Aamir Khan, with his penchant for perfection and professionalism, is one of the few method actors in Bollywood, who has taken acting to a whole new level. Outwardly, his hairstyles from Dil Chahta Hai to Ghajini, are served as appetizers for cinephiles. An actor, director, producer, playback singer, a state tennis champion and mentor to his nephew – he’s all that and more.
A Step Back In Time
Aamir Khan celebrates his birthday on the 14th March. He was born on 1965 in Mumbai to Tahir and Zeenat Hussain. He has three siblings Faisal, Farhat and Nikhat. The film industry was part of his life growing up as many members of his family were part of it like his father, his late uncle Nasir Hussain and his cousin Mansoor Khan. It was Mansoor Khan’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak that brought him success.
Aamir’s family roots can be traced back to Afghanistan. He is said to be a descendant of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who was a scholar and political leader; Dr.Zakir Hussain, the former President of India. Dr.Najma Heptullah, who was a Chairperson in the Rajya Sabha is his second cousin.
Even as his first hit Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak made him an overnight heartthrob across the country, he married his sweetheart Reena Dutta secretly as their parents opposed the marriage. She even made a blink and you will miss appearance in his song Papa Kehte Hai in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. They have two children Junaid and Ira. The couple filed for divorce in 2002. Soon after, in 2005 he married Kiran Rao, who was an assistant director on the sets of Lagaan.
Aamir was honoured with the Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India in 2003. He turned down the offer to replicate him in wax by Madame Tussaud’s. He was also a tennis champion representing the state of Maharashtra.
Nasir Hussian’s Yaadon Ki Baarat, one of the hits in 1973, had Aamir playing Ratan in his younger days.
He made his debut in Ketan Mehta’s Holi in 1984. The film also had Ashutosh Gowariker as part of it’s cast, who was a friend of Aamir and later went on to direct the award winning Lagaan. But it was in 1988, with the release of Mansoor Khan’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, loosely adapted from Romeo and Juliet, which brought Aamir into the limelight. The film was a big favourite among film-goers and Aamir won the Filmfare Best Debut Actor Award. He received several nominations for the Filmfare Best Actor Award until he finally nailed it in 1996. In 1989, he had two releases – Raakh was a non-commercial film and his performance as Aamir Hussein was recognized, the second film was Love, Love, Love another teen love story with Juhi Chawla.
The 1990 release Dil with Madhuri Dixit made a big splash on the film scene. In 1991, in the remake of It Happened One Night, Mahesh Bhatt’s Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, he played Raghu Jetley, an out of work journalist, who comes across Pooja Dharamchand, a spoilt brat played by Pooja Bhatt. The film was a big success. In 1992, he had another hit with Mansoor Khan’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. Aamir continued to work in one or two films a year, a majority of which became unforgettable hits. Mahesh Bhatt’s Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ki in 1993 paired him with Juhi Chawla, and did extremely well. In 1994, he shared screen space with another Big Khan of Bollywood, Salman Khan, in Andaz Apna Apna, which was lighthearted and fun. Ram Gopal Verma’s Rangeela in 1995, gave him a new look as Munna. It turned out to be a blockbuster. The same year he had another hit in Akele Hum Akele Tum with Manisha Koirala. Hi role as Rohit Kumar, a failed playback singer and single father, was well-received. In 1996, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for Raja Hindustani, a love story between a taxi driver and a heiress. The film won several awards. He acted in Ishq, a romantic comedy and a multi starrer, which enjoyed a good reception in 1997. Ghulam, in 1998, had Aamir singing Aati Kya Khandaala to Rani Mukherji. His two films – John Mathew Mathan’s Sarfarosh and Deepa Mehta’s Earth 1947 – were critical and commercial successes. He played IPS officer Ajay Singh Rathod intent on fighting terrorism in Sarfarosh; in Earth 1947, he played Dil, the ice-candy man, caught in a love triangle, set during the partition of India and Pakistan and the resulting bloodshed.
Aamir’s only release in 2000 was Mela with his brother Faisal Khan. The film did not do well at the box office.
In 2001, he produced and starred as Bhuvan, a villager in British occupied India, in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan. He won the Filmfare Best Actor Award. The film was India’s entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. However it lost to No Man’s Land. His other hit the same year was in complete contrast to Bhuvan. He played the suave and urban Akash Malhotra in Dil Chahta Hai, a fresh look at friendship between three men. After taking a break from films for nearly four years, he returned in 2005, with Mangal Pandey – The Rising. The film’s performance was average and got caught up in controversies about how accurately or inaccurately the Sepoy was shown on screen. In his two releases in 2006, Rang De Basanti, he played a laidback DJ who tries to take justice in his hands and in Fanaa with Kajol, he plays Rehan Khan, a terrorist. His performance in Rang De Basanti won him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance. He made his debut as a director with Taare Zameen Par in 2007. He also produced and acted in this film about a dyslexic. It was a critical and commercial success in India and overseas. In the early part of 2008, he launched his nephew Imran Khan in Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. Aamir produced the film along with his cousin Mansoor and it went on to be a major hit.