Mahira Hafeez Khan (Urdu: ماہرہ خفیظ خان, pronounced [maɦiːraː hafiːz kʰan]; born 21 December 1984) is a Pakistani actress. She appears in Lollywood films and Pakistani television serials. Khan is one of the Pakistan's most popular and highest-paid actresses, and the recipient of several awards, including three Lux Style Awards and five Hum Awards.
Born in Karachi, Khan started her career as a VJ in 2006. She made her screen debut opposite Atif Aslam in the hit romance Bol (2011), which earned a Lux Style Award for Best Actress (film) nomination. Khan rose to prominence with starring roles in Humsafar which earned her a Lux Style Award for Satellite Best TV Actress and Hum Award for Best Onscreen Couple.
Khan attended the Foundation Public School in Karachi from where she did her O-levels at age 16. At the age of 17, Khan moved to California, United State for the higher education. She attended Santa Monica College in Los Angeles. She then enrolled in the University of Southern California for her Bachelor’s Degree. However she did not complete her degree and returned to Pakistan in 2008. During her studies in United States, Khan was a cashier at a Rite Aid store in Los Angeles and used to mop floors, clean toilets, run the till and shut the store at night.
Khan started her career as a VJ in 2006, hosting the live show Most Wanted on MTV Pakistan which was aired three days a week. She then hosted Aag TV's reality show Weekends with Mahira in 2008, where she played music videos, spoke to celebrity guests and took phone calls from viewers.
The same year, she also made her TV drama debut and acted in her first television drama, Neeyat directed by Mehreen Jabbar. The serial was set in New York and she played the role of Aliya.
She next appeared in the Sarmad Khoosat-directed drama serial Humsafar which marked Khan's debut in the world of television. Following Humsafar, Khan became an overnight star and a household name as the drama serial established her as a leading actress of Pakistan. Both the drama and Khan received positive reviews from critics. The drama series was also aired on Zindagi (TV channel) and was successful in India. The film earned her a Lux Style Awards for Satellite Best TV Actress and a Hum Awards for Best Onscreen Couple.
In 2013, she played the role in Sarmad Khoosat-directed Shehr-e-Zaat The drama earned her a Pakistan Media Awards for Best Actress and a Hum Awards for Best Actress.
In 2014, Khan starred in Mohammed Ehteshamuddin-directed drama serial Sadqay Tumhare in which she played the role of Shano. The drama earned her a Lux Style Awards for Best TV Actress, a Hum Awards nomination for Best Actress, a Hum Awards for Best Actress Popular and a Hum Awards for Best Onscreen Couple.
In 2015, she played a starring role in Shahzad Kashmiri-directed film Bin Roye. The film earned her a Lux Style Awards for Best Actress (Film), a Hum Awards for Best Actress and a Hum Style Awards for Most Stylish Actress (Film). The film also earned a Masala! Award for Best Actress.
The same year, she played a supporting role in Sarmad Khoosat-directed biographical film Manto,
In 2016, she played a leading role in Asim Raza-directed film Ho Mann Jahaan), The film earned her a Lux Style Awards for Best Actress (Film) and a Nigar Awards nomination for Best Actress.
In 2016, the movie Bin Roye was turned into a TV series and she appeared in Bin Roye (TV series).
In early 2017, Khan co-starred in Rahul Dholakia's Indian film Raees, which was her debut in the Hindi Film Industry. Before the release of film, 'Indian Motion Picture Producers Association' (IMPPA) and 'The Film Producers Guild of India' decided to ban all Pakistani actors, actresses and technicians working in India due to the tensions created after 2016 Uri terror attack, till the situation gets normal. Reportedly, there was rumours that Khan's scenes would be deleted from the film or she would be replaced by some other actress.Shah Rukh Khan, the co-producer of the film, said that Mahira would not be allowed to promote the film in India. Khan repeatedly received threats from Shiv Sena, a far-right Indian political party. Despite of controversies, the film was released in January 2017 and commercially, the film was a modest success, earning over ₹2.6 billion (US$39 million) worldwide which made Khan first Pakistani actress to join Bollywood's 100 Crore Club and became top grossing actress in Bollywood during the first quarter of 2017.
In addition, Khan will also be seen as a lead character in Shoaib Mansoor's upcoming social drama film Verna, and she has also signed Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi's Saat Din Mohabbat In. In addition, she has agreed to work in Bilal Lashari's Maula Jatt 2.
She has a younger brother, Hassaan Khan who is a journalist by profession.
Khan met her to-be husband Ali Askari in 2006 in Los Angeles. Some media reports say that she met him at Indus TV studios. She married Askari in 2007 in a traditional Islamic wedding ceremony despite Khan's father being against this marriage.
The couple divorced in 2015. Khan has a son with Ali Askari who was born in 2014.
Other work and media image
Khan is considered one of the Pakistan's most popular and highest-paid actresses. She has received several awards.
In 2012, Khan was named as the Most Beautiful Woman in Pakistan.