Akshay Kumar is an Indian film actor, producer and martial artist who has appeared in over a hundred Hindi films. Akshay Kumar was born Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia on 9th September, 1967. Akshay Kumar’s father was an army officer. Akshay Kumar right from his early years was recognised as a performer, particularly as a dancer. Akshay Kumar was raised in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk neighbourhood before moving to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he lived in Koliwada, which was another Punjabi dominated area and studied at Don Bosco School and then Guru Nanak Khalsa College. After having obtained a black belt in Taekwondo while in India, Akshay Kumar studied martial arts in Bangkok, Thailand, where he learned Muay Thai and worked as a chef and waiter. He then came back to Mumbai, where he started teaching martial arts. One of his students happened to be a photographer and recommended him to do modelling. The student gave him a modelling assignment for a small company. For his two hours posing in front of the camera, Akshay Kumar got Rs. 5,000, compared to his previous monthly salary of Rs. 4,000. That was one of the main reasons why he chose to be a model. After a couple of months of modelling, Kumar was offered a lead role by producer Pramod Chakravarthy for the movie Deedar.
Foray into Bollywood
Akshay Kumar made his acting debut with the 1991 film Saugandh, which was followed by the 1992 thriller film Khiladi. In 1994, his action films Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Mohra were among the highest grossing films of the year. Later that year, Yash Chopra signed him for the romantic film Yeh Dillagi which was also a success. He would consequently receive his first nominations for Best Actor award at the Filmfare and Star Screen ceremonies. During the same year, Akshay Kumar also had success with films like Suhaag and Elaan. In 1995, Akshay starred in the film Sabse Bada Khiladi, which was a hit. His next film, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi opposite Rekha and Raveena Tandon was a huge success.
In 1997, Kumar was seen in a supporting role in Yash Chopra’s hit film Dil To Pagal Hai, for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award nomination. In the same year, he attempted a comedy role in the flick Mr and Mrs Khiladi. Similarly, his next Khiladi releases in the following years went on to fail at the box office. In 1999, Kumar received critical acclaim for his roles in the films Sangharsh and Jaanwar.
Starting with 2000, Akshay Kumar starred in the comedy Hera Pheri which was a commercial success. Later that year he also starred in the romantic film Dhadkan which performed moderately at the box office. Akshay starred in an action film like Khiladi 420 and performed some of his most dangerous stunts. In 2001, Akshay Kumar played a negative role in the film Ajnabee and won his first Filmfare Award for Best Villian. He portrayed the role of a blind man in the movie Aankhen.
Following Hera Pheri, Akshay Kumar starred in a number of comedy films, including Awara Paagal Deewana and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Garam Masala. The films succeeded at the box office and his performance in the latter earned him his second Filmfare Award, for the Best Comedian role. Apart from his action, comedy and romantic roles, Akshay Kumar displayed a flair for dramatic roles in films such as Ek Rishtaa, Aankhen, Bewafaa and Waqt: The Race Against Time. In 2006, he starred in a sequel to Hera Pheri titled Phir Hera Pheri. Later that year he starred in Jaan-E-Mann and Bhagam Bhag. His first release in 2007, Namastey London was critically and commercially successful, and his performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Filmfare. His next two releases, Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiyaa, were box office successes as well. Akshay’s last release of the year, Welcome, did extremely well at the box office, receiving a blockbuster status.
In 2008, Akshay acted in the film Tashan which was a critical and commercial failure. His second film, Singh Is Kinng was a huge success at the box office. In 2009 he starred in films like Chandni Chowk to China and which did not do well. His other movies in 2009 were Blue, Kambakkht Ishq and De Dana Dan.
2010 saw Akshay in films like Housefull which earned the second-highest opening weekend collection of all time, Khatta Meetha, Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy, which was a box office failure and Tees Maar Khan. In 2011 he starred in Patiala House and Thank You.
Akshay Kumar’s upcoming movies are Desi Boys, Rowdy Rathore, Joker, Housefull 2, International Hera Pheri and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai 2.
Akshay Kumar earlier dated some of his co-actors like Shilpa Shetty and Raveena Tandon. After being engaged to actress Twinkle Khanna twice, the daughter of actors Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, he married Twinkle on 14th January, 2001. They have a son named Aarav who was born in September 2002. Akshay Kumar stays in shape with a combination of kickboxing, basketball, swimming and other sports, as well as working out at the gym.