Akshay Kumar | The Khiladi of Bollywood

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Akshay Kumar, the Khiladi of Bollywood, has played hundreds of roles in Hindi Cinema. There is no introduction required for this super famous personality. He is a brilliant actor, a fantastic TV host, and a well-known film producer; Indian by heart and blood, Canadian by law.

Akshay Kumar has an acting career of over 30 years in which he has performed more than 140 epic roles. He received Padma Shri from the Government of India in 2009, which is the nation’s fourth highest civilian honour. Let’s see some more specific areas of his life.

Family and Early Life

Akshay Kumar was born on 9 September 1967 as Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia in Amritsar, Punjab. He was brought up in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and later shifted to Mumbai. His father, Hari Om Bhatia, was an Indian Army Officer, and his mother, Aruna Bhatia, was an Indian Film Producer. Akshay Kumar’s father had a keen interest in sports and he really enjoyed wrestling. After leaving the army, he became an accountant at UNICEF. Akshay Kumar has a sister, named Alka Bhatia, who is also a film producer. After his sister’s birth, the family moved to Koliwada which is a Punjabi-dominated area in Central Bombay.

Akshay Kumar received his early education from Don Bosco High School in Matunga while simultaneously learning Karate and later enrolled for higher education at Guru Nanak Khalsa College. But when he found out that he has no specific interest in studies and want to pursue something in martial arts, he dropped out of college. He has lived 5 years in Thailand and learned Thai Boxing. He has also learned Muay Thai from Bangkok and is a black belt in Taekwondo.

Akshay Kumar’s Bollywood Career

Before entering Bollywood, Akshay Kumar worked as a chef, a waiter, a jeweller, a martial arts teacher, a model, and a background dancer. While he was teaching martial arts, one of his student’s father recommended him to join modelling. When he came to know that he can make more money with only two days of modelling than he can make in an entire month as a martial arts teacher, he switched to modelling as his career path. This modelling eventually led him to become the actor whom we know today. Do you know that there is an interesting story behind the successful beginning of Akshay Kumar’s acting career? So, what happened was that one day he missed his flight to Bangalore for an ad shoot. Because of this, he took his portfolio to a film studio and got finalised for the lead role in the Bollywood movie Deedar.

Began his career with a minor role in the 1987 Bollywood movie Aaj, Akshay Kumar is now one of the highest-grossing movie actors in the world. Although Aaj was the first movie he appeared in, his debut movie is Saugandh, released in 1991, in which he was the lead actor. From here, his Bollywood journey started.

The 1990s: Action Khiladi

The beginning of Akshay Kumar’s Khiladi franchise was with the 1992 thriller, Khiladi. His role in this movie was highly cherished by the audience, and The Indian Express appreciated his “perfectly at ease” behaviour during shoots.

Later he was cast in a James Bond-based Bollywood film named Mr. Bond which was not a Bollywood hit. In the year 1993, he appeared in the movies like Ashaant, Dil Ki Baazi, Kanoon, Kayda, Sainik, Waqt Hamara Hai and certain others, but this year was not good for him. Fortunately, in the next year, 1994, he became part of two of the highest-grossing movies of that year, namely, Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Mohra. In the same year, he was also cast opposite Kajol in Yeh Dillagi which was that year’s one of the biggest successful movies of Akshay Kumar. He was praised for his performance in that movie and The Indian Express has defined him as “always dependable” based on his extraordinary skills. In the same year, he gave another successful film, Suhaag, and also appeared in low-budget movies like Elaan.

The years, 1995-1997, established Akshay Kumar’s supremacy as Khiladi. Movies like Sabse Bada Khiladi and Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi were the commercial success of the Khiladi series. Later, other films in the Khiladi series were released, Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi and International Khiladi, which were not as commercially successful as the previous ones in the series, but were still liked by the audience. In 1997, he also played a supporting role in a Shah Rukh Khan starer film Dil To Pagal Hai and received Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The 2000s: Comedy King

We all know Akshay Kumar as an action and comedy superhero, but his career in comedy films started almost a decade after his successful career launch. In 2000, he was cast in one of the all-time favourite comedy movies, Hera Pheri, alongside Suneil Shetty and Paresh Rawal.

This movie was a turning point in Akshay Kumar’s Bollywood career as now he would be known for comic roles too. After proving his brilliant comic timing, he was offered many comedy movies including Awara Paagal Deewana, Garam Masala, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Welcome, Bhagam Bhag, Phir Hera Pheri, Heyy Babyy, Khatta Meetha, Singh Is King, Deewane Huye Paagal, and De Dana Dan. This was the decade in which Akshay Kumar proved his acting skills in the comedy arena too.

Other than comedy films, Akshay Kumar has also appeared in many super-hit films of other genres in this decade. He was cast in a supernatural horror, Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani, and an action film, Talaash: The Hunt Begins... which has offered him nothing different in his career. But in 2003, Andaaz turned out a universal hit for Akshay Kumar. Later, he starred in some patriotic movies like Khakee, Police Force: An Inside Story, and Aan: Men at Work and proved his dedication towards his career. Not only this, but in this decade, he has also performed some bold characters and some charming roles in films such as Aitraaz, Meri Biwi Ka Jawaab Nahin, Bewafaa, Waqt: The Race Against Time, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, and many more. Some of these movies were super hits while some were not. But still, he has given many brilliant movies to the industry in this decade.

The 2010s: Patriotic Hero

After successfully being an action hero and then a fantastic comic actor, Akshay Kumar became one of the most loved patriotic film stars. This is the decade which established his nationalistic supremacy in the industry. In this period, Akshay Kumar has filmed many patriotic movies including, Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty, Baby, Gabbar is Back, Airlift, Rustom, Mission Mangal, and Kesari. These films have earned lots of respect to him, making him a dedicated patriot in the audience’s perception.

This decade was not only about being a patriotic hero but there were many more movies of other genres which have helped Akshay Kumar in deepening his roots in the Bollywood industry. One such praised movie series is the Housefull Series, the first film of which was released in 2012. Akshay Kumar has also given the eighth movie in the Khiladi series, Khiladi 786, in 2012.

Other super hit movies in this period include Rowdy Rathore, OMG, Special Chabbis, Boss, Entertainment, and Singh is Bling among others. Not only he has filmed very entertaining movies but also portrayed extraordinary leading roles for some sensitive topics like faecal hygiene, menstruation hygiene, animal safety, and gender equality. These issues were covered in his movies Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Pad Man, 2.0, and Laxmii, respectively.

The 2020s: Still a Superstar

Even at the age of more than 50 years, Akshay Kumar is still one of the finest actors in Bollywood. He has given numerous super-hit movies for three consecutive decades to Hindi Cinema. Started his acting journey in the 1990s, and he is still performing amazingly in the 2020s. Some of his latest movies are Bell Bottom, Atrangi Re, Sooryavanshi, Bachchhan Paandey, Samrat Prithviraj, and Rakshabandhan. With these movies, he is maintaining his position in the industry and highlighting his impression among the audience.

Hit Movies of Mr Khiladi

There are more than 140 movies done by Akshay Kumar so far. It is not possible to have a look at all of them. So, we have listed out his hit movies to appreciate his untiring efforts in entertaining us. Have a glimpse of it!

# Movie Name Release Year
1 Khiladi 1992
2 Mohra 1994
3 Main Khiladi Tu Anadin 1994
4 Sabse Bada Khiladi 1995
5 Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi 1996
7 Mr And Mrs Khiladi 1997
8 International Khiladi 1999
9 Hera Pheri 2000
10 Dhadkan 2000
11 Ajnabee 2001
12 Aankhen 2002
13 Awara Paagal Deewana 2002
14 Andaaz 2003
15 Mujhse Shaadi Karogi 2004
16 Aitraaz 2004
17 Garam Masala 2005
18 Phir Hera Pheri 2006
19 Bhagam Bhag 2006
20 Namastey London 2007
21 Heyy Babyy 2007
22 Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2007
23 Welcome 2007
24 Tashan 2008
25 Singh Is Kinng 2008
26 Kambakkht Ishq 2009
27 De Dana Dan 2009
28 Housefull 2010
29 Desi Boyz 2011
30 Housefull 2 2012
31 Rowdy Rathore 2012
32 OMG Oh My God! 2012
33 Khiladi 786 2012
34 Special 26 2013
35 Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty 2014
36 Entertainment 2014
37 Baby 2015
38 Gabbar Is Back 2015
39 Singh Is Bliing 2015
40 Airlift 2016
41 Housefull 3 2016
42 Rustom 2016
43 Jolly LLB 2 2017
44 Toilet – Ek Prem Katha 2017
45 Pad Man 2018
46 Gold 2018
47 2.0 2018
48 Kesari 2019
49 Mission Mangal 2019
50 Housefull 4 2019
51 Good Newwz 2019
52 Bellbottoml 2019
53 Sooryavanshi 2021

Television Shows and Others

Akshay Kumar rules our hearts with not only his movies but also with certain TV shows. There are many TV shows in which he was a guest appearance. Following are the iconic shows that he has either hosted or judged.

# Show Name Year Role
1 Seven Deadly Art with Akshay Kumar 2004 Host
2 Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 2008-2009, 2011 Host
3 MasterChef India 2010- 2011 Host
4 Dare 2 Dance 2014 Host
5 The Great Indian Laughter Challenge 2017 Judge
6 Into The Wild With Bear Grylls 2020 Celebrity Guest

These were the TV shows of which Akshay Kumar has been a part but besides this, he has also appeared in some music videos including Filhall, Filhaal 2: Mohabbat, and Muskurayega India. He has also been dubbed Optimus Prime from Transformers: Dark of the Moon in Hindi.

Achievements

Akshay Kumar is one of those actors who has won several awards both for their acting skills and social work. In 2009, he became an honorary recipient of Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award. There are so many awards received by him in his 30+ years of Bollywood career. You can find some of his other achievements below:

# Award Name and Category Receiving Year Received for
1 Filmfare Award for Best Villain 2002 Ajnabee
2 IIFA Award for Best Villain 2002 Ajnabee
3 Rajiv Gandhi Award 2004 Outstanding achievements in Bollywood
4 IIFA Award for Best Comedian 2005 Mujhse Shadi Karogi
5 Filmfare Awards for Best Comedian 2006 Garam Masala
6 Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada 2008 Extraordinary service in the film industry and social work.
7 IIFA Special Award from the host country, Thailand 2008 --
8 Stardust Award for Star of the Year - Male 2008 Heyy Babyy & Namastey London
9 IIFA-FICCI Frames for Most Powerful Entertainer of the Decade Awardn 2009 Contribution to Indian cinema
10 Stardust Awards for Best Actor – Popular (Male) 2010 Blue
11 The Asian Awards 2011 Outstanding Achievement in Cinema
12 Stardust Awards for Best Actor – Popular (Male) 2011 Housefull & Tees Maar Khan
13 Stardust Award for Best Actor in a Comedy or Romance 2012 Desi Boyz
14 Stardust Award for Best Actor – Action/Thriller 2013 Rowdy Rathore & Khiladi 786
15 Star Box Office Awards for Box Office 1000 Crore Club Hero 2014 Achievement in Bollywood
16 National Film Awards for Best Actor 2017 Rustom
17 National Film Awards for Best Film on Other Social Issues 2019 Pad Man

Fitness Freak and a Stuntman

We all know that Akshay Kumar is greatly known for his fit body and strict daily routine. He is an inspiring personality for fitness and workouts. He mentioned in an interview that he works out only for an hour but on a daily basis. In this one hour, he practices different types of exercises.

As he is a martial artist, he loves to stay in shape and practice his skills. Besides martial arts like Taekwondo and Karate, Kickboxing, Swimming, Yoga, Parkour and Basketball are also part of his fitness training. In the year 2019, Akshay Kumar set the stage on fire with his daredevil stunt as he was announcing his digital work – The End. Not only this, but he has also performed several stunts in the past years. Standing on the top of a plane, jumping into a ring of fire, jumping elevators, lifting “The Undertaker”, hanging from a helicopter, swimming with sharks, and jumping off a cliff are some examples. He has been described many times as a stuntman first and an actor later.

Personal Life

Akshay Kumar has been rumoured with many relationships throughout his Bollywood career. Before marrying Twinkle Khanna, he has been in relationships with many Hindi Cinema actresses including Raveena Tandon, Shilpa Shetty, Rekha, and Priyanka Chopra. He married Twinkle Khanna in 2001 and has a daughter and a son, named Nitara and Aarav respectively.

His wife, Twinkle Khanna, is the daughter of superstars Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia. Akshay Kumar initially admitted that he is a religious devotee of Shiva and has regularly visited the shrines and temples across the nation, but in 2020 he declared that he does not believe in any religion and is only an Indian by heart.

Social work

Akshay Kumar is known as one of the most popular philanthropist celebrities. He does a lot for the needy and continuously donates to social causes. He, along with his co-star in the movie Entertainment – Tamannaah Bhatia, has donated all the clothes from the movie to an animal welfare charity. He has also donated ₹5 Million to the Being Human Foundation maintained by Salman Khan.

Along with this, he has also donated ₹5 million to draught-affected people in Maharashtra and ₹9 million to draught-hit farmers of the same state. He has also launched an insurance scheme for the benefit of stunt directors. He has donated ₹1.5 crores to building a shelter for transgender in Chennai. In 2017, he has launched the Bharat Ke Veer app with assistance from the Home Ministry. This app helps people to send money directly to the bank accounts of the families of the martyred soldiers. It has been very helpful during the Pulwama terror attack and other certain other threats in the line of duty. Other than this, his contribution to the betterment of cancer patients and the acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal is always appreciated. In 2020, he has donated ₹25 crores to the Prime Minister’s Fund to assist in the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Wrapping Up

Famously known as the Khiladi of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar’s journey of acting is a very inspiring one. It speaks that you do not choose your destiny, your destiny chooses you. Although Akshay Kumar has chosen martial arts as his career line, destiny has pushed him into the Bollywood industry. Fortunately, he has proven his position in the industry with his high dedication and excellent efforts. Beginning as a waiter, he has become one of the highest-grossing superstars in the world. Akshay Kumar has been ranked as the fourth highest-paid actor in 2019 after Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. Forbes have mentioned our Khiladi in both of its lists of highest-paid actors and highest-paid celebrities in the world for 2015-2020. And the most interesting fact about this listing is that he was the only Indian on these lists in 2019 and 2020. This is such a great achievement for any person. So, we should also trust our destiny; maybe something amazing is waiting for us.

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