Popularly known as KJO, Karan Johar is a true chip off the old block. The renowned Indian actor is the son of Yash Johar, a widely known Indian producer and founder of Dharma Productions. The older Johar must be proud of the star his son has become. Karan can strongly stand among the leading producers and directors of Hindi films with the level of success he has attained in the industry. His debut project as a director – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, earned him prestigious awards and a name to reckon with. He is also a talented screenwriter, costume designer, and TV personality.
Asides from being the son of acclaimed Bollywood movie producer Yash Johar, Karan has also carved out a niche for himself in the industry and has recorded his own successes, it wouldn’t be wrong and out of place to say that he is one of the greatest things that has happened to the Indian movie industry.
Exploring The Phenom That Is Karan Johar
Film producer Yash Johar and his wife Hiroo Johar raised Karan in Mumbai as their only offspring. He was born in the same city on 25th May in 1972.
He’s an alum of Greenlawns High School, Mumbai and the H.R College of Commerce and Economics in the same city. Though not disclosed, he probably got his Masters degree in French from the university.
Karan Johar knew he wanted a career in the movie industry right from his childhood days. Growing up, he would look up to established stars like Sooraj R. Barjatya, Raj Kapoor, and Yash Chopra who greatly influenced his career choice, regardless of the fact that his father already set him on the right path. He began his career first as an actor before going into directing, production and all other aspects of filmmaking he is now popularly known for.
His first credited role came when he was seventeen, he appeared as ‘Shrikant’ in 1989 Doordarshan Serial Indradhanush. In 1995, he played the role of Shah Rukh Khan’s friend in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (a movie he was an assistant director in). Since then, Karan Johar has made cameo appearances in films like Om Shanti Om (he played himself), Luck by Chance, and Fashion.
He began his journey as a director in 1995 but at the time, he started as an assistant director in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, with Aditya Chopra standing as the main director. He made his first directorial debut on the set of the acclaimed 1998 blockbuster romance film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The film became a major box office hit, received positive reviews from critics, and won National Film Award for the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. It also won the major awards at the 44th Filmfare Awards, including four acting awards, Best Film, as well as Best Director awards.
After Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, his next directorial venture was Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, a family drama which starred Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, and Shah Rukh Khan.
He also directed 2006 romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, 2010 counter-terrorism drama My Name Is Khan, (which earned him his second Filmfare Award for Best Director), 2012 Student of the Year. In 2013, he teamed up with directors like Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, and Zoya Akhtar to direct an anthology film Bombay Talkies – a collection of four short films produced to celebrate the centenary year of Hindi cinema.
In 2016, he directed Romantic drama Dil Hai Mushkil, which he also wrote. The film which received positive reviews from critics is graced with the likes of Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as well as Ranbir Kapoor.
After the death of his father, Karan Johar took over Dharma Productions and has produced several films by other directors under the Dharma banner and many of the films have recorded huge successes. Some of these movies include I Hate Luv Storys, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Agneepath, Kapoor & Sons, 2 States, and Dostana.
Other Career Endeavours
His talent is not just limited to filmmaking, he is also a costume designer. In that capacity, he has worked on the movie set of successful projects like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Main Hoon Na, Mohabbatein, Dil To Pagal Hai, Duplicate, Om Shanti Om, and Veer-Zaara.
Karan Johar has been hosting a celebrity-based talk show – Koffee with Karan since 2004. On the show, he interviews prominent stars of the Hindi film industry, directors, producers, and others. He has also served as a judge on reality shows like India’s Got Talent, India’s Next Superstars, and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.
His Father and Other Family Members
Born on September 6th 1929, in Amritsar, Punjab, British India, Karan’s father Yash Johar is a renowned Indian movie producer who was known for sustaining Indian traditions and family values in his movies. He founded Dharma Productions (a Hindi film production and distribution company) in 1976 but before then, his career took off in 1952.
Dharma Productions is responsible for the production of many successful projects, including Dostana, its debut which took the box office by storm. The company produced other blockbusters like Agneepath, Gumrah, Duplicate and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Yash Johar died on 26th June 2004 in Mumbai after battling with a chest infection, before then, he was also fighting cancer. He passed on at the age of 74.
Karan’s mother Hiroo is also a film producer in her own right and through her, he has renowned film directors Yash Chopra and Baldev Raj Chopra as uncles. As aforementioned, Karan Johar was raised as an only child.
The Truth About His Twins
Although the multi-talented actor/director, isn’t married and wouldn’t reveal much about his personal life, he is a proud father of two adorable children (twins). He had the twins – a boy and a girl, through surrogacy in 2017. The boy’s name is Yash, named after his late grandfather and his daughter’s name Roohi was coined from her grandmother’s name Hiroo.
Is Karan Johar Gay?
There has been so much buzz and speculation about Karan Johar’s sexual orientation. In 2017, the filmmaker addressed the issue in his biography, An Unsuitable Boy. In the book, Johar stated that he didn’t need to spell out his sexual orientation which everyone already knew because he lives in a country that has not yet accepted his kind and that he could be arrested and jailed.
According to him, he has a job, commitment to his company, to the people who work for him and over a hundred others that he is answerable to, thus, he needs not to go to the courts because of ridiculous, completely bigoted individuals who have no education, and no intelligence.
In the book, he also straightens out his relationship with Shah Rukh Khan, whom many have rumoured is in a romantic relationship with him. He stated that Khan is a father figure and an older brother to him and for their relationship to be looked at that way and be subjected to such rumours was just ridiculous. For what it’s worth, Karan Johar feels unsafe to flaunt his sexuality in a country that doesn’t accept gay people.
Who Is Karan Johar’s Partner?
Model-turned-designer Manish Malhotra has always been at the forefront of the men suspected to be dating Karan Johar. The two have known each other for decades but never confirmed anything. However, Manish has dropped a few hints that suggest they may be more than friends. His birthday message to Karan in 2018 set tongues wagging about a possible romance and again, the two are often seen together.
Regardless of what their relationship is, Karan Johar apparently wants his private life tucked away from media scrutiny.