John Abraham was born to a Malayali father & a Zoroastrian mother. His father, Abraham John, is an architect from Aluva, Kerala; his mother is Firoza Irani. Abraham’s Parsi name is “Farhan” while his father being a Marthomite Syrian Christian named him “John.” He has a sister Susy Mathew & a younger brother Alan Abraham. Abraham studied at Bombay Scottish School in Mumbai. He got his bachelor’s degree in economics from Jai Hind College. John Abraham also received an MBA from Mumbai Education Trust.
During the filming of Jism in 2002, John began to date his co-star Bipasha Basu. They were in a relationship until early 2011. Whilst together, the two were often referred to as a supercouple in the Indian media. He is now married to Priya Runchal, an NRI financial analyst and investment banker from the USA but native to McLeod Ganj, whom he met in Mumbai, in December 2010. John Abraham is an agnostic atheist.
John Abraham started his modelling career appearing in the music video of the song “Husnaa Di Sarkar” by Punjabi singer Jazzy B. He then joined a media firm Time & Space Media Entertainment Promotions Ltd., which however closed because of financial problems. Later, he worked for Enterprises-Nexus as a media planner. In 1999, he won the Gladrags Manhunt Contest and went to the Philippines for Manhunt International, where he runner up second place. he later modelled in Hong Kong, London and New York City. He also appeared in a number of commercial advertisements and in 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
Abraham made his acting debut with Jism in 2003, an erotic thriller film which according to Box Office India, was “Average”. He portrayed the role of Kabir Lal, a poor, alcoholic and wayward lawyer who falls in love with Sonia Khanna (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”.
In the same year, John Abraham appeared in Anurag Basu’s horror paranormal romance film Saaya alongside Tara Sharma and Mahima Chaudhary. The film garnered the mixed to negative reviews, which 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!” .
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, also was premiered at the Kara Film Festival.
Same year, he appeared in Ahmed Khan’s film Lakeer – Forbidden Lines, co-starring Nauheed Cyrusi with other stars like Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty and Sohail Khan, which also underperformed at the box office.
In 2004, He played the role of 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, which gained him a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role nomination.
In 2005 he starred with Arjun Rampal in the crime 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. 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. John Abraham attended the ceremony along with the film’s crew and makers but the film lost to Germany’s The Lives of Others.
In the summer of 2006, John 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. Among these Taxi No. 9211 and Kabul Express were substantially successful.
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 box office, though it did well in the overseas markets. His last two 2007 releases included the thriller No Smoking and the sports film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal.
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.
He has a fashion line— branded JA Clothes — which primarily features his favorite article of clothing, jeans.
In 2010, was seen in the films Aashayein and Jhootha Hi Sahi. Both of the films turned out to be box office failures. Lately, John Abraham has appeared in 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, under performed at the box office. His next release was Shootout at Wadala, in which he was portraying the role of gangster Manya Surve which gained positive reviews. The film emerged a success at the box office. Then his movie Madras Cafe, which also is a second movie for him as a producer and Get much critical acclaim, also the collections of the movie saw an upward trend after the 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 which was very successful at the box office getting into the 100 crore club. He then did a special appareance as himself in M.S Dhoni: the untold story. His next release of the year will be Force 2 sequel of 2011 movie Force.
John Abraham debuted as a producer was titled Vicky Donor (2012) and the film Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Annu Kapoor and Yami Gautam in Main roles. John 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.
He has begun work on a crime thriller Mumbai Saga alongside Huma Qureshi and Vivek Oberoi. He started filming for Hera Pheri 3 in March 2017.
John Abraham takes an interest in PETA and Habitat for Humanity. He donated ₹1 Lakh to the Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, according to his website.
In January 2009, Abraham led a group of Indian celebrities in the Mumbai Marathon, an annual event to benefit the United Way. He did not run the marathon, but encouraged the participants by waving at them from the start line.
In April 2013, on behalf of PETA Abraham wrote a letter to Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that she make all circuses in India animal-free.
John Abraham is also the celebrity supporter of UNHCR India, and promotes the cause of refugees in India.