Kiran Rao
Rao at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2017
Born (1973-11-07) 7 November 1973 (age 48)[1][2]
Alma materSophia College for Women
Jamia Millia Islamia
OccupationFilm producer, director, and screenwriter
Years active2004–present
(m. 2005; div. 2021)
RelativesAditi Rao Hydari (cousin)

Kiran Rao (born 7 November 1973) is an Indian film producer, screenwriter, and director who works in Hindi cinema. In 2016, Rao co-founded Paani Foundation, a non-profit organisation working towards the mission of fighting drought in Maharashtra.

Early life

Kiran Rao was born on 7 November 1973 in Bangalore, and grew up in Kolkata.[3] In 1992, her parents decided to leave Calcutta so she moved to Mumbai with Ajay Goyal.[2][4] She graduated with a food sciences major from the Sophia College for Women in 1995. She attended the Social Communications Media course at the Sophia Polytechnic for two months, but then quit and left for Delhi. She got her master's degree at AJK Mass Communication Research Center at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.[5]

Actress Aditi Rao Hydari is Rao's first cousin. Rao's paternal and Hydari's maternal grandfather, J. Rameshwar Rao, was the Raja of Wanaparthy, a large estate under the Nizam of Hyderabad. Wanaparthy is a district of Telangana.[6][7]


Rao started her career as the assistant director in the epic film Lagaan directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, whom she also assisted later on Swades: We, the People. Lagaan was nominated for 74th Academy Awards in the foreign language film category. Aamir Khan produced and starred in the same film. Before Lagaan, she has also done minute role of supporting actress in Dil Chahta Hai.[8] She also worked as second assistant director with Academy Award-nominated director Mira Nair on the indie hit Monsoon Wedding.[9]

She scripted and directed the film Dhobi Ghat, which was released in January 2011 under Aamir Khan Productions.[10][11] She has started writing her next film which will have roots in Kolkata.[2]

Kiran Rao was made the chairperson of the Mumbai Film Festival - MAMI in 2015.[12] She also sang a Marathi song 'Toofan Aalaya', the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup Anthem[13]

Personal life

Aamir Khan & Kiran Rao promote Paani Foundation on the sets of Marathi program Chala Hawa Yeu Dya in 2017.
Aamir Khan & Kiran Rao promote Paani Foundation on the sets of Marathi program Chala Hawa Yeu Dya in 2017.

Rao married actor Aamir Khan in December 2005, after Khan divorced his first wife Reena Dutta in 2002. They met on the sets of Lagaan. Rao was one of the film's assistant directors. They were living in Bandra, a Mumbai suburb.[14] The couple have a son, Azad Rao Khan, born in December 2011, through a surrogate mother who has been named after Abul Kalam Azad.[15]

Rao has been a vegan, and she has influenced her husband, Aamir Khan, to turn vegan as well. After discussing the issue, both of them decided to turn vegan.[16][17][18]

On 3rd July 2021, Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan announced their decision to divorce after 15 years of marriage via a joint statement where they thanked their family and friends for their continuous support in this matter. They will continue to nurture their son Azad Khan (born 2011) as co-parents.[19]







  1. ^ "Aamir surprises Kiran on birthday". 10 November 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Gupta, Pratim D. (3 December 2010). "She's the one!". The Daily Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Kiran Rao's schooling". Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  4. ^ Gupta, Pratim D (6 December 2010). "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Entertainment | She's the one!". Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Dear Mr. Subhash Ghai, my name is Kiran Rao". Tehelka Magazine. 22 January 2011. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Kiran, Aditi Rao's first cousin, has Telangana link". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  7. ^ Sameer (27 November 2015). "Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao belongs to Wanaparthy, Mahboob Nagar". The Siasat Daily - Archive. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  8. ^ "The little known Bollywood debut of Kiran Rao in Dil Chahta Hai". Pinkvilla. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Best of Bollywood, South Cinema, Celebrity Photos & Videos - MSN India".
  10. ^ "Aamir is a dream producer: Kiran Rao". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  11. ^ "India's Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao Talk Dhobi Ghat, Art, Love and Career". 2 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Hope to make space for indie film distribution at MAMI: Kiran Rao". The Indian Express. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  13. ^ Paani Foundation (3 January 2017). "Toofan Aala - Satyamev Jayate Water Cup Anthem (तुफान आलंया - सत्यमेव जयते वॉटर कप गीत)". Archived from the original on 20 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "Grand reception for Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao wedding". Archived from the original on 22 February 2007.
  15. ^ "Baby boy for Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao". Archived from the original on 6 December 2011.
  16. ^ "AAMIR GOES THE VEGAN WAY!". Mumbai Mirror. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Recently Turned Vegan Aamir Khan To Judge 'MasterChef India 4' Finale?". The Huffington Post. Indo-Asian News Service. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Aamir Khan quits non-vegetarian food, turns vegan". The Indian Express. Express News Service. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao announce divorce after 15 years of marriage". The News Minute.
  20. ^ Chawla, Sonal (23 February 2009). "Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao's directorial debut, Dhobi Ghaat's shoot stuck". Mid Day. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Everything You Want To Know About Aamir Khan's Rubaru Roshni". Retrieved 25 January 2019.