Born on March 28, 29175, Akshaye Khanna was born in Punjab to late veteran actor Vinod Khanna and wife Geetanjali Taleyarkhan. We look back at the media-shy Bollywood actor's film journey. (All photos courtesy: mid-day archives and Yogen Shah)
Akshaye Khanna made his Bollywood debut in 1997 with Himalay Putra, which was produced by his father Vinod Khanna. But the movie bombed at the box office.
Akshaye Khanna's next film Border (1997) earned him the Filmfare Best Debut Award. He was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same.
Akshaye Khanna went on to star in films like Kudrat (1998), Laawaris (1999), and Dahek (1999), but these movies did not do well commercially.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna and Anjala Zaveri in a still from Himalay Putra.
Akshaye Khanna starred in Rishi Kapoor's Aa Ab Laut Chalen in 1999.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna and Urmila Matondkar in a still from Kudrat.
Akshaye Khanna next starred in Subhash Ghai's Taal in 1999 opposite Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The film was a huge hit critically and commercially.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna and Jyothika in a still from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna.
In 2001, Akshaye Khanna starred in Farhan Akhtar's cult classic Dil Chahta Hai. This film was a turning point in his career. He also won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the movie.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna and Anjala Zaveri on the sets of Himalay Putra with director Pankaj Parashar
In 2002, Akshaye Khanna appeared in the Abbas-Mustan thriller Humraaz for which he earned a nomination for a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a negative role.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Karisma Kapoor.
Akshaye Khanna went on to star in comedy films like Hungama (2002) and Hulchul (2004) that were box office hits.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna and Parmeet Sethi in a still from Laawaris.
Akshaye Khanna, however, failed to recreate his box office magic later with films like Shaadi Se Pehle (2006), Aap Ki Khatir (2006), Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love (2007), Mere Baap Pehle Aap (2008) and Naqaab (2007).
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Hema Malini on the sets of Himalay Putra.
Akshaye Khanna's performance in the 2007 film Gandhi, My Father earned him critical acclaim.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Ameesha Patel in Humraaz.
Akshaye Khanna starred in Race in 2008 that turned out to be a hit. The film was highly appreciated by critics and audience alike.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Vibha Dutt.
In 2010, Akshaye Khanna's films No Problem and Aakrosh flopped at the box office. The same year, his film Tees Maar Khan released.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna, Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan in Dil Chahta Hai.
In 2012, Akshaye Khanna starred in Gali Gali Chor Hai, which also flopped at the box office, following which he took a four-year break from acting.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Suniel Shetty.
While speaking about his sabbatical from 2012 to 2016 in an interview with mid-day, Akshaye Khanna said he was away from the silver screen for four years due to personal reasons.
Akshaye Khanna said he 'felt tortured' while he was not doing films.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with father Vinod Khanna at an awards ceremony
Akshaye Khanna said, "There was a reason why I took a sabbatical. I had some personal reasons which didn't allow me to work. But there has never been a point in my life where I wanted to take things slow, or I didn't want to work."
Akshaye Khanna added, "Besides work (acting), there is nothing I know or can do. I have been working non-stop since I was 19 so not working is torturous. That phase has gone now."
Akshaye Khanna said, "I am still me. What probably hit me hard was that I value being on a film set. The sabbatical was a good thing. If an actor stops acting, something inside him crumbles and dies."
Akshaye Khanna said, "Moreover, the audience in India barely gives them as many chances to entertain them. I would be a fool if I didn't realise how fortunate I am to be getting good work despite the break and the flops."
Akshaye Khanna said, "I can't imagine why I deserve this chance. Maybe I have done something right for this to happen to me."
On being called a social recluse, Akshaye Khanna told mid-day in an exclusive interview, "I am the biggest social recluse ever. There's nothing wrong with it or to be ashamed of. I have always been this person."
Akshaye Khanna told mid-day, "It might be in conflict with how the world functions today. Anyone from this industry must conduct his career differently. An actor should be more public, social and in-the-face. I should change my ways in the coming years. Who knows... I could be tweeting my heart out."
Akshaye Khanna further said, "I need to be more practical. I have been stupid to not put myself out there. It isn't the most sensible thing to do. Actors need to be more flexible. I think I have made tremendous progress."
Akshaye Khanna said, "I have a morbid fear of the press, being seen and being talked about. There is no logical reason behind it. Nothing specific triggered it. But if I saw myself on a magazine cover, I would look away. I would shut a paper if there is an interview of mine."
The actor further said, "I had become so comfortable with my solitude, that all this didn't matter. But, I am in the midst of a diabolical change and I think the fear is fading away finally. I don't think people have agendas against each other anymore."
Talking about social media, Akshaye Khanna told mid-day, "I like social media because it allows everyone to be free."
While talking about the lure of showbiz, Akshaye Khanna told mid-day, "The aspiration of any artiste is to be loved. Recognition, fame, appreciation - it all comes in a package. It's a part of what I signed up for when I became an actor. If you take away his body of work, Salman Khan will also collapse as a superstar."
Akshaye Khanna made his comeback in Bollywood after a 4-year sabbatical with Dishoom in 2016.
Why did he choose Dishoom as his comeback vehicle you wonder? The actor said he chose to feature in Dishoom, which starred John Abraham, Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez, as he really liked the script and as it was an interesting concept.
Akshaye Khanna played an investigative officer in Mom (2017) co-starring Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. In the same year, he starred in Ittefaq too.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Madhu Sapre at an event.
This year, Akshaye Khanna was seen in The Accidental Prime Minister, a biographical film that was released in January 2019.
Pictured: Akshaye Khanna with Milind Deora and school cadets at an event.
Akshaye Khanna's second release of 2019 - Section 375 - has just released in theatres. Directed by Ajay Bahl, the film revolves around Section 375 of Indian Penal Code laws and explores the issue of sexual harassment.
We wish Akshaye all the very best for Section 375!
Akshaye Khanna's latest release Section 375 hit theatres on September 13, 2019. The actor completed 22 years in the film industry as his first film Himalay Putra released on April 4, 1997. We look back at the media-shy Bollywood actor's film journey and how he made a comeback after feeling 'tortured' without work.
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