Akshay Kumar With His Daughter Nitara

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Kumar made his first appearance as the lead actor opposite Raakhee and Shantipriya in Saugandh (1991). In the same year, he acted in Kishore Vyas-directed Dancer, which received poor reviews. The following year he starred in Abbas Mustan-directed suspense thriller, Khiladi, widely considered his breakthrough role. His next release was the Raj Sippy-directed detective film Mr. Bond, based on James Bond. His last release of 1992 was Deedar. It failed to perform well at the box office. In 1993, he acted in the Keshu Ramsay-directed bilingual film Ashaant (released in Kannada as Vishnu-Vijaya) and starring Dr. Vishnuvardhan, Ashwini Bhave and Ashutosh Rana. All of his films released during 1993, including Dil Ki Baazi, Kayda Kanoon, Waqt Hamara Hai and Sainik did not perform well commercially. In 1994, he played a police inspector in two films: Sameer Malkan-directed remake of Hollywood film The Hard Way, Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Rajiv Rai-directed Mohra which were among the highest-grossing films of the year. Later that year, he starred in Yash Chopra-produced romance, Yeh Dillagi opposite Kajol. His role in the film earned Kumar his first nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards and Star Screen award. During the same year, Kumar also had success with films like Suhaag and the low budget action film Elaan. All these achievements, promoted Kumar as one of the most successful actors of the year. In 1994, he appeared in 11 feature films.