Mahira Khan is a famous Pakistani actress who has starred in several television dramas as well as films. She started her career in 2006 as a VJ and after five years of trying to make her mark, Mahira starred in the super-hit Pakistani romantic film, Bol (2011). She also made her television debut in the same year with the show Neeyat. Mahira is already a sterling actress of Pakistani film industry and was made known to the Indian audience after her role in Shahrukh Khan starrer, Raees (2017). Raees was her first Bollywood debut film which earned her widespread acclamation and opened her gates to Bollywood. Ever since then, the actress has become an epitome of talent and beauty and has earned many accolades to her name. Let’s have a closer look at the starlet’s life.
Mahira was born on 21 December 1984 in Karachi, Sindh in Pakistan. As of today, Mahira is 34 years old.
Mahira has a tall stature of 5’7″ and weighs around 55 Kg. Her eye color is brown and her hair color is black. She has a beautiful curvaceous figure measuring 34-26-34.
Mahira was born in a middle class Urdu speaking family of Pathans. Her father, Hafeez Khan was born in Delhi, British Raj before partition and migrated to Pakistan after partition. Mahira describes her parents as liberals, although her mother has a more conservative mindset. While she lived with her parents, she often invited her girl friend over to her house for sleepovers. She grew up in a joint family with her dado (grandmother) and dada (grandfather) with her phupho’s (uncle) family residing nextdoor. Mahira has a younger brother, Hissaan Khan who is a journalist and the brother-sister due shares a very close bond.
In 2007, she married her long time lover Ali Askari in Los Angeles and soon afterwards gave birth to their son, Azlan.
Mahira grew up in Karachi where she attended the Foundation Public School and did her O-levels at the age of 16. She then moved to California, Unites States to pursue higher studies. She studied at the Santa Monica College in Los Angeles and then did her Bachelor’s degree from University of Southern California. Throughout high school, Mahira worked worked odd jobs and her first stint was as a cashier at Rite Aid. “I had to do everything there; mopping floors, cleaning toilets, running the till and shutting the store at night,” remembered Mahira in an interview. Mahira’s tuition fees was paid by her father while she was busy making money these odd jobs.
Mahira started her career back in 2006 as a VJ, when she hosted the show Most Wanted on MTV Pakistan. Her modest outlook and the girl-next-door approach towards her fans and callers on live shows, really made her one of the most sought after presenter back in those days. In 2008, she went on to host the reality show Weekends with Mahira on Aag TV where she would play music videos, spoke to celebrity guests and took phone calls from viewers. Mahira really carved out a niche for herself in the Pakistani film industry through these two TV shows.
— Saad Azhar (@azher2k) April 3, 2016
Her first film debut came in the year 2011 with Shoaib Mansoor’s directed Bol. She starred in a supporting role in the film alongside singer-actor Atif Aslam. She played the role of Ayesha, a girl from conservative middle-class Lahore based family, who shared a mutual passion for music with Mustafa (Atif Aslam). Mahira’s characterisation received positive feedback from critics and audience and the film became one of the highest grossing Pakistani films of all time. In the same year, Mahira made her first TV debut with the show Neeyat. The show was based in New York where Mahira played the role of Alia.
In 2011, she starred in Sarmad Khoosat’s romantic drama Humsafar opposite Fawad Khan. Mahira may have made her mark before this show but in reality, it was Humsafar that made her reach out to the hearts of Pakistanis. The show became commercially and critically acclaimed and till date is considered as ne of the best Pakistanis shows. It is about ‘love after arranged marriage’ between the couple Khirad (Mahira Khan) and Ashar (Fawad Khan), their trails and tribulations as a married couple and how they overcome it with their endearing love. The show established Mahira as a leading actress of Pakistan and she even won a Lux Style Award for Satellite Best TV Actress.
In 2012, Mahira starred in Sarmad Khoosat directed romantic drama Shehr-e-Zaat. Mahira played the lead role of Falak, a beautiful day dreamer who is a talented sculptor. She sculpts a sculpture of a man and falls deeply in love with it only to find out later its manifestations in Salman (Mikaal Zulfiqar). The drama increased Mahira’s fan base and even earned her a Pakistan Media Award and a Hum Award for Best Actress.
In 2013, Mahira tried her skills again with a reality TV talk show TUC The Lighter Side of Life. Mahira persistently invited several famous actors and singers and talked about their lives on the show.
In 2014, Mahira starred in the biographical drama serial Sadqay Tumhare, based on the life of series own writer Khalil-Ur-Rehman Qamar. The show featured a unique love story of two young lovers set in the 70s. Sadqay Tumhare was Mahira’s first drama and she even revealed that she was quite nervous about it. The show earned her a Lux Style Award and two Hum Awards for Best TV Actress.
In 2015, Mahira played the lead role of Saba Shafiq in romantic drama film Bin Roye. The movie revolved around Saba’d one-sided love for Irtaza (Humayun Saeed) who eventually marries Saba’s elder sister, Saman Shafiq (Armeena Khan). The film garnered Mahira with several prestigious awards including a Lux Style Award, Hum Award and a Masala! Award for Best Actress. The film was adapted into a TV serial in 2016 with the same name which was a super hit. Mahira won a Hum Award for Best Actress for her performance in the show. In the same year, Mahira starred in Sarmad Khoosat’s directed film Manto as a supporting actress.
In 2016, Mahira starred in the lead role in the coming-of-age drama film Ho Mann Jahaan. Mahira played the role of Manizeh, who along with her friends shares a mutual love for music and desire for fame, wants to break from the shackles of the society but at the same time, want conformity from their parents. The film was a huge hit and even earned Mahira with a Lux Style Award for Best Actress. In the same year, Mahira made a guest appearance in the Pakistani socio-comedy film Actor in Law.
In 2017 came Mahira’s biggest breakthrough of her career with Bollywood action crime film Raees. This was Mahira’s first debut in Bollywood opposite actor Shahrukh Khan where she played his love interest. The film was supposedly based on the life of criminal Abdul Latif and was a commercial and a critical hit worldwide. The film came under a lot of criticism for casting Mahira as the lead after the 2016 Uri terror attack, so much so that there were talks of Mahira being replaced with another actress. Mahira even received death threats from Indian far-right political party Shiv Sena. Amidst all tribulations, the film related in January 2017 and became an instant hit with grossing ₹3.0 billion worldwide.
Mahira’s next appearance was in Shoaib Mansoor’s social drama film Verna (2017). Mahira played a rape victim in the film and the film highlights the important social issue of status of women in Pakistan. Mahira’s performance was thoroughly praised and she even won a Lux Style award for Best Actress.
In the following year, Mahira was seen in the romantic comedy 7 Din Mohabbat In where she played the lead role of Nilofer. In 2019, she will be seen in three films: The Legend of Maula Jatt, Paray hut Love and Superstar.
Apart from television serials and films, Mahira has done photoshoots for various fashion magazines, hosted award functions like 10th Lux Style Awards in 2010, 1st Hum awards in 2013 and 14th Lux Style Awards in 2015. She is even a brand ambassador of many national and international brands like Lux, Q Mobile, L’Oreal, Huawei, Sunsilk and Veet. She also attended the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 as the L’Oreal brand ambassador.
2013– Mahira won the Lux Style Award in the category Satellite Best TV Actress for the show Humsafar. She won the Hum Award for the same show in the category Best Onscreen Couple. She won a Hum Award for Best Actress for her role in Shehr-e-Zaat.
2014– Mahira won a Pakistan Media Award for Best Actress for Shehr-e-Zaat.
2015– She won the Hum Award in the categories of Best Onscreen Couple and Best Actress Popular for Sadqay Tumhare.
2016– She won the Lux Style Award for Best Actress for Bin Roye and Best TV Actress for Sadqay Tumhare. For Bin Roye, she also won the Hum Award in the category Recognition Award – Films.
2017– Mahira won the Lux Style Award, a Nigar Award and an International Pakistan Prestige Award for Ho Mann Jahaan in the category Best Actress. She also won a Hum Award for Bin Roye for Best Actress Popular (Drama).
2018– Mahira won the Lux Style Award for Best Actress for Verna and a Hum Award for the same film in the category Recognition Award – Films.
She has also been honoured with several international awards like : 1st Femina Middle East Women Awards (Unstoppable Emerging Talent from Pakistan) in 2016, Special award for International Recognition and also Best Dress at the 8th Beirut International Awards Festival (2017) and Contribution to Film and Activism Award (UK Asian Film Festival) in 2018.
Mahira met her ex-husband Ali Askari, a creative director by profession, back in the year 2006 in Los Angeles. They got married in 2007 in a traditional Islamic wedding ceremony even though Khan’s father was against their wedding. “My father was definitely against this decision of mine and thought I was throwing my life away but it felt right to me and so I did it,” she said in an interview. Soon after the marriage, Mahira gave birth to their son Azlan. The couple divorced eight years later in 2015 and since then maintain cordial relations for their son Azlan.
Mahira was also linked on and off with her Humsafar co-star, Fawad Khan due to their stunning on-screen chemistry, but the duo has repeatedly denied such rumours. As for Fawad, he is happily married with two children.
In late 2017 and early 2018, Mahira was constantly linked to Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor. The duo made public appearances together and were seen hanging out at a couple of occasions. However, their romance was short lived and Kapoor is now dating actress Alia Bhatt while Mahira is single.
Mahira is very active on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. She has 3.9 million followers on Instagram and 1.68 million followers on Twitter. She is regularly seen sharing posts of her personal and professional life on her social media handles. Apart from this, her social media contains a lot of pictures of her family, friends, vacations and movie promotional posters.
My heart is in my mind. I think this is why I am an artist. – Nayyirah Waheed pic.twitter.com/9TsYaIGwH0
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) December 6, 2015
- Mahira is a big Bollywood fan and grew up watchingBollywood films. Her favourite Bollywood actresses are Madhuri Dixit, Madhubala and Alia Bhatt. She once told her mother that she wanted to be like Madhuri Dixit and dreamt of being an actress after watching Madhuri’s Ram Lakhan. She even tried imitating Madhuri in her show Humsafar.
- Her favourite actors are Hritik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan, Johnny Depp and Daniel Day Lewis.
- Her favourite destination are Netherlands and the United States.
- Her favourite subject in school was Chemistry.
- She has never been to the gym and loves eating junk food. Her favourite junk foods are French fries and soda.
- Mahira’s favourite Shahrukhan Movies are : Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Chak De! India.
Facts about Mahira
- Mahira is very close to her family. She is extremely fond of her brother Hissaan, who is also the godfather of her son, Azlan. Mahira’s and Hissaan’s favourite thing to play as kids was Hide and Seek with their mother. They were college roommates as well. Mahira even stated in an interview that her brother is like her baby, her greatest strength and her weakness.
- While shooting for her first film Bol, Mahira had just become a new mother. She would always be running back and forth to take care of her son and shoot for the movie at the same time.
- She loves interacting with people which is why she became a VJ in the first place.
- She considers Ghazanfar Ali as her mentor who made her what she is today.
- Mahira is very close to her son, Azlan and maintains a journal regularly to chronicle the happenings in the lives of herself and her son.
- She is one of the highest paid actresses in Pakistan. In 2015, Mahira was termed Pakistan’s Sexiest Woman and also ranked 10th in ‘Sexiest Asian Women’ poll by Eastern Eye. In 2012, she was recognised as the Most Beautiful Woman in Pakistan.
- Her first visit to India was during the launch of her show Humsafar. Mahira regards India and Pakistan to be similar in many ways.
- She has many aspirations in life but the biggest one is to be a good mother first.
- Mahira is an avid animal lover and supports animal rights profusely.
Already a well established actress of Pakistani film industry, Mahira is still a novice in B-town. Having a trail of super hit serials and films to her name, Mahira has successfully carved out a niche for herself. Not just that, the actress has extensively promoted Pakistani film industry across borders and has managed to capture hearts and minds of people abroad. We are still awaiting Mahira’s next appearance in Bollywood. Kudos to the actress!