Shah Rukh Khan did not start his career with Bollywood, in fact, he was first seen in popular TV series Fauji in 1989. Although he was supposed to make his television debut with Lekh Tandon’s show Dil Dariya, due to certain delays, Fauji marked Shah Rukh’s television career debut. Fauji not only helped him in getting public recognition but also led him to bag a role in Aziz Mirza’s Circus. Khan went on to act in various TV series, until his first Bollywood debut Deewana in 1992 as a second male lead starring along with Divya Bharti and Rishi Kapoor. Deewana was a box office hit and Shah Rukh won the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award. In the same year, movies such as Chamatkar, Dil Aashna Hai, and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman featured Shah Rukh in lead roles.
Khan had only begun his career as a Bollywood actor when he portrayed the role of an anti-hero or a villain in Darr and Baazigar in 1993. He essayed the role of an obsessive lover in Darr, and a murderer in Baazigar. He was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role for Darr, which he, unfortunately, lost to Paresh Rawal for his performance in Sir. However, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance in Baazigar. In 1994, Khan also won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for his role in comedy-drama Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, which is his all-time favorite role. The same year, he was again seen portraying the role of an obsessive lover opposite Madhuri Dixit in Anjaam, for which he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award. While every actor only focused on bagging the protagonist’s role, Shah Rukh took risks, which cemented his place in the industry.
One of Shah Rukh’s most significant roles and movies is Aditya Chopra’s directorial debut Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, where he played the role of a romantic hero. He was initially reluctant on taking up a romantic role, but soon after the release of the movie, Shah Rukh personified romance. The movie also won Khan his second Filmfare for Best Actor award for his portrayal of Raj Malhotra. Shah Rukh then portrayed the role of Rahul in Karan Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Shah Rukh maintained a constant professional and personal relationship with Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra, and Karan Johar, and has been a part of the Chopra’s and Johar’s projects.
He was cast alongside Amitabh Bachchan in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein in 2000, in which he essayed the role of a music teacher, Raj Aryan Malhotra. He received his second Filmfare Critics Award for Best Award for Mohabbatein. He was then signed for Karan Johar’s family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… in an ensemble cast, alongside Amitabh Bachchan. Shah Rukh believes these two movies marked the turning point in his acting career.
Shah Rukh was also a part of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s rendition of period romance Devdas, which was Bollywood’s most expensive movie at that time. He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award for Devdas. He then donned the role of Aman Mathur, a cancer-stricken young man, in Karan Johar’s Kal Ho Na Ho, where his performance received a lot of critical acclaim.
Shah Rukh, in collaboration with fellow actress Juhi Chawla and director Aziz Mirza, established a production house called Dreamz Unlimited. Its first project in 2002, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani starring Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla opened to poor reception at the box office. In 2001, Dreams Unlimited’s next venture Asoka also failed to impress the audience. However, in 2003, the partners of the production house parted ways after Juhi Chawla was not cast for Chalte Chalte, which was a commercial hit. After the split, Shah Rukh transformed Dreamz Unlimited to Red Chillies Entertainment and added his wife Gauri as a producer. Red Chillies Entertainment’s first venture was Farah Khan’s directorial debut Main Hoon Na in 2004, which was a blockbuster hit.
Shah Rukh has been a part of many more hit movies than flop ones, Swades, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Don, Don 2, Chak De! India, Om Shanti Om, My Name Is Khan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Chennai Express and Happy New Year to name a few. In 2016, SRK was seen donning two of his most unconventional roles in his career with the thriller Fan where he played a dual character, and shared screen space with Alia Bhatt in the comedy drama Dear Zindagi, playing the role of a psychologist, Dr. Jehangir Khan. His 2017 projects include the crime action-drama Raees, where he plays the titular role of Raees, a smuggler, and the Imtiaz Ali-directed romantic-drama The Ring co-starring Anushka Sharma.