“It takes two hands to clap! I cannot be solely blamed for what happened in my relationships! If things soured, it happened because of both parties. Not just me!”
“Each one of us has his own place in the industry. I've been able to prove that you don't necessarily have to be a Khan to be successful!”
“Controversies are a package deal in this industry. You just have to understand that and accept it. I savour the adulation and love I have been getting from my fans and the blessings of elders in my family. I can't thank God and the industry enough.”
“Look at what destiny had in store for me. I married my idol's (Rajesh Khanna) daughter! I still can't believe it. Who wasn't his fan in the 1970s and 80s?”
Akshay Kumar was born in Amritsar, Punjab as Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia on September 9, 1967. He studied at Don Bosco School in Delhi, and later moved to Mumbai and studied in Khalsa College. He earned a Black Belt in Taekwondo and his passion for martial arts took him to Bangkok where he learnt Muay Thai. He worked as a chef and waiter to earn money so that he can fund his own studies.
Back here in India when he started off as a martial arts instructor, one of his students said that Akshay’s good looks will help him become a model. Akki decided to try his hand at modeling, and not only did he land up with an assignment, he also got paid a whopping Rs 5000 for it. Money drove him to pursue this field, and as luck would have it, he was spotted by producer Pramod Chakravarthy who offered him his first film Deedar. But it was Saugandh which released first and remains his debut vehicle in Bollywood.
There has been no looking back ever since. His dare-devilry stunts earned him the ‘action star’ tag, mainly accredited to the Khiladi series – Khiladi in 1992, followed by Main Khiladi Tu Anari in 1994, Sabse Bada Khiladi in 1995, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi in 1996 and so on. Known primarily for his action roles in these films, the Yash Raj banner introduced Akshay as the romantic hero in Yeh Dillagi starring Saif Ali Khan and Kajol too.
After a spate of action films and dabbling in romance, it was time for comedy and negative shades. Akki took on both these genres by storm, with the 2000 hit film Hera Pheri co-starring Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal, and the 2001 movie Ajnabee cementing his position as the versatile hero. Ajnabee also won him his first Filmfare Award for the Best Villain and the IIFA for Best Performance in a Negative role.
But it was action and adventure that Akshay always held close to his heart. And reinforcing his numero uno position as the Khiladi of Bollywood, he stepped on to the small screen as the host of Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi. With this venture, success and stardom caught up with Akki both on the small screen and the 70 mm.
At a time when Rs 100 crore club was the new business norm in B-town and films were setting newer benchmarks, Akshay imprinted his stamp here too – his films Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore went on to enter this coveted club .
With professional acclaim, came personal peace too. Akshay Kumar married Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia’s daughter Twinkle Khanna in 2001. Their son Aarav was born in 2002 and baby girl Nitara Khanna Bhatia in 2012.
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