10 things to know about Aamir Khan, Bollywood superstar and activist actor

Indian superstar Aamir Khan stars next in PK, a comedy-drama film in Hindi directed by Rajkumar Hirani. -- PHOTO: UTV MOTION PICTURES
Indian superstar Aamir Khan stars next in PK, a comedy-drama film in Hindi directed by Rajkumar Hirani. -- PHOTO: UTV MOTION PICTURES

Indian superstar Aamir Khan stars next in PK, a comedy-drama film in Hindi directed by Rajkumar Hirani. The film, which releases globally on Dec 19, stars Khan in the titular role of a stranger in a city who asks the most innocent yet confounding questions. His co-stars include actors Sanjay Dutt, Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput, and the movie and is produced by India's UTV. Here are 10 things to know about the 49-year-old Mumbai-born actor, producer and director.

1. He has a film lineage. His father Tahir Hussain was a film producer. Khan started off working for his famous producer-director uncle Nasir Hussain.

2. Khan made a splash with his 1988 hit romantic Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (From Doom to Doom), about star-crossed lovers.

3. He soon became known as much for his good looks as his versatility as an actor. His repertoire includes playing a streetwise but misguided youth in Ghulam (1998), an ice candy man scarred by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947: Earth (1998), and a rebellious farmer in the period film Lagaan (Land Tax, 2001).

4. Khan has made several dramatic U-turns in his career. India's dyslexia tear-jerker Taare Zameen Par (Stars On Earth, 2007), which was directed and produced by him, saw him play the role of a sensitive teacher. It won several awards both in India and abroad and was India's official entry for the 2009 Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category.

5. The actor, who is known for doing just a film a year or sometimes even one film in two years, has surprised his fans many times. In 2008's thriller Ghajini, he showed up with rippling six-pack abs. In 2009, he morphed into a 22-year-old college lad and turned 3 Idiots into the perfect Bollywood blockbuster. Loosely based on author Chetan Bhagat's bestselling novel, Five Point Someone (2004), the film casts a critical eye on India's competitive examination system. It explores with humour the obsession with grades.

6. The activist-actor has backed several compelling scripts. In 2010, he produced the satirical Peepli Live after reading first-time director Anusha Rizvi's script. The film put the spotlight on the touchy issue of suicide of farmers and their plight after they are mired in debt. Using that as a starting point, it addressed bigger themes such as the role of politicians and bureaucrats as well as the accountability of the media.

7. In 2012, he made the move to television by producing and hosting the current affairs talk-show Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails) and succeeded where few politicians have by pricking social consciences and stirring debate on gritty issues in India, such as child abuse and malpractices in the medical profession.

8. He says he writes all his social media updates himself, though they are uploaded on all his social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, by his manager.

9. Khan is called Bollywood's Mr Perfectionist for his keen attention to detail and his single-minded attention to just one project at a time. He is one of the three Khans who have dominated Bollywood, along with Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

10. He has two grown-up children with his former wife Reena Dutta and a three-year-old son with his filmmaker wife, Kiran Rao.