Salman was born in a Muslim family. He is the eldest son of celebrated screenwriter Salim Khan and his first wife Salma Khan (maiden name Sushila Charak). His stepmother Helen,is a famous yesteryear Bollywood actress, who has co-starred with him in Khamoshi: The Musical (1996) and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). He has two brothers, Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan, and two sisters, Alvira and Arpita. Alvira is married to actor/director Atul Agnihotri.
Salman Khan made his acting debut in the 1988 film Biwi Ho To Aisi where he played a supporting role. His first leading role in a Bollywood movie was in Sooraj R Barjatya`s romance Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). The film went on to become one of India`s highest grossing films.