He set pulse racing with his suave and charismatic approach as Prem in Maine Pyar Kiya. Two decades and more than 70 films later, Salman Khan, who turns 43 Saturday, is still among Bollywood's most sought after stars and hottest bachelors.
At a time when fresh faces are entering the film industry, Salman, who is considered a part of the formidable Khan trio - Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan - still makes girls go weak in the knees not only because of his body which is close to absolute perfection, but also because of his alluring charm.
Miss World first runner-up and a Salman fan Parvathy Omanakuttan has said: “I would love to do a movie opposite Salman Khan, as I have a big time crush on him.”
He might be infamous for his line of controversies, but industry insiders say that the actor is boyishly likeable.
"I must say that Salman has a heart of gold,” filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who directed Salman in recently released film “Yuvvraaj”, told IANS.
“When I was working with him on my film, not even once did I feel that I'm working with a star. I felt I'm working with a family member, a younger brother," he added.
Echoing the same, Priyanka Chopra, who played his leading lady in "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "God Tussi Great Ho", had said: “Salman is always fun on the sets”.
Born to renowned scriptwriter Salim, Salman made his acting debut as a supporting actor with the film “Biwi Ho To Aisi” in 1988. He had his first commercial success as the lead with the blockbuster “Maine Pyar Kiya”.
After this he went on to do commercially and critically rewarding films such as “Saajan”, “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”, “Biwi No.1”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”, “Tere Naam” and “Partner”, among others.
The actor has also won two Filmfare Awards including Best Debut for “Maine Pyar Kiya” and Best Supporting Actor for “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”
Salman's penchant for a fit body is no secret. He was one of the first actors to take a plunge into bodybuilding and since then has given tips for that fab look to many including Hritik Roshan.
Singer Sonu Nigam, who took initial exercising lessons from the actor, has said: “We are familiar with his perfect six-pack abs and the upper body muscles, but fans have yet to see his muscular legs, which are so perfect. I think he should expose his legs too.”
Salman's talent is not just confined to the film domain. The multifaceted star often indulges actively in his by-now-famous passion for painting.
Recently, Salman painted two portraits of his contemporary Aamir Khan on black canvasses, showing his interpretations of the character Aamir plays in his new film.
The small screen too got a taste of the six-pack hunk when he agreed to host Synergy Adlabs' reality show “Dus Ka Dum” on Sony channel.
“Salman was most cooperative and an exceptionally generous and hospitable host, which I believe came through in the show,” said Siddhartha Basu, head of Synergy Adlabs.
“He seemed to enjoy the experience and along with his very personal style and star charisma, his genuine generosity, warmth and connect with ordinary people was evident on the show, together with explosive bursts of energy and a gut feel for entertainment,” he added.
Salman is the fourth Indian actor to have been a wax statue in the Madame Tussauds museum in London.
Though box office success eluded the actor this year with duds like “God Tussi Great Ho”, “Hello”, “Heroes”, and “Yuvvraaj”, he can keep his hopes up, as he has a new release on the horizon, “London Dream”.