Salman Khan made his acting debut with a supporting role in the 1988 film Biwi Ho To Aisi. His first leading role in a Bollywood movie was in Sooraj R. Barjatya’s romantic family drama Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), one of India’s highest grossing films. It also won him a Filmfare Best Male Debut Award, and a nomination for Filmfare Best Actor Award.
1990 saw one film release starring Khan, Baaghi: A Rebel for Love, alongside southern actress Nagma. The film was a box office success, followed by three hit films in 1991, Patthar Ke Phool, Sanam Bewafa and Saajan. Despite these early successes, nearly all of his 1992-1993 releases resulted in box office failures.
Khan returned to success in 1994 with his second collaboration with director Sooraj Barjatya in the romance Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, co-starring Madhuri Dixit. This film was the biggest hit of that year, and turned out to be one of Bollywood’s highest grossing films ever, becoming the fourth-highest earner of all time.Three more films released that year featuring Khan, none of which making a significant impact on the box-office as was the case with the previously mentioned title. He did however win praise for his performance in Andaz Apna Apna, alongside co-star Aamir Khan, which has gained a cult status since its release. In 1995 he cemented his success with Rakesh Roshan’s blockbuster Karan Arjun, co-starring alongside Shahrukh Khan.The film was the second biggest hit of the year, and his role of Karan once again put his name among the nominees for the Best Actor award at the Filmfare, which was eventually won by his Karan Arjun co-star Shahrukh Khan.
In 1996, Khan performed in two movies, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directional debut Khamoshi: The Musical, a box office failure, but critically acclaimed; and Raj Kanwar’s action hit Jeet.
He had two releases in 1997: Judwaa and Auzaar. The former was a comedy directed by David Dhawan co-starring Karisma Kapoor and Rambha, where he played a dual role of twins separated at birth. The film was a box office hit. The latter, co-starring Sanjay Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty failed to do well.
Khan worked in five different films in 1998, his first release being the comedy Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya opposite Kajol, one of the biggest commercial successes of that year. This was followed by the moderately successful drama Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai. Khan played a young man who has to take a child who claims to be his son, under his custody. Khan’s performance in the film earned him several positive notices and favourable reviews from critics. He rounded of the year with an extended cameo in Karan Johar’s directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai for which he earned a second Filmfare Award under the Best Supporting Actor category.
In 1999, Khan starred in three films: Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United, Biwi No.1, which became the top grossing film that year; and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, which earned another Best Actor nomination at the Filmfare.
In 2000, Khan acted in films including Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. Chori Chori Chupke Chupke addressed the issue of surrogate childbirth; Khan played the role of a rich industrialist, who hires a surrogate mother after his wife becomes infertile. Critics noted his turn towards a more serious role, which reportedly had more substance in comparison to his previous roles. In 2002 he starred in the delayed release Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam which was semi-hit at the box office.
Khan’s following releases failed at the box office until he made a comeback in 2003 with Tere Naam. The film was a major earner and his performance was praised by critics, with film critic Taran Adarsh noting, “Salman Khan is exceptional in a role that fits him to the T. He breathes fire in sequences that demand uneasiness. But beneath the tough exterior lies a vulnerable person and this facet in particular comes to the fore in the latter reels. His emotional outbursts are splendid. He subsequently continued his success at the box office, with comedies like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004) and No Entry (2005). 2006 was an unsuccessful year for him when Jaan-E-Mann and Baabul both failed to do well at the box office.
Khan started 2007 with the ensemble film Salaam E Ishq which failed to do well at the box office. His next release Partner did very well at the box office, receiving a blockbuster verdict. He next appeared in his first Hollywood movie, Marigold: An Adventure in India opposite American actress Ali Larter. Telling the love story of an Indian man and an American woman, the film was a major failure, both commercially and critically.
Khan starred in three films throughout 2008, all of which underperformed,though his second film of the year, Heroes, met with praise from critics.
Khan hosted the second season of 10 Ka Dum in year 2009 which turned out to be even more successful than his first season as host of the game show in year 2008. The show got very high TRPs for Sony Entertainment Television and according to reports, the show helped Sony TV regain its third position in the Indian television ratings.
Khan’s first film of 2009, Wanted directed by choreographer turned director Prabhu Deva was declared a smash hit in its first weekend of release itself. The action film turned out to be a huge success. The movie got more recognition for its slick action sequences performed by the actor himself. In the same year, he appeared in two other films, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and London Dreams, both of which were failures at the box office.
Khan’s first release of 2010, Anil Sharma’s Veer underperformed at the box office. Khan’s recent film, Dabangg produced by his brother Arbaaz Khan, was released on September 10, 2010. It made a record opening at the box office and was declared an all time blockbuster and the second-highest grossing Indian movie of all-time. For his performance in Dabangg, Khan received his first Star Screen Award for Best Actor and first Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Male and was nominated for his sixth Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Anupama Chopra from NDTV wrote about his performance, “It’s the role of a lifetime and Salman Khan bites into it like a starving man devours a feast. He inhabits it fully, strutting and swaggering and even, spoofing himself.