Ajith Kumar was born 1 May 1971. He is an Indian film actor best known for his work in Tamil cinema. In addition to his acting, Ajith Kumar in a sabbatical, participated in the 2004 British Formula 3 season as a Formula Two racing driver and was ranked the third best motor car driver in India at his peak. He began his career as a supporting actor in a Telugu film before gaining critical recognition in the Tamil thriller Aasai (1995), before going on to establish himself as a romantic hero with Kadhal Kottai (1996), Aval Varuvala (1998) and Kadhal Mannan (1998) being the most notable.
Kumar was born on 1 May 1971. His mother Mohini is of Sindhi origin from Kolkata, West Bengal. Kumar created the non-profit organisation "Mohini-Mani Foundation", named after his parents, in order to promote self-hygiene and civic consciousness and to help ease the problems of urban sprawl. Kumar was the middle son out of three brothers, the others being Anoop Kumar, a stockbroker in New York and Anil Kumar, an IIT Madras graduate working in Seattle. Kumar also had younger twin sisters, both of whom died young.
In 1999, during the shoot of Saran's Amarkalam, Kumar began to date his co-star Shalini. At that time, their involvement made him a regular subject of tabloid gossip, a role to which he was accustomed following his previous relationship. Kumar proposed to Shalini in June 1999, and following consultations with her family, she agreed. They were married in April 2000 in Chennai. On 3 January 2008, their daughter, Anoushka, was born in Chennai. On 2 March 2015, their second child, a son Aadvik was born. Through his marriage to actress Shalini, Kumar became brother-in-law to actor Richard Rishi, and actress Shamili, who appeared as his sister-in-law in Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain.
Kumar was born in Secunderabad,India. He did not speak Tamil as a child, and mastered it only after becoming an actor. He dropped out of Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School in 1986 before completing his higher secondary. During his childhood days he was fan of M. G. Ramachandran, Amitabh Bachchan & Rajesh Khanna. During his teens he became fan of Rajnikanth & Kamal Haasan. At 18, Kumar had to take up a job to support his career in racing. Kumar then started his film career at the age of 21 appearing in the low budget Telugu film, Prema Pustakam in 1992, which remains his last direct Telugu film to date. His first Tamil film Amaravathi, directed by then newcomer Selva, was a moderate success and his voice was rendered by fellow actor, Vikram. In 1995, after a supporting role in the Vijay starrer Rajavin Parvaiyile, Kumar appeared in his first major success, Aasai. After the success of his films in 1996, the following year saw a series of five classical success, one such being Amitabh Bachchan's Tamil production Ullaasam with Maheswari, in which he was paid a salary of ₹2 million (equivalent to ₹7.7 million or US$110,000 in 2016) for the first time. S. J. Suryaah's thriller, Vaali, which portrayed him in dual roles for the first time opposite Simran, became one of his biggest hits following its release. The film told the story of a deaf and mute brother setting his eyes on his younger brother's wife, with Kumar's portrayal of the two brothers winning him his first of many awards for Filmfare's Best Actor.
His final film before the new millennium was Amarkalam, directed by Saran and featuring Shalini, whom he married shortly after the film. His next film, Jana with Sneha, also became a big failure, with the Saran film, Attagasam, being his only hit in the period. The film, saw Kumar portray dual roles, with a song, "Thala Deepavali", penned to promote his action image. In 2005, the failure of the Linguswamy film Ji, despite garnering positive reviews and taking a strong opening, saw Kumar take a sabbatical from acting to re-work his image. Of the five films released between 2003 and 2005, his only box-office hit was Attagasam. Following a year of production, Kumar's Aasal released in February 2010, taking a grand opening at the box office. The film, which also featured Kumar in dual roles, also failed at the box office despite its bigger expectations. After a second foray into motor racing, Kumar signed up to star in a film directed by Venkat Prabhu, titled Mankatha, which notably became his 50th project. Ajith was subsequently nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil in the 63rd Filmfare Awards South. Kumar worked with Siva again in Vedalam (2015), in which critics praised his performance. In 2004, Kumar was signed as Nescafe's brand ambassador in Tamil Nadu. Later, he has limited his appearance to the silver screen by not appearing or promoting any commercials.
Kumar became a race car driver, competing in circuits around India in places such as Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Kumar is one among very few Indians to race in International arena and in Formula championships. He has also been abroad for various races, including Germany and Malaysia. He drove in the 2003 Formula Asia BMW Championships. He raced in the 2010 Formula 2 Championship along with two other Indians, Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaren.