Significant facts

Famous as: Actor
Birth Name: Shivaji Rao Gaekwad
Nicknames: Thalaivar, Superstar
Date of Birth: December 12,
Birthplace: Karnataka, India
Nationality: Indian
Father: Ramoji Rao Gaekwad
Mother: Jijabai
Wife: Latha Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth is a popular South Indian actor, especially of Tamil cinema. Besides, he is one of the highest earning actors in the whole of Asian movie industry. He is popular for his phenomenal and stylish gestures. He has a unique aura, rocking style and charismatic presence on screen that never fails to capture the mind and heart of everyone, from kids to the elderly. In India, one can either love him or hate him, but never ignore him! It is not an exaggeration to quote that he is one of the celebrities in Asia with maximum fan following.

Early Life of Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao in a poor Maratha family in the state of Karnataka. He was born as the fourth child to Ramoji Rao and Jijabai. His childhood was not very great and only poverty prevailed. So, the entire family suffered a lot. Rajini lost his mother at a very young age.

Rajinikanth went to Acharya Patasala in Bangalore. He also attended the Vivekananda Balak Sangh which was part of the Ramakrishna Mission. He was not much interested in studies. Early in life, he started doing small jobs to support his livelihood. He worked as a carpenter and coolie. Later, his brother got him the job of a bus conductor at the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

Prior to entering the film industry, Rajinikanth practiced stunts at the Rama Hanuman temple located near his house. Soon, he discovered his interest in acting and managed to join the Madras Film Institute. Besides learning acting and nuances of cinema, he also participated in stage plays and made theatre acts.

Rajinikanth: Entry into Movies

Rajinikanth made his first screen appearance in a Kannada movie named Katha Sangama in the year 1975. However, it was the Tamil venture Apoorva Raagangal (1975) directed by legendary director K. Balachander that took Rajini to fame. Though he played a minor role in the movie, the popular director recognized the enormous potential of the actor. It was K. Balanchander who named him Rajinikanth. The actor considers the director as his mentor. Initially, Rajini was offered negative roles in movies. Even when he played villain roles, he allured the audience with his own style and unique gestures and dialogue delivery.

Rajinikanth is one of the very few actors whose villainy roles masses greatly admired and appreciated. His most popular villain roles were in the movies Moondru Mudichu in 1976, Pathinaaru Vayadhinile in 1976, and Avargal in 1977. Finally, he did a positive role in the movie Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri that released in 1977. Though it was K. Balachander that identified the talent, it was director S.P. Muthuraman who revamped the image of the star entirely by offering him a positive role and making him the hero of the film. From there on, Rajini received lead roles in many films. It was Mullum Malarum that released in 1978 and Aarilirundhu Arubathu Varai that released in 1979 that established him firmly as a lead actor in the Tamil film industry.


Rajinikanth’s superlative style of action and acting is something beyond comparison. Till date, he continues to remain unmatched. His punch dialogues strike the masses straight at their souls. His name became synonymous with ‘star’ and ‘hero’. In fact, he is a hero whom a layman can relate much to.

After the star established himself as the one and only superstar of Tamil Nadu, making every film a mega hit was a piece of cake for him. Literally, there weren’t any flops for the star. Every single movie he made hit the box office. He is an all time mass hero of Indian cinema.

Filmography of Rajanikanth

Some of Rajini’s famous blockbusters include Nallvanukku Nallavan, Sri Raghavendra, Padikkadhavan, Polladhavan, Manidhan, Panakkaran, Mappillai, Guru Sishyan, Thalapathi, Annamalai, Ejamaan, Muthu, Basha, Arunachalam, Padaiyappa, Chandramukhi, Sivaji, and Endhiran. In fact, Sivaji that released in 2007 was a mega budget movie that made Rajini the highest paid star in India and the second highest in Asia just next to Jackie Chan. His movie Muthu released in Japan as “Dancing Maharaja” and made Rajinikanth very popular in Japan! Lingaa is his latest project (in 2014) after Kochadaiyan, India’s first ever motion-capture film.

Rajinikanth in Bollywood

Rajinikanth is one of the very few actors from the South who achieved remarkable success in Bollywood. He made his debut in the Hindi Film Industry in “Andha Kanoon” in 1983. He continued his acting in several Hindi films including Geraftaar, Uttar Dakshan, Chaalbaaz and Hum.

Personal Life

Rajinikanth is married to Latha since 1981. They have two daughters. The couple involves themselves in a lot of charity to help the poor and needy.


Rajinikanth has numerous awards to his credit, both regional and national. Of those, the most prominent ones are the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the “”Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year” in 2014.

Rajinikanth – Interesting facts

  • Rajinikanth is the only actor in the world to have acted in Black and White movies as well as a motion capture movie!
  • He has also acted in a Hollywood movie named Blood Stone!
  • Rajini is the most popular star of Tamil cinema who is worshipped like God!
  • In April 2011, Rajini was prone to multiple health complications when working for the movie Rana. His recovery was almost like rebirth and he attributed his wellness and recovery to the love and prayers of his fans.
  • He has never been starry and egoistic.
  • His popular style of tossing a cigarette in the air and catching it with his lip began even before he turned 18. He first performed this trick at school when he bet his senior friends that he is able enough to join their gang.
  • In school days, he seemed to have a strong liking for acting. He performed different roles in school stage plays. He liked playing the role of villains such as Ravana and his style was highly appreciated by the audience.
  • After he completes every movie, he takes a break out of the city and heads forward to the mighty Himalayas. In fact, he is the only star who has visited some of the most sacred caves in the Himalayas where the Sadhus live.
  • Besides seeking spiritual peace, he likes to roam around the city without identity.
  • “The name is Rajinikanth” is one of the best book about him.

Famous Quotes by Rajinikanth

“The happiest men in this world are children, lunatics and sages.”

“God commands, I obey.”

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