Naseeruddin Shah is an Indian film actor and director. He is considered to be one of the finest actors of Indian cinema. In 2003, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan for his contributions towards Indian cinema.
He graduated in arts from Aligarh Muslim University in 1971 and attended National School of Drama in Delhi. He has seen success in both mainstream Bollywood cinema as well as in Parallel Cinema. He also appeared in many international films most notably playing Captain Nemo in the Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Shah has acted in movies such as Nishant, Aakrosh, Sparsh, Mirch Masala, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Trikal, Bhavni Bhavai, Junoon, Mandi, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Ardh Satya, Katha, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, etc. One of his most important films Masoom(1983) was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital where Shah had studied. He became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch.
Shah's next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-starrer film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as, Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1988) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant-Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder. He has acted in several multi-starrer Bollywood films as well, such as, Ghulami (1985), Tridev (1989) and Vishwatma (1992).
In 1994, he acted as the villain in Mohra, his 100th film as an actor. In 2000 his dream of playing Mahatma Gandhi was realized when he played Gandhi in Kamal Hassan's critically acclaimed Hey Ram which focused on the assassination of Gandhi from the assailant's point of view. He won a lot of critical acclaim by acting as Mohit, the drunken coach to a deaf and mute boy in Iqbal (film) which was brilliantly written by Vipul K Rawal keeping specially him in mind. He also worked in a critically acclaimed film "A Wednesday"(2008).
Later, he starred in international projects such as Monsoon Wedding in 2001 and a Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 (co-starring Sean Connery) where he played the role of Captain Nemo. He worked in an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, titled Maqbool. in 2004. He was most recently seen in Ishqiya. Shah's upcoming films include The Hunt (2010 film) where he plays a recluse growing marijuana in his forest retreat.
Shah also made his Pakistani film debut in the critically-acclaimed and controversial film Khuda Ke Liye by Shoaib Mansoor where he played a short cameo. Shah can be seen currently in 7 Khoon Maaf as one of the 7 husbands of Priyanka Copra. He is married to Bollywood actress Ratna Pathak Shah. They have a daughter, Heebaa, and two sons, Imaad and Vivaan. They have co-starred in the films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Mirch Masala and The Perfect Murder.