A native of Mumbai, India, born December 24, 1959, Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor grew up in the thick of show business, with an executive assistant-turned-film producer father and a homemaker mother. Kapoor signed for his first acting role at seven years old, in a feature entitled Tu Payal Main Geet that eventually went unreleased; the experience nevertheless revealed Anil's true passion and his life's calling to him. He attended the local OLPS school, then St. Xavier's College, where he participated in dramatic competitions and netted a Best Actor trophy at an intercollegiate drama contest. At the same time, however, Kapoor felt a marked lack of commitment to his general studies and was expelled from college after two years due to non-attendance; reportedly "relieved" by this occurrence, the blossoming actor used that apparent step backward as a step up, confounding his distraught parents in the process by focusing all of his attention and energy on aggressive dramatic training. When an application to the esteemed Pune Film Institute failed to generate admission, Kapoor instead teamed up with fellow upstart Mazhar Khan and enrolled in famed acting coach Roshan Taneja's drama classes, training aggressively at a breakneck pace to make it in Indian cinema. He also studied singing and dancing, and got a foothold in the local film industry by working as a casting director and assistant producer.
Film roles then began to arrive; Kapoor signed for his debut with a part in Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya, and followed it up with roles in such features as Woh Saat Din and Laila, but only achieved stardom thanks to his lead billing in Yash Chopra's film Mashaal (1984), alongside Dilip Kumar. Subsequent projects included Rakhwala (1989), Loafer (1996), Armaan (2003), and Tashan (2008). Kapoor returned to producing with Gandhi, My Father, Shortkut - The Con Is On, Aisha, and No Problem. Kapoor would also continue to act, appearing in movies like Slumdog Millionaire and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and playing the President of the fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan on the series 24.