From a lanky, struggling boy from Delhi where a certain paanwala still tells tales of a superstar owing him money, to the dimpled cheeks, toned frame, impeccable dressing sense and unmatched wit and humour sporting superstar — Shah Rukh Khan has kissed success by leaps and bounds.
Fondly called SRK or King Khan or Baadshah, the 46-year-old is not someone who started with a bag full of hits but with mini success in films such as Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Deewana before he came under the wings of filmmaker Yash Chopra, who made him face the sun. And then came filmmaker Karan Johar who made his career more global.
"It took Shah Rukh Khan five to six years to become a star, another five to six to turn into the King or Baadshah as some call him and at least 15 years to be turned into a demi god. His hard work and charm has immortalised him," says trade analyst Joginder Tuteja. He might not have immediate script sense when he joined due to lack of guidance and not being from a film family, but the actor’s charm did the trick before lady luck shone on him and his screen prowess took him places.
He has successfully diversified into newer avenues as well as a producer, TV show host and as an IPL team owner. And now, he reportedly earns over Rs 2 billion a year through endorsements, over Rs 3-4 cr to grace an event, Rs 5-6 cr per TV episode, more than Rs 25 cr per film and has the biggest pocket in tinsel town — rumoured to be over Rs 2,000 cr. "He is a shrewd businessman. He is one of the first stars to come out with the business model of an actor also working in the capacity of a co-producer. He also knows how to market himself," says Tuteja.
2008: Shah Rukh got involved in an ugly spat with his then thick friend Salman Khan at the latter’s then girlfriend Katrina Kaif’s birthday bash on July 16 that year. The two called off their friendship
2009: SRK was detained at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey for nearly two hours because of his last name
2010: He faced the ire of Shiv Sena after he stated that he would like Pakistani cricketers to participate in the third season of IPL. They threatened to stall the release of My Name Is Khan
2012: SRK allegedly slapped Farah Khan’s husband and filmmaker Shirish Kunder at Sanjay Dutt’s Agneepath bash for bad-mouthing RA.One on Twitter.
Ongoing: A cold war between SRK and Aamir Khan that shows no signs of ending. The two are known for taking digs at each other.
He is known as the devout family man, who loves his wife Gauri and kids Suhana and Aryan, and often tweets his kids’ pictures from his Twitter handle. However, he has sportingly also joked about his sexual orientation on good friend Karan Johar’s show reacting to rumours and sms jokes that he is in a relationship with the latter. Also, during the release of his last flick, Don 2, there were rumours that he was having an affair with co-star Priyanka Chopra. While PC denied the same, SRK has remained tight-lipped, maintaining a stoic silence on the matter.
Ad-ing to it
He began his tryst with endorsements in 1999 with brands such as Pepsi and Hyundai Santro
According to AdEx India (a division of Tam Media Research), SRK endorsed only eight brands in 2003. In 2004, it was 13. By next year, SRK endorsed 21 brands followed by 34 brands in 2009. He has been vocal about doing anything for money, and even danced at weddings.
Some of the brands that Khan has endorsed are Pepsi, Hyundai, Sunfeast Dream Cream Biscuit, Bagpiper Whisky, Top Ramen Curry Smoodles, Mayur Suitings Shirtings, Videocon, Airtel, Lux, Himani Sonachandi Chyawanprash, Frooti, Compaq Presario, Tag Heuer.
He has a Rs 109bn real estate project comprising multiple residential owners in the UAE named after him, called Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard. He co-owns two production houses Dreamz Unlimited and Red Chillies Entertainment and the IPL Cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders.
In 2011, he became the first Indian to be honoured with UNESCO’s Pyramide con Marni award for his charity engagements n He is the first actor and the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to have an official Opus dedicated to him. Called King Khan, the Official Opus of Shah Rukh Khan, it is a 37-kg, 800-page diary on him.
He is a recipient of Padma Shri (India), Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), Unesco Pyramide con Marni (UNESCO), L’Etoile d’Or (by King of Morroco) and the Chubb fellowship (Yale)
He became the first Indian actor to be conferred with the prestigious Datuk title in Malaysia in 2008
* I have no competition. Every year the names I’m pitted against keep changing. You can’t cream the competition, you have to kill it.
* I cannot repay my fans for what they have done for me, they have given me so much love and that love has taken me to the number 1 position.
* I want people to scream and shout at me, I want people to trouble me when I’m having lunch, I like six bodyguards around me. I love being a star.
* If I talk to a girl, it’s assumed that I’m having a scene with her. If I don’t, then it’s assumed that I’m gay.
* I’m try-sexual. I try anything that’s sexual.