Saif Ali Khan born Sajid Ali Khan on 16 August 1970) is an Indian film actor and producer. The son of actress Sharmila Tagore and the late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Khan made his acting debut in Yash Chopra's unsuccessful drama Parampara (1993), but achieved success with his roles in the romantic drama Yeh Dillagi and the action film Main Khiladi Tu Anari (both 1994). Khan's career prospect declined through much of the 1990s, and his biggest commercial success of the decade came with the ensemble drama Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999). He rose to prominence with roles in two ensemble comedy-dramas—Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).
In 1991, Khan was cast as the male lead in Rahul Rawail's romantic drama Bekhudi (1992) alongside debutante Kajol, but after completing the first shooting schedule of the film, he was considered to be unprofessional by Rawail and was replaced by Kamal Sadanah. While filming Bekhudi, Khan met actress Amrita Singh whom he married in October 1991. Singh gave birth to their daughter (Sara) and son (Ibrahim) in 1993 and 2001 respectively, and the couple later separated in 2004. In 1993, Khan made his acting debut with Parampara, a drama directed by Yash Chopra. The film, which tells the story of two estranged brothers (played by Aamir Khan and Khan), failed to find a wide audience. He next appeared opposite Mamta Kulkarni and Shilpa Shirodkar in the box office flops Aashiq Awara and Pehchaan (both 1993) respectively, but Khan earned the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for his performance in Aashiq Awara at the 39th Filmfare Awards.
Following an appearance in the moderately successful drama Imtihaan (1994), Khan starred in and earned public recognition with his next two releases opposite Akshay Kumar: Yash Raj Films' hit romantic drama Yeh Dillagi and the action film Main Khiladi Tu Anari. Yeh Dillagi was an unofficial remake of the 1954 Hollywood film Sabrina, and narrated the story of a chauffeur's daughter (played by Kajol) who becomes a model and engages in a love triangle between two brothers (played by Kumar and Khan). Main Khiladi Tu Anari(the second film in the Khiladi series) featured Khan as an aspiring actor and emerged as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Bollywood Hungama reported that the success of both films proved a breakthrough for Khan, and his performance in Main Khiladi Tu Anari fetched him his first Best Supporting Actor nomination at the annual Filmfare Awards. Khan found no success in his next two releases of the year: the dramas Yaar Gaddar and Aao Pyaar Karen, and his career prospect declined through much of the 1990s. All nine films in which he starred—Surakshaa (1995), Ek Tha Raja (1996), Bambai Ka Babu (1996), Tu Chor Main Sipahi (1996), Dil Tera Diwana (1996), Hamesha (1997), Udaan (1997), Keemat: They Are Back (1998) and Humse Badhkar Kaun (1998)—were critically and commercially unsuccessful. Critics generally perceived at this time that his career was over.