Actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, Rakesh Roshan is known for successful films such Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), and Krrish (2006). As an actor, he featured in lead and supporting roles in more than 80 films, especially active through the 1970s and 1980s. These include Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1970), Aankh Micholi (1972), Goonj (1974), Khel Khel Mein (1975), Hatyara (1977), Khubsoorat (1980), Shriman Shrimati (1982), Bhagwaan Dada (1986), and Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995). On realising that the kinds of roles he desired weren’t coming his way, he gradually turned to producing films, and also turned director, as in his own words, “the director holds the key to the film”. His filmography as a filmmaker includes several hits such as Khudgarz (1987), the revenge drama Khoon Bhari Maang (1988), Kishen Kanhaiya (1990), the crime thriller Karan Arjun (1995), Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai which launched his son Hrithik Roshan as an actor (2000), the science fiction Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), and the superhero Krrish film series (2006—2013). He has directed 12 films and produced 15 films in a career spanning 40 years. He is known to direct films with titles beginning with the letter ‘K’. Honoured at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2006 in Panaji, Goa, for his contribution to mainstream cinema, the same year he was also honoured by the Global Indian Film Awards (GIFA) for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema over the past 35 years. In 2010, IFFA, honoured him by bestowing the Best Director of the Decade Award.
Born Rakesh Roshan Lal Nagrath on 6 September, 1949, he is the son of Hindi film music director Roshanlal Nagrath. He started his career in films in 1968, as an assistant director to veteran filmmakers like H S Rawail and Mohan Kumar. Keen to pursue direction, his good looks saw acting offers come his way. He made his debut in Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1970), which became a big hit. He went on to act in over 70 films, many of which were silver jubilee and golden jubilee hits. His passion for filmmaking continued to flourish alongside, and in 1977 Rakesh Roshan launched his own company Filmkraft. He went on to produce films like Aap Ke Deewane (1980), Kaamchor (1982), Jaag Utha Insaan (1984) and Bhagwaan Dada (1986) with other directors. In 1987, he made his directorial debut with Khudgarz. It starred Jeetendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Govinda, Bhanupriya, Amrita Singh and Neelam Kothari with music composed by Rajesh Roshan. The film became a silver jubilee hit on release.
Rakesh Roshan went on to produce and direct memorable blockbusters such as Khoon Bhari Maang, Kishan Kanhaiya, King Uncle, Karan Arjun, Koyla, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai, Koi... Mil Gaya and Krrish. In December 1999, Filmkraft became Filmkraft Productions (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Collaborating with his star son Hrithik Roshan, the father-son duo has together delivered three of Hindi cinema’s biggest hits. Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Hrithik Roshan’s debut film registered record collections at the time across the world. The film found a place in the Limca book of records for the number of awards it received. It also went on to be dubbed in Spanish and was released in seven countries. With Koi ...Mil Gaya Rakesh Roshan made the Hindi screen’s first sci-fi film featuring an alien. Among the many awards the film won, was the prestigious National Award for Best Film. Krrish, the sequel to Koi ...Mil Gaya, saw Hrithik playing a flying superhero. The film proved to be the highest grosser of 2006, even as the film’s merchandise became very popular. Krrish was also selected by the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, as a case study for its management syllabus—the first time that an Indian film was used as a case study by a prestigious Indian management institute.
Rakesh Roshan’s production company Filmkraft Pvt Ltd, in its expansion plans, also produces films with outside directors, such as Krazzy 4 directed by Jaideep Sen. The crossover film Kites (2010) was directed by Anurag Basu and shot in the US with foreign technicians. Starring Hrithik Roshan and Latin American actress Barbara Mori, the shorter international version was called Bret Ratner presents Kites: The Remix. It became the first Hindi film to debut among the top ten in the US. The film also released in Spanish across Spanish speaking countries and parts of South America. Among his latest films as producer was Kaabil (2017), starring Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam. It grossed over Rs.100 crore at the box office.
Roshan also directs ad films and corporate films for his Filmkraft Entertainment. He also owns a post-productions division with AVID set up for in-house projects.
In January 2000, he was shot at by two assailants in an assassination attempt.
In January 2019, Roshan was diagnosed with early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the throat.
Married to Pinky Roshan, daughter of film producer J Om Prakash, the couple has children Sunaina Roshan and Hrithik Roshan, who is a popular film star.