Born in Mumbai, Karan completed his schooling from the Greenlawns High School. He later attended the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics. As a child, he was influenced by the works of Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, and Sooraj R. Barjatya.
In March 2017, Karan Johar became the father of the twins, Yash and Roohi, via surrogacy.
As a Director
Karan made his directorial debut with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol and Rani Mukerji, was a blockbuster hit. The romantic drama, which later achieved a cult status in India, went on to win several awards including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Karan won the Best Director Filmfare Awards.
The stalwart director’s second directorial ventured was titled Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), which featured an ensemble cast including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kajol, Jaya Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, and Hrithik Roshan. The modern family-centered drama struck the right chords with the audience and like his previous movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham went on to be another major blockbuster. He next produced the movie Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. Giving a chance to the debutant director Nikhil Advani, Karan Johar wrote the screenplay of the movie. The incredible success of Kal Ho Naa Ho meant a hat-trick of blockbusters for the Karan Johar-Shah Rukh Khan pair.
Continuing his obsession with the word ‘K’, Karan Johar titled his next movie, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Amitabh Bachchan, and Abhishek Bachchan in lead roles and revolves around the subject of marital infidelity. The film turned out to be another success for Karan and it received much appreciation in overseas markets.
In 2010 Karan directed the movie My Name Is Khan; his first directorial project that does not begin with the letter ‘K’. The movie, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles, received rave reviews in India and international markets. For his stellar work, Karan won his second Filmfare Award for Best Director. For his next movie, Student Of The Year that released in October 2012, Karan broke his norm of working with established actors and instead cast three debutant actors viz. Alia Bhatt, , Sidharth Malhotra, and Varun Dhawan.
Karan next directed a part in the anthology Bombay Talkies (2013), which was released to celebrate the centenary year of Hindi cinema. His 2016 releases include Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Anushka Sharma.
As a Producer
Dharma Productions, which is run by Karan Johar, was established by his father, Yash Johar. It was after his father’s demise in 2004 that Karan took over the running of the company. All of Karan’s directorial ventures, barring Bombay Talkies, have been produced by Dharma Productions. Under the banner, Karan has produced several hit movies like Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Dostana (2008), Agneepath (2012), 2 States (2014), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Dear Zindagi (2017), Ok Jaanu (2017), and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017). His other projects include Raazi (2018), Dhadak (2018), Student of the Year 2 (2018) and Simmba (2018).
As an Actor
Karan Johar first appeared in a minor role in the Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge (1995). He went on to appear in cameo roles in movies such as Om Shanti Om (2007), Fashion (2008), and Luck By Chance (2009). However, he made his debut in a lead role with Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet (2015), where the played the role of an antagonist.
As a Costume Designer
Besides being a superlative director and producer, Karan has also worked as a costume designer for many of Shah Rukh Khan’s films including, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Mohabbatein (2000), and Om Shanti Om (2007) to name a few.
Apart from having a successful career in the film industry, Karan has also had a strong presence in the TV industry, known for being the host of the popular celebrity talk show, Koffee with Karan which has successfully completed more than 90 episodes. He has also appeared as a judge on the reality shows, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and India’s Got Talent.