Clans in Indian Cinema: Salim, Salman and the Khan-daan Ruling Bollywood

·4-min read

Salman Khan might be the biggest superstar of our times, but his way into Bollywood was paved by father Salim Khan, who had come to Mumbai to become an actor but ended up being a successful screenwriter. While Salim Khan spun magic with his pen, his eldest son cast a spell with his histrionics on screen, an enchantment that has lasted 30 years and still going strong. Salman’s films continue to be the biggest blockbusters every year. His larger-than-life persona extends off screen, too. Salman is credited with giving a break to numerous talents in Bollywood.

Here’s a look at the members of this Bollywood Khan-daan that has been part of the Hindi film industry for over 60 years.

1st generation:

Salim Khan: After playing supporting roles in 25 films, Salim Khan realized he wasn’t cut out for acting. Salim met Javed Akhthar for first time during the making of the film Sarhadi Lootera, which was Salim’s last acting appearance. The duo hit it off well and formed a script-writing team that came to be known as Salim–Javed. Rajesh Khanna gave them a break with Haathi Mere Saathi in 1972. They produced screenplays for several successful films like Andaz, Seeta Aur Geeta, Zanjeer, Sholay and Don.

Salim Khan is married to two women. His first marriage was to Sushila Charak and they have four children together – three sons, Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail, and one daughter, Alvira Khan Agnihotri. In 1981, Khan married actress Helen Richardson. Some years later, they adopted a girl named Arpita, daughter of a homeless woman who died on a Mumbai footpath.

Helen: Born to an Anglo Indian father and a Burmese mother, Helen was welcomed into the Hindi film industry for her unconventional looks and dancing talent. One of the most popular dancer-actresses of yesteryears, Helen became part of the Khan family when she married Salim Khan in 1981. She is said to share a close bond with all her step-children.

2nd generation:

Salman Khan: In a film career spanning over thirty years, Salman has gone from being the lover boy in films like Saajan and Hum Aapke Hain Koun in the ’90s to the action star in Dabangg and Ek Tha Tiger of today. One of the most commercially successful actors of Indian cinema, he has featured on Forbes’ 2015 list of Top-Paid 100 Celebrity Entertainers in the world. He is also known for his humanitarian side and giving breaks to many aspiring artists in Bollywood. Salman has had many high profile relationships with top actresses, although he has remained a bachelor so far. The actor is very attached to his family, who mostly live together at Galaxy Apartments, Bandra, Mumbai.

Arbaaz Khan: He made his debut with Daraar (1996) and has starred in many multi-starrer films such as Pyaar Kiya To Darna , Hulchul and Malaamal Weekly. In 2010, Arbaas ventured into film production, with Arbaaz Khan Productions and his first film as producer was Dabangg. He married model and actress Malaika Arora in 1998. They have a son, Arhaan, born in 2002. The couple announced their separation in 2016 and officially got divorced on in 2017.

Sohail Khan: Salim Khan’s youngest son started his career as a film producer and director, making his directorial debut with the 1997 action thriller Auzaar. He then directed both of his brothers Salman and Arbaaz in the hit film Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) and then in Hello Brother. Sohail has acted in films like Maine Dil Tujhko Diya and Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?. He is married to designer Seema Sachdev and they have two sons, Nirvan and Yohan.

Their sister, designer Alvira Khan, is married to filmmaker Atul Agnihotri. He started his Bollywood career as an actor, went on to direct two films, and found success as a film producer. Atul has produced Salman’s films like Bodyguard and Bharat. Alvira and Atul have two kids – daughter Alizeh and son Ayaan.

Salim Khan’s adopted daughter Arpita Khan is married to actor Ayush Sharma, grandson of Sukh Ram, a former Minister from Himachal Pradesh. They have two kids – Ahil and Ayat. Ayush made his Bollywood debut with the film Loveyatri.

3rd generation:

Alizeh Agnihotri, daughter of Alvira and Atul Agnihotri is the latest member of the Khan family to be entering Bollywood. She is likely to make her acting debut in Sooraj Barjatya’s son Avnish Barjatya’s directorial debut.

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