Fawad Khan Biography: Fawad Afzal Khan (born 29 November 1981) is a prominent Pakistani actor, producer, screenwriter, and singer, acclaimed for his contributions to film and television. He has garnered numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award, two Lux Style Awards, and six Hum Awards, establishing himself as one of the leading contemporary artists from Asia.

Khan began his acting career with the television sitcom Jutt and Bond. Alongside his co-stars, he formed the alternative rock band Entity Paradigm and became its lead singer. The band gained prominence after appearing in the finale of Pepsi Battle of the Bands in 2002 and releasing their debut album, Irtiqa, in 2003. After approximately 250 performances, Khan left the band to focus on his film career. He made his film debut with a supporting role in the social drama Khuda Kay Liye (2007), which became one of Pakistan’s highest-grossing films.

Khan achieved his first major television success with the period drama Dastaan (2010), earning the Best Male Actor Award at the Pakistan Media Awards. He gained further recognition for his leading roles in the television serial Humsafar (2011) and Sultana Siddiqui’s family drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2012), winning the Lux Style Award for Best Actor for both performances. Khan’s Bollywood debut came with the romantic comedy Khoobsurat (2014), for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. He continued to receive critical acclaim with his role in the family drama Kapoor & Sons (2016), earning a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

After a brief hiatus, Khan returned to the screen with his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Ms. Marvel (2022) as Hassan. His action-adventure film The Legend of Maula Jatt (2022) became the highest-grossing film in Pakistan’s history.

Fawad Khan Biography, Family, Early life, Career

Early life

Fawad Afzal Khan was born on 29 November 1981 in Karachi, Sindh, into a family of Pashtun heritage. His father hailed from Patiala, now in Punjab, India, while his mother’s family originated from Lucknow, now in Uttar Pradesh, India. They moved to Pakistan following the partition of British India in 1947. During Khan’s childhood, his father’s job in pharmaceutical sales required the family to live in various cities, including Athens, Dubai, Riyadh, and Manchester during the Gulf War. The family settled in Lahore, Punjab, when Khan was 13. He has two sisters: Aliya, an architect, and Sana, a physician. Khan currently resides in Lahore.

Khan attended an American school where he experienced racial issues and bullying due to his shy and non-combative nature. He completed his A-levels at Lahore Grammar School, Johar Town (LGS JT), and earned a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES) in Lahore. Unable to find a job as a programmer or in marketing, he transitioned into acting. By then, he had also become proficient in playing the guitar, bass, and drums, and served as the lead singer for the band Entity Paradigm. Khan’s first amateur performance was as the title character in the play Spartacus.

Acting Career

Fawad Khan’s first television role was as a bumbling spy named Bond in the 2001 sitcom Jutt and Bond, alongside his bandmate Ahmad Ali Butt. He made his film debut in Shoaib Mansoor’s social drama Khuda Kay Liye (2007), where he portrayed a musician brainwashed by a local cleric. While the film received positive reviews, Khan’s performance drew mixed reactions; Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama called it “strictly OK,” whereas Gaurav Malani of The Economic Times found him “engaged” in his role as an extremist. Khuda Kay Liye grossed Rs. 250 million, making it one of Pakistan’s highest-grossing films, and earned Khan the Lux Style Award for Best Actor – Film in 2008.

Khan appeared in the TV series Dil Deke Jaenge and played an engineer on a road trip in Anjum Shahzad’s travel adventure series Satrangi. In 2010, he starred as a conservative, middle-class boy in the telefilm Aaj Kuch Na Kaho. Despite negative reviews, Dawn praised Khan’s performance as “superbly convincing” and the film’s “only redeeming factor.” He gained further acclaim for his role in Haissam Hussain’s period drama Dastaan, based on Razia Butt’s novel Bano. Set during the 1947 partition, Khan’s performance, along with the cast, received high praise, earning him the Best Drama Actor award at the Pakistan Media Awards.

In 2011, Khan starred in Haissam Hussain’s comedy Akbari Asghari, playing Asghar, an unambitious villager. He described his character as “completely oaf[ish]” in an interview with The Hindu. His collaboration with Hussain continued in Kuch Pyar Ka Pagalpan, where he played a computer engineer aiming to take over his uncle’s business. Khan then starred with Mahira Khan in Sarmad Khoosat’s drama Humsafar, which became Pakistan’s highest-rated television serial. Khan’s performance and the lead pair’s chemistry were widely praised, earning him the Best Actor award at the 2012 Lux Style Awards.

In 2012, Khan played Rohail in Sarmad Khoosat’s Ashk, and starred in Sultana Siddiqui’s family drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai as a member of an affluent family, opposite Sanam Saeed. The critically acclaimed series received praise in both Pakistan and India, with Dipti Sharma of The Indian Express commending Khan’s portrayal. This role won him several awards, including the Hum Award for Best Actor Popular and the Lux Style Award for Best Actor – Satellite.

Khan’s last TV serial was Ahson Talish’s social drama Numm (2013), where he played a boy who secretly marries in London and is forced to marry another girl upon returning to Pakistan. In Asim Raza’s telefilm Behadd, he played a young divorcee who proposes to a widow with a teenage daughter. The Times of India noted that Khan’s role in Behadd was distinct from his previous work, calling it “another benchmark.” His final telefilm was Anjum Shahzad’s romance Armaan, in which he portrayed a young, flirtatious boy. Khan also co-wrote the telefilm’s screenplay with Vasay Chaudhry.

Work in Bollywood

Fawad Khan was initially expected to debut in India’s Hindi film industry, known as Bollywood, shortly after the release of Khuda Kay Liye. However, the political tensions between India and Pakistan following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks delayed his entry. He eventually made his Bollywood debut in Shashanka Ghosh’s 2014 comedy-drama Khoobsurat, starring alongside Sonam Kapoor. Khan played Vikram Singh Rathore, Kapoor’s love interest and the son of her patient. Ritika Handoo of Zee News praised his “immensely polished acting skills,” noting that he fit his character perfectly. Deepanjana Pal of Firstpost commended the decision to present Khan’s character as a sex symbol, believing it set a precedent for other male actors. Khoobsurat was particularly well-received in the UK, UAE, and Pakistan, where Khan had a strong following due to his television work. His performance earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut.

In January 2016, Khan made a cameo appearance in Asim Raza’s coming-of-age film Ho Mann Jahaan. He then played a significant role in Shakun Batra’s family drama Kapoor & Sons. The film, featuring an ensemble cast including Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra, and Alia Bhatt, was a commercial success. Khan received widespread critical acclaim for his portrayal of Rahul Kapoor, a closeted homosexual writer. Reviewers praised his performance, with Bollywood Hungama noting the emotional connection he created with the audience, and Saibal Chaterjee of NDTV highlighting his self-assured performance. Kapoor & Sons earned Khan the Diversity Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 62nd Filmfare Awards. According to the film’s producer, Karan Johar, Khan was the seventh actor considered for the role, and it was Khan’s wife who ultimately persuaded him to accept it.

Later in 2016, Khan had a minor role in Karan Johar’s romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Although Raja Sen of Rediff.com felt Khan’s role was too small to justify the controversy surrounding his casting, he acknowledged Khan as the perfect choice for the part. Subhash K. Jha of Deccan Chronicle described Khan’s role as “meagre and sketchy.”

Following the 2016 Uri terror attack, relations between India and Pakistan worsened, leading the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) and the Film Producers Guild of India to ban Pakistani artists from working in India until the situation improved.

Music Career

Two rock bands, Ahmed Ali Butt’s Entity and Fawad Khan’s Paradigm, were active in Lahore between 1994 and 2000. These bands collaborated on the title track for the television sitcom Jutt and Bond (featuring Khan and Butt) in the early 2000s, leading to their merger into Entity Paradigm. The newly formed band appeared in the 2002 finale of Pepsi Battle of the Bands, where they finished as runners-up to the band Aaroh. Entity Paradigm’s debut album, Irtiqa, released in October 2003, received broad critical acclaim, especially for the popular romantic track “Rahguzar”. The band initially broke up in 2007 but reunited in 2010 to participate in the third season of Coke Studio, where they covered Sajjad Ali’s “Bolo Bolo”. That year, they released the single “Shor Macha”, which was listed among the year’s most popular Pakistani songs by Dawn in an online poll. Khan featured in its video, directed by Bilal Lashari, and mentioned that he had performed nearly 250 shows as a musician. He left the band in 2012 to focus on his acting career.

In July 2017, Khan appeared as a judge on Pepsi Battle of the Bands alongside Atif Aslam and Meesha Shafi. He sang the show’s introductory song and appeared in its video, released on 23 July, with Aslam and Shafi. Vafa Batool of Pakistan Today noted that Khan “preferred to acknowledge the raw live energy on stage.” Khan and the other members of Entity Paradigm reunited to perform “Hamesha” in the show’s finale.

Media Image

Fawad Khan has been actively involved in various charitable activities. He attended Islamic Relief USA fundraisers in San Jose and Washington, D.C., and raised funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Bahrain. Khan supported SOS Children’s Villages by participating in children’s carnivals in 2014 and 2017. In March 2015, he toured the United States and Canada, raising money for Pakistani charities, and has also raised funds in London for charitable organizations in Pakistan. He and his wife participated in a musical tour of the United States to support various Pakistani charities. In November 2015, they officiated at the launch of a tree-planting event organized by the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Peshawar. Khan also appeared in Ali Zafar’s music video “Urainge,” a tribute to the victims of the 2014 Peshawar school attack.

Khan is the brand ambassador for the Italian brand Giovanni in Pakistan and represents several other brands, including Suzuki Vitara, Pepsi, Oye Hoye, Tapal Tea, Zameen.com, Servis Shoes, Samsung, Telenor, Jazz, Warid, LUX, Tarang, Aquafina, Clear, Olper’s, Lays, Bold, Nestle, QMobile, and TUC biscuits. He has been an ambassador for the Islamabad United cricket team in the Pakistan Super League since January 2016. Khan has also modeled for fashion designers such as Munib Nawaz, Umar Sayeed, and Republic by Omar Farooq.

Recognized as one of the highest-paid actors in the Pakistani film industry, director and producer Abdullah Kadwani described Khan as “the closest actor to Waheed Murad.” After the release of Khoobsurat, Mimansa Shekhar of The Indian Express noted that Khan redefined the Bollywood actor with his charm, moving away from the stereotype of bodybuilders with six-packs. Nirmalya Dutta of Daily News and Analysis praised Khan’s portrayal of a gay male in Kapoor & Sons as a significant step forward for India’s LGBT movement. Ranbir Kapoor also acknowledged that Khan’s role made him more comfortable with the idea of playing a gay character.

Khan is frequently described by South Asian media as one of its most attractive men. He was named the Most Beautiful Man at the 2015 Vogue Beauty Awards and ranked third in the Times of India’s 50 Most Desirable Men poll in 2014 and 2015, and fifth in 2016. Khan received the Fresh Face of the Year Award at the Hello! Hall of Fame Awards in India in November 2014. The British magazine Eastern Eye ranked him seventh in 2014, sixth from 2015 to 2018, and third and sixth in other years. He also received the Crush of the Year Award at the Grazia Young Fashion Awards for his style and fashion sense. TC Candler nominated him as one of the 100 Most Handsome Faces of 2017, and he was nominated for the International Pakistan Prestige Award for Style Icon of the Year in 2017.

The Herald named Khan one of its 10 People of 2016. He was ranked the fifth-most-popular Bollywood actor in November 2014 and was called the most popular Bollywood actor in March 2016 by Times Celebex. MenXP ranked him 37th on its Most Popular Bollywood Celebrities of 2014 list. Khan was the first Pakistani to appear on the cover of Filmfare magazine in September 2014 and graced its cover again in October 2015 and March 2016. He also appeared on the cover of Hi! Blitz magazine in 2016. Khan received the Best Male Debut Award at the IBNlive Movie Awards, garnering 48.54 percent of the vote.

Personal life

Fawad Khan's wife opens up on being a 'star wife'

Fawad Khan married Sadaf Khan in 2005 after a seven-year courtship. The couple has three children. Together, they founded Silk by Fawad Khan, a clothing line, which launched its debut collection in August 2012 in Lahore.

At the age of 17, Khan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes following an accident that damaged his pancreas. The accident occurred near a swimming pool, where he was scratched and then jumped into untreated water. He later realized he had the disease when he lost 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

In 2018, Khan performed Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah, with his family. During this pilgrimage, they were invited to the Annual Hajj Lunch by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

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