Saif Ali Khan Biography

Born              : 16 August 1970, New Delhi, India
Occupation    :  Actor, Producer
Years active   :  1992–present
Spouse          :  Amrita Singh (m. 1991–2004) (divorced)
Partner          :   KareenaKapoor (2007-present)
Children        :   02

Saif Ali Khan is an Indian actor known for his work in Bollywood films. He is the son of the former Nawab of Pataudi, late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and actress Sharmila Tagore, who is the great-grandniece of noted poet Rabindranath Tagore. 

Making his acting debut in 1992 with Parampara, Khan had his first success with the 1994 films Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Yeh Dillagi. After going through several years of decline throughout the 1990s, he rose into prominence with his performance in Dil Chahta Hai (2001), which marked his professional turning point. His work in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) won him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, and he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Hum Tum (2004).

Khan subsequently had further mainstream success with films like Salaam Namaste (2005) and Race (2008) and starred in critically acclaimed projects such as Parineeta (2005), Being Cyrus and Omkara (2006). In 2009, Khan branched out into film production with his company Illuminati Films's first film Love Aaj Kal, becoming the biggest box-office success in that year. These accomplishments have established him as one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema. He was awarded the Padma Shri civilian award by the Government of India in 2010. 

Khan was married to actress Amrita Singh from 1991 to 2004, having two children together. His sister, Soha Ali Khan, is also a film actress.

Saif Ali Khan has Muslim Pashtun ancestry through Nawabs of Pataudi lineage from his father's side and Hindu Bengali Tagore ancestry from his mother's side. His paternal grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, was the Nawab of Pataudi as well as an accomplished cricketer who played for England and then for India as the captain of the team. His paternal grandmother was Sajida Sultan, Begum of Bhopal and his great-uncle was Pakistani general Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan Pataudi. His father was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, a former captain of the Indian cricket team and the ninth Nawab of Pataudi until the abolition of titles by India in 1971. Following the death of his father, Saif Ali Khan was proclaimed the Nawab of Pataudi by villagers of Pataudi State in deference to tradition, although the title carries no official or legal significance.
Khan has two sisters Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan. Khan's mother is Sharmila Tagore, a Bengali Indian film actress and a member of Bengal's Tagore family. She is also the head of the Indian film censorship board and the grand-niece of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore converted to Islam from Hinduism after her marriage to Khan's father, and changed her name to Begum Ayesha Sultana. Khan spent his childhood in a Muslim atmosphere, reading the Quran, with his grandmother being the centre of his religious education. Khan says that "Religion played a major role in my upbringing." Khan also states that his family is "cool or rather massively open–minded about religious matters." For example, he acknowledges that his daughter is born into a Muslim family, however he states that he will not decide her religion for her.

Initially Khan studied at the Lawrence School Sanawar and later attended Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire. He followed in his father's footsteps by attending Winchester College, an independent school for boys in the UK. Khan can speak his native languages of Hindi and Bengali fluently, as well as English.

Acting career

Early work, until 2000
In 1993, he won the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award for Aashiq Awara. His breakthrough role came in 1994 with Yeh Dillagi starring opposite Kajol and Akshay Kumar which was his first major hit. Khan went on to star in many films but they failed at the box office. He only had success with multi-starrer hits like Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Imtihaan (1995), Kachche Dhaage (1999) and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999). After some box office failures he had a hit with the film Kya Kehna (2000).

Turning point, 2001-03
His acting career, more or less, went through a relative slump until 2001, when he was cast in Farhan Akhtar's National Film Award-winning Dil Chahta Hai, co-starring Aamir Khan and Akshay Khanna. Depicting the contemporary routine life of Indian affluent youth, it is set in modern-day urban Mumbai and focuses on a major period of transition in the lives of three young friends. Despite receiving a positive critical reception, it was only a moderate box office success in India; it performed well in the big cities but failed in the rural areas, which was attributed by critics to the urban-oriented lifestyle depicted in the movie. He received much acclaim for his role as Sameer with critic Taran Adarsh calling it his career-best performance. 

He has since had many box office successes, starting with Nikhil Advani's drama Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), co-starring alongside Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta. The film, set in New York, starred Saif as Rohit, Zinta's best friend, who later realises that he loves her. The film was the second top-grossing film of the year, and Khan's performance was praised by critics. He won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, as well as other awards in that category in other award ceremonies.

Solo success and critical acclaim, 2004-08
Till date, Khan's films often featured him as the supporting cast, though following the success of Dil Chahta Hai and Kal Ho Naa Ho, producers began signing him on for the main lead. In early 2004, Khan was approached by Sriram Raghavan to star as the globetrotting bachelor, Karan Singh Rathod, in his directorial debut, Ek Hasina Thi. The film tells the story of a young woman (played by Urmila Matondkar) who meets with Khan's character, and is subsequently arrested for having links with the underworld. When Khan was initially offered the project, he was unable to do it due to his busy schedule. However, when the director approached him several months later, he agreed to do the film. Upon release, the film was critically embraced, with Khan's performing earning praise. The Deccan Herald reported, "From suave loverboy to self-serving skunk, he (Khan) moves with such brilliance that he leaves you breathless [...] He holds his own in a movie that is completely Urmila's." For his performance, Khan received nominations at the Star Screen, Zee Cine and IIFA ceremonies. 

He followed it with the leading role in Kunal Kohli's romantic comedy Hum Tum. Featured opposite Rani Mukerji, the film follows the encounters of the two main characters until they, after several years and various meetings, become friends and finally fall in love. The film was received favourably by critics and became one of the year's most successful films, with a domestic box office of Rs 210 crore (US$4.62 million). Khan played the role of Karan Kapoor, a young cartoonist and womaniser whose relationship with Rhea Prakash (played by Mukerji) changes his perception of women and life. wrote about his performance: "Saif reprises his urbane self from Dil Chahta Hai and Kal Ho Naa Ho, peppering it with occasional fits of introspection and angst, and marking himself as an actor whose time has come." He won the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role and was conferred the coveted National Film Award for Best Actor in 2005 among much controversy. It marked the beginning of his work with Yash Raj Films, one of the largest production houses in Bollywood.
In 2005, Khan appeared in two movies. His first release was Pradeep Sarkar's Parineeta (2005), an adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's 1914 Bengali novella by the same name. Prior to being cast, the film's producer, Vidhu Vinod Chopra was initially reluctant in casting Khan as the male protagonist because he felt that "I could not manage it". After much deliberation, Chopra was persuaded by Sarkar who felt that Khan was perfect for the role. The film garnered critical acclaim upon release and Khan's portrayal of Shekhar Rai earned him nominations for Best Actor at a number of award ceremonies. Derek Elley from Vareity wrote, "Khan, who has gradually been developing away from light comedy, again shows smarts as a substantial actor." His next release was Siddharth Anand's comedy-drama Salaam Namaste opposite Preity Zinta. Produced by Yash Raj Films, it was the first Indian feature to be filmed entirely in Australia and went on to become the year's highest-grossing Bollywood production outside of India, earning Rs 570 crore (US$12.54 million) internationally. Khan played the role of the egotistic, laid-back chef, Nikhil Arora. According to Khalid Mohamed, "Salaam Namaste is unthinkable without Saif Ali Khan. He rescues several untidily written scenes with his neat wit and that flustered 'how-did-I-get-into-this-soup?' facial expression." 

He next played the protagonist in the English language art film, Being Cyrus (2006), co-starring alongside Naseeruddin Shah and Dimple Kapadia. Directed by debutant Homi Adajania, the psychological drama revolves around a dysfunctional Parsi family with who Khan's character moves into. The film received predominantly positive reviews, and Khan was particularly praised. Later in the year, he portrayed the character of Iago in Omkara, the Indian adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, the film is a tragedy of sexual jealousy set against the backdrop of the political system in Uttar Pradesh. The film premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was also selected for screening at the Cairo International Film Festival. Omkara was embraced by critics and Khan went on to receive major acclaim earning the awards for Best Actor in a Negative Role at the Filmfare, Star Screen, Zee Cine and IIFA ceremonies; his performance was later included in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances" by Filmfare. Variety described his performance as "powerhouse" and further wrote, "It is Khan's movie through and through, in a performance of rugged, contained malevolence which trades on his previous screen persona as a likable best friend as well as his stint as the manipulative outsider in Being Cyrus. It is smart casting, superbly realized."  

In 2007, Khan collaborated once again with producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra in the epic drama Eklavya: The Royal Guard, alongside  Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sharmila Tagore and Vidya Balan. Set in the state of Rajasthan during the early years of Indian independence, the movie revolves around a jealous and ungrateful ruler who will not let his wife die in peace because she is uttering the name of Eklavya. Although the film did not succeed at the box office, it was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars. The Full Hyderabad described Khan's performance of Harshwardhan as "sombre and understated," played with a "brooding and contemplative sensibility." He next appeared in the action comedy Nehlle Pe Dehlla, a production that had been delayed since 2001. The film garnered negative reviews and poor box office returns. Khan's role was small, and was not well received. His final release of the year was the family drama, Ta Ra Rum Pum. Directed by Siddharth Anand, it went on to become an economic success at the box office, earning Rs. 646 crore (US$14.21 million) internationally. 

Khan received further success in 2008, starring in the Abbas-Mustan thriller Race with an ensemble cast including Anil Kapoor, Akshay Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. The feature was loosely adapted from the 1998 American film Goodbye Lover, and became one of the biggest box office hits in India, earning Rs 617 crore (US$13.57 million) and grossed over Rs.200 crore (US$4.4 million) abroad. Critic Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN wrote, "Of the cast, Saif Ali Khan stands out as the chap with the least dialogue but the one who makes the best impression." This was followed by three projects produced by Yash Raj Films: Tashan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo, all of which were not successful.

Producer and other works, 2009–present

2009 saw Khan branch out into film producing when he setup his own production company, Illuminati Films, along with Dinesh Vijan. The company's first release was marked by the romantic comedy Love Aaj Kal. Directed by Imtiaz Ali, the film portrays the feeling of pure love which never changes over time, although the perspective of realizing one's soulmate has changed. It received mostly positive reviews by critics and became one of the highest-grossing films of the year. For his portrayal of Jai Vardhan Singh and the younger Veer Singh, Khan went on to receive several Best Actor nominations at a number of award ceremonies, including Filmfare. A review in The Economic Times described his performance as "refreshing natural" and "outstanding". He then starred in the dramatic thriller Kurbaan, alongside Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. Produced by Dharma Productions, the film marked the directorial debut of Rensil D'Silva and featured Khan in the role of a terrorist. Upon release, Kurbaan was received favourably by critics and Khan's performance was critically acclaimed. Critic Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama wrote: "Saif is extraordinary in a role that only proves his versatility once again. If he won your heart with a winning performance in Love Aaj Kal a few months ago, you need to watch this supremely talented actor underplay his part so beautifully in Kurbaan. 

In 2011, he appeared in Prakash Jha's multi-starrer drama Aarakshan. Set in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the film deals with the policy of caste-based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. Khan portrayed the character of Deepak Kumar, a rebellious student who joins the mafia. To prepare for the role, Khan was required to take acting workshops along with the rest of the cast. Prior to its release, the film was banned from releasing in select cities across India due to its controversial subject. While the film received a mixed critical reaction, his performance was generally well-received. As of October 2011, he is currently shooting for the action-thriller Agent Vinod, as well as Homi Adajania's Cocktail, both of which are being produced under his own production company.

Personal life
Khan married actress Amrita Singh in October 1991. After thirteen years of marriage and two children (son Ibrahim Ali Khan and daughter Sara Ali Khan), the couple divorced in 2004. The children live with their mother.

He then dated Rosa Catalano a Swiss model born in Italy, whom he met in Kenya, for three years. Catalano later revealed that he has not told her about his earlier marriage and children, and that she learnt about them only after she came to India. They were later said to be considering marriage, but then broke off. 

On 18 February 2007, Khan was hospitalised at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai due to experiencing chest pain while rehearsing for his performance at the Stardust Awards, to be held that night. After hospitalization, he stated he would quit smoking. 
Khan has been dating actress Kareena Kapoor since October 2007. In October 2009 he publicly spoke of his relationship with Kapoor and the prospect of marriage stating, that in his opinion people said that marriage does not affect one's career but in fact it does and that today the whole definition of marriage has changed. He said, that he and Kareena were so well connected, so close that marriage is just a stamp of validation for the society. 

On 22 September 2011 Khan's father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi passed away, which led Saif to formally assume the title of 10th Nawab of Pataudi. Although the title has no legal or official status after 1971, Saif assumed the title in order to please the sentiments of the villagers. The 'pagri' ceremony was even attended by the incumbent Chief Minister of Haryana.


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