- Actor, Producer, Executive Producer, Voice
Sep 09, 1967 in Punjab, India
Sep 09, 1967 in Punjab, India
Akshay Kumar is an Indian actor, TV host, and producer who is known as the Khiladi of Bollywood because he has been part of over eight movies with the word Khiladi in it. Before entering Bollywood, the actor was an aspiring martial artist and was in Bangkok to study the art form. While there, he pursued cooking for a living. From being a cook in Bangkok to becoming a famous Bollywood star, Akshay Kumar is a role model for those who dream big. He made his mark in the industry on sheer talent and hard work, despite his good looks and pleasant personality. He first came into the limelight with the movie Khiladi and went on to become a top Bollywood actor with Yeh Dillagi.
Kumar has also appeared on television and has hosted reality adventure series Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi, and also launched a dance reality show called Dare 2 Dance. In the year 2008, the actor started his own production company called Hari Om Productions. Under this banner, Akshay Kumar co-produced several movies, in which he appeared too, such as Singh Is Kinng, Action Replayy, and Tees Maar Khan, to name a few. In 2011, Kumar co-founded another film and TV production house, Grazing Goat Pictures, and its first project was OMG - Oh My God!, which he co-starred with actor Paresh Rawal.
He is best remembered for his roles in Namastey London, Hera Pheri, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, and Airlift among many others. From drama and action to comedy, Akshay Kumar is one actor who`s done it all.
He has been honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Award in 2004 for his great contributions to Bollywood and has also been awarded the Padma Shri in 2009, the fourth highest civilian award in India, for his contribution to Indian cinema. The University of Windsor recognized his contribution to Indian cinema by presenting to him an Honorary Doctorate of Law.
Born as Rajeev Bhatia on 9th September 1967 to Hari Om Bhatia and Aruna Bhatia, in Amritsar, Akshay Kumar grew up in Old Delhi`s Chandni Chowk area. He later moved to Mumbai where he completed his schooling from Don Bosco School, after which he joined Guru Nanak Khalsa College for his higher education. However, he dropped out after his first year and traveled to Bangkok to learn martial arts. Before traveling to Bangkok, Kumar has already received a black belt in Taekwondo. In Bangkok, he Muay Thai, a form of martial arts, while working as a chef and waiter. After returning to Mumbai, Akshay Kumar began teaching martial arts.
The actor has had a series of alleged affairs and link-ups before he tied the knot with Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia`s elder daughter Twinkle Khanna in 2001. Much before getting married, Akshay was apparently dating the then well-known model Pooja Batra. The two were in a relationship before Akshay entered the industry. Soon after Kumar started working in Bollywood, his relationship with Pooja fizzled off.
Upon starting his career in Bollywood, he allegedly started dating his Khiladi co-star Ayesha Jhulka. It was his affair with the 90`s bombshell Raveena Tandon that grabbed the limelight. The two actors dated for three years before Tandon broke up with him over his flirtatious habits. The actress also reportedly said in an exclusive interview that the two were secretly engaged, but she had found out that Kumar was, in fact, cheating on her with two other women.
However, after he split with Raveena, he started dating Shilpa Shetty. The two created magic on-screen and their romance bloomed off-screen too. But after dating Kumar for a year, Shetty called off her relationship with him when she found out that he was cheating on her with her best friend, Twinkle Khanna. The Khiladi then finally tied the knot with Twinkle Khanna and the two have two children together - Aarav and Nitara. He believes in providing a normal childhood to his children and, therefore, tries to keep them away from unwanted media attention.
The Khiladi follows a disciplined lifestyle and makes it a point to wake up before sunrise and practice kickboxing, basketball, Parkour, and martial arts to stay fit.
When Kumar returned to Mumbai after his martial arts training, he began teaching the art form. He then tried his luck at modeling when a student of his pursued him to give it a shot, paving his way into Bollywood. He enjoyed modeling for a brief period, assisted photographer Jayesh Seth, and also worked as a background dancer and stunt actor before producer Pramod Chakravarthy signed him for his movie Deedar. However, Deedar was not his debut movie. He was first seen on the big screen in the 1991 release Saugandh opposite Raakhee and Shantipriya. After his debut, he was seen in Dancer, which failed to garner him any praises. It was only after he was signed by Abbas-Mustan in their suspense-thriller Khiladi that he received fame and appreciation.
After a series of commercially unsuccessful movies, Akshay Kumar was seen in Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Mohra in 1994, both of the movies were among the highest-grossing movies of the year. In the same year, he appeared opposite Kajol in Yash Chopra`s Yeh Dillagi, which earned him a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor. After having delivered 11 movies in the year 1994, of which most were hit, he emerged as a successful actor.
The Khiladi received critical acclaim for his performances in movies like Sangharsh and Jaanwar, which marked his comeback after a couple of flop films. After being a part of action, thriller, suspense, romance, and drama movies, the actor stepped into the genre of comedy with director Priyadarshan`s Hera Pheri opposite Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty, which marked a turning point in his career. He was then seen donning a negative role in Abbas-Mustan`s suspense-thriller Ajnabee, which won him the Filmfare Award for Best Villain and IIFA Award for Performance in a Negative Role. Kumar then shared screen space with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in David Dhawan`s comedy Mujhse Shaadi Karogi in 2004, which was a hit. However, it was his performance in Aitraaz which was one of his best performances in that year. The actor considers it to be the boldest movie that he has been a part of.
After delivering innumerable brilliant performances and being a part of many movies, the year 2007 proved to be the most successful year for him. He appeared in hit films like Namastey London opposite Katrina Kaif, Heyy Babyy alongside Riteish Deshmukh and Fardeen Khan, Bhool Bhulaiyaa with Vidya Balan and Shiney Ahuja, and Welcome with Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor, all of which were commercially successful movies. Despite a number of hits, Kumar featured in movies that bombed at the box office like Farah Khan`s Tees Maar Khan, Deepika Padukone starrer From Chandni Chowk To China, Shirish Kunder`s Joker opposite Sonakshi Sinha, and Action Replayy with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
The actor was then seen doing content-heavy movies such as Special Chabbis, Baby, Gabbar Is Back, and Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty. In 2016, Akshay was seen in two real-life stories, Airlift and Rustom, for which he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor in 2017. While Airlift focused on the largest human evacuation to have taken place during the Gulf War in Kuwait in 1990, Rustom explored the life of a Navy officer, who pleaded guilty for murdering his wife`s lover. The next year, in 2017, Kumar was cast in the second installment of the Jolly LL.B series titled The State vs Jolly LL.B 2 or commonly called just Jolly LLB 2. The movie went on to become a commercial success and saw Kumar portray the role of a struggling lawyer, trying to establish his career by means of fighting one of the most critical cases of his career.
Reprising the role of Ajay Singh Rajput, Akshay was seen in the 2017 action thriller Naam Shabana, which is a spin-off from the 2015 movie Baby. His other projects for the year include the satirical comedy Toilet - Ek Prem Katha, which is a comical take on the Indian PM`s `Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan` and explores the unhygienic sanitary conditions in most parts of India. In 2018, he collaborated with R. Balki on Padman, a tale about an Indian man who manufactured sanitary napkins at cheaper rates, making it easily accessible to lots of women in the rural parts of India. The same year, he was seen alongside the superstar of Tamil cinema Rajinikanth in 2.0, the sequel to the 2010 fantasy action Robot. Further, Akshay can be seen in Reema Kagti`s sports history drama Gold, which explores the story of India`s first gold medal at the Olympics as an independent country.
In 2019, Akshay starred in the movie Kesari, where he reprised the character of Havaldar Ishar Singh, a soldier from the 36th Sikh Regiment in 1897 Battle of Saragarhi. His other project in the same year includes Housefull 4, the fourth installment of the comedy-franchise Housefull.
Apart from being a part of the film industry, Akshay Kumar also appeared on television and has hosted series like Seven Deadly Arts with Akshay Kumar, the first, second and fourth seasons of Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi, Dare 2 Dance, and the first installment of MasterChef India.