John Abraham

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John Abraham
Abraham in 2013
Born (1972-12-17) 17 December 1972 (age 46)
ResidenceBandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
OccupationActor, Model
Years active1997–present
Priya Runchal (m. 2014)

John Abraham (born 17 December 1972)[2] is an Indian film actor, film producer and former model who appears in Hindi films. After modelling for numerous advertisements and companies, he made his film debut with Jism (2003), which earned him a Filmfare Best Debut Award nomination;[3] this was followed by his first commercial success, Dhoom (2004). He received two Filmfare Award nominations, for his negative roles in Dhoom, and in Zinda (2006), he later appeared in the major critical success Water (2005).[4] He was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Baabul (2006). Since then, Abraham has starred in many critically and commercially successful films including Garam Masala (2005), Taxi No. 9211 (2006), Dostana (2008), New York (2009), Force (2011), Housefull 2 (2012), Race 2 (2013), Shootout at Wadala (2013), Madras Cafe (2013), Welcome Back (2015), Dishoom (2016), Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018), Satyameva Jayate (2018) and Batla House (2019), thus establishing himself as a commercially successful actor of Hindi cinema.

In 2012, Abraham produced his first film Vicky Donor, which was a critical and commercial success, and earned him a National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, he then established his own production house, John Abraham Entertainment. His second film as a producer was Madras Cafe, which garnered critical acclaim.[5][6] Beyond his acting career, he is the owner of the Indian Super League football team NorthEast United FC,[7][8] he has often performed many dangerous stunts in his films. He is also a vegetarian, and is a strong advocate for animal rights.[9]

Early life[edit]

Abraham was born into a family of mixed religious and ethnic heritage, his father is a Malayali Protestant Syrian Christian from Kerala and his mother is an Irani with roots in Gujarat.[10][11] Abraham's Zoroastrian name is "Farhan", but he was baptized with the name "John."[10][12][13] He has a younger brother named Alan Abraham,[14][15][16] he considers himself a spiritual person but does not follow any particular religion.[1][10] Abraham grew up in Mumbai and studied at the upmarket Bombay Scottish School in Mahim, Mumbai, he attended Jai Hind College, University of Mumbai, and then got an MBA from Mumbai Educational Trust.[17][18][19][20][better source needed] His cousin Susy Matthew is an author and has written novels like "In A Bubble Of Time".[21]



Abraham started his modelling career appearing in the music video of the song of Punjabi singer Jazzy B,[22] he then joined the media firm and Time & Space Media Entertainment Promotions Ltd., which however closed because of financial problems. Later, he worked for Enterprises-Nexus as a media planner.[23] In 1999, he won the Gladrags Manhunt Contest and went to the Philippines for Manhunt International, where he won second place,[24] he later modeled in Hong Kong, London and New York City, and appeared in a number of commercial advertisements and other music videos for singers including Pankaj Udhas, Hans Raj Hans and Babul Supriyo. To improve his acting skills, Abraham joined the Kishore Namit Kapoor acting laboratory and completed an acting course while juggling modelling assignments.[citation needed]

Debut and struggle[edit]

John Abraham smiles away the camera
Abraham in 2006

Considered "the top model of India before he ventured into films",[25] Abraham made his acting debut with Jism in 2003, an erotic thriller film which according to Box Office India, was "Average" grossing 1,32,50,000 Rs,[26] he portrayed the role of Kabir Lal, a poor, alcoholic and wayward lawyer who falls in love with Sonia Khanna (played by Bipasha Basu), a wife of a travelling millionaire, who plots to kill her own husband with the company of Kabir. The film met with mixed to positive reviews. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama commented: "Supermodel John Abraham makes a confident debut; the actor rises beyond his looks and registers a strong impact with his performance, more so towards the second half. His dashing looks and excellent physique only add to his persona".[27]

In the same year, Abraham appeared in Anurag Basu's horror paranormal romance film Saaya alongside Tara Sharma and Mahima Chaudhry; the film garnered mixed to negative reviews, and underperformed at the box office. Taran Adarsh wrote: "Saaya clearly belongs to John. No two opinions on that! Enacting a very difficult role, the newcomer actually performs like a veteran and delivers a performance that's bound to win him nominations in the awards categories, his growth as an actor is tremendous!"[28]

In 2004, he appeared in Pooja Bhatt's directorial debut film Paap alongside Udita Goswami, he portrayed the role of Shiven, a police officer, who falls for a Buddhist girl, Kaaya. The film underperformed at the box office, receiving mixed reviews, and also was premiered at the Kara Film Festival; that same year, he appeared in Ahmed Khan's film Lakeer – Forbidden Lines, co-starring Nauheed Cyrusi with other stars such as Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty and Sohail Khan, which also underperformed at the box office.

Recognition and success[edit]

In 2004, Abraham played Kabir, the main antagonist in Dhoom, an action film directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, and produced by Yash Raj Films, multi-starring Abhishek Bachchan, Esha Deol, Uday Chopra and Rimi Sen; the film was the third highest-grossing film of the year,[29] which gained him a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role nomination.

Abraham with Deepika Padukone during Desi Boyz promotions, 2011.

In 2005, he starred with Arjun Rampal in the action thriller Elaan, which failed at the box office, he followed with the supernatural thriller Kaal and the comedy Garam Masala both of which did well at the box office.[30] Later that year, he had a role in Water, which portrayed the tragic fate of Hindu widows in British India of the 1930s; the film was written and directed by independent Canadian film-maker Deepa Mehta. It was popular internationally, and was nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards. Abraham attended the ceremony along with the film's crew and makers but the film lost to Germany's The Lives of Others.[31]

In the summer of 2006, Abraham performed at the "Rockstars Concert" along with fellow Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Zayed Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Deol, Shahid Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat. In that same year, he starred in the films Zinda, Taxi No. 9211, Baabul and Kabul Express.[32] Among these Taxi No. 9211 and Kabul Express were substantially successful. Abraham's performance in Taxi No. 9211 was praised by critics, noting that his performances to be maturing with each new film. Nikhil Advani's multi-starrer Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love was Abraham's first release in 2007; the movie failed to do well at the Indian box office,[33] though it did well in the overseas markets.[34] His last two 2007 releases included the thriller No Smoking, his next release was the sports film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, in which he sported a new look; the song "Rumana" with his ex-girlfriend Bipasha Basu was a hit song of that year.[citation needed]

In 2008, Abraham starred alongside Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in Dostana, his only release that year, his first release of 2009 was a production by Yash Raj Films, New York.

Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline and Abraham during Dishoom promotions in 2016.

He has a fashion line – branded JA Clothes – which primarily features his favorite article of clothing, jeans.

In 2010, he was seen in the films Aashayein and Jhootha Hi Sahi. Both of the films turned out to be box office failures. Lately, Abraham has appeared in the films Force (2011), Desi Boyz (2011) and Housefull 2 (2012), his first film of 2013 was the multi-starrer Race 2 which was commercially successful, though his second release, the coming-of-age romantic comedy I, Me Aur Main, underperformed at the box office. His next release was Shootout at Wadala, in which he portrayed the role of gangster Manya Surve, which gained positive reviews; the film emerged as a success at the box office. Then his movie Madras Cafe, which also is a second movie for him as a producer, garnered much critical acclaim, also the collections of the movie saw an upward trend after terrific word-of-mouth, his next release was Welcome Back, which was successful at the box office. In 2016, his first release was Rocky Handsome which didn't do well at the box office. Then, his second release of the year was Dishoom, despite mixed to negative reviews, the film was a commercial success and made over 100 crores, his next release of the year was Force 2, the sequel of the 2011 film Force. Force 2 became the highest opening film for Abraham and opened with mixed to positive reviews. Abraham's performance received praise from the audience and critics, he next films in 2018 were the action films Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran with Diana Penty & Boman Irani and Satyameva Jayate with Manoj Bajpayee & Neha Sharma's younger sister Aisha Sharma. In 2019, he starred in the action thrillers Romeo Akbar Walter and Batla House.


Abraham's debut as a producer was titled Vicky Donor (2012) and the film featured Ayushmann Khurrana, Annu Kapoor and Yami Gautam in lead roles. Abraham also appeared in an item-number for the film, it opened to positive response, and turned out to be a critical and commercial success. His second production, Madras Cafe which is also directed by Shoojit Sircar, opened to overwhelming response from the critics.

Social causes[edit]

John Abraham smiles with other two men at the camera
Abraham with Rahul Bose (middle) at the press conference of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in 2013

Abraham also takes an active interest in the United Way, based in Denver, United States. In January 2009, he flagged off the Mumbai Marathon, an annual event organised to benefit the United Way, he did not run the marathon, but encouraged the participants by waving at them from the start line.

Unusually for someone of his religious background, Abraham is a vegetarian, he is an animal lover and takes an interest in PETA and Habitat for Humanity.[35][36] In April 2013, on behalf of PETA, Abraham wrote a letter to the Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that she make all circuses in India animal-free.[37]

Abraham is also the celebrity supporter of UNHCR India, and promotes the cause of refugees in India.[38] According to his website, he donated 10 Lakh (about $ 15000) to the Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai.[39]

Personal life[edit]

John and Priya walking towards the camera
Abraham with his wife Priya Runchal in 2012

During the filming of Jism in 2002, Abraham began to date his co-star Bipasha Basu,[40] they were in a relationship until early 2011.[41] While together, the two were often referred to as a supercouple in the Indian media. Abraham once stated, "I have always kept quiet about my personal life and will continue to maintain a dignified silence. It's just the way my parents raised me. I rather leave it at speculation." The couple broke up and Bipasha is now married to Bollywood actor Karan Singh Grover.[42]

Abraham is now married to Priya Runchal, an NRI financial analyst and investment banker from the US but native to McLeod Ganj, whom he met in Mumbai, in December 2010, they married on 3 January 2014 and had a celebration in Los Angeles.[43]



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Character Name Notes
2003 Jism Kabir Lal Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut
Saaya Dr. Akash/ "Akki"
Paap Inspector Shiven
2004 Aetbaar Aryan Trivedi
Lakeer – Forbidden Lines Saahil
Dhoom Kabir Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
Madhoshi Aman After Surgery
2005 Elaan Abhimanyu
Karam John
Kaal Krish Thapar
Viruddh Amar Patwardhan
Water Narayan
Garam Masala Shyam / Sam
Shikhar Himself Special appearance
2006 Zinda Rohit Chopra Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
Taxi No. 9211 Jai Mittal
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna DJ Special Appearance in "Where's The Party Tonight"
Baabul Rajat Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Kabul Express Suhel Khan
2007 Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love Ashutosh Raina
Hattrick Himself Special appearance in the song "Wicket Bacha"
No Smoking K
Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal Sunny Bhasin
2008 Dostana Kunal Chopra
2009 Luck by Chance Himself Special appearance
Little Zizou Arjun Special appearance
New York Samir / "Sam"
2010 Aashayein Rahul Sharma
Jhootha Hi Sahi Sid
2011 7 Khoon Maaf Jimmy Stetson
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Himself Special appearance
Force ACP Yashvardhan Singh
Desi Boyz Nick Mathur / Hunter
2012 Housefull 2 Max
Vicky Donor Himself Special appearance in the song "Rum Whisky"
2013 Race 2 Armaan Malik
I, Me Aur Main Ishaan Sabharwal
Shootout at Wadala Manya Surve
Madras Cafe Vikram Singh
2014 Exclusion
2015 Welcome Back Ajay Barsi / Ajju Bhai
2016 Wazir SP Vijay Mallik Special Appearance
Rocky Handsome Kabir Ahlawat / Rocky / Handsome
Dishoom Kabir Shergill
Force 2 ACP Yashvardhan Singh
2018 Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran Ashwat Raina
Satyameva Jayate Virendra Rathod / Veer
2019 Romeo Akbar Walter Romeo Ali / Akbar Malik / Walter Khan
Batla House ACP Sanjay Kumar
Pagalpanti Films that have not yet been released Raj Filming[44]
2020 Mumbai Saga Films that have not yet been released Ganpat Roy Filming[45]
2020 Satyameva Jayate 2 Films that have not yet been released Veer Pre-Production


Year Film Notes
2012 Vicky Donor National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
Filmfare Award for Best Film(nominated)
2013 Madras Cafe
2016 Rocky Handsome
Force 2
2018 Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
2018 Savita Damodar Paranjpe Marathi language film
2019 Batla House


Year Movie Song(s) Music Singer
2015 Welcome Back Time Lagaya Kaiko John Abraham, Anmol Malik

Awards and nominations[edit]

Film awards[edit]

Year Function Award Result
2013 Vicky Donor National Film Award National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Won
Madras Cafe Asiavision Awards Icon of the Year Won
Vicky Donor Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Film Nominated
2008 Dostana Star Screen Awards Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1 Won
2007 Baabul Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Zinda IIFA Awards IIFA Best Villain Award
Zee Cine Awards Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role
Baabul Bollywood Movie Awards Bollywood Movie Award – Best Supporting Actor
2006 Zinda Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
Garam Masala IIFA Awards IIFA Best Supporting Actor Award
Zinda Global Indian Film Awards GIFA Best Villain
2005 Dhoom Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
IIFA Awards IIFA Best Villain Award Won
Zee Cine Awards Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role
Paap Stardust Awards Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow – Male
2004 Jism Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut Nominated
Bollywood Movie Awards Bollywood Movie Award – Best Male Debut Won
IIFA Awards IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year – Male Won

Other recognitions[edit]

Year Award Result Notes
2006 Rajiv Gandhi Award for his achievement in Bollywood Won [46]
2007 Giant International Awards for his contribution to Indian cinema [47]
2008 Sexiest Asian Man [48]
2009 Lions Club Award [49]
2011 India's Sexiest Bachelor by the BIG CBS PRIME [50]
2012 Most Stylish Man – GQ Awards (India) [51]
2013 NDTV-Creative Entrepreneur of the Year [52]


  1. ^ a b "FAQS".
  2. ^ Krishnan, Aishwarya (17 December 2016). "Happy Birthday, John Abraham: 7 things to know about the Bollywood hunk!". Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  3. ^ "John Abraham enters Bollywood with Jism". The Times of India. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Water (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  5. ^ "John Abraham, People's sexiest man alive, says girlfriend thrilled with the tag". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  6. ^ "John Abraham, named the sexiest man alive by People magazine (PHOTOS)". Style Me India. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  7. ^ Basu, Saumyajit. "Stars embrace football through Indian Super League". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Indian Super League sees interest from 30 franchise bidders". Business Standard. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  9. ^ Want an eight pack like John Abraham? | health and fitness. Hindustan Times (22 April 2016). Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "For Those Who Want To Know John Abraham's Religion, Here's The Answer". NDTV. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2019. 0:19 He (father) is a Syrian Christian. My father is a Malayali, My mother is an Irani...
  11. ^ "Not weekends, my films start making money from Mondays: John Abraham", Times of India, 8 August 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2019: "I always love visiting Gujarat because the Parsi community (my mother is a Parsi) has its roots in south Gujarat."
  12. ^ Priya Gupta (6 December 2012). "Hrithik is more good-looking than me: John Abraham". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  13. ^ "John Abraham: Lesser known facts". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Pics: John Abraham with his cousin Susy Matthew". 21 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  15. ^ Manav Manglani (10 October 2012). "John Abraham Gifts Audi Q Life To Sister-in-law On Her Birthday in Bandra". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  16. ^ "John Abraham gives his sister-in-law an Beater Car". Pinkvilla. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  17. ^ UTV New Media Ltd. (17 January 2003). " : Official Website With Latest News, Photos, Videos and Updates From The Bollywood Star". Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  18. ^ "John Abraham". John Abraham. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  19. ^ "John Abraham Latest Movies Videos Images Photos Wallpapers Songs Biography Trivia On". Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  20. ^ John Abraham Biography.
  21. ^ "John Abraham Launches Sister's Book". YouTube. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Surma' – John Abraham Jazzy B (Punjabi Album) HQ.flv". 21 October 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2012 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "John Abraham-Portfolio Pics- The Times of India Photogallery Page 57". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Images: Top models who became actors – Rediff Getahead". 19 November 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  25. ^ Gaurang Chauhan (23 May 2018), "VIDEO: Parmanu star John Abraham reveals he got Jism because he reminded Mahesh Bhatt of a younger Sanjay Dutt", Times Now. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Box Office 2003". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Jism Review". Bollywoodhungama. Retrieved 17 January 2003.
  28. ^ "Saaya Review". Bollywoodhungama. Retrieved 7 January 2003.
  29. ^ "Box Office 2004". Dhoom. Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  30. ^ "Box Office 2005". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  31. ^ "2007". – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  32. ^ "Box Office 2006". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  33. ^ "Box Office 2007". Salaam-e-Ishq. Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  34. ^ "Overseas Earnings (Figures in Ind Rs)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  35. ^ "Habitat for Humanity". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  36. ^ "Habitat for Humanity". Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  37. ^ "Madhuri wraps 'Gulaab Gang' shoot". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  38. ^ Plight of refugees moves UNHCR ambassador John Abraham. The Hindu (22 June 2015). Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  39. ^ "John Donates Rs 10 Lakh to Pediatric Centre of Nanavati Hospital". Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  40. ^ "Today's guys are all losers: Bipasha Basu – The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  41. ^ "Relationship with John over for good: Bipasha". Mid-Day. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  42. ^ "It's London in spring time!". The Times of India. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  43. ^ "Wedding bells Kangra Mcleodganj". 19 April 2012.
  44. ^ "Anees Bazmee on Twitter". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  45. ^ "Mahurat shot of #MumbaiSaga.The journey begins. A 19th June 2020 release". T-Series. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  46. ^ "John Abraham awarded Rajiv Gandhi Award". 21 August 2006. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007.
  47. ^ "John Abraham". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  48. ^ "John Abraham voted sexiest Asian man". 13 December 2008. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008.
  49. ^ "Lions Club Award". Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  50. ^ "John bags the title of 'India's Sexiest Bachelor'". Glamsham Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  51. ^ 2012 GQ India Men of the Year. 10 December 2013
  52. ^ "11 Bollywood Actors Who Are Also Super Successful Entrepreneurs". MTV India. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2018.

External links[edit]