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Clans in Indian Cinema: Trendsetting Filmmaker Nasir Hussain and His Superstar Nephew Aamir Khan

Left, in black and white, brothers Nasir and Tahir Hussain. Right, in colour,   Aamir Khan with daughter Ira.

Left, in black and white, brothers Nasir and Tahir Hussain. Right, in colour, Aamir Khan with daughter Ira.

Aamir Khan has been carrying forward uncle Nasir Hussain's legacy of delivering superhit films. Taking a look at the Khan-Hussain family in today's film families article.

Aamir Khan became a superstar from his very first film, and the actor has proved over the years that he has inherited the keen sense of a filmmaker from his father Tahir Hussain and uncle Nasir Hussain. The Khan-Hussain family is another force to reckon with in Hindi cinema. Nasir Hussain has produced several successful films and set trends in Bollywood. Aamir has time and again reinvented himself to sustain his popularity and respect in the industry for over 30 years, breaking box office records with some of his films. His kids Ira and Junaid have already started showing their talents both in theatre and in films.

Here’s a look at the Khan–Hussain family that has been setting benchmarks in Bollywood for about 70 years.

1st generation:
Nasir Hussain:
He is a veteran film writer, producer and director and made his writing debut with the 1953 super hit, Anarkali for Filmistan studios, where he joined as a freelancer. Nasir later went on to start his own production house named Nasir Hussain Films. With a career spanning decades, Hussain has been credited as a major trendsetter in the history of Hindi cinema. For example, he directed Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973), which created the Bollywood masala film genre that defined Hindi cinema in the 1970s and 1980s, and he wrote and produced Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), which set the Bollywood musical romance template that defined Hindi cinema in the 1990s. Nasir launched both Mansoor Khan and Aamir Khan with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which was co-written by the two brothers in their younger days.

Nasir Hussain had two children – an elder son Mansoor Khan, and a younger adopted daughter, Nuzhat Khan. Nuzhat Khan married a convert to Islam, Anil Pal, an engineer, and had one child, Imran Khan.

Tahir Hussain: Nasir Hussain’s younger brother, Tahir Hussain, is also a filmmaker and has been a producer for a number of films including Caravan (1971), Anamika (1973) and Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993).Tahir and his wife Zeenat Hussain have four children – Farhat Khan, Aamir Khan, Faisal Khan, and Nikhat Khan.

2nd generation:
Aamir Khan:
One the three Khans that have been a major force in Bollywood for 30 years now, Aamir’s success journey began with his very first film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. He had appeared as a child artist in his uncle’s films before that. He established himself as a leading actor in Hindi cinema in the 1990s by appearing in a number of commercially successful films, including Dil, Raja Hindustani, and Sarfarosh. In 1999 he founded Aamir Khan Productions, whose first film, Lagaan (2001), got an Oscar nomination. He made his directorial debut with Taare Zameen Par (2007). Aamir’s greatest global success came with Ghajini, 3 Idiots, Dhoom 3, PK, and Dangal, each having held the record for being the highest-grossing Indian film.

Aamir married Reena Dutta in 1986. They have two children: a son named Junaid and a daughter, Ira. They divorced in 2002, and Aamir married Kiran Rao in 2005. Their son, Azad Rao Khan, was born in 2011.
Outside the movie industry, he is also related to Abul Kalam Azad through his grandmother. Khan is also the second cousin of six-time MLA, former BJP vice president and current Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla, who is the grand-niece of Abul Kalam Azad.

Kiran Rao: The producer, screenwriter and director has films like Dhobi Ghat and Delhi Belly to her credit. Actress Aditi Rao Hydari is Kiran’s first cousin. Kiran ‘s paternal and Hydari’s maternal grandfather, J. Rameshwar Rao, was the Raja of Wanaparthy, a large estate under the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Faisal Khan: Aamir’s brother appeared in Pyar Ka Mausam playing Shashi Kapoor’s role as a child. He played a minor role as a villain in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Faisal got his first leading role in the 1994 film Madhosh, directed by Vikram Bhatt. After a five-year hiatus, he made his comeback alongside his brother in Mela (2000).

Nikhat Khan: Aamir’s sister has produced some films and played minor roles in films. Nikhat is married to Santosh Hegde. They have two children -Seher and Shravan.

Mansoor Khan: The producer, director and screenwriter is Nasir Hussain’s son and cousin to Aamir Khan. He made his directorial debut with the super-hit Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. He followed this success four years later with Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992). Mansoor’s other films Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) and Josh (2000) were moderately successful. In 2008 he co-produced the movie Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na along with Aamir Khan, which marked the debut of his nephew Imran Khan. He is settled in Coonoor with his wife Tina, where he indulges in farming. Their children are daughter Zayn and son Pablo.

Tariq Khan: He was born to Azhar Ali Khan, who married the sister of Nasir Hussain. He is the cousin of actors Aamir Khan and Faisal Khan. He appeared in 16 films, including Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Zakhmee (1975), and Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977).

Raj Zutshi: The actor was formerly married to Nuzhat Hussain, daughter of filmmaker Nasir Hussain. He was her second husband and the step-father of actor Imran Khan, who was Nuzhat’s son by her first husband, Anil Pal. Raj Zutshi began his career as a theatre artist and has appeared in several films, including Lagaan, Murder and Love Aaj Kal.

3rd generation:
Imran Khan:
Mansoor Khan and Aamir Khan later launched their nephew, Imran Khan, with Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na in 2008. The film was made under the Aamir Khan Productions banner and was a huge hit. He then starred in a number of films like I Hate Luv Storys (2010), Delhi Belly (2011), Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011) and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012). Imran has been missing in action for several years now, during which rumours about trouble in his marriage with Avantika Malik also surfaced. The couple has a daughter, Imara.

Junaid Khan: Aamir’s older son is reportedly set to make his Bollywood debut with Siddharth P Malhotra’s Maharaja. He has been assisting on films so far.

Ira Khan: She made her debut as a theatre director with the adaptation of Euripides’ Medea. She has said in the past that she prefers staying behind the camera. In February 2021, Ira confirmed she was dating fitness trainer Nupur Shikhare.

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