Akshay Kumar in 2009
|Born||Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia
9 September 1967
Amritsar, Punjab, India
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Other names||King Kumar
The King of Bollywood
|Occupation||Actor, producer, presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Twinkle Khanna (2001–present)|
Akshay Kumar (born Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia on 9 September 1967) is an Indian film actor, producer and martial artist who has appeared in over a hundred Hindi films. He has been nominated for Filmfare Awards several times, winning it two times. He has appeared in over 125 films. When he began his acting career in the 1990s, he primarily starred in action films and was particularly known for his appearances in feature films commonly called the "Khiladi series", which included Khiladi (1992), Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi (1997), International Khiladi (1999), Khiladi 420 (2000) and Khiladi 786 (2012), as well as other action films such as Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Mohra (1994), Elaan (1994), Suhaag (1994), Sapoot (1996), Angaaray (1998), Keemat – They Are Back (1998) and Sangharsh (1999).
Later he also gained fame for his drama, romance and comic roles. He started becoming known for his performances in romance films like Yeh Dillagi (1994), Dhadkan (2000), Andaaz (2003) and Namastey London (2007), as well as drama films such as Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005) and Patiala House (2011). His comic performances in comedy films such as Hera Pheri (2000), Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004), Garam Masala (2005), Bhagam Bhag (2006), Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), and Singh Is Kinng (2008) met with acclaim. His success had soared in 2007, when he starred in four consecutive commercial hits. Kumar hit a rough patch since 2009 to 2011 but came back with two successes, Housefull 2 (2012) and Rowdy Rathore (2012) with both of them grossing over 1 billion (US$17 million). His other films like OMG (2012) and Special 26 (2013) were highly successful critically and commercially. On 16 February 2013, many media outlets reported that the boxoffice collection of Kumar films has crossed 20 billion (US$330 million) and till date is the only Bollywood actor to do so. Having done so, he has established himself as a leading contemporary actor of Hindi cinema.
Apart from acting, Kumar has worked as a stunt actor; he has often performed many dangerous stunts in his films, which has earned him a reputation as the "Indian Jackie Chan". 2008 marked his television debut as the host of the show Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi. In 2009, Kumar founded the Hari Om Entertainment production company.
In 2008, the University of Windsor conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law on Kumar in recognition of his contribution to Indian cinema. The following year he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 2011 The Asian Awards honoured Kumar for his outstanding achievement in Cinema.
Early life and background
Akshay Kumar was born in Amritsar, Punjab. His father served in the military. His mother's name is Aruna Bhatia. From a young age, Kumar was recognised as a performer, particularly as a dancer. Kumar was raised in Delhi's Chandni Chowk neighbourhood before moving to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he lived in Koliwada, which was a Punjabi dominated area. He studied at Don Bosco School in Mumbai and then Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Mumbai. Kumar also has a sister, Alka Bhatia.
After having obtained a black belt in Taekwondo while in India, he studied martial arts in Bangkok, Thailand, where he learned Muay Thai and worked as a chef and waiter. Upon his return to Mumbai, he commenced the teaching of martial arts. One of his students, an aspiring photographer, recommended Kumar into modelling which ultimately led to a modelling assignment. Kumar effectively made more money within the first two days of shooting, in comparison to his entire months salary, and therefore chose a modelling career path. One morning, he missed his flight for an ad-shoot in Bangalore. Disappointed with himself, he visited a film studio along with his portfolio. Fortunately that evening, Kumar was signed for a lead role by producer Pramod Chakravarthy for the movie Deedar.
Kumar made his Bollywood acting debut with the 1991 film Saugandh, which was followed by the 1992 thriller film Khiladi. In 1993, he had acted as one of the lead actors of the Super-Hit Kannada blockbuster film Vishnu-Vijaya directed by Keshu starring South Super Star Dr.Vishnuvardhan, Ashwini Bhave(his co-star in Sainik), Ashutosh Rana. 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 received appreciation for his performance in this film, where he played a romantic role which was different compared to his action roles. He would consequently receive his first nominations for Best Actor award at the Filmfare and Star Screen ceremonies. During the same year, Kumar also had success with films like Suhaag and the low budget action film Elaan. All these achievements, promoted Kumar as one of the most successful actors of the year. In 1994, Akshay had an astonishing 11 releases in a single year with Elaan, Yeh Dillagi, Jai Kishan, Mohra, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Ikke Pe Ikka, Amaanat, Suhaag, Zakhmi Dil, Zaalim and Hum Hain Bemisaal releasing month after month.
In 1995, along with his share of unsuccessful movies, he starred in the third film in his Khiladi series Sabse Bada Khiladi, which was a hit. He proved to have success with the Khiladi series, as in the next year he starred in the fourth successful film with Khiladi in the title, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi opposite Rekha and Raveena Tandon. The film became one of the highest grossing films of the year.
In 1997, Kumar was seen in a supporting role in Yash Chopra's hit film Dil To Pagal Hai, co-starring Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor, for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award nomination. In the same year, he attempted a comedy role with the fifth film in the Khiladi series, Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi. Unlike his previous films with Khiladi in the title, the film failed commercially. In the same way as this film, his next Khiladi releases in the following years went on to fail at the box office. After Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi, Akshay went through a rough patch not having much big hits. In 1999, Kumar received critical acclaim for his roles in the films Sangharsh and Jaanwar. Whilst the former did not make a profit at the box office, the latter turned out to be a success and marked his comeback.
In 2000, he starred in the comedy Hera Pheri (2000) which was a commercial success. He also starred in the romantic film Dhadkan later that same year which performed moderately at the box office. That same year, he performed some of his most dangerous stunts in Khiladi 420, where he climbed a running plane, stood on top of the plane flying a thousand feet in the air, and jumped from the plane onto a hot air balloon. In a later scene, he is also seen being chased by a car, dodging bullets, jumping off buildings, and climbing walls. In 2001, Kumar played a negative role in the film Ajnabee. The film won him much acclaim as well as his first Filmfare Award for Best Villain and IIFA award 2002 for Performance in a Negative Role. Kumar played a role as a blind man in Aankhen.
Following Hera Pheri, Kumar starred in a number of comedy films, including Awara Paagal Deewana (2002) and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004). and Garam Masala (2005). The films succeeded at the box office and his performance in the latter earned him his second Filmfare Award, for Best Comedian.
Apart from his action, comedy and romantic roles, Kumar displayed a flair for dramatic roles in films such as Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Aankhen (2002), Bewafaa (2005) and Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005).
In 2004 he starred in Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai. In 2006 he starred in a sequel to Hera Pheri titled Phir Hera Pheri. As was the former, the sequel became a huge success at the box office. Later that year he starred alongside Salman Khan in the romantic musical Jaan-E-Mann. The film was a well anticipated release, and despite receiving positive reviews from critics, did not do as well as expected at the box office. Though the film under-performed, his role as a shy, lovable nerd was praised. He ended the year with the comedy Bhagam Bhag, which was a success. In that same year, he led the Heat 2006 world tour along with fellow stars Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen and Celina Jaitley.
2007 proved to be Kumar's most successful year during his career in the industry, and as described by box office analysts, "probably the best ever recorded by an actor, with four outright hits and no flops." His first release, Namastey London, was critically and commercially successful, and his performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Filmfare. Critic Taran Adarsh wrote of his performance in the film, "he's sure to win the hearts of millions of moviegoers with a terrific portrayal in this film." His next two releases, Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiyaa, were box office successes as well. Kumar's last release of the year, Welcome, did extremely well at the box office, receiving a blockbuster status and simultaneously becoming his fifth successive hit. All of Kumar's films which released that year did well in the overseas market as well.
Kumar's first film of 2008, Tashan, marked his comeback to the Yash Raj Films banner after 11 years. Although much anticipated by the public, the film was a critical and commercial failure. His second film, Singh Is Kinng was a huge success at the box office and broke the first-week worldwide record of Om Shanti Om, the previous highest figure. His next film was the animated film Jumbo. The year also saw Kumar making his small screen debut as the host of the successful show Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi. He later returned to host the show's second season in 2009.
In 2009, Kumar featured opposite Deepika Padukone in the Warner Bros.-Rohan Sippy production Chandni Chowk to China. Directed by Nikhil Advani, the film was a critical and commercial failure at the box office. Kumar's next release was 8 x 10 Tasveer. Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, the film was a commercially failure however Akshay Kumar won the Stardust Best Actor Award for his controlled and restrained performance . His next release was Kambakkht Ishq. Kumar's film Blue was released on 16 October 2009. Blue collected about Rs. 420 million at the box-office. His last release in 2009 was Priyadarshan's De Dana Dan.
He then appeared in the 2010 comedy, Housefull, directed by Sajid Khan which garnered the second-highest opening weekend collection of all time. Kumar's next release was Khatta Meetha, directed by Priyadarshan which was an average grosser. He also appeared in Vipul Shah's Action Replayy, which was a box office failure. His last film of 2010 was Tees Maar Khan. In 2011 he starred in Patiala House and Thank You. His last film of 2011 was Rohit Dhawan's Desi Boyz (2011), which co-starred John Abraham, Chitrangada Singh and Deepika Padukone.
He also co-produced a film with Russell Peters titled Breakaway (dubbed into Hindi as Speedy Singhs) which is reminiscent of his own Patiala House. Breakaway became the highest-grossing English movie of 2011 in Canada. Kumar, recently dubbed for the Hindi version of Hollywood, action blockbuster, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Kumar dubbed for the role of 'Optimus Prime', which is one of the key characters in the film. He took the dubbing role for his son, Aarav, and did so for free.
His first release of 2012 was Housefull 2, a sequel to his film, Housefull. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was very successful at the box office. It was also a huge hit in overseas and the biggest Bollywood grosser in New Zealand.
Kumar's Rowdy Rathore released on 1 June 2012. It marks the returns of him in action genre after 7 years. The film earned more than 1.3 billion (US$22 million) in India and was a huge box office success, being decalred a "blockbuster".
Joker was reportedly promoted as Kumar's 100th film, but later Akshay Kumar clarified that the 100th film landmark had been crossed long before he even signed up for Joker. "It was a miscalculation on Shirish’s part. OMG is my 116th film,”he said. His latest release Oh My God which he produced and starred along with Paresh Rawal. It had a slow opening but because of word of mouth it picked up and then was declared a super hit.
His last release in 2012 was Khiladi 786, the eighth installment in his famous Khiladi series as well as the comeback of the series after 12 years. Although film was panned by critics it was a Semihit at the box office grossing 70 cr at domestic boxoffice.
His first release in 2013 was Special Chabbis which earned a positive critical reception and was moderately successful at the box office. Although the movie earned him positive reviews and commercail success, trade analysts noted that the movie could have done much better business due to its good content and Kumar's superstar status.
Kumar's next release Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai Dobara proved to be a below average at the box office, grossing domestically 65 crore nett. It got mixed reviews however Kumar's acting was praised by the majority of critics.
His next release was Anthony D Souza's Boss alongside Shiv Pandit and Aditi Rao Hydari. The movie received average to good reviews however turned out to be a failure at Box office grossing 54 crore nett domestically . Akki came back strongly with Holiday. This action drama earned both critical and commercial success entering the 100 crore elite club and according to the box office India it has already become the highest grosser of 2014 beating jai ho.
After being engaged twice to actress Twinkle Khanna, the daughter of actors Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, Kumar married her on 17 January 2001. Their son Aarav was born in September 2002. Twinkle gave birth to their second child, daughter Nitara, on 25 September 2012.
Akshay stays in shape with a combination of kickboxing, basketball, swimming and Parkour as well as working out.
In 2004, he was honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Award for his outstanding achievements in Bollywood. In 2008, the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada awarded Kumar with an Honorary Doctrate of Law for his outstanding work in the film industry and contribution to social work.
The same year he was named the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People (India) magazine. The following year Kumar was awarded the highest Japanese honour of "Katana" and a sixth degree black belt in Kuyukai Gōjū-ryū karate. He was one of the 15 international celebrities invited for the Olympics torch-bearer rally to Canada. He became responsible to endorse the Canadian Tourism by sharing the duty of Brand Ambassador till the summer of 2012.
Awards and nominations
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