He can act, has a supple body, knows martial arts, does his own stunts, was a former chef and above all he is the Mr Nice Guy of the industry.
Akshay Kumar has been in Bollywood for 25 years and has given a string of hits which have kept him in the spotlight over the years. From action heroes to romantic characters and even villains, Akshay has done everything.
Here is a selection of some of his earlier works which made him an actor to reckon with:
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Ayesha Jhulka, Deepak Tijori, Sabeeha, Prem Chopra, Johnny Lever
Director: Abbas Mastan
Four college pranksters find that things can get difficult when a real life prank goes awfully wrong. Raj (Akshay) has never lost a bet and now he and Boney (Tijori) plan to exhort money from a minister without knowing what they are in for.
The other members of the gang are Neelam (Jhulka), an heiress, and Sheetal (Sabeeha), the minister’s daughter. The others ‘kidnap’ Sheetal and keep her in a house and ask the minister to cough up. However, things turn ugly when Sheetal lands up dead.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Raveena Tandon, Paresh Rawal, Gulshan Grover, Raza Murad
Director: Rajiv Rai
Vishal (Shetty) come out of prison to avenge the death of his wife and sister, both victims of two drug lords who are creating havoc with their henchmen. However, Inspector Amar (Akshay) is chasing the drug lords and at the same time feels that Vishal should be in prison for murder.
Journalist Roma (Raveena), who is on Vishal’s case, befriends a blind businessman Jindal (Shah) who is willing to help her with Vishal’s situation. But things get further complicated before the real culprit is revealed.
Tu Chor Main Sipahi (1994)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Prathiba Sinha, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher
Director: Guddu Dhanoa
Raja (Saif), a notorious criminal, is on a robbing spree, mostly targeting rich people. Inspector Amar (Akshay) is on the chase trying to catch him in the act. The chase was never going to be easy but a quirk of fate brings them together.
Amar is concussed and loses his memory. Raja assumes charge and they both team together to battle a village landowner (Puri). This film is one big of the hits of the Akshay-Saif pairing.
Mr and Mrs Khiladi (1999)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Juhi Chawla, Satish Kaushik, Paresh Rawal, Kader Khan
Director: David Dhawan
A good for nothing, lazy character Raja (Akshay) waits patiently for the prediction of his uncle (Kaushik) of marrying a rich woman come true. He bumps into Shalu (Chawla) and she fits the bill.
But her father Badri Prasad (Kader Khan) has different values in life and wants Raja to work before he can aspire for Shalu. However, the two get married but Badri is cunningly tells them they cannot consummate the relationship. Will Raja reform?
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, Kiran Kumar, Mahima Chaudhary
Director: Dharmesh Darshan
A poor man Dev (Suniel Shetty) is in love with a rich and influential businessman’s daughter Anjali (Shilpa) who reciprocates the feelings. But things don’t go according to script and Anjali is left married to a good man Ram (Akshay).
Anjali begins to like Ram after her initial dislike but then Dev reappears rich and still in love. Anjali is confused but Ram’s goodness triumphs. Faced with the truth, Dev just fades away.