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At 43, King Khan explores new avenues

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who turns 43 on Sunday, still rules the hearts of millions with his dimpled cheeks, toned frame, impeccable dressing sense and unmatched wit and humour.Wish SRK on his birthday | Surfers' Response

entertainment Updated: May 21, 2012 14:52 IST

He earns over Rs.1.5 billion ($30 million) a year through endorsements, over Rs 10 million to grace an event, Rs 10 million per TV episode, more than Rs.150 million/Rs 15 crores per film and has now launched a Rs.109 billion real estate project in the UAE. Actor Shah Rukh Khan, who turns 43 on Sunday, is much more than a Bollywood superstar.

With his dimpled cheeks, toned frame, impeccable dressing sense and unmatched wit and humour, the actor has enthralled audiences worldwide for almost two decades now with films like Baazigar, Darr, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai and Chalte Chalte.

King Khan, as he is fondly called, wears the diadem of the actor with the biggest pocket in tinsel town - rumoured to be around Rs.16 billion (Rs.1,600 crores) with his maximum earnings coming from commercial endorsements.

Shah Rukh, the actor-turned-businessman, who earns more than Rs.300 per minute as per experts, has successfully diversified into newer avenues with the same charismatic appeal with which he rules Bollywood, just as his fan following has spread over the rest of Asia-Pacific and into Europe, North America and Africa.

After a colourful 2007 with two hits - Chak De! India and Om Shanti Om (OSO), Shah Rukh has left the theatres devoid of his presence this year. But the actor continues to be a phenomenon worldwide.

He made a quick profit of Rs.400 million/Rs. 40 crores across the table by selling the world distribution rights of Om Shanti Om to Eros International for Rs.750 million as against the production cost of Rs.350 million.

The profit that he earned from the deal was apart from the remuneration of Rs.50 million that he took as the lead in the movie.

His further business commitments to his Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders and his stint on TV as the host of reality quiz show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain this year have kept him off the big screen.

Shah Rukh has also been kept busy with his ongoing world tour - Temptations Reloaded.

"It's very important for every actor to diversify and Shah Rukh is doing the same - exploring possibilities in other fields. He has all the qualities of an all-rounder. If he is cutting down on movies, it's a good thing. This way, his fans would get to watch him do more quality cinema," trade analyst Taran Adarsh told IANS.

"This is a fantastic phase for him. After Amitabh Bachchan, he is the only actor who has an incredible career graph and I'm sure that he'll be seen on the big screen for a long time," he added.

The actor is one among the few to have a huge fan following in Bollywood. Even his colleagues can't stop raving about him.

"I'm a huge Shah Rukh fan. I've always been one and even he knows that. I admire him since his earliest films and I'd like to see a lot more of him on the screen," Priyanka Chopra, who starred with him in Don, told IANS.

Actress Eesha Koppikhar was all praise for the actor having achieved superstardom without having any godfather.

"Shah Rukh is a great performer, a lovely actor and a wonderful person. He comes from a non-film background and despite that he has achieved the success and fame that he enjoys today. He is a true achiever," she said.

Filmmaker Aziz Mirza, who cast Shah Rukh in four out of five of his movies, said: "Shah Rukh has always believed in quality cinema. He is a workaholic and he does everything with dedication. He is an excellent actor."

Although Shah Rukh was not seen on the big screen for most of 2008, he kept hogging the headlines, the latest for getting the Malaysian honour 'Datuk'.

His forthcoming releases are Billo Barber, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, My Name is Khan, Dulha Mil Gaya, a sequel to Don - The Chase Begins Again and a voiceover in animation film Koochie Koochie Hota Hain.