Karan Johar | The Great Director-Producer-Writer


Welcome to Karan Johar's world, where creativity knows no bounds and dreams come to life on the screen! Join us on this exciting journey as we delve into the mind of one of Bollywood's most celebrated filmmakers, producers, and entertainers. Here, we will explore the multifaceted career of Karan Johar, from his directorial masterpieces that have touched our hearts to his memorable cameo appearances that brought a touch of glamour to the screen. Get ready to dive deep into the behind-the-scenes stories, the iconic moments, and the fascinating insights into the world of Hindi cinema.

From his blockbuster hits like "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" to his foray into acting and hosting popular talk shows, we'll uncover the many facets of Karan Johar's journey. Discover the magic he creates through his distinct storytelling style, his eye for fashion and aesthetics and his talent for bringing out the best in his actors.

Education and Personal Life

Karan Johar, born on May 25, 1972, in Mumbai, is a prominent figure in the Indian entertainment industry. He is the son of Yash Johar, a renowned film producer and the founder of Dharma Productions, and Hiroo Johar. His family background includes Punjabi Hindu ancestry from his father's side and Sindhi Hindu ancestry from his mother's side. He has grown up in a family deeply connected to the film industry, with his maternal uncles being the esteemed filmmakers Yash Chopra and B.R. Chopra. Furthermore, his maternal first cousins include Uday Chopra, Aditya Chopra, and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, all of whom have made significant contributions to Indian cinema.

Karan Johar completed his early education at the Green Lawns High School in Mumbai. Afterwards, he pursued his higher education at H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, also located in Mumbai. During his formative years, Karan Johar was heavily influenced by commercial Indian cinema and drew inspiration from renowned filmmakers such as Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, and Sooraj R. Barjatya. He initially entered the entertainment industry as an actor, playing the character Shrikant in the 1989 Doordarshan serial "Indradhanush." However, he later shifted his focus to filmmaking and production, where he found tremendous success. As a filmmaker, he has produced and directed numerous popular Bollywood films known for their grandeur, lavishness, and emotional storytelling.

In the early stages of his career, Karan Johar followed numerology and incorporated it into his film titles. He had a preference for titles where the first word and several others began with the letter "K." However, after watching the film "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" in 2006, which criticized the practice of numerology, Karan Johar decided to abandon this approach and no longer follows it in his work.

Regarding his personal life, Karan Johar has been open about his sexual orientation. In an interview, he stated that he does not feel the need to publicly announce or "scream out" his sexual orientation, as it is widely known. He acknowledged that he refrains from explicitly discussing it due to the legal environment in India, where expressing certain sexual orientations can lead to legal consequences.

In February 2017, he became a father through surrogacy. He welcomed twins, a boy and a girl, who were born at the Masrani Hospital in Mumbai. In naming his children, Karan Johar chose to honor his family members. His son was named Yash, after his late father, Yash Johar, while his daughter was named Roohi by rearranging the letters of his mother's name, Hiroo.

Bollywood Career An Amazing Director

Karan Johar has established himself as a prominent director in the Indian film industry, known for his storytelling prowess and ability to create successful commercial films. He began his career in the film industry as an assistant director on the iconic film "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995), directed by his cousin, Aditya Chopra. He then made his directorial debut in 1998 with "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", a romantic comedy-drama. The film revolved around a college love triangle and received widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics. It became a major blockbuster at the box office, earning Karan Johar the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The film also swept several awards at the 44th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and all four acting awards.

His next directorial venture was in 2001 the ensemble family drama "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...". The film featured a star-studded cast and explored the dynamics of a wealthy family. Once again, Karan Johar achieved great success with this film, which became his second major blockbuster. Critics praised his storytelling skills and described his directorial style as exceptional. In 2006, he released the ensemble musical romantic drama "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna."

The film tackled the sensitive subject of marital infidelity and dysfunctional relationships among non-resident Indians in New York City. It became Karan Johar’s third consecutive major blockbuster and received positive reviews from critics. The script of the film, co-written by Johar, was even recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Karan Johar’s fourth directorial venture was the social drama "My Name Is Khan" in 2010, which addressed themes of racial prejudice and religious tolerance. The film garnered critical acclaim and emerged as another major blockbuster for Karan Johar. Critics lauded his unconventional directorial style, and the film won him his second Filmfare Award for Best Director. For "Student of the Year" in 2012, Karan Johar decided to cast debutante actors in the lead roles instead of established stars. The film revolved around a competition among students vying for the title of "Student of the Year" at their college. Although it received mixed reviews from critics, it achieved moderate commercial success.

In 2013, he contributed to the anthology film "Bombay Talkies," where he directed a short film exploring the discovery of a husband's homosexuality by his wife. The film earned positive reviews from critics. His next directorial venture was the musical romantic drama "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" in 2016, which portrayed complex relationships and unrequited love. The film received mixed-to-positive reviews and became another major blockbuster for Karan Johar. Continuing his collaboration with other prominent directors, Karan Johar worked on the anthology film "Lust Stories", released on Netflix in 2018. His segment focused on female sexuality and garnered praise for its exploration of the subject.

Karan Johar has also announced his upcoming projects. "Takht," a period drama set in the Mughal era, features an ensemble cast and is expected to start filming in September 2019. Additionally, he announced "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani," a romantic comedy scheduled for release in July 2023, starring Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh, and Alia Bhatt .

A Great Producer

Karan Johar's production works have been primarily carried out under the banner of Dharma Productions. Following his father's demise in 2004, Karan Johar took over the reins of the production house. Dharma Productions has been responsible for producing numerous successful films, including those directed by Karan Johar himself, as well as films directed by other filmmakers.

Some of the notable films produced by Dharma Productions under Karan Johar's leadership have become major critical and commercial successes. These films span various genres and have showcased Karan Johar's ability to identify compelling stories and bring them to the screen. Some of the noteworthy productions include:

  • "Kal Ho Naa Ho" (2003): A romantic drama directed by Nikkhil Advani, starring Shah Rukh Khan , Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan. The film was a box office hit.
  • "Dostana" (2008): A romantic comedy directed by Tarun Mansukhani, featuring John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, and Priyanka Chopra . The film dealt with the subject of homosexuality and was both a critical and commercial success.
  • "Wake Up Sid" (2009): A coming-of-age film directed by Ayan Mukerji, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. The film received positive reviews for its fresh storytelling and relatable characters.
  • "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani" (2013): A romantic drama directed by Ayan Mukerji, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles. The film was a massive success and became one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.
  • "Kapoor & Sons" (2016): A family drama directed by Shakun Batra, starring an ensemble cast including Rishi Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, and Alia Bhatt . The film garnered critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of family dynamics.
  • "Raazi" (2018): A spy thriller directed by Meghna Gulzar, starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal . The film was based on a true story and received praise for its gripping narrative and powerful performances.
  • "Good Newwz" (2019): A comedy-drama directed by Raj Mehta, featuring Akshay Kumar , Kareena Kapoor Khan , Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani . The film was a commercial success and was appreciated for its humorous take on surrogacy.

These are just a few examples of successful films produced by Dharma Productions under Karan Johar's guidance. The production house has consistently delivered entertaining and engaging films, establishing itself as one of the leading production companies in the Indian film industry.

Movies List

# Movie Name Releasing Year Role
1 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 1998 Director Writer
2 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... 2001 Director Writer
3 Kal Ho Naa Ho 2003 Producer Writer
4 Kaal 2005 Producer
5 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna 2006 Director Producer Writer
7 Dostana 2008 Producer
8 Kurbaan 2009 Producer Writer
9 Wake Up Sid 2009 Producer
10 My Name Is Khan 2010 Director Producer
11 I Hate Luv Storys 2010 Producer
12 We Are Family 2010 Producer
13 Agneepath 2012 Producer
14 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu 2012 Producer
15 Student of the Year 2012 Director Producer Writer
16 Bombay Talkies 2013 Director Writer
17 Gippi 2013 Producer
18 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani 2013 Producer
19 Gori Tere Pyaar Mein 2013 Producer
20 Hasee Toh Phasee 2014 Producer
21 2 States 2014 Producer
22 Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania 2014 Producer
23 Ungli 2014 Producer
24 All India Bakchod Knockout 2015 Producer
25 Brothers 2015 Producer
26 Shaandaar 2015 Producer
27 Kapoor & Sons 2016 Producer
28 Baar Baar Dekho 2016 Producer
29 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 2016 Director Producer Writer
30 Dear Zindagi 2016 Producer
31 Ok Jaanu 2017 Producer
32 Badrinath Ki Dulhania 2017 Producer
33 Ittefaq 2017 Producer
34 Lust Stories 2018 Director Writer
35 Raazi 2018 Producer
36 Dhadak 2018 Producer
37 Simmba 2018 Producer
38 Kesari 2019 Producer
39 Kalank 2019 Producer
40 Student of the Year 2 2019 Producer
41 Drive 2019 Producer
42 Good Newwz 2019 Producer
43 Ghost Stories 2020 Director Writer
44 Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship 2020 Producer
45 Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl 2020 Producer
46 Shershaah 2021 Producer
47 Sooryavanshi 2021 Producer
48 Gehraiyaan 2022 Producer
49 Jugjugg Jeeyo 2022 Producer
50 Liger 2022 Producer
51 Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva 2022 Producer
52 Govinda Naam Mera 2022 Producer
53 Selfiee 2023 Producer


# Award Name Receiving Year Received For
1 Filmfare Award for Best Director 1999 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
2 Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay 1999 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
3 Screen Award for Best Director 1999 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
4 Zee Cine Award for Best Director 1999 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
5 National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment 2000 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
6 IIFA Award for Best Costume Design 2001 Mohabbatein
7 Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue 2002 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
8 Filmfare Award for Best Scene 2002 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
9 IIFA Award for Best Dialogue 2002 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
10 IIFA Award for Best Story 2004 Kal Ho Naa Ho
11 Screen Award for Best Screenplay 2004 Kal Ho Naa Ho
12 Indian Television Academy Award for Best Anchor – Talk/Chat Show 2007 Koffee with Karan
13 IIFA Award for Best Costume Design 2008 Om Shanti Om
14 Filmfare Award for Best Director 2011 My Name Is Khan
15 IIFA Award for Best Director 2011 My Name Is Khan
16 Producers Guild Film Award for Best Director 2011 My Name Is Khan
17 Zee Cine Award for Best Director 2011 My Name Is Khan
18 Zee Cine Award for Best Story 2011 My Name Is Khan
19 Producers Guild Film Award (President's Honour) 2013 Student of the Year
20 Stardust Award for Dream Director 2013 Student of the Year
20 Mirchi Music Make It Large Award 2017
21 Filmfare Award for Best Film 2019 Raazi
22 Filmfare Award for Best Film 2022 Shershaah

Dharma Productions Yash Johar’s Contribution (1980 – 2003)

Yash Johar, the founder of Dharma Productions, made significant contributions to the production company, leaving behind a notable legacy. Under his leadership, the company produced several films that made an impact on the Indian film industry. The journey of Dharma Productions began with the release of "Dostana" in 1980. Starring Amitabh Bachchan , Shatrughan Sinha , and Zeenat Aman , the film emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of that year, establishing the production house as a force to be reckoned with.

Following the success of "Dostana," Dharma Productions went on to produce "Duniya" (1984) and "Muqaddar Ka Faisla" (1987), but both films failed to perform well at the box office. However, the company's fortunes changed with "Agneepath" (1990), which although initially not a commercial success, gained a cult following and earned Amitabh Bachchan a National Film Award. The film showcased Dharma Productions' willingness to explore diverse themes.

Continuing their journey, Dharma Productions released "Gumrah" (1993) and "Duplicate" (1998), both directed by Mahesh Bhatt. While these films achieved moderate success, they added to the production house's portfolio. The turning point for Dharma Productions came in 1998 with the release of "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai," marking Karan Johar's directorial debut. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol , Rani Mukerji , and Salman Khan , the film became a phenomenal success and cemented the reputation of both Karan Johar and Dharma Productions. "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" won several prestigious awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

Building on this success, Dharma Productions continued to flourish with subsequent releases. "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." (2001) received critical acclaim and achieved significant commercial success. In 2003, Dharma Productions released "Kal Ho Naa Ho," which garnered major critical acclaim and emerged as one of the top domestic and overseas earners of the year.

Yash Johar's contributions to Dharma Productions laid the foundation for its success. His keen eye for engaging stories and his ability to collaborate with talented directors and actors helped establish the production house as a prominent force in the Indian film industry. The legacy he left behind continues to shape the direction and achievements of Dharma Productions under the guidance of his son, Karan Johar.

Karan Johar’s Takeover (2005 – 2016)

Karan Johar, the son of Yash Johar and the current driving force behind Dharma Productions, has made significant contributions to the company's success. He has directed and produced a diverse range of films that have garnered critical acclaim and achieved commercial success.

In 2005, Dharma Productions released "Kaal," a natural horror film that received mixed reviews from critics. However, Karan Johar's directorial venture "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (2006) proved to be a major turning point. The film received highly positive reviews from critics and became a major commercial success both domestically and overseas. It even became the highest-grossing Indian film in overseas markets at that time.

Continuing the string of successes, Dharma Productions released "Dostana" (2008), a commercially successful romantic comedy directed by Tarun Mansukhani. This was followed by "Wake Up Sid" (2009), a coming-of-age film directed by Ayan Mukerji. Dharma Productions also produced "Kurbaan" (2009), a counter-terrorism thriller directed by Rensil D'Silva, starring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan .

In 2010, Dharma Productions produced two notable films. First was Karan Johar's highly acclaimed social drama "My Name Is Khan," and the other was the romantic comedy "I Hate Luv Storys" starring Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan . Later that year, the company produced the family drama "We Are Family," a Hindi remake of the 1998 American film "Stepmom." The film starred Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, and Arjun Rampal .

The year 2012 saw Dharma Productions release a diverse range of films. It started with "Agneepath," a retelling of the 1990 film of the same name, it featured Hrithik Roshan . and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. This was followed by Shakun Batra's offbeat romantic comedy-drama "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu" starring Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan. Karan Johar's directorial venture "Student of the Year" marked the debut of Sidharth Malhotra , Alia Bhatt , and Varun Dhawan as the lead actors.

Dharma Productions continued their successful streak in subsequent years. In 2013, they released the teen comedy "Gippi" followed by the coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani," which became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time. They were also associated with the critically acclaimed drama "The Lunchbox" and Punit Malhotra's romantic comedy "Gori Tere Pyaar Mein" in the same year.

The year 2014 saw Dharma Productions venture into producing three romantic comedies directed by first-time directors. These included "Hasee Toh Phasee" starring Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra, "2 States" based on Chetan Bhagat's novel and starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, and "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. They also released Rensil D'Silva's black comedy "Ungli" in the same year.

In 2015, Dharma Productions gained immense success by distributing the Hindi-dubbed version of S. S. Rajamouli's epic film "Baahubali: The Beginning." The film became a major critical and commercial success, ranking among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. They also collaborated with Phantom Films to co-produce Vikas Bahl's romantic comedy "Shaandaar." The following years saw Dharma Productions release films such as Shakun Batra's family comedy-drama "Kapoor & Sons" (2016), Karan Johar's musical romantic drama "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" (2016), Gauri Shinde's coming-of-age drama "Dear Zindagi" (2016), and Nitya Mehra's time-travel romance "Baar Baar Dekho" (2016). Each film explored unique themes and showcased Dharma Productions' commitment to producing diverse and engaging content.

The Great Dharma Production (2017 – Present)

In 2017, Dharma Productions started the year with the release of Shaad Ali's romantic comedy "OK Jaanu," starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor . It was a Hindi-language remake of Mani Ratnam's Tamil film "O Kadhal Kanmani" (2015). This was followed by the romantic comedy "Badrinath Ki Dulhania" (2017), featuring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. The film served as a follow-up to the successful "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" from 2014. In April 2017, Dharma Productions distributed the Hindi version of "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion," which went on to become the highest-grossing film in India at that time. Additionally, they released Abhay Chopra's mystery thriller "Ittefaq," a remake of Yash Chopra's 1969 film of the same name. Co-produced with Red Chillies Entertainment and BR Films, the film starred Akshaye Khanna, Sonakshi Sinha, and Sidharth Malhotra in lead roles.

The following year, Dharma Productions continued its success with notable releases. Meghna Gulzar's spy thriller "Raazi" (2018), starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal, received critical acclaim and became a commercial success.

Shashank Khaitan directed the romance film "Dhadak" (2018), which marked the debut of lead actors Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor. The film was an adaptation of the Marathi film "Sairat" (2016). Additionally, in November 2018, Dharma Productions introduced a new sector called Dharmatic, focusing on producing digital content for online distribution. In 2019, Dharma Productions released Anurag Singh's period drama "Kesari," based on the Battle of Saragarhi, starring Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra. The film achieved great success at the box office, becoming Akshay Kumar's highest-grossing film at that time. They also produced Abhishek Varman's period romantic drama "Kalank," featuring an ensemble cast including Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, and Sanjay Dutt. The social comedy-drama "Good Newwz," starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani, directed by Raj Mehta, was released in December 2019.

Dharma Productions continued its streak of releases in subsequent years. In 2020, they released the biopic "Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl," starring Janhvi Kapoor in the lead role. The following year, they released the biopic "Shershaah," starring Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra. In 2022, Dharma Productions released "Gehraiyaan," a psychological thriller starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, and Dhairya Karwa on Amazon Prime Video. They also had the successful theatrical release of "Brahmastra: Part One - Shiva," starring Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, and Mouni Roy. Additionally, Dharma Productions released "Govinda Naam Mera" on Disney+ Hotstar, starring Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani, and Bhumi Pednekar. However, their release "Selfiee" starring Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Diana Penty, and Nushrratt Bharuccha did not fare well commercially.

Looking ahead, Dharma Productions has exciting projects in the pipeline. "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani" features Ranveer Singh . and Alia Bhatt in lead roles, and "Sarzameen" stars Kajol, Prithviraj Sukumaran, and Ibrahim Ali Khan. Additionally, they have an upcoming project directed by Vishnuvardhan, featuring Salman Khan and Kiara Advani, scheduled for release on Eid 2024.


Karan Johar, apart from his role as a filmmaker and producer, has been involved in various other aspects of the film industry. He has showcased his versatility by taking on acting roles, working as a costume designer, hosting popular talk shows, and even venturing into investments.

Karan Johar’s journey in front of the camera began with a small role as a friend of Shah Rukh Khan's character in the iconic film "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995), where he also served as an assistant director. He later made cameo appearances as himself in films like "Om Shanti Om" (2007), "Fashion" (2008), and "Luck by Chance" (2009), adding his own star power to these productions. In 2015, Johar made his full-fledged acting debut in Anurag Kashyap's period drama "Bombay Velvet." Despite the film's box office failure, Karan Johar received appreciation for his portrayal of the main antagonist, Khambatta. His performance demonstrated his ability to step outside his comfort zone and bring dignity to a challenging character.


In addition to his acting endeavors, Karan Johar has worked as a costume designer for Shah Rukh Khan in several films. His contributions to films like "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge," "Dil To Pagal Hai," "Mohabbatein," "Main Hoon Na," "Veer-Zaara," and "Om Shanti Om" have helped create iconic looks and styles for the characters portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan.

His presence in the entertainment industry extends beyond acting and costume designing. He has become a prominent host with his talk show, "Koffee with Karan," which features interviews with renowned actors, directors, and producers from the Hindi film industry. The show has garnered a large following and has run intermittently since 2004, completing seven seasons as of July 2022. Additionally, Karan Johar has served as a judge on various reality shows, including "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa," "India's Got Talent," "India's Next Superstars," and "Hunarbaaz: Desh Ki Shaan."

Known for his impeccable taste and trendsetting style, Karan Johar has also partnered with Celewish Media to bring a fresh perspective to the world of matrimonial services. With his innate ability to create unforgettable moments, Karan Johar’s association with IITIIM Shadi . promises to elevate the brand to new heights, combining elegance, exclusivity, and unparalleled matchmaking expertise.

Outside of the film industry, Karan Johar has ventured into investments. He became an investor in Kofluence, an AI-led ad tech influencer marketing platform. The company raised a pre-series funding of $4 million as of February 8, 2022, showcasing Karan Johar’s interest and involvement in emerging technologies and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Wrapping Up

Karan Johar's journey in the entertainment industry, his contributions to Indian cinema, and his personal life have made him a prominent and influential figure, both in Bollywood and beyond. Karan Johar's directorial journey reflects his versatility and ability to deliver commercial hits while exploring various themes and genres. His films have garnered critical acclaim and achieved tremendous success at the box office, solidifying his position as one of the leading directors in the Indian film industry. His multifaceted contributions to the film industry, as an actor, costume designer, host, and investor, highlight his passion for creativity and his desire to explore various aspects of the entertainment world. His talents and ventures have undoubtedly added depth to his already impressive career in Indian cinema.

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