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Actor / Screenwriter / Singer Hindi

Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth Biography

Birth Name: Shivaji Rao Gaekwad

Born : 12 December 1950, in Bangalore, Mysore State (now Karnataka), India

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A man who came from very humble beginnings has now become one of the most prominent faces of the Indian film industry. Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, better known as Rajinikanth today, was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, to a police constable on 12 December, 1950. Though his mother tongue was Marathi, he took the Tamil Film industry by storm years later and became an icon over there. He is originally from a village called Mavdi Kade Pathar, near Jejuri, which comes under the Pune district of Maharashtra.

Young Rajinikanth’s first few jobs were that of a coolie and a carpenter. He was then employed as a bus conductor with the Bangalore Transport Service. There too, he would fascinate his colleagues and bus passengers with his unique mannerisms. Aspiring to become an actor, he shifted base to Chennai in 1973 and joined the Madras Film Institute.

Director K Balachander, whom Rajinikanth considers his mentor, spotted him there in a stage play and advised him to learn to speak Tamil. He then cast him in his National Film Award winning Apoorva Raagangal (1975), after which there was no looking back for the talented actor. Initially, he was offered mostly negative roles to play in Tamil films. His performances even in these roles were appreciated and he started getting more offers not only from Tamil, but also Telugu, and Kannada film industries. In fact, he starred in 20 films in the year 1978 in the three film industries.

After establishing himself as a lead actor in a number of commercially successful films, he earned the moniker of ‘Superstar’ and his popularity started rising at a very fast pace. He acquired an idol status in the popular culture of Tamil Nadu, so much that his characters could not be “killed off” by the directors, in fear of theatres being burned down in anger by his fans.

After witnessing immense success, there came a time when Rajinikanth wanted to quit the film industry, but was coaxed into staying and doing Billa (1980), a remake of Hindi film Don (1978), which was also a tremendous success at the box-office. The ‘Superstar’ went on spree of delivering hits after this once again. He was one of the highest paid actors in Asia.

Rajinikanth delivered memorable performances in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Hindi and English films since then.  He was the recipient of a multitude of awards for his work in films. Rajinikanth has also been conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016 for his immense contribution to Indian cinema. He has also been honoured with many other awards from the film industry.

Rajinikanth is also an avid worker for several humanitarian causes. He donates much of his profits to charities, without publicising them. He also supported Anna Hazare's anti corruption movement.

Rajinikanth, has two daughters who have also made it big in the industry – Aishwarya, who is married to the Tamil actor Dhanush, and Soundarya, who directed Kochadaiyaan (2014), India’s first photorealistic motion capture film.

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Latha Rajinikanth