Born as Vishal Veeru Devgan, Ajay Devgn is an Indian actor, director, producer who mainly works in Bollywood films. He is one of the most popular actors of India and has delivered several super hit films, after making a promising debut with the movie Phool Aur Kaante
in 1991. Ajay was honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 2016.Early Life
Ajay Devgn was born in a Punjabi family in Delhi. The family was originally based in Amritsar and after moving to Mumbai, they developed ties with Bollywood. Devgn`s father, Veeru worked as a stunt choreographer in the Hindi film fraternity, while his mother, Veena, is a producer. The actor has two sisters named Neelam and Kavita, and his cousin, Anil Devgan, is a Hindi film director. Ajay completed his schooling from the Silver Beach High School, and graduated from Mithibai College in Mumbai.Personal Life
Devgn started dating his co-star, Kajol,
daughter of the yesteryear popular actress Tanuja, while they both were shooting for the movie Gundaraj in 1995. Their relationship soon drew attention of the media and the couple was cited to be `an unlikely pair` owing to their contrasting personalities. However, the couple got married on February 24, 1999 in a traditional Maharashtrian ceremony at the Devgan home. Kajol gave birth to their first child, a daughter, in 2003, while their second child, a son, was born in 2010.Movie Career
As an Actor
Ajay Devgn made his mark in Bollywood in the year 1991 with the movie Phool Aur Kaante
. In his opening scene, he performed a split while balancing between two motorcycles - the scene remains to be one of most iconic scenes of Bollywood. The actor won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for his first movie and in the following year he appeared in the movie Jigar (1992).
He then starred in nine films in 1993 - Dil Hai Betaab, Divya Shakti, Sangram, Ek Hi Raasta, Platform, Shaktiman, Dhanwan, and Bedardi. While all these movies were average hits at the box office, it was only the 1994 movie Dilwale that gained him critical and commercial acclaim. Portraying the role of a man with intellectual impairment, Ajay was applauded for his performance. Later, the actor reached a career high in 1994 after his movie Vijaypath was released; actress Tabu
marked her debut in Bollywood with movie.
By 1995 Ajay delivered several hit movies, but the actor never got nominated for a Filmfare barring the best Debut Award that he won in 1991. However, the jinx was broken when he got nominated for his first Best Actor Filmfare Award for his performance in the movie Naajayaz, which received average reviews at the box office. While he essayed action-roles with ease, Ajay Devgn also took up a negative role in Harry Baweja`s movie Diljale
where he portrayed the role of a terrorist.
In 1997, after appearing in the movie Itihaas, which bombed at the box office, he starred in Indra Kumar`s super hit movie, Ishq, which also featured Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Kajol. He followed this with one of the best performances in his career in the movie Zakhm (1998) directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Ajay received his first National Award for the movie. In the same year, he also starred in another hit movie, Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha, a remake of the Hollywood movie French Kiss (1995). He followed this up with a subtle performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali`s romantic drama, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), which also starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
and Salman Khan
. Ajay Devgn portrayed the role of an understanding husband who tries to help his wife to reunite with her lover. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was a significant point in Ajay`s career as he was recognized for his ability to excel in intense scenes. His other releases of 1999 include Hindustan Ki Kasam, Kacche Dhaage, Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet, Dil Kya Kare, Gair, and Thakshak.
In the year 2002, Ajay portrayed the role of a gangster in Ram Gopal Varma`s
critically acclaimed blockbuster Company, which also co-starred Mohanlal
, Vivek Oberoi
and Manisha Koirala
. The actor then essayed the role of the revolutionary martyr Bhagat Singh in the movie The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. His performance in the film earned Ajay his second National Film Award.
The actor then gave another riveting performance in negative role in the movie Deewangee directed by Anees Bazmee. His performance earned him several awards, including Filmfare Best Villain Award. He followed this up with another incredible act in Prakash Jha`s
Gangaajal. Giving a commanding performance as an honest cop battling against corruption, Ajay was once again nominated for a Filmfare Award. He finished the decade with highly successful movies such as Raincoat (2004), for which he won his second National Award, Yuva (2004), Apaharan (2005) - nominated for a national award - Omkara (2006) and Raajneeti (2010)
In 2010, Ajay once again portrayed the character of a gangster in Milan Luthria`s Once Upon a Time in Mumbai
, which was amongst the top-grossers of the year. The next three years saw him appear in hit movies in various genres such as Singham (2011), Son of Sardar (2012), Singham Returns (2014), and Drishyam (2015). In 2016, the actor directed the action thriller Shivaay, which did well at the box office despite the mixed reviews. The Baadshaho (2017), the blockbuster supernatural comedy Golmaal Again (2017) and the action crime movie Raid (2018)
are some of Ajay`s other significant acting credits in recent times.
His other notable projects in 2019 include the adventure comedy Total Dhamaal and the romantic comedy De De Pyaar De. His 2021 releases include Sooryavanshi
, Gangubai Kathiawadi
and Bhuj: The Pride of India
As a Producer
In 2000, Ajay established Ajay Devgn Films, which first produced the movie Raju Chacha (2000). The production house has since then produced movies such as U Me Aur Hum (2008), which also marked his directorial debut, All the Best: Fun Begins (2009), Bol Bachchan
(2012), Son of Sardar
(2016), Aapla Manus
(2018) and Total Dhamaal
(2019). In 2020, he had Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior
and co-produced Chhalaang
starring Rajkumar Rao
and Nushrat Bharucha
. He also produced Abhishek Bachchaan starrer The Big Bull