Few years ago, 'People' magazine declared him as one of the ten best looking men in the world. 1998 was the year that this brawny brat flexed his muscles at the box office. He had three smash hits in a row – Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai and Bandhan. Add to this, a dashing guest appearance in the blockbuster, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In other words, it was the year of reckoning for Salman Khan, who had finally arrived at the pinnacle after being dismissed repeatedly by the trade denizens despite participating in blockbusters over the years.
Salman, the eldest son of scriptwriter Salim Khan (of the famous Salim-Javed duo who penned Sholay, Deewar, Zanjeer and many more blockbusters and created the angry young man icon in Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s) made his big-screen debut more than two decades ago in Biwi Ho To Aisi. He was ridiculed before Sooraj Barjatya's Maine Pyaar Kiya turned him into a household name and the heartthrob of millions. He even won the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award that year.
The success of the candy floss love story was followed by a handful of hits, like Baaghi, Sanam Bewafa, Patthar Ke Phool and Saajan. However, the golden run was too good to last. A few bad choices of film roles and his popularity suddenly nose-dived in the early 90s, a downward journey that coincided with his unpopularity with a press that found him too intimidating and unapproachable. Once again Sooraj Barjatya cameto the rescue with Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!. While the movie made box office history, Salman Khan suddenly found a new facet to his acting persona, his flair for seemingly effortless comedy.
Though his grim intensity blazed the screen and stole the show in Rakesh Roshan's Karan Arjun, it was his humorous, yet quite sensitive avatar that Bollywood set out to explore. One of the best results of this exploration was Khamoshi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial debut. The film touched many hearts with its tears-jerking moments underlining the sublime relationship between deaf and dumb parents, played by Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas, and their daughter, portrayed by Manisha Koirala. But the pathos in the film was finely balanced by Salman's breezy presence.
Critical acclaim and awards don't seem to matter much for this actor with arguably the best physique in Bollywood. In fact, so proud is he of his hard earned body of marathon workouts that Salman leaves no opportunity to display his near-perfect physique on the screen. The best example of course is the song Oh ho jaane jaana from Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, a film directed by his brother Sohail (and also co-starring his younger brother Arbaaz) which was once again a showcase of his immense comic potential. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his extended guest appearance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
In 1999, he collaborated with Bhansali yet again for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. His performance as Sameer was hailed by audiences and critics alike. That same year he stared in hits like Biwi No.1, Hello Brother and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United.
His next big hit was Satish Kaushik's Hindi remake of the Tamil blockbuster Sethu. Salman starred opposite Bhoomika Chawla in Tere Naam and was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. His other notable films include Lucky: No Time for Love, No Entry, Jaan-E-Mann, Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love, Partner and Saawariya.
His 2009 release, Wanted went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year. The Prabhu Deva directed action drama saw Salman star opposite Ayesha Takia. He also starred in Vipul Shah's London Dreams and Anil Sharma's Veer.
Salman has had two back-to-back blockbusters in 2010 and 2011 with Dabangg and Ready respectively. He played the role of police inspector Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg, a film which marked the debut of his brother Arbaaz as a producer. The hard-core masala film is the second-highest grosser of all times after 3 Idiots, while Ready comes in at number four. Salman starred opposite Asin in the Anees Bazmee directed film which became the second highest opening day grosser after Dabangg.
The superstar was next seen in Bodyguard, another Eid release produced by brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri which showed Salman Khan romancing Kareena Kapoor. The film opened with record breaking collections on the first day despite the fact that the reviewers did not spoke glowingly about it. Salman Khan's 2012 release, Ek Tha Tiger, directed by Kabir Khan and also starring Katrina Kaif, broke the record for the Day 1 collections of a Bollywood film. Furthermore, it went on to become the second highest grossing film of all time after 3 Idiots.
His latest film, Dabangg 2, directed by his younger brother Arbaaz Khan, turned out to be another blockbuster at the box-office. Salman's future projects include Sohail Khan's film , Mental, opposite Sana Khan, and Sajid Nadiadwala's directorial debut.