Date of Birth: December 12, 1949
Actor, Producer, Screenplay, Story Writer
Best Tamil Actor, Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award
Years Active:
TwitterFacebookDigg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Rajinikanth (Tamil: ரஜினிகாந்த்; born Shivaji Rao Gaikwad on December 12, 1949)1 is an Indian film actor, media personality, and cultural icon. He made his debut as an actor in Apoorva Raagangal (1975), a Tamil film directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor. He then worked in Tamil cinema often portraying antagonistic characters and gradually rose to acting in lead roles. Other than acting, Rajinikanth also worked as a producer, screenwriter, and playback singer. Apart from his film career, he is also a philanthropist, spiritualist and serves as an influence in the politics of Tamil Nadu.

Rajinikanth is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, for his contribution to Indian cinema. Post-1978, he became known as the "superstar" of Tamil cinema and has held a matinee idol status in the popular culture of India. His mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue in films attributes to his mass popularity and appeal. He was named one of the most influential persons in South Asia by Asiaweek.While acting in many Indian languages, he has also appeared in the cinemas of other nations, including in that of the United States. After being paid Indian rupee26 crores (US$5.9 million) for his role in Sivaji (2007), he became the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.

Early life
Rajinikanth was born Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in a Maharashtrian family,to mother Jijabai and father Ramoji Rao Gaikwad, on December 12, 1949 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.He was the youngest of four children and has two older brothers and a sister. After the death of his mother at the age of 5,he struggled with an impoverished lifestyle during his childhood. During that time, he often did odd jobs as a coolie in his community.He attended the Acharya Patasala for elementary education and had his higher education at the Ramakrishna Mission in Bangalore.

Between 1968 and 1973 he worked in many places in Chennai, thus moving continuously from Bangalore to Chennai. He performed various jobs before joining the then Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) as a bus conductor. In 1973, his friend and co-worker Raj Bahadur motivated him to join the Madras Film Institute and also financially supported him for 2 years during his studies.

As of 2010, Rajinikanth has acted in over 150 films, including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, English, and Bengali films.After the release of his first Bollywood film, Andha Kanoon, Rajinikanth did not make as much of an impact in the Mumbai-based industry as he did in the south. He still appeared in several Hindi films, such as Chaalbaaz, Uttar Dakshin, Giraftaar and Hum. He appeared in a supporting role in the American film Bloodstone, co-produced by Ashok Amritraj in 1988, with much fanfare in India at the time of its release.He also made brief stints in the German and Japanese film industries. His film Muthu was dubbed into Japanese and became a major hit in Japan.In 2005, his film Chandramukhi was dubbed in German and released in all German-speaking nations. Despite his first language being Marathi, Rajinikanth has not yet acted in any Marathi films

Awards and honours
Rajinikanth received his first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor in 1984 for Nallavanuku Nallavan. He later received Filmfare Award nominations for his performances in Muthu (1995) and Sivaji (2007). Rajinikanth also received Tamil Nadu State Film Awards in the Best Actor category for his roles in Moondru Mugam (1982), Muthu (1995), Padayappa (1999), Chandramukhi (2005), and Sivaji (2007). He also received awards from Cinema Express and Filmfans Association for his on-screen performances and off-screen contributions in writing and producing.

Rajinikanth received the Kalaimamani award in 1985 and the M. G. R. Award in 1989, both from the Government of Tamil Nadu. In 1995, the South Indian Film Artistes' Association presented him with the Kalaichelvam Award. He was named and honoured with the Padma Bhushan award, India's third highest civilian honour, in 2000 from the Government of India. He was selected as the Indian Entertainer of the Year for 2007 by NDTV, competing against the likes of Shahrukh Khan.The Government of Maharashtra honoured him with the Raj Kapoor Award the same year. He received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema at the 2010 ceremony of the Vijay Awards.

Personal life
He married Latha Rangachari, an Iyengar,whom he met during an exclusive interview, on February 26, 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. They have two daughters named Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Soundarya Rajinikanth. His wife, Latha Rajinikanth, currently runs a school named The Ashram. His elder daughter, Aishwarya Rajinikanth, married actor Dhanush on November 18, 2004 and they have two sons named Yathra and Linga.His younger daughter, Soundarya Rajinikanth, works in the film industry as a director, producer and graphic designer. She married industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar on September 3, 2010.

Photo Gallery

Rajinikanth at Malaysia for Kabali Shooting
Rajinikanth at Malaysia for Kabali Shooting