Indian Cinema Series
‘Shahrukh Khan’ (also Shah Rukh Khan) has a rather regal ring to it-appropriate for a figure who looms so large over the Bollywood scene that his most famous nickname graces the cover of the book, King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema. Other oft-used monikers include ‘King Khan’ and ‘The Tom Cruise of India.’
Last year, Newsweek ranked the 44-year-old actor No. 41 on survey of the world’s 50 global elites–a list that ranked President Obama as No. 1 and included the likes of Vladimir Putin and Pope Benedict XVI.
Not only is King Khan popular in Bollywood, but he also has a reportedly huge following in the Muslim world, with fans in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This may have much to do Khan’s own background–unlike many of his contemporaries, the actor comes not from a film family, but a middle-class Muslim one. While still a masters student in Mass Communications, he decided to leave his studies to pursue his acting career (though he has since attained a degree anyway, receiving an honorary doctorate in arts and culture from Britain’s University of Bedfordshire in 2009).
The actor has received many industry awards throughout his film career, which began in the early 1990s, and many of his movies are still among Bollywood’s greatest hits and top-earners. The actor has also been a TV host and film producer and is the founder and owner of two production companies, Dreamz Unlimited and Red Chillies Entertainment.