Naseeruddin Shah (born 20 July 1950) is an Indian/Bollywood film actor and director. He is widely considered to be one of the finest Indian stage and film actors. He is an influential actor of the Indian Parallel (New Wave) Cinema. Shah has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards for Best Actor, and a Best Actor Award (The Volpi Cup) at the Venice Film Festival. The Government of India has honored him with both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards for his contributions to Indian cinema. He first got married to Manara Sikri, Surekha Sikri’s step-sister. He has a daughter named Heeba Shah from his first marriage. He married Bollywood actress Ratna Pathak Shah in 1982 after the death of his first wife. He has two sons from his second marriage Imaad and Vivaan. He co-starred with Ratna in films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Mirch Masala and The Perfect Murder.
Shah was born on 20 July 1950 in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India where his father was a Navy officer. Shah's family hails from Sardhana in District Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). He is a descendant of the 19th-century Afghan warlord Jan Fishan Khan. Naseeruddin Shah did his schooling at St. Anselm's Ajmer and St Joseph's College, Nainital. He graduated in arts from Aligarh Muslim University in 1971 and attended National School of Drama in Delhi. He has been successful in mainstream Bollywood cinema as well as in Parallel Cinema. He has appeared in international films, notably playing Captain Nemo in the Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.His elder brother is Lt. General Zameerud-din Shah PVSM, SM, VSM, recently appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.His nephew(cousin's son) Salim Shah also TV & film actor.
Shah has acted in movies such as Nishant, Aakrosh, Sparsh, Mirch Masala, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Trikal, Bhavni Bhavai, Junoon, Mandi, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Ardh Satya, Katha, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, etc. In the very early stages of his career he acted in a film Dil Aakhir Dil Hai directed by noted director Ismail Shroff, with Rakhi where she played the character of Naseer's elder girlfriend Kusumji whom he was forced to marry unwillingly because he is quite younger than her (in the film). One of his most important films Masoom (1983) was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital.
He became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch. His next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-starrer film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as, Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1988) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant-Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder.