Aamir Khan was born in Bandra's Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai, India, to a Muslim family that has been actively involved in the Indian motion picture industry for several decades. His father, Tahir Hussain, was a film producer while his uncle, Nasir Hussain, was a film producer as well as a director and an actor. His family on his father´s side are originally from Herat, Afghanistan.
He is a descendant of the scholar and politician Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and a second cousin to former Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Dr Najma Heptulla.
Aamir Khan began his film career as a child actor in a home production, made by Nasir Hussain, titled Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973) and Madhosh (1974). Eleven years later, he made his adult acting debut in a role that went quite unnoticed in Ketan Mehta's Holi (1984).
Khan's first notable leading role came in 1988 in the film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak which was directed by his cousin and Nasir Hussain's son Mansoor Khan. This film was a breakthrough commercial success, effectively launching Khan's career as a leading actor. Having the typical 'chocolate hero' looks, he was publicised as a teen idol. He also starred in critically acclaimed film Raakh, for which Khan got his first National Award for Special Jury Award. After that, he went on to appear in several other films in the late '80s and early '90s: Dil (1990), which became the highest grossing film of the year, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) (for which he also wrote the screenplay), and Rangeela (1995). Most of these films were successful critically and commercially. Other successes include Andaz Apna Apna, co-starring Salman Khan. At the time of its release the movie was reviewed unfavorably by critics, but over the years has gained a cult status.
In 2001 Aamir Khan e appeared in Lagaan. The film was a major critical and commercial success, and received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 74th Academy Awards. Additionally, the film gathered critical acclaim at several international film festivals, in addition to winning numerous Indian awards, including the National Film Awards. Aamir Khan himself won his second Filmfare Best Actor Award. The film continues to be one of the most popular Hindi films in the west.
The success of Lagaan was followed by Dil Chahta Hai later that year, in which Khan co-starred with Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan, with Preity Zinta playing his love interest. The film was written and directed by the then newcomer Farhan Akhtar. According to critics, the film broke new grounds by showing Indian urban youth as they really are today. The characters depicted were modern, suave and cosmopolitan. The film did moderately well and was a success mostly in urban cities.
Aamir Khan then took a four year break citing personal problems, and returned in 2005 with Ketan Mehta's Mangal Pandey: The Rising playing the title role of a real-life sepoy and a martyr who helped spark the Indian Rebellion of 1857 or the 'First War of Indian Independence'.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's award-winning Rang De Basanti was Khan's first release in 2006. His role was critically acclaimed, earning him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and various nominations for Best Actor. The film went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year, and was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars. Although the film was not shortlisted as a nominee for the Oscar, it received a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the BAFTA Awards in England. Khan's work in his next movie, Fanaa (2006) co-starred with Kajol was also appreciated, and the film went on to become one of the highest grossing Indian films of 2006.
His 2007 film, Taare Zameen Par was also produced by him and marked his directorial debut. The film, which was the second offering from Aamir Khan Productions, starred Khan in a supporting role as a teacher who befriends and helps a dyslexic child. It opened to excellent responses from critics and audiences alike. Khan's performance was well-received, although he was particularly applauded for his directing.
In 2008, Aamir Khan appeared in the movie Ghajini. The film was a major commercial success and became the highest grossing Bollywood movie of that year. For his performance in the film, Khan received several Best Actor nominations at various award ceremonies as well as his fifteenth Filmfare Best Actor nomination.
In 2009, Aamir Khan appeared in the commercially and critically acclaimed film 3 Idiots as Ranchodas Chanchad which became Bollywood's highest grossing film and won multiple Filmfare Awards including Best Picture. Around August, 2011, Aamir Khan started talks with Siddhartha Basu's BIG Synergy, to host a talk show, similar to the Oprah Winfrey show.
In 2001 Aamir Khan set up a production company known as Aamir Khan Productions. Its first film was Lagaan. The movie was released in 2001, starring Khan as the lead actor. The film was selected as India's official entry to the 74th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. It was eventually chosen and nominated in that category but lost to No Man's Land. The film won numerous awards at several Indian award functions such as Filmfare and IIFA, and won the National Film Award for Most Popular Film, an award shared between Aamir Khan and the film's director, Ashutosh Gowariker. Khan later commented on the loss of Lagaan at the Oscars: "Certainly we were disappointed. But the thing that really kept us in our spirits was that the entire country was behind us".
In 2007 Aamir Khan produced the drama Taare Zameen Par which marked his directorial debut. Khan also played a supporting role in the film, sharing the screen with the debut of child actor Darsheel Safary. The film was initially conceived of and developed by the husband and wife team, Amole Gupte and Deepa Bhatia. It was a story of a young child who suffers in school until a teacher identifies him as dyslexic. The movie was critically acclaimed, as well as a box office success. Taare Zameen Par won the 2008 Filmfare Best Movie Award as well as a number of other Filmfare and Star Screen Awards. Khan's work won him two awards at the Filmfare, the Best Movie and the Best Director awards, which established his status as a competent filmmaker in Bollywood.
In 2008, Aamir Khan launched his nephew Imran Khan's debut in the film Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na under his production house. The film was a big hit in India, and eventually earned Aamir Khan another nomination for Best Movie at the Filmfare.
In 2011, Aamir Khan released his home production Dhobi Ghat. which was directed by his wife Kiran Rao.