Bollywood leading man Akshay Kumar took his bow as a performer in the early '90s, then accumulated a series of roles that qualified him as one of the most prolific actors in contemporary Indian cinema. These included the 1997 Daava, the 2001 Ajnabee, and the 2003 Khakee -- to name merely a few among dozens of projects. Kumar achieved two international crossover successes in 2007, with his lead in the romance Namastey, London, as the arranged husband of an unwilling bride; and another lead in the supernaturally charged comic thriller Bhool Bhulaiyaa, as a psychiatrist attempting to determine if a Brahmin palace is haunted by spirits.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Chose "Akshay" as his screen name to credit the character he played (for 15 seconds) in the 1987 movie Aaj.
- Worked as a waiter in Bangkok where he was training to become a Muay Thai expert. Holds taekwondo black belt as well.
- Worked as a martial arts teacher before starting out as a model.
- Almost broke his neck and back when he lifted the WWF fighter Undertaker (weighed 350 pounds then) for a scene being shot for his 1996 movie Khiladiyon ka Khiladi.
- Won Best Villain Award for the movie Ajnabee (2001).Hosted a documentary for National Geographic Channel, Seven Deadly Arts with Akshay Kumar (2004).
- Earned an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Windsor in 2008, in recognition of his contribution to Indian cinema.
- Founded the Hari Om Entertainment production company in 2008; founded the Grazing Goat Pictures production company in 2012.
- Awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 2009.
- Involved in a lawsuit along with his wife in 2009; while performing at a show for Levis at Lakme Fashion Week, he had asked her to unbutton his jeans.
- Hosted the first season of Masterchef India in 2010; was nominated as India's torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics, making him the only actor in the list of prominent torchbearers to have received an invitation.
- Honoured for his outstanding achievement in Cinema by the Asian Awards in 2011.
- Earned the nickname "Indian Jackie Chan" for performing various movie stunts himself.
- Owns Khalsa Warriors team in the World Kabbadi League.