Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan is an Indian actor, director, filmmaker and television talk-show host. Through his career spanning over thirty years in Hindi films, Khan has established himself as one of the most popular and influential actors of Indian cinema. He has a large global following, especially in India and China, and has been described by Newsweek as “the biggest movie star” in the world. Khan is the recipient of numerous awards, including nine Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, and an AACTA Award. He was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010, and received an honorary title from the Government of China in 2017. For years, he has been regularly listed one among the 500 Most Influential Muslims of the world.
Khan first appeared on screen as a child actor in his uncle Nasir Hussain’s film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). As an adult, his first feature film role was in 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 National Film Award in the Special Mention category. He established himself as a leading actor of Hindi cinema in the 1990s by appearing in a number of commercially successful films, including the romantic dramas Dil (1990) and Raja Hindustani (1996), for which he won his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor, and the thriller Sarfarosh (1999). He also played against type in the acclaimed Canadian-Indian co-production 1947: Earth (1998).
In 1999 he founded Aamir Khan Productions, whose first film, Lagaan (2001), 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 returned to portray leading roles, notably in the 2006 box-office hits Fanaa and Rang De Basanti. He made his directorial debut with Taare Zameen Par (2007), a major success that garnered him the Filmfare Awards for Best Film and Best Director. Khan’s greatest global success 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 (2016), each having held the record for being the highest-grossing Indian film,while Secret Superstar (2017) held the record for being highest-grossing Indian film featuring a female protagonist. Khan won his third Best Actor award at Filmfare for Dangal. His films are known for dealing with social issues in Indian society, and they often combine the entertainment and production values of commercial masala films with the believable narratives and strong messages of parallel cinema.
Within and beyond the film industry, Khan is an activist and 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, occasionally influencing the Indian parliament. His work as a social reformer, tackling issues ranging from poverty and education to abuse and discrimination, earned him an appearance on the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world. 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.