Born in a Pathan family in Delhi, India on Nov. 2, 1965, Shah Rukh Khan was the son of a transport company owner and a magistrate. He was 15 when his father died from cancer; his treatment had been expensive and the family business collapsed, leaving his mother to bring back the business on her own. As a young boy, Khan proved to be an achiever and excelled in academics and sports. He was enrolled in St Columba's School, Delhi and was awarded the Sword of Honor by the school for all round development. After graduating from college, he started work on a Master's in Mass Communications (Filmmaking), but his real energy was spent working on his acting with a high-brow theater group in Delhi, The Theater Action Group headed by Barry John. He made his acting debut when he appeared in the television series, "Fauji" (1988) in which he played the role of a Commando. This laid the foundation for his career and he went on to appear in several other television serials that got him recognized as a well known TV star in Delhi.
Khan moved to Mumbai in 1991 and married Gauri Chibba, after years of courtship, in a Hindu wedding ceremony and a court marriage. He then made his Bollywood feature debut in "Deewana" (1992). The movie was a box office hit, and launched his career in Bollywood. His performance won him a "Filmfare Best Male Debut award." Not a typical Bollywood leading man, Khan's success was largely due to his acting prowess in which he could portray a myriad of emotions, all through his demeanor and eye-language. He quickly established himself as one of Bollywood's finest actors, easily shifting genres while alternating between starring and character roles.
Khan received Film Fare awards and a Padma Shree award from the Indian Government in 2005. He was also given the Best Indian Citizen award in 1997 and the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in the Field of Entertainment in 2002. He was also honored with the honorable distinction of Officer dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 2008. He was so famous internationally - but most particularly in his homeland - that he was only the third Bollywood star to have a wax statue made in his likeness at London's famous Madame Tussauds museum.
Khan turned producer when he set up a production company called Dreamz Unlimited with Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza in 1999. The first two of the films he produced and starred in - "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani" (2000) and "Asoka" (2001) - were box office failures. However, his third film, as a producer and star, "Chalte Chalte" (2003), was the first box office hit from his production house. In 2004, he set up another production company, Red Chillies Entertainment, producing and starring in "Main Hoon Na" (2004), which was another hit at the box office.
In 2005, he produced and starred in the fantasy film "Paheli" which was India's official Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Film, but it did not pass the final selection. Khan was also chosen as the host of the third series of the popular game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" - the Indian version of America's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" - in 2007, taking over from the original host, Amitabh Bachchan, who had hosted the show from 2000 to 2005. His intensity and hunger for success left an overwhelming impression on commercial casting agents to represent their products resulting in his endorsements of 25 different brands. His charisma and his ability to connect with the audience and turn every film he starred in into a blockbuster left the entire nation referring to him as "King Khan."