Akshay Kumar (born Rajiv Bhatia) has just completed 20 years in the Indian film industry on 23rd August, with his first solo outing Dancer released in 1991.
With no filmi connections or lineage, Akshay built a niche for himself working in no less than 7 ‘Khiladi’ films, establishing himself as an action star, where some years of his career have seen close to a dozen films releasing in the same year alone!
But it wasn’t just his good looks or action movies which got Akshay noticed. He proved his credentials in a range of diverse roles: comedy (Hera Pheri), dramas (Ek Rishta), romance (Dhadkan) and negative (Ajnabee).
Akshay was also notorious for his off-screen relationships with Shilpa Shetty and Raveena Tandon, but he finally married Twinkle Khanna in 2001.
Akshay also established himself as a successful TV star in 2008, anchoring the dare-devil reality show Khatron ke Khiladi and the softer Masterchef India in 2010.
But it will be the year 2007 which will stand out for many, when Akshay delivered 4 consecutive hits (Namastey London, Heyy Babyy, Bhool Bhuliayaa and Welcome), a record of sorts for any leading actor…
Ask the man himself what he has to say about his landmark and he quips: “The fact that I am still here is a celebration every day!”
Here’s to another 20 years of Akshay!