Aamir Khan is the latest in an elite group of Indians, that includes Mahatma Gandhi and Sachin Tendulkar, to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine. He's also the fourth Bollywood star and it's second leading man to have received this distinction.
Aamir was preceded by Parveen Babi in 1976 and Aishwarya Rai in 2003. The first actor to be make the cover was Shah Rukh Khan in 2004.
When Parveen Babi landed on the cover of Time's July 1976 issue, she had just appeared in the blockbuster film Deewar
. Directed by Yash Chopra and written by Salim-Javed, Deewar
was a seminal film that broke many stereotypes of mainstream Bollywood. It marked the rise of Amitabh Bachchan as the Angry Young Man, and established Parveen Babi as "the new woman."
Babi's working girl character in the film smoked, drank and slept with her lover, activities previously left to the vamps and gangster's molls. Deewar
's Anita shattered existing cinematic convention and paved the way for a new breed of heroines led by Babi and Zeenat Aman.
The cover story of the July 1976 issue of Time was about 'Asia's Frenetic Film Scene,' and 'India's Parveen Babi' was chosen as representative. This reportedly caused some heartburn among the other leading ladies of the time.
Babi appears on the cover in a black, skimpy-for-the-time costume hung about with pearls. Babi's career was brief compared to those of contemporary actresses like Hema Malini and Rekha - she flickered out in the early Eighties, later returning to public consciousness as an overweight, paranoid former star to accuse Amitabh Bachchan and some others of conspiring to kill her. But in 1976, Parveen Babi represented the changing face of Indian cinema, a Bollywood of rule-breakers and experimentation.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the cover of Time
27 years later, Aishwarya Rai was deemed by Time the 'New Face Of Film,' leading 'the invasion as Bollywood goes global and becomes hip.' Aishwarya, already the numero uno actress at home with an award-winning role in Devdas
the previous year, was about to star in her first international project, playing a desi
Lizzie Bennet in Gurinder Chaddha's Bride And Prejudice
. She had begun her long and fruitful parallel career as the Indian face of L'Oreal at the Cannes Film Festival. A wax version of Aishwarya would join future father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan in Madame Tussaud's the next year - only the second Bollywood star to be given this honour. In 2006, she would make her first appearance on the holy grail of US daytime TV - The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The next year, Shah Rukh Khan made the cover of a special issue that looked at 'Asia's Heroes: 20 Under 40.'
The cover story looked at a 'new generation taking centrestage' in Asia. 2004 was also a critically and commercially successful year for SRK who starred in Main Hoon Na
, Veer Zaara
. All three roles fetched him Best Actor nominations, and he scooped the award for Swades
Shah Rukh Khan on the cover of a special issue of Time
And now, nearly a decade after Ash and 36 years after Parveen Babi, TV show Satyamev Jayate
puts Aamir Khan on the cover of Time.
Aamir Khan has become the fourth Indian actor to be featured on the cover of Time magazine