Aamir Khan (pronounced [ˈaːmɪr ˈxaːn]; born Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan on 14 March 1965) is an Indian film actor, director, and producer. Through his career in Hindi films, Khan has established himself as one of the most popular and influential actors of Indian cinema. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including four National Film Awards and eight Filmfare Awards. He was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010.
Khan first appeared on screen as a child actor in his uncle Nasir Hussain's film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). His first feature film role came with the experimental film Holi (1984), and he began a full-time acting career with a leading role in the tragic romance Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). His performance in the film and in the thriller Raakh (1989) earned him a Special Mention at the National Film Award ceremony. He established himself as a leading actor of Hindi cinema in the 1990s by appearing in several commercially successful films, including the romantic drama Dil (1990), the romance Raja Hindustani (1996), for which he won his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor, and the drama Sarfarosh (1999). He was also noted for playing against type in the critically acclaimed Canadian-Indian film Earth (1998).
In 2001, Khan started a production company, whose first release, Lagaan, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned him a National Film Award for Best Popular Film and two more Filmfare Awards (Best Actor and Best Film). After a four-year absence from the screen, Khan continued to portray leading roles, most notably in the 2006 box-office hits Fanaa and Rang De Basanti. The following year, he made his directorial debut with Taare Zameen Par, a major success that garnered him the Filmfare Awards for Best Film and Best Director. Khan's greatest commercial successes came with the thriller Ghajini (2008), the comedy-drama 3 Idiots (2009), the action film Dhoom 3 (2013), the satire PK (2014) and the sports biopic Dangal all of which held records for being the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. Khan won his third Best Actor award at Filmfare for 'Dangal' (2016).
In addition to acting, Khan is a humanitarian and has participated and spoken out for various social causes, some of which have sparked political controversy. He has created and hosted the television talk show Satyamev Jayate, through which he highlights sensitive social issues in India. Khan was married to his first wife, Reena Dutta, for fifteen years, after which he married the film director Kiran Rao. He has three children—two with Dutta, and one with Rao through surrogacy.
Khan was born on 14 March 1965 in Mumbai to Tahir Hussain, a film producer, and Zeenat Hussain. Several of his relatives were members of the Hindi film industry, including his late paternal uncle, the producer-director Nasir Hussain. He is related to the Indian philosopher Abul Kalam Azad who is related to him through his grandmother. Khan is the eldest of four siblings; he has a brother, the actor Faisal Khan, and two sisters, Farhat and Nikhat Khan (married to Santosh Hegde). His nephew, Imran Khan, is a contemporary Hindi film actor.
As a child, Khan appeared on screen in two minor roles. At the age of eight, he appeared in a highly popular song in the Nasir Hussain-directed musical film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). The following year, he portrayed the younger version of Mahendra Sandhu's character in his father's production Madhosh. Khan attended J.B. Petit School for his pre-primary education, later switching to St. Anne's High School, Bandra till the eight grade, and completed his ninth and tenth grade at the Bombay Scottish School, Mahim.He played tennis in state level championships, and has professed being "much more into sports than studies". He completed his twelfth grade from Mumbai's Narsee Monjee College. Khan described his childhood as "tough" due to the financial problems faced by his father, whose film productions were mostly unsuccessful. He said, "There would be at least 30 calls a day from creditors calling for their money." He was always at risk of being expelled from school for non-payment of fees.
At the age of sixteen, Khan was involved in the experimental process of making a 40-minute silent film, Paranoia, which was directed by his school friend Aditya Bhattacharya. The film was funded by the filmmaker Shriram Lagoo, an acquaintance of Bhattacharya, who provided them with a few thousand rupees. Khan's parents did not want him to make films, wishing that he would instead pursue a "steady" career as an engineer or doctor. For that reason, the shooting schedule of Paranoia was a clandestine one. In the film, he played the lead role alongside actors Neena Gupta and Victor Banerjee, while simultaneously assisting Bhattacharya. He said that the experience of working on it encouraged him to pursue a career in film.
Khan subsequently joined a theatre group called Avantar, where he performed backstage activities for over a year. He made his stage debut with a small role in the company's Gujarati play, Kesar Bina, at Prithvi Theatre. He went on to two of their Hindi plays, and one English play, which was titled Clearing House. After completing high school, Khan decided to discontinue studying, choosing instead to work as an assistant director to Nasir Hussain on the Hindi films Manzil Manzil (1984) and Zabardast (1985).