John Abraham started his modelling career appearing in the music video of the song "Surma" by Punjabi singer Jazzy B.
He then joined the 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 won second place. Following this, he was signed by Carrie Models in Singapore and did some modelling there; 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.
He did his schooling from Bombay Scottish School and graduated from Jai Hind College in Mumbai. John also did an MBA from MET.
In 2003, he made his debut with the film Jism.In 2004, his first blockbuster came with the movie, Dhoom.
In 2005, he had a major role in Water, which portrayed the tragic fate of Hindu widows in colonial India. The film was popular overseas and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards which exposed John to a more international audience.
In 2006, he starred in the films Zinda, Taxi No 9211, Baabul and Kabul Express. Among these Taxi No 9211and Kabul Express were fairly successful.
Nikhil Advani's multi-starrer, Salaam-e-Ishq: Attribute To Love was his first release in 2007. The movie failed to do well at the Indian box office but was successful in the overseas market.
John's parents are Mr Abraham and Phiroza and he has a younger brother named Alan.