Akshay Kumar is also known as Khiladi Kumar of Bollywood because of his action-packed roles in many of his movies. Kumar, whose real name is Rajiv Bhatia, made his film debut with Raj Sippy's romantic-action Saugandh, which released on January 25, 1991. He has been a part of Bollywood for 30 years now, delivered back-to-back superhits. But more importantly, Akshay is immensely popular for breathtaking stunts that he performs by himself. There are numerous stunts that Akshay pulled off without the help of a body double.
Here's a look at his journey in Hindi film industry that is nothing short of a roller coaster ride.
The Khiladi of BollywoodFacebook/Timeless Indian Melodies
Akshay has seen some lows as well, and two of his worst phases include the one from December 1994 till May 1996, which ended with a superhit in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi and July 1996 to December 1999, ending with back-to-back successful films in Jaanwar and Hera Pheri with a cameo from Mr and Mrs Khiladi in October 1997. However, the Khiladi journey staretd with Abbas-Mustan's Khiladi (1992) that catapulted him to the big league for a while.
Akshay Kumar in SangharshFacebook
Sangharsh is one film that will give you goosebumps even today. Directed by Tanuja Chandra, this film is not just visually appealing but just listening to the audio will make it as gripping. A heart wrenching performance by Akshay who was ruled out as a dumb actor, the movie won him critcal acclaims.
Akshay Kumar in Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri alongside Suniel Shetty and Paresh RawalTwitter/@akshaykumar
After years of playing the Khiladi, Akshay Kumar shed his 'player' image to play Raju in Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri alongside Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal. The iconic trio became synonymous with comedy in India after the 2000s. The movie also signalled his prowess over tickling the funny bone.
Akshay Kumar with Shilpa Shetty in DhadkanFacebook/Timeless Indian Melodies
Helmed by Dharmesh Darshan, the film made headlines for various reasons including its music, power-packed performances and storyline. Dhadkan traces the story of two star-crossed lovers. Dhadkan was one of Akshay's most successful films and continues to get showered with the same amount of love even today. The movie also cement Akshay and Shilpa’s pairing as a box-office hit Jodi.
Though it was Suniel Shetty who won more accolades with his powerful portrayal of a jilted lover, Akshay held his own with his dignified performance.
Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar In Toilet: Ek Prem KathaTwitter
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha spawned a new kind of Akshay Kumar — aware, mature yet flawed. The film was one of the biggest films of 2017 and gives us an insight into the actor that he has now become and his strategic film choices.
Akshay Kumar in Special 26Facebook
Released in 2013, Special 26 is one of the most memorable films in Akshay Kumar’s career. Though a bit off-beat, the film fared well at the box office.
Directed by Neeraj Pandey, Special 26 was loosely based on 1987’s Opera House heist. It also featured Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Divya Dutta, Jimmy Shergill and others in key roles. The film had a fair enough pre-release and was clearly a word-of-mouth dependent affair.
A unique record that Akshay has on his name today is to have maximum hit films under his kitty among all his contemporaries. Like is the case with the success count as well, as Akshay has as over 52 “successful films” with over 31 of them being "clean hits" or above.