Born on 9 September 1967, Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia a.k.a Akshay Kumar is an Indian actor and producer. One of the fittest and highest-paid actors in Bollywood, Akshay has achieved so much in his entire career till date. Let’s get up, close and personal with the life of real-life hero Akshay Kumar.
Early Life and Background
Real name: Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia
Nicknames: Akki, Mac, Khiladi, Khiladi Kumar
Born: On September 9, 1967 in Amritsar, Punjab, India
Age: 52 Years (as of 2019)
Akshay was born to a Punjabi family and has grown up in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi. He did his schooling from Don Bosco School and attended the Guru Nanak Khalsa College where he actively participated in sports. Further, he went to Bangkok to study martial arts and also worked as a chef over there. He also lived in Thailand for five years to learn Thai Boxing. Then, he came to Mumbai and started his own martial art school where one of his students asked him to pose for the camera. This is where his modelling career started.
Worked as an assistant for a photographer without payment for 18 months to shoot his first portfolio, Akshay also worked as a background dancer in a number of films. Disappointed with himself for missing his flight for an ad-shoot in Bangalore, he went to a film studio with his portfolio. That day, he was signed for a lead role in the movie ‘Deedar’ by producer Pramod Chakravarthy.
Body Stats and Physical Fitness
Height: 1.78m (5 feet 9 inches approx.)
Weight: 75kgs or 165 pounds
Body Measurements: Chest- 42inches, Waist- 34inches and Biceps- 16 inches
Hair colour: Black
Eye colour: Black
Voice: Heavy and Raspy
By far, the fittest man in the industry at the age of 52, Akshay Kumar’s fitness journey is older than his Bollywood journey. A black belt in Taekwondo, Akshay likes to live a disciplined life. He has been an inspiration to all of his co-stars and other actors. His famous fitness mantra is to wake up at 4, have last meal before 7 and go to sleep at 9.
A teetotaller and a fitness freak, Akshay has turned pure vegetarian recently and for all his followers he has a simple message ‘There are no shortcuts to build a healthy body and no enhancers, steroids or powder will give you a long-term strong body. Just rely on natural foods, live a disciplined life, exercise regularly and enjoy life’.
Family and Relationships
Mother: Aruna Bhatia
Father: Hari Om Bhatia
Sister: Alka Bhatia
Wife: Twinkle Khanna
Father-in-law: Rajesh Khanna
Mother-in-law: Dimple Kapadia
Sister-in-law: Rinke Khanna
Son: Aarav Kumar
Daughter: Nitara Kumar
Khiladi even has a colourful love journey during which he has dated a good number of actresses like Pooja Batra, Ayesha Jhulka, Shilpa Shetty , Priyanka Chopra and Raveena Tandon. The most serious one was with the actress Raveena Tandon and the rumor came out that they have secretly tied the knot. But after being in relationship for three years, Raveena broke up with him and accused him of making false promise of marriage in an interview. As per reports, Raveena even admitted of getting secretly engaged to him while he was engaged to two other girls at the same time.
His one of the most shocking and talked-about love affair was with ‘Rekha’ that started during the movie ‘Khiladiyon ka Khiladi’. The veteran actress was madly in love with him and when Raveena came to know about it, she asked her to maintain distance from Akki.
He even dated actress Shilpa Shetty but she parted her ways from him when she came to know that he had done two-timing with her best friend, Raveena Tandon. Even after tying the knot with Twinkle Khanna in 2001, he was in news again for being in a relationship with Priyanka Chopra. There were also news about Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar being more than friends when they worked together in the movies ‘Humko Deewana Kar Gaye’ , ‘Namaste London’, ‘Welcome’ and ‘Singh is King’. So you can say he was even a Khiladi when it came to relationships.
Akshay made his debut with the film ‘Saungdh’ in the year 1991. In the same year, he acted in ‘Dancer’ that didn’t perform well.
In the following year, he was casted in the Abbas Mustan’s ‘Khiladi’ that is considered as a breakthrough in his career and gave him the name ‘Khiladi’ for his mind-blowing stunts.
In 1994, he played the role of a police inspector in two films: ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ and ‘Mohra’ and both were among the highest-grossing films of the year. Appeared in 11 feature films, Kumar got fame as one of the most successful actors of the year.
The next year, he played a dual role in the action thriller, ‘Sabse Bada Khiladi’ that was a complete success. He continued with the Khiladi series next year too and his fourth film was ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ that was again a hit. Till date, there are eight movies in the series, the last one being ‘Khiladi 786’ that was a semi-hit at the box office.
‘Mr. and Mrs Khiladi’ the fifth instalment of the Khiladi series did not make a mark and other following releases failed to perform at the box office and were a setback to his career. The movie ‘International Khiladi’ opposite Twinkle Khanna was also an average grosser at the box office.
In 2000, the movie ‘Hera Pheri’ came out to be a turning point in his career and was a commercial hit. He got all praise for his acting in the movie ‘Dhadkan’, however, the film performed moderately at the box office.
‘Khiladi 420’ was the movie where he performed some of the most dangerous stunts and it is considered as one of his finest performances. From there, there was no looking back. Among the hits and misses he gave, ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ got him all praise for his comic timing and the way he carries the evil streak in his personality.
‘Aitraaz’ is considered as the boldest film of Akshay where he was wrongly accused of sexual harassment by his boss played by ‘Priyanka Chopra’. In the year 2005, he acted in movies like ‘Waqt: The Race Against Time’ and ‘Garam Masala’. Both are his best pieces and that too in two completely different roles.
In 2006, he starred in ‘Phir Hera Pheri’, the sequel to ‘Hera Pheri’ that also was a hit. 2007 is considered as one of the successful years of his career with 4 hits and no flops. ‘Namastey London’ made him win the hearts of millions and earned him a nomination at the Filmfare.
The next two releases ‘Heyy Babyy’ and ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’ was again a hit. Kumar’s first hit of 2008 was ‘Singh is King’ that broke the first-week worldwide record of ‘Om Shanti Om’. The same year, he debuted at the small screen with the host of the show ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and hosted the same in 2009 too. ‘Chandni Chowk to China’ and ‘8×10 Tasveer’ were a complete failure at the box office.
In 2010, ‘Housefull’ earned the second-highest opening weekend collection of all time, however, ‘Khatta Meetha’ was an average performer. The year 2012 began with the sequel to Housefull, ‘Housefull 2’ that received mixed reviews. His next film ‘Rowdy Rathore’ was a huge success at the box office and was declared a blockbuster. ‘Oh My God’ that stirred controversy was also a super hit.
Akshay Kumar has also given us some brilliant films based on social issues, like ‘Pad Man’ and ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, inspirational biopics like ‘Kesari’ and ‘Gold’. Akshay’s film Mission Mangal is based on real events is his another finest piece.
Akki’s latest release is in December 2019, ‘Good News’ that is his own production. It is a romantic comedy about surrogacy, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani.
Akshay’s filmy career has been very much a hit-and-miss affair. Here are some other hits and flops he has given during his career till now.
Hits- Special 26, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, Rustom, Baby, Airlift, Gabbar is Back, and the list is endless.
Misses- Action Replayy, Tees Maar Khan, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!, Boss, Brothers, Thank You, Patiala House and others.
Favourite Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Chan
Favourite Actress: Sridevi, Kareena Kapoor
Favourite Food: Thai Green Chicken Curry, Home-cooked Punjabi Food, Chinese.
Favourite Perfume: Cool Waters
Favourite Destination: Mauritius
Favourite Color: Black
Awards and Nominations
- ‘Yeh Dillagi’ earned him his first nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards and Star Screen award.
- He received his first nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for the movie ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’.
- ‘Ajnabee’ won him his first Filmfare Award for Best Villain and IIFA award 2002 for Performance in a Negative Role.
- He was nominated for Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in the film ‘Khakee’.
- His performance in the film ‘Mujse Shaadi Karogi’ won him his third nomination for Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award as well as a nomination for the best comic role.
- ‘Garam Masala’ earned him second Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.
- He got nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award for the movie ‘Namastey London’.
- He received Stardust Best Actor Award for his performance in ‘8×10 Tasveer’.
- He was nominated for Best Actor in a Negative Role at Zee Cine Awards for the movie ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!’
- The movies ‘Airlift’ and ‘Rustom’ earned him the National Film Award for Best Actor.
- He was revered with the Rajiv Gandhi Award for his outstanding achievements in Bollywood in 2004.
- He received Padma Shri in 2009 for his contribution to the industry.
- In 2009, while performing for Levis at Lakme Fashion Week, Kumar asked Twinkle to unbutton his jeans and this incident sparked controversy and led to a police case.
- Comedian Mallika Dua’s father lashed out at Akshay Kumar for making a nasty comment on his daughter during the reality show.
- He made headlines for not casting his vote in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections and people speculated the reason behind his absence at the polling booth was his Canadian citizenship.
His total worth is 1,192 Crore that has led him to stand in the row of India’s richest actors.
- He worked as a peon for a travel organisation in Kolkata.
- Before Bollywood happened, he worked as a waiter in a restaurant called Metro Guest House in Bangkok.
- He also hosted a martial arts documentary titled, ‘Seven Deadly Arts with Akshay Kumar’ for National Geographic Channel.
- He once had a faceoff with a shark while shooting for ‘Aankhen’ in South Africa.
- He confessed that he used to steal watches in Chandni Chowk as that gave him some excitement.
- Shot a music video of the Punjabi devotional song ‘Nirgun Raakh Lia’, Akshay donated all the profits to the victims of the train bombings of Mumbai on July 11, 2006.
Bollywood is known to be ruled by the three Khans- Aamir, Salman and Shahrukh. But if we talk about one senior actor who can give them a run for their money, undoubtedly it is Akshay Kumar.