Aamir Khan: Bollywood Journey, Movies, Television, and Social Work


Aamir Khan is one of the highly popular and highly praised Indian actors who can be seen in various social awareness events outside the film industry. He has been in the Bollywood industry for more than 30 years and is one of the few who are honoured with Padma Shri as well as Padma Bhushan by the Government of India. He is also a distinctly recognised personality in China and has been honoured with the title of National Treasure of India by the Government of China. Let’s discover some more works of Aamir Khan and his journey in the Indian Film Industry.


Aamir Khan was born on 14 March 1965 as Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan. He was born in the house of the film producer Tahir Hussain and Zeenat Hussain. His paternal uncle, Nasir Hussain, was also a film producer and director. He has a younger brother, Faisal Khan, and two younger sisters, Farhat Khan and Nikhat Khan. He is also a distant relative of Abdul Kalam Azad through his grandmother. He is the second cousin of Najma Heptulla, the six-time Member of the Rajya Sabha, the 16th Governor of Manipur, former Bharatiya Janata Party vice president, and the grand-niece of Abdul Kalam Azad.

Aamir completed his pre-primary education at J.B. Petit School and attended St. Anne's High School in Bandra until his 8th grade. He got his further education from Bombay Scottish School and Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai. He also became a state-level tennis champion and stated that he was more interested in sports than in studies.

Bollywood Career

Aamir Khan has appeared on screen as a child actor in two minor roles. When he was eight years old, he appeared in “Yaadon Ki Baaraat”, and the following year in “Madhosh”. When he was sixteen years old, he got himself engaged in the experimental process of making a 40-minute silent film, “Paranoia”, along with his school friend Aditya Bhattacharya. This film was funded by the famous filmmaker, “Shriram Lagoo”. But since Aamir’s parents did not want him to engage in activities related to movies, the entire shooting schedule was kept a secret. This film also involved Neena Gupta and Victor Banerjee. Working on this movie made Aamir realise that he has a great interest in the filming industry, so he pursued a career in this field.

Later, Aamir joined a theatre group, named “Avantar”, as a backstage artist. He made his debut on the stage with a small role in a Gujarati play, “Kesar Bina”, at the Prithvi Theatre. Further, he also acted in some Hindi and English plays. After finishing his high school studies, he began working as an assistant director with Nasir Hussain on films including “Manzil Manzil” and “Zabardast”. This was just the beginning of his career in the Bollywood industry. Let’s see the whole journey of Aamir Khan in Bollywood which has made him one of the super Khans.

Debut and Early Stages

Aamir Khan started assisting in direction of the films and along with that he also started acting in documentaries directed by the students of the Film and Television Institute of India. He got noticed due to these documentaries, and the director, Ketan Mehta, offered him a role in a low-budget film, “Holi”, but unfortunately, the movie failed to get a broad audience. Luckily, in 1988, Nasir Hussain and his son, Mansoor. cast Aamir in the popular movie, “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak”, opposite Juhi Chawla. This was Aamir’s debut movie in which he performed so amazingly that he won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. Also, the movie got a big hit in the cinema and earned seven Filmfare Awards in total.

Another movie of Aamir Khan’s initial years is “Raakh”, released in 1989. The film did not receive good reviews but Aamir got the National film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention for both movies (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Raakh). In the same year, he reunited with Juhi Chawla for another film, “Love Love Love”, which was a big commercial failure. As Aamir Khan was a beginner in the acting industry, he kept improving his performance to become a fine actor.

The Ups and Downs

Since it was just the beginning of Aamir Khan’s acting career, he has seen many highs and lows throughout the process of becoming a successful actor. He performed in five movies in the year 1990 and four of them were failures. These four movies are “Tum Mere Ho Awwal”, “Number”, “Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin”, and “Jawani Zindabad”. However, the one film that proved to be a success was the romantic drama “Dil” in which he was cast opposite Madhuri Dixit. This film got so much popular that it became the highest-grossing film of that year. This huge appreciation got him another fantastic movie, “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin”, opposite Pooja Bhatt.

In the early 1990s, Aamir Khan appeared in a number of movies. Some of them turned out to be highly successful while some failed to gather a good audience and appreciation. The popular and highly loved movies of Aamir of those years include “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar”, “Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke”, “Rangeela”, and “Andaz Apna Apna”, while the ones which failed to win audiences’ hearts are “Isi Ka Naam Zindagi”, “Daulat Ki Jung”, and “Parampara”.

The Big Hits

At the initial stages of his career, Aamir decided to appear only in one or two movies a year, which was very unusual for any beginner. Hence, in 1996, he did only one film, “Raja Hindustani”, opposite Karisma Kapoor and fortunately, the movie turned out to be a blockbuster hit. His performance was so mesmerising in the film that he got his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Also, this became the biggest hit of the year and is the fourth highest-grossing movie in India since the 1990s after adjusting the inflation.

In 1997, Aamir was cast in “Ishq” alongside Juhi Chawla, Kajol, and Ajay Devgan. The film was highly praised by the audience and became a big hit. In the following year, he was cast in “Ghulam”, for which he did playback singing and this turned out to be a moderate success in Indian cinema. In 1999, he appeared in “Sarfarosh”, which received great reviews from the audience. Aamir’s first release in the 2000s was “Mela” in which he acted alongside his brother, Faisal Khan and Twinkle Khanna, but it did not turn out to be a success.

When Aamir became an established actor, he stepped into production too. In 2001, he produced the iconic Indian film, “Lagaan”, and also played the lead role in it. The movie was a hit and got nominated at the 74th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It earned the National Film Award along with several other Indian awards and Aamir got his second Filmfare Award for Best Actor. He then appeared in the direction debut of Farhan Akhtar, “Dil Chahta Hai”, alongside Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, and Dimple Kapadia. This movie too turned out a great success and won the Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics).

The Big Comeback

After appearing in Dil Chahta Hai in 2001, Aamir took a four-year break from the industry. He made his comeback in 2005 with the lead role in “Mangal Pandey: The Rising”. The movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and got huge appreciation. In 2006, he appeared in one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, “Rang De Basanti”, which helped him in earning the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. He was highly admired for his role in the film and got various nominations for Best Actor Awards. The movie was so brilliant that it was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars. It also got nominated for the “BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language” at the BAFTA Awards in England. In the same year, he also played a Kashmiri insurgent in the movie “Fanaa”, opposite Kajol, as an antagonist.

In 2007, he portrayed a teacher in “Taare Zameen Par” and also produced it. This was also his directorial debut which received positive reviews and performed well in the market. He earned the Filmfare Awards for Best Director and Best Film of 2007 along with the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare. In 2008, Aamir starred in an action thriller, “Ghajini”. This was the highest-grossing Indian movie of that year and was greatly praised by the audience. He got nominated for various awards in the Best Actor category.

The Superstar Aamir

In 2009, he was cast in “3 Idiots”, which became the highest-grossing Bollywood film ever. This was a record-breaking film and the first one to be officially released on YouTube. In 2012, he appeared in the psychological crime thriller, “Talaash: The Answer Lies Within”, alongside Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkummar Rao, and Shernaz Patel, which turned out to be a hit. Then Aamir appeared in the biggest hit of 2013, “Dhoom 3”. Within ten days of its release, it became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. He played the double role of the twin brothers and stated that it was the most difficult role in his career.

In 2014, he appeared in the comedy-drama, “PK”, alongside Anushka Sharma, which became the 4th highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. In 2016, he was cast in an exceptionally amazing sports movie, “Dangal”, based on the life story of the Phogat sisters. In this movie, he played his role at different ages, from 20 to 60, which required him to gain and lose weight to portray his role as a wrestler with perfection. The movie surpassed the records set by “PK”, becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time domestically.

In the year 2017, Aamir appeared in a supporting role in his own production “Secret Superstar”. The movie was a big success and became the highest-grossing Indian Film with a female protagonist. But not all the Aamir Khan movies were successful during those years. In 2018, he was cast alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Katrina Kaif in “Thugs of Hindostan”. The movie was one of the most expensive Bollywood films but failed at the box office. In 2022, he played the lead role in “Laal Singh Chaddha”, which received mixed reviews from the audience.


Aamir Khan is also widely known for his popular talk show, “Satyamev Jayate”, launched in 2012. This was his television debut and the show dealt with various social issues. The show received phenomenal responses from the audience and was released in 3 seasons. The show was telecasted on “StarPlus” and “Star World”. It was also broadcast nationally on “Doordarshan” in eight languages and became the first one to get such appreciation in India. Aamir got highly praised for his effort in the show. It was opened to receive reviews from everyone including social activists, media, doctors, and movie and TV stars. The show helped in uncovering the reality of various social classes and several social inequalities faced by common people.

International Markets

Aamir Khan opened the Chinese markets for Indian films through “3 Idiots”. This was one of the few Indian movies which gain success in the East Asian market and become the highest-grossing Bollywood movie ever in the overseas markets. After the release of “3 Idiots” in the Chinese markets became viral, several other movies like “Ghajini” and “Taare Zameen Par” were also released there, which gained high appraisal from the international audience. Indian films used to decline outside the country until Aamir opened the gates of Chinese markets for them. “Lagaan” was the first one to release in China, but “3 Idiots” received great love from the country and became the 12th favourite film among the Chinese population. Other successful releases of Aamir Khan in the Chinese Market include “Dhoom 3”, “PK”, and “Dangal”. These movies were also among some of the highest-grossing movies in the East Asian market. “Dangal” became the fifth highest-grossing non-English language film of all time worldwide.

Movie List

Aamir Khan has been a part of many outstanding movies throughout his lifetime. Here, we have highlighted some of his popular and highly loved movies. Let’s have a look at the movie for which Aamir Khan is widely known.

# Movie Name Released Year
1 Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak 1988
2 Dil 1990
3 Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin 1991
4 Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar 1992
5 Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke 1993
7 Andaz Apna Apna 1994
8 Rangeela 1995
9 Raja Hindustani 1996
10 Ishq 1997
11 Ghulam 1998
12 Sarfarosh 1999
13 Lagaan 2001
14 Dil Chahta Hai 2001
15 Mangal Pandey – The Rising 2005
16 Rang De Basanti 2006
17 Fanaa 2006
18 Taare Zameen Par 2007
19 Ghajini 2008
20 3 Idiots 2009
21 Talaash 2012
22 Dhoom 3 2013
23 PK 2014
24 Dangal 2016
25 Secret Superstar 2017
26 Thugs Of Hindostan 2018
27 Laal Singh Chaddha 2022


The performance of Aamir Khan in the movies is so brilliant that he has received so many awards and achievements. He is not only awarded with film awards but also honoured with National Awards for his contribution to social welfare.

# Award Name Receiving Year Received For
1 National Film Award for Special Mention 1988 Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Raakh
2 Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut 1989 Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
3 Filmfare Award for Best Actor 1997 Raja Hindustani
4 National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment 2001 Lagaan
5 Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actor 2002 Lagaan
6 IIFA Award for Best Film and Best Actor 2002 Lagaan
7 Bollywood Movie Award for Best Actor (Critics) 2002 Dil Chahta Hai
8 Padma Shri 2003 -
9 Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) 2007 Rang De Basanti
10 National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare 2007 Taare Zameen Par
11 Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Director 2008 Taare Zameen Par
12 Raj Kapoor Smriti Vishesh Gaurav Puraskar 2009 Outstanding contribution to Indian cinema
13 IIFA Award for Movie of the Decade 2009 Lagaan
14 Producers Guild Film Award for Best Film and Best Director 2009 Taare Zameen Par
15 Padma Bhushan 2010 -
16 Honorary Doctorate by Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) 2013 Distinguished contribution to the Indian cinema and entertainment industry
17 National Treasure of India by Government of China 2017 Dangal

International Awards

# Award Name Receiving Year Received For
1 European Film Award for Best Non-European Film 2001 Lagaan
2 Jury's Award at the Bergen International Film Festival 2001 Lagaan
3 Audience Award at the Leeds International Film Festival 2001 Lagaan
4 Audience Award at the Locarno International Film Festival 2001 Lagaan
5 Audience Award at the NatFilm Festival 2002 Lagaan
6 Audience Award for Best Film at the Portland International Film Festival 2002 Lagaan
7 AACTA Award for Best Asian Film 2017 Dangal
8 Douban Film Award for: 2017 Dangal
9 Movie of the Year Top Foreign Actor Movie of the Month (May) - -
8 People's Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017 Dangal

Production, Direction and Scriptwriting

As Aamir Khan belongs to a family associated with the film industry, his talent is not limited to only acting. He has also engaged himself in production, direction as well as in scriptwriting activities. He has been producing films since 1999 when he established his production house, “Aamir Khan Productions”. The first film to be produced under this tag was “Lagaan”. He also produced his nephew Imran Khan’s debut film, “Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na”, in 2008. Other films produced by his production house include “Delhi Belly”, “Talaash: The Answer Lies Within”, “Secret Superstar”, “Dangal”, and “Laal Singh Chaddha”.

In 2007, he directed “Taare Zameen Par”, marking his directorial debut, while playing the supporting role in the film. This helped him earn the Best Director Award. He has also written the script and screenplay for “Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke” along with playing the lead role in the film. He has written the climax of the fantastic 2006 film, “Rang De Basanti”, and the 2010 movie “Peepli Live”. Aamir has also co-written “Ghajini”.

Personal life

Aamir Khan first married Reena Dutta in 1986. She played a small part in the movie “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” and was also involved in the production of “Lagaan”. They have two children, a daughter, “Ira” and a son, “Junaid”. In 2002, the couple got divorced and Reena Dutta took custody of both their children. In 2005, Aamir married Kiran Rao who was an assistant director in “Lagaan”. In 2011, they got blessed with a son through a surrogate mother and they named the kid “Azad Rao Khan”. In 2021, the couple got separated and decided to raise their son as co-parents.

Aamir is a religious person and as a practising Muslim, he performed Hajj in 2013 with his mother, Zeenat. His former wife, Kiran Rao, was a Hindu, and her lifestyle inspired him to quit non-vegetarianism. Now he is a vegetarian and does not eat meat.

Social work

Aamir Khan is a socially active person and frequently engages in social awareness and social welfare activities. In 2006, he supported the “Adivasis” who were under threat of getting displayed from their homes during the “Narmada Bachao Andolan”. He is also a staunch supporter of causes like education, nutrition, and feminism. With his show, “Satyamev Jayate”, he has reached out to regional India and uncovered many social issues to the world. He has also met with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to discuss the issue of manual scavenging as well as eradicating it from its roots.

In 2011, Aamir Khan became the National Brand Ambassador of UNICEF to promote child nutrition. He is also a part of the government-organised IEC campaign to raise awareness about malnutrition. He is considered India’s Brand Ambassador to China by the Indian Commerce Ministry because of the huge success of his movie in the Chinese entertainment market. He has the vision of making Maharashtra drought-free. For this, he co-founded the “Paani Foundation” with Kiran Rao. He has participated in the water conservation project for the state which affected the airing of his show Satyamev Jayate, and he stated that the water conservation project was more important than the show.

Summing Up

Aamir Khan is one of the highly prominent celebrities in India. He has given several socially awakening and record-breaking movies to the industry. He belongs to a family related to the Bollywood industry but still struggled to establish his name in the industry. He is also a very good tennis player and before stepping into the acting career he professionally played in the state-level championships in the 1980s. Aamir is also a person who can be easily found at social awareness campaigns and contributing to social welfare activities. So, he is not just a Bollywood actor but a lot more than that.

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