From the humble beginnings of working as a part-time waiter and martial artist to featuring in the top 10 list of highest-paid actors in the world, Akshay Kumar aka Akki, has surely come a long way. Akshay, who is also known as Khiladi Kumar, began his journey as a lead actor with 'Saugandh' in 1991 and has completed more than three decades in Bollywood. From being a tough action hero to an impeccable comedy, actor Akshay never shies away in experimenting.
The actor, who has turned 53 today, is considered as a star who delivers maximum movies every year and is a complete entertainment package. In all these years of screen presence, he has been acknowledged time and again for his athletic skills, healthy lifestyle as well as his acting capabilities by fans and critics alike. Movies like Khiladiyo Ka Khiladi, Jolly LLB 2, Hera Pheri, Khakee, etc have solidified his position as a mass entertainer and crowd's favourite.
In recent years, Akshay has become the modern-day 'Manoj Kumar' aka 'Bharat Kumar' of our times, owing to the number of his films which reverberate with the patriotic chords of the viewer. On his birthday here is a list of some of his most famous movies which woke up the feeling of 'Desh Bhakti' amongst all of us:
The 2016 blockbuster allegedly based on the now-famous K.M Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case saw Akshay playing the titular role of a decorated naval officer facing murder charges of his wife's lover. The film told the story of defence personnel torn between his personal and professional life and Kumar did a fantastic job in portraying the quintessential patriotic officer putting nation above everything else in his life. Such was his acting in the movie that, Akshay went on to win the National Award for his role.
2. Holiday-A Soldier is never off duty
The official remake of 2012 Tamil blockbuster Thuppaki by AR Murugadoss had Akshay playing the role of Capt. Virat Bakshi in the top-secret intelligence wing of the Indian Army, who unearths the plot to bomb Mumbai by sleeper cell terrorists. Akki once again pulled off the role with ease. His acting was praised by critics and the movie was also one of the highest grosser of its release year. Akshay even earned the nomination for Filmfare's best actor award for the same.
Before there was Kabir Khan from Chak De India, there was Tapan Das who helped the Indian national hockey team win its first gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics, thus initiating the golden age of Indian Hockey. Akshay Kumar once again proved why he is one of the most bankable stars of Bollywood by pulling off the role of a Bengali hockey coach to such perfection that it brought the movie from almost tanking at the box office to being a decent grosser of the year.
Based on the real-life incident of Malayali businessman Mathunny Mathew's effort for Evacuation of Indians from Kuwait during the invasion by Iraq. The film struck the right chords with new-age audiences living abroad who identify themselves as not Indians. Also starring Nimrat Kaur, Akshay played his part of an NRI businessman stuck in an invaded country trying to save his family as well as his brethren, while battling his own ideological contradictions.
5. Naam Shabana
Although a spin-off from the 2015 spy thriller 'Baby', the movie traced the origins of Shabana Khan from a girl next door to an undercover spy. Portrayed by Tapsee Pannu, Akki played a small but significant role as a mentor in the movie who transformed the life of a girl.
6. Mission Mangal
The movie told the story of ISRO's maiden space voyage to the red planet. Boasting a cast of some of the very talented actors of the present generation such as Sharman Joshi, Vidya Balan, Kriti Kulhari etc, led by Akshay Kumar as a scientist at India's premier space agency, the movie was a commercial success and more so proved that patriotism does not always need to be uniformly bound.
Some other notable mentions are Kesari, Baby, Special 26, Padman, Toilet-Ek Prem Katha, etc all of which are fan favourites and commercial success. Some of the upcoming projects of Akshay are Sooryavanshi, Bell Bottom, Laxmmi Bomb, Hera Pheri 3, Atrangi Re, Bacchan Pandey, etc.