Monday, July 4, 2011

Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan (Hindi: pronounced; 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; Saba Ali Khan and actress Soha Ali Khan. He is the heir apparent to both royal houses of Bhopal and Pataudi.
Khan made his debut in 1992 with Parampara. He had his first major success 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. 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). These successes put him among the most successful actors in the industry. In 2009, Khan branched out into film production with his company Illuminati Films.
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 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 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.
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).
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 Iago 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".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." For his work, Khan earned the awards for Best Actor in a negative role at the Star Screen, Filmfare, Zee Cine and IIFA Awards.
In 2009, Khan produced and starred in Love Aaj Kal. The film, directed by Imtiaz Ali, was a critical and commercial success. He then starred in the thriller Kurbaan along with Kareena Kapoor in which he played a terrorist. The following year, Khan was awarded the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award given by the Government of IndiaKhan turned producer when he setup his production company called Illuminati Films in 2009. His first film, Love Aaj Kal was directed by Imtiaz Ali and featured Deepika Padukone opposite him. Upon release, the film was critically and commercially successful. Khan's second film production, Agent Vinod, will be directed by Sriram Raghavan.

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