Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) – Actor for Raakh and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
- 1989: Won Filmfare Best Male Debut Award for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
- 1990: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Raakh
- 1997: Filmfare Best Actor Award for Raja Hindustani
- 1991: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Dil
- 1992: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin
- 1993: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
- 1994: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke
- 1995: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Andaz Apna Apna
- 1995: Won BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Akele Hum Akele Tum & Rangeela
- 1996: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Rangeela
- 1997: Won Screen Award for Best Actor for Raja Hindustani
- 1998: Nominated Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Ishq
- 1999: Nominated Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Ghulam
- 1999: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Ghulam
- 1999: Nominated Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for the song Aati Kya Khandaala in Ghulam
- 2000: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Sarfarosh
- 2000: Won Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Sarfarosh
- 2001: Received National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment for Lagaan (shared with Ashutosh Gowarikar)
- 2001: Won BFJA Awards, Best Actor for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2001: Won Bollywood People's Choice Awards: Best Actor for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2001: Ranked 3rd Most Powerful Indian Film Star by Forbes
- 2001: Named "Man of the Year" by Bombay Times
- 2001: Founded Aamir Khan Productions
- 2002: Won Filmfare Best Actor Award for Lagaan
- 2002: Won Filmfare Best Movie Award for Lagaan
- 2002: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Dil Chahta Hai
- 2002: Nominated IIFA Best Actor Award for Dil Chahta Hai
- 2002: Won Screen Award for Best Film for Lagaan
- 2002: Won IIFA Best Actor Award for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2002: Won IIFA Best Movie Award for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2002: Nominated Screen Award for Best Actor for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2002: Won Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2002: Nominated Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Dil Chahta Hai
- 2002: Won Bollywood Movie Award - Best Actor for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2002: Won Bollywood Movie Award - Critics Award Male for Dil Chahta Hai
- 2003: Voted No.2 "Greatest Actor" in the film personalities category in the Best of India poll conducted by Zee News
- 2006: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Mangal Pandey: The Rising
- 2006: Nominated Screen Award for Best Actor for Mangal Pandey: The Rising
- 2007: Won Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for Rang De Basanti
- 2007: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Rang De Basanti
- 2007: Nominated Screen Award for Best Actor for Rang De Basanti
- 2007: Nominated Screen Award for Best Villain for Fanaa
- 2007: Nominated IIFA Best Actor Award for Rang De Basanti
- 2007: Nominated Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Male for Rang De Basanti
- 2007: Nominated Best Actor for Rang De Basanti
- 2008: Received a "Special Award" from Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratisthan
- 2008: Received National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Filmfare Best Movie Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Filmfare Best Director Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Nominated Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Screen Award for Best Director for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Screen Award for Most Promising Debut Director for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Nominated Screen Award for Best Film for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Zee Cine Award for Best Director for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Nominated Stardust Best Film Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Nominated Stardust Dream Director Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Nominated Stardust Star of the Year Award - Male for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Planet Bollywood People's Choice Awards: Best Director for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won Planet Bollywood People's Choice Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won V. Shantaram Awards: Best Film Gold Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Won V. Shantaram Awards: Best Director Silver Award for Taare Zameen Par
- 2008: Best Actor Award for Ghajini
- 2009: Received the "Indian of the Year in Entertainment" Award from CNN-IBN
- 2009: Named among the 10 recipients of the IIFA-FICCI Frames Awards for the "Most Powerful Entertainers of the Decade"
- 2009: Received "Raj Kapoor Smriti Vishesh Gaurav Puraskar" by the Government of Maharastra
- 2009: Received "Indian of The Year in Cinema" Award by NDTV
- 2009: Won Bollywood Hungama Surfers Choice Movie Awards
- 2009: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for Ghajini
- 2009: Nominated Screen Award for Best Actor for Ghajini
- 2009: Won IIFA Movie of the Decade for Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- 2009: Nominated Star of the Decade – Male
- 2009: Won Apsara Award for Best Film - Taare Zameen Par
- 2009: Won Apsara Award for Best Director - Taare Zameen Par
- 2009: Nominated Stardust Star of the Year Award – Male for Ghajini
- 2010: Topped the Filmfare Power List since 2007
- 2010: Nominated Stardust Star of the Year Award – Male for 3 Idiots
- 2010: Nominated IIFA Best Actor Award for 3 Idiots
- 2010: Nominated BIG Star – Film Actor of Decade (Male)
- 2010: Nominated Screen Award for Best Actor for 3 Idiots
- 2010: Nominated Filmfare Best Actor Award for 3 Idiots
- 2010: Won Dadasaheb Phalke Awards: Phalke Memorial Performance Award for 3 Idiots
- 2010: Awarded the Padma Bhushan India's third highest Civil Honour
- 2011: Appointed as national brand ambassador of UNICEF
- 2012: Voted No.2 "India's Greatest Actor" in NDTV poll
- 2012: Considered the highest paid host in Indian television industry
- 2012: Featured in TIME magazine front cover
- 2013: Named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World List
- Awarded Best Debut Director for Taare Zameen Par by Gollapudi Srinivas Award
New York Times (A Conversation With: Bollywood’s Aamir Khan)
IMDB (Aamir Khan Biography)
IMDB (Aamir Khan)
Wikipedia (List of Awards and Nominations Received by Aamir Khan from Wikipedia)
Wikipedia (Aamir Khan)
One India (Aamir Khan Biography)
Bollywood Life (Aamir Khan is back from Hajj pilgrimage: view pics!)
The Times of India (Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao blessed with a baby boy)
International Business Times (Aamir Khan Turns 48! Rare and Unseen Pictures of Mr Perfectionist)
Glamsham.com ('I'm at the peak of my career')
India Forums (Aamir Khan Interview on Completing 25 Years in Indian Cinema)
The Times of India (Never thought I'd come this far: Aamir Khan)
Pink Villa [I'll never work with Yash Chopra - Aamir Khan (1994 Interview)]
Digital Spy (Aamir Khan interview: 'I don't see myself as a saviour')
Mid-day.com (Reclusive B-Town superstar Aamir Khan opens up in a rare interview)
JonWilks (Aamir Khan interview)
NaachGaana.com (Aamir Khan's old interview)
Aamir Khan website (Aamir Khan's Charity)
Planet Aid Charity (Every child is special)