Akshay Kumar, Indian-born Canadian actor.

Akshay Kumar, Indian-born Canadian actor.

Akshay Kumar is an Indian-born naturalized Canadian actor, film producer, martial artist, and television personality who works in Bollywood, the commercial Hindi language film industry based chiefly in Mumbai.

He is one of the most successful prolific actors of Hindi cinema. Having starred in 113 films, 52 of which were commercially successful, he was the first Bollywood actor whose films’ domestic net lifetime collections crossed ₹20 billion by 2013, and ₹30 billion by 2016.

EARLY LIFE

He was born on 9 September 1967 in Amritsar, Punjab, India, to Hari Om Bhatia and Aruna Bhatia in a Punjabi family. His father was an army officer. From a young age, Kumar was very interested in sports. His father too enjoyed wrestling. He lived and grew up in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and later he moved to Bombay (present-day Mumbai) when his father left Army to become an accountant with UNICEF. Soon, his sister was born, and the family lived in Koliwada, a Punjabi-dominated area of Central Bombay.

In 1991, He made his first appearance as the lead actor opposite Raakhee and Shantipriya in Saugandh. The following year he starred in Abbas Mustan-directed suspense thriller, Khiladi, widely considered his breakthrough role. A review in The Indian Express called the film “an engrossing thriller” and described Kumar as impressive in the lead part, noting his physical appearance, strong screen presence, and commending him for being “perfectly at ease”. His next release was the Raj Sippy-directed detective film Mr. Bond, based on James Bond. His last release of 1992 was Deedar. It failed to perform well at the box office.

In 2000, Kumar starred in the Priyadarshan-directed comedy Hera Pheri alongside Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film which was a remake of the Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking became a commercial success and proved to be a turning point in Kumar’s career.

His first release of 2012 was Housefull 2, a sequel of his earlier comedy film Housefull. Kumar’s next film was the Prabhudeva-directed action drama Rowdy Rathore in which he played a double role opposite Sonakshi Sinha. The film earned more than ₹1.3 billion (US$18 million) in India. Both films grossed over ₹1 billion (US$14 million) at the box office. In 2012, he founded another production company called Grazing Goat Pictures Pvt Ltd

AWARDS

He has been the recipient of two Filmfare Awards from 13 nominations: Best Villain for Ajnabee (2002) and Best Comedian for Garam Masala (2006), and a National Film Award for Best Actor for the films Rustom and Airlift (both 2016). In 2008, the University of Windsor conferred an honorary Doctor 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 honored Kumar for his outstanding achievement in Cinema.

OV Digital Desk