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Saif Ali Khan
Born 16 August 1970 (1970-08-16) (age 39)
New Delhi, India
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1992 - present
Spouse(s) Amrita Singh (1991-2004)
Domestic partner(s) Kareena Kapoor (2007-present)

Saif Ali Khan (Hindi: सैफ़ अली ख़ान, Bengali: সাইফ আলি খান, Urdu: سیف علی خان pronounced [sɛf əli xɑn] born 16 August 1970 in New Delhi, India) is an Indian actor in Bollywood films. He is the son of the Nawab of Pataudi, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and the actress Sharmila Tagore. He has two sisters; actress Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan. He is the heir apparent to the headships of both the royal houses of Bhopal and Pataudi.

Khan made his debut in 1992 with Parampara. He had his first major successes with the 1994 films Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Yeh Dillagi. After going through several years of decline in the 1990s, he rose into prominence with his performance in Dil Chahta Hai (2001), which marked his professional turning point.[1] His performance in Nikhil Advani's Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) won him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, and he won the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Hum Tum (2004). He then had commercial success with films like Salaam Namaste (2005), Race (2008) and Love Aaj Kal (2009), and starred in critically acclaimed projects such as Parineeta (2005) and Omkara (2006).[2] These successes put him among the most successful actors in the industry.[3] Since 2009, Khan has branched out into film production. He is the founder-owner of his production company Illuminati Films.


Early life

Saif Ali Khan was born into a mixed Muslim Pathan family of the Nawabs of Pataudi and the Bengali Tagore family of Bengal. 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 is Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the eighth Nawab of Pataudi and a former captain of the Indian cricket team. 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[4] and the grand-niece of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.[5] Sharmila 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 center of his religious education. Khan says that "Religion played a major role in my upbringing."[6]

Initially Khan studied at the Lawrence School Sanawar[7] but later attended Lockers Park Prep School. Later, 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.[8]


As an actor

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.[9] 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),[10] Kachche Dhaage (1999) and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999).[11] After some box office failures he had a hit with the film Kya Kehna (2000).[12]

His acting career, more or less, went through a relative slump until 2001, when he was cast in Farhan Akhtar's contemporary drama Dil Chahta Hai.[13] He received much acclaim for his role as Sameer with critic Taran Adarsh calling it his career-best performance.[14] The success of this film firmly established Saif as one of the industry's most bankable stars.[3]

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.[15] 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. Khan followed it with the leading role in Kunal Kohli's romantic comedy Hum Tum (2004), his first collaboration with Yash Raj Films. 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. Khan played the role of Karan Kapoor, a young cartoonist and womaniser whose relationship with Rhea Prakash, played by Rani Mukerji, changes his perception of women and life.[16] Khan's performance was applauded by both critics and audiences. He won the Best Comedian award at the Filmfare, and was conferred the coveted National Film Award for Best Actor in 2005.[17] Khan's next project with the Yash Raj Films production, Salaam Namaste (2005), became India's top-grossing film in the overseas market. The film, which was the first Indian film to be entirely shot in Australia, starred Khan and Preity Zinta as a contemporary cohabiting Indian couple.[18][19] He was also noted for his performance in a negative role in Ram Gopal Verma's Ek Hasina Thi (2004) and for his role of Shekhar Rai in Pradeep Sarkar's Parineeta (2005), an adaptation of the 1914 Bengali novella, Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.[20]

In 2006 Khan played the protagonist in the English-language art film, Being Cyrus. His role as Cyrus got him positive reviews. In that same year, he went on to receive major acclaim for his portrayal of lago in the Indian adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, Omkara. stated, "Omkara marks Saif's emergence into the very forefront of his acting peers, and we gleefully applaud".[21] Variety film critic Derek Elley called his performance "powerhouse" and further wrote, "It's 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's smart casting, superbly realized."[22] For his work, Khan earned the awards for Best Actor in a negative role at the Star Screen, Filmfare, Zee Cine and IIFA Awards.[23][24][25]

Khan next acted in Eklavya: The Royal Guard (2007), co-starring alongside his mother for the second time since Aashiq Awara (1993). The film was India's official entry to the Oscars, and Khan's performance as Harshwardhan was appreciated by critics. Taran Adarsh commented, "watching him emote with amazing precision makes you realise the giant strides he has taken as an actor".[26] He next appeared alongside Rani Mukerji in the family drama, Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007). Directed by Siddharth Anand, the film went on to become a box office success.[27][28]

In 2008, Khan first starred in the Abbas-Mustan thriller Race, which went on to do well at the box office.[29] This was followed by two projects produced by Yash Raj Films, Tashan and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, both of which were not successful.[29]

In 2009 Khan produced and starred in Love Aaj Kal. The film, directed by Imtiaz Ali, was a critical and commercial success.[30] He also starred in the thriller Kurbaan along with real-life girl friend Kareena Kapoor in which he plays a terrorist. In 2010, Khan was awarded the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award given by the Government of India.

As a producer

Khan turned Producer when he setup his production company called Illuminati Films in 2009. His first film Love Aaj Kal starring Deepika Padukone as a female lead opposite him and directed by Imtiaz Ali was critically and commercially successful. Saif’s second film production titled as Agent Vinod, will be directed by Sriram Raghavan. Both films will be made by Saif's production company and will see a UK release by Eros International based in London.[31]

Personal life

Khan with Kareena Kapoor at the 53rd Annual Filmfare Awards (2008).

Khan married actress Amrita Singh in October 1991.[32] After thirteen years of marriage and two children (son Ibrahim Ali Khan and daughter Sara Ali Khan), the couple divorced in 2004. His children live with their mother.[33] Khan is currently dating actress Kareena Kapoor.[34]

In 1998, Khan was charged with poaching two blackbucks in Kankani during the filming of Hum Saath Saath Hain along with co-stars Salman Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam.[35] The charges were dropped soon after Khan was acquitted.[36]

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.[37] After hospitalization, he stated he would quit smoking.[38]


In 2005, along with other Bollywood stars, Khan performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[39]

Khan took part in two major world tours. He was part of a troupe that included Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra, which went on the Temptations 2004 world tour.

In 2006, Khan toured again, participating and performing in Heat 2006 concert around the world, along with Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen and Celina Jaitley.[40]

In 2006, Khan appeared along with various other Bollywood actors at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture along with Rani Mukerji, and Aishwarya Rai on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi.[41]

Awards and nomination



Year Film Role Notes
1992 Parampara Pratap Singh
1993 Aashiq Awara Jimmy/Rakesh Rajpal Winner, Filmfare Best Male Debut Award
Pehchaan Karan Verma
1994 Imtihaan Vicky
Yeh Dillagi Vikram 'Vicky' Saigal
Main Khiladi Tu Anari Deepak Kumar Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Yaar Gaddar Jai Verma
Aao Pyaar Karen Raja
1995 Surakshaa Amar/Prince Vijay
1996 Ek Tha Raja Sunny
Bambai Ka Babu Vikram (Vicky)
Tu Chor Main Sipahi Raja/King
Dil Tera Diwana Ravi Kumar
1997 Hamesha Raja/Raju
Udaan Raja
1998 Keemat: They Are Back Ajay
Humse Badhkar Kaun Sunny
1999 Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan Raju Tarachand
Kachche Dhaage Dhananjay "Jai" Pandit Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Aarzoo Amar
Biwi No.1 Deepak Special appearance
Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United Vinod
2000 Kya Kehna Rahul Modi
2001 Love Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega Rahul Kapoor
Dil Chahta Hai Sameer Winner, Filmfare Best Comedian Award
Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein Rajiv "Sam" Saamra
2002 Na Tum Jaano Na Hum Akshay
2003 Darna Mana Hai Anil Manchandani
Kal Ho Naa Ho Rohit Patel Double-Winner, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award &
Filmfare Motorola "Moto Look of the Year"
LOC Kargil Capt. Anuj Nayyar
2004 Ek Hasina Thi Karan Singh Rathod First villain role
Hum Tum Karan Kapoor Winner, Filmfare Best Comedian Award
Winner, National Film Award for Best Actor
2005 Parineeta Shekhar Rai Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
Salaam Namaste Nikhil "Nick" Arora
2006 Being Cyrus Cyrus Mistry First English language film
Omkara Ishwar "Langda" Tyagi Winner, Filmfare Best Villain Award
2007 Eklavya: The Royal Guard Harshwardhan India's official entries to the Oscars
Nehlle Pe Dehlla Jimmy
Ta Ra Rum Pum Rajveer Singh (RV)
Om Shanti Om Himself Special appearance in song Deewangi Deewangi
2008 Race Ranvir "Ronnie" Singh
Tashan Jimmy Cliff
Woodstock Villa Himself Special appearance
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic Ranbeer Talwar
Roadside Romeo Romeo (voice) Voice over for first animated film
2009 Love Aaj Kal Jai Vardhan Singh/Young Veer Singh Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
Kurbaan Ehsaan Khan/Khalid


See also


  1. ^ Bose, Derek (24 May 2008). "Playing Saif". The Tribune. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  2. ^ "". Saif Ali Khan's career summary. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "". Saif Ali Khan's box office ratio. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Press Trust of India (20 October 2004). "Heading Censor Board is a challenge: Sharmila". Indian Express. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Lawrence Van Gelder (9 November 1990). "At the movies". New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  6. ^ ‘Religion played a major role in my upbringing’ Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt Ltd.
  7. ^ Boarding school: A class apart-Patna-Cities-The Times of India
  8. ^ "". Saif Ali Khan's education facts. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  9. ^ "". Yeh Dillagi does well at the box office. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  10. ^ "". Box office analysis for Saif's films. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  11. ^ "". Box office analysis for 1999. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  12. ^ "". Box office analysis for 2000. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  13. ^ "". Dil Chahta Hai works at the box office. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  14. ^ "". Taran Adarsh: Saif delivers his career's best performance. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  15. ^ "". Kal Ho Naa Ho is a hit at the box office. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  16. ^ "". Another hit for Saif. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  17. ^ "". Saif Ali Khan wins National Award!. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  18. ^ "". Box office success for Parineeta and Salaam Namaste. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  19. ^ "". Saif wins overseas box office. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  20. ^ "". Saif's negative role is praised. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  21. ^ "". Review of Omkara from Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  22. ^ Elley, Derek (1 August 2006). "Omkara". Variety. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  23. ^ "". Saif bags Star Screen Best Villain Award. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  24. ^ "". Saif bags Filmfare Best Villain Award. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  25. ^ "". Saif bags Zee Cine Best Villain Award. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  26. ^ "". Eklavya review from Retrieved 17 September 2007. 
  27. ^ "". Ta Ra Rum Pum is above average at box office. Retrieved 19 May 2007. 
  28. ^ "". Performances stand out. Retrieved 17 February 2007. 
  29. ^ a b "". Box Office 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  30. ^ "". Box Office Earnings 21/08/09-27/08/09 (Collections in Ind Rs). Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  31. ^ "". Saif Ali Khan turns producer. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  32. ^ "". Saif's profile. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  33. ^ "". Amrita speaks on her broken marriage. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  34. ^ Marriage can wait: Kareena, Saif
  35. ^ "Blackbuck case". Khan charged with poaching. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  36. ^ "Blackbuck case". Saif acquitted. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  37. ^ "". Saif Ali Khan admitted to hospital. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  38. ^ "". Smoking was damaging my health: Saif. Retrieved 30 April 2007. 
  39. ^ "Bollywood unites to present caring face". Performs at HELP. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2005. 
  40. ^ "Saif in Heat concert: Bollywood New York Shows for Aron Govil Productions". Saif in the heat 2006 concert. 17 September 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2007. 
  41. ^ "". Bollywood's taste of Delhi 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2006. 

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