Shah Rukh Khan, also known as SRK and King Khan, was born and raised in New Delhi to parents of Pathan origin, Taj Mohammed Khan and Lateef Fatima. His family migrated from Kissa Kahani Bazaar in Peshawar, before the Partition of India. Khan attended St. Columbus School where he was an “all-rounder”, accomplished in sports, drama and academics. He won the Sword of Honour, an annual award bequeathed to the individual who embodies most the spirit of the school, to try one’s hand at everything.
When he joined the Hansraj College (1985-1988) to earn an Honors degree in Economics, SRK continued playing football, hockey and cricket. Though he wanted to pursue his interest in sports, his back injury and an arthritis-ruptured right knee would not allow him to. This was the time when he did his first T.V. series Fauji and Dil Dariya. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan started his career in 1988 by appearing in the television series Fauji in which he played the role of Commando Abhimanyu Rai. He then played a minor role in the serial Circus in 1989, which depicted the life of circus performers.
After completing his graduation, SRK studied at Jamia Millia Islamia University for a Masters Degree in Mass Communications. Though he completed his first year, he fell short of minimum attendance, as he was dabbling with theatre, television and production work for short films outside the college in his free time.
After the death of his parents Khan moved from New Delhi to Mumbai for a fresh start in 1991. He made his Bollywood film debut in Deewana (1992) which was a hit and launched his career in Bollywood. For his performances in Baazigar and Darr (1993), in which he played anti-hero and obsessive-lover roles respectively, he got critical acclaim. In 1995, he starred in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge which was a commercial success.
After this, Khan frequently collaborated with directors Yash Chopra and Karan Johar and starred in several of their successful films in the romantic genre including Dil to Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Mohabbatein (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Veer-Zaara (2004) and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). He played the title role in the hit movie Don—a remake of the 1978 film Don in 2006.
Khan also won critical praise for his performances in Anjaam (1994), Dil Se (1998), Hey Ram (2000), Swades (2004), Paheli (2005), Chak Del India (2008) and My Name is Khan (2010) which was not as successful commercially. Although Khan is best known for playing romantic roles, he has played a villain in six of his movies: Baazigar, Ram Jaane, Darr, Anjaam, Duplicate and Don – The Chase Begins Again.
Khan also produces films and co-owns Dreamz Unlimited, a film production company, with Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza. The first two of the films he produced and starred in, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000) and Asoka (2001) were box office failures. However, his third film as a producer and star Chalte Chalte (2003) was a hit. In 2004, Main Hoon Na produced by another of his production houses, Red Chillies Entertainment, was his second hit as both producer and star. In 2005, Paheli, which he produced and starred, was India’s selection for the Academy Awards in foreign films category, but it did not win. That same year he also co-produced the film Kaal with Karan Johar and performed an item number for the film with Malaika Arora Khan.
In 2007, Khan became the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, after taking over from the original host Amitabh Bachchan. He was praised for his sense of friendliness and humour with the show’s participants.
Talking of Film fare Awards, Shah Rukh Khan won the Award for Best Debut/Newcomer for Deewana in 1992, Best Actor for Baazigar and Best Performer Critics’ Choice for Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in 1993, Best Performance In Negative Role for Anjaam in 1994, Best Actor for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995, Best Actor for Dil To Pagal Hai in 1997, Best Actor for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998, Best Actor Critics’ Choice for Mohabbatein in 2000, Best Actor for Devdas and Film fare Special Award Swiss Consulate Trophy in 2002, Film fare Power Award (along with Amitabh Bachchan) in 2003, and Best Actor for Swades and Film fare Power Award in 2004.
Among other awards, he won ten Rupa Cinegoers Awards, six Star Screen Videocon Awards, six Sansui Viewers Choice Movie Awards, four Zee Cine Awards, four People’s Choice Movie Awards, three IIFA Awards, three Zee Gold Bollywood Awards, two AFJA Awards, one Aashirwad Award, one Disney Kids Channel Award, one MTV Immies Indian Music Excellence Award, and one Sports World Film Award.
He is the recipient of several National Honors too. In 1997, he won the Best Indian Citizen Award followed by Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in the Field of Entertainment in 2002, and Padma Shri in 2005. Among International Honors, the DIFF Dubai International Film Festival 2006 honored Shah Rukh Khan along with Oliver Stone.
Madame Tussauds in London has unveiled a wax figure of SRK. Time magazine has described him as probably the most recognizable actor in the world with an audience of 3.6 billion. The Guardian newspaper has described him as ‘the world’s biggest film star’, as per the logic that Bollywood has a global audience of 3.6 billion, while Hollywood has 2.5 billion. A two-part documentary on Shah Rukh, “The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan” was produced by the noted British filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir in 2005.
Featuring his 2004 Temptations concert tour, the film contrasted Khan’s inner world of family and daily life with the outer world of his work. Still Reading Khan, a book on SRK released in 2006, talks about his family and his life.
Khan, who is 5 foot 8 inches tall, suffers from constant back pain. Although his birth name is spelled Shahrukh, he prefers and signs his name Shah Rukh. He has modeled his looks, mannerisms and antics after the famous explorer and photographer, Lt. Col. Sanjoy Banerjee. He likes rain, video games, computers, books and hi-tech gadgets. SRK is married to Gauri and they have two children, son Aryan and daughter Suhana. Whenever he visits New Delhi, he makes it a point to visit his parents’ graves.