Shah Rukh Khan gives Bollywood 33% of its trio of Khans -Salman and Aamir complete the math.
As a self-made man, SRK, 47, lives life king-size and revels in the grandest of epithets - King Khan, Badshah Of Bollywood - that mirror his top dog status.
He's known for his strong likes and dislikes. Lately, his Bollywood star wars have made headlines. He does not speak to Salman Khan, with who he fought at a party for Katrina Kaif four years ago.
He's also had public feuds with choreographer-director Farah Khan, who he once described as a sister, and her husband, Shirish Kunder. He was fined for smoking in public at a Jaipur stadium, and handed a five year ban from Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium after getting into a fight with stadium security staff and cricket officials in May this year. He has said that he was not drunk, as then reported, but upset, because a group of children he was escorting were manhandled by officials.
He's also created international headlines because twice, in 2009 and in April this year, SRK was detained by immigration authorities at US airports and allowed to leaves only after two hours of questioning. The second time, he was in the US to speak at Yale University and receive a Fellowship. He has said, famously, "It always happens when I come to America. Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself I take a trip to America."
SRK was born on November 2, 1965 in New Delhi. His father died when SRK was 15, and his mother died when he was 22.
SRK attributes his drive and ambition to the fact that he lost his parents so young. He has one sister, Shehnaz, who lives with him at his mansion named Mannat in Mumbai.
Growing up, SRK went to Delhi's St Columba's School, excelling in drama, sports and academics. He graduated from Hansraj College with a degree in Economics, attended the National School Of Drama, and briefly studied Mass Communication at Jamia Millia Islamia before dropping out to chase his celluloid dreams.
While still in school, he met Gauri Chibber, who he would marry when he was just 26 years old. They have two children - son Aryan and daughter Suhana.
After quitting university, SRK studied acting with theatre personality Barry John and landed his first job playing Commando Abhimanyu Rai in TV serial Fauji
(1988), a role that was to instantly mark him out as a crowd pleaser. He became a familiar face on TV, appearing in Circus
(1989) and made-for-TV movie In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones
, written by Arundhati Roy. Not conventionally handsome, he was compared to that other unlikely yet hugely successful hero of old, Dilip Kumar, who SRK resembles both in face and mannerisms.
In 1991, just after the death of his mother, Shah Rukh moved to Mumbai in search of a film career. Hema Malini gave him his first break in her first directorial feature, Dil Aashna Hai
opposite Divya Bharti. The film was delayed and SRK ended up debuting in Deewana
, again opposite Divya Bharti and the redoubtable Rishi Kapoor. His performance fetched him a Filmfare award for Best Male Debut.
His next roles were unconventional: a younger man in an affair with a housewife in Maya Memsaab (infamous, still, for it's explicit scenes), a murderously vengeful son in Baazigar
, and an obsessive lover in Darr
. He juggled his anti-hero image with a lighter touch in young love comedy Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
, and potboiler histrionics in reincarnation formula film Karan Arjun
Then, in 1995, SRK met Kajol, lost Kajol, chased Kajol across continents, and finally married Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
, a film that shattered box office records and launched it's hero into the hyperspace of superstardom.
Ever since, there's been no toppling SRK from Bollywood's box office. Frequently accused of playing larger than life versions of himself on screen, SRK's appeared in a few turkeys - English Babu Desi Mem
- and in many superhits - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
and Om Shanti Om
He's been in tearjerkers - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
- and feel good moneyspinners - Dil To Pagal Hai
and Chalte Chalte
He's been in action movies - Don
and Main Hoon Na
- and in movies with a message - Swades
and My Name Is Khan
. He's been self-indulgent - Mohabbatein
- and self-effacing - Chak De India and Paheli.
He's also been back on TV as host of game shows Kaun Banega Crorepati 3 and Kya Aap Panchvi Pass Se Tez Hain? Off screen, he owns a production house and an IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders.
He is praised by friends for his generosity and by his producers for his commitment.