With his portrayal of an amateur boxer wrongly accused of his brother's murder in Rajkumar Santoshi's critically and commercially successful Ghayal in 1990, Deol gained wide recognition and praise. The film went on to win seven Filmfare Awards and his performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film). His portrayal of a lawyer in the film Damini – Lightning (1993) fetched him several accolades including the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Anil Sharma's Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), in which Deol portrayed a lorry driver who falls in love with a Muslim girl, was the highest grossing Bollywood film ever at the time of its release, and garnered him another Filmfare Best Actor Award nomination. Deol's successful films include The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003), Apne (2007), Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011) and Ghayal Once Again (2016). These accomplishments have established him as a leading actor of the Hindi film industry. He is married to Pooja Deol, with whom he has two sons.