Nawab of Bollywood: Saif Ali Khan Turns 46

August 16, 2016 14:06
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    Actor Saif Ali Khan seems to be ageing like fine wine. His Tashan is getting better with every passing day and as he turns 46, we notice he seems to have it all with a hit acting career, producing credentials, a happy family and royal lineage. Not to forget he and wife Kareena Kapoor Khan will be welcoming their first child this December. Congratulating him on his birthday, we take a tour of his life and career, in pics.

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    Saif Ali Khan, real name Sajid Ali Khan, was born on August 16, 1970 into the royal family of Pataudi. His grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, was a cricketer who played for

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    Saif went to school and college in the UK. He then chose to follow in his mother's footsteps and embark on an acting career. The road to stardom was rocky, with Bollywood success coming late to someone who was first considered not macho enough in a generation.

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    In October 1991, Saif married actress Amrita Singh, who was much older than him. The union raised many eyebrows in Bollywood. The couple were married for 13 years, before splitting up in 2004. They have two children - Ibrahim and Sara.

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    In 2007, Saif began dating actress Kareena Kapoor, his co-star in the movie Tashan. In a refreshing change from, Saifeena (as they were branded) made no attempt to hand out the stock 'just-good-friends' line Bollywood couples usually do, and went public with their romance. Saif even had Kareena's name tattooed on his arm, in the manner of David and Victoria Beckham.

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    Saif and Kareena were married on October 16, 2012. A morning registration was followed by a grand reception at Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace hotel. A Mughal-themed reception ordaawat-e-walima was held in New Delhi on October 18. Rahul Gandhi led a power list of guests.

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    But Saif's celluloid story started years before he married Kareena, and it didn't begin well. The young Saif Ali Khan was a far gawkier figure than the stylish sophisticate he is today. In his early films like Aashiq Awara (1993) and Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1993), where he played second fiddle to Akshay Kumar, Saif was gauche and awkward, there was no trace of the leading man he was to become.

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    The Hindi adaptation of Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina, Yeh Dillagi (1994) fetched his co-stars Akshay Kumar and Kajol Filmfare nominations, leaving him behind. He played the role of the proverbial flirt who mends his ways for love.

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    Hum Saath Saath Hain, the 1999 multi-starrer, featured Saif as the youngest brother of Salman Khan and Mohnish Behl. The infamous black buck poaching case happened while they were shooting in Rajasthan. The film was a hit.

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    In 2001, Saif made a great comeback with Dil Chahta Hai, directed by Farhan Akhtar and co-satrring Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Preity Zinta. The movie was considered seminal in many ways, and revived Saif's flagging career. There was no looking back now.

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    In Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Saif played the role of an urban metrosexual NRI. The old scruffy Saif was replaced with a groomed, immaculate Saif. He stood his own against Shah Rukh Khan, like he had done with Aamir Khan in Dil Chahta Hai.

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    Ek Hasina Thi (2004), opposite Urmila Matondkar, cast him in a negative role. His ex-wife Amrita described his performance a career-best. The formerly weedy Saif now joined the brigade of the brawny Bollywood men.

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    In Hum Tum (2004), Saif played a happy go lucky participant in a wry battle of the sexes, opposite Rani Mukherji. He won the National Award for this role.

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    In Parineeta (2005), an adaptation of the classic Bengali novel, he played the role of rich scion Shekhar opposite debutante Vidya Balan. His performance was critically acclaimed.

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    In Salaam Namaste (2005), opposite Preity Zinta, he proved that the trendy, charming Saif was here to stay.

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    And then, just when everyone felt Saif had found his groove as the urban heartbreaker, he played Langda Tyagi in Omkara (2006). His impressive physical transformation for the role of a rustic strongman was only outdone by his performance as the jealous, bitter, twisted, scheming villain in Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. The performance was to be indelibly etched into national consciousness, and Saif joined the legion of Bollywood greats.

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    In Eklavya (2007), he reverted to type as the stylish, foreign-educated royal son. His mother was played by Sharmila Tagore, his real life mother. The movie was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars for the year 2007.

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    Tashan, co-starring girlfriend Kareena, (2008) bombed at the box office, but chances are, the newly-in-love couple didn't much care.

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    Saif turned producer in 2009 with Love Aaj Kal, which co-starred Deepika Padukone. He pulled off a double role as the contemporary young hero in London and the robust sardar from decades ago in small town Punjab. Love Aaj Kal did well at the box office.

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    Saif tried his hand in action with spy thriller Agent Vinod (2012), opposite Kareena, but the film failed at the box office. The actor was seen in a romantic comedy Cocktail (2012) with Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty. The film was a box office hit.

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    In 2012, Saif was seen in Go Goa Gone, Race 2 and Bombay Talkies. Race 2 was also a superhit.

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    In 2013, Saif redefined love, friendship and loyalty in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Bullett Raja where he starred opposite actress Sonakshi Sinha for the first time.

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    In the year 2014, Saif's better half Kareena Kapoor visited the actor in England to make his birthday special by throwing a lavish party at the 600-year-old Winchester College, his alma mater.

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    The year brought in big bucks for the actor. Saif tried his hand at slapstick comedy with Sajid Khan's Humshakals which crossed the coveted 100 crore benchmark. Saif braved the role of a woman along with actors Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor in the movie.

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    Saif donned the hat of a producer again in the year 2014, co-producing the rom-com Lekar Hum Deewana Dil which failed to perform well at the box office.

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    Next the actor featured in the role of a writer, Yogi, in the movie Happy Ending opposite Ileana D'Cruz, which also starred Kalki Koechlin and Govinda. While the movie was not exceptionally favourited, the soundtracks from the film like Paaji Tussi Such a Pussy Cat, Mileya Mileya became popular amongst the masses.

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    The Salaam Namaste actor, who was on the sets of popular TV reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa to promote his film Phantom, was seen shaking a leg with Shahid Kapoor. Shahid and Kareena dated for a while, before she got married to Saif in 2012.

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    In 2015, Saif gave a hit with Phantom which also starred Katrina Kaif in the lead.

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    In July, Saif confirmed that he and wife Kareena are expecting their first child in December this year. The actor will next be seen in Vishal Bhardwaj's Rangoon with Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut. The film will release in 2017.

    Here's wishing Saif a very happy birthday and a great year ahead.

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