Age: 61 years
Birthday: 12th December, 1949
Marital Status: Married to Latha Rangachari, has two daughters Aishwarya and Soundarya.
Awards: Entertainer of the Decade Award by NDTV (2011), Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, 6 Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor, 1 Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award
Trivia: Despite being a Tamil Megastar and worshipped like a God by his fans, Rajnikanthh is not a Tamilian by birth but a Mahashtrian. Before joining Madras Film Institute, he worked as a bus conductor with Bangalore Transport Service (BTS).
Biography: Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a impoverished Maharashtrian family, Rajnikanth went on to become Tamil megastar and one of the highest earning actor by his sheer grit, hardwork and perseverance.
He started his career in film with his debut in Tamil film, Apoorva Raagangal (1975) alongside Kamal Hassan. K. Balachander whom Rajnikanthh considers his mentor gave him his break into mainstream Tamil cinema in Srividya (1975), after which there was no looking for this talented actor, he portrayed every character with perfection. He acted in the Kannada film, Katha Sangama (1976), Telegu film, Anthuleni Katha (1976), Avargal (1976), Moondru Mudichu (1976) and 16 Vayadhinile (1976). He established himself as a villain the audience loved to hate. His first break as a lead actor came with the Telegu film, Chilakamma Cheppindi (1977). He also appeared in Sahodarara Savaal, Kumkuma Rakshe, Thoreyi Gadichindi, Annadammula Savaal. His first positive role was in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977). Bairavi (1978) was the first Tamil film in which he played a solo hero role. He made his Malayalam debut in Allauddinum Albhutha Vilakkum (1979). Then went on to act in Dharma Yuddham (1979), Tiger (1979) sharing screen space with N.T. Rama Rao, Garjanai (1981) and youthful films like Ninaithale Inikkum, Priya and Amma Evarikkaina Amma.
He then decided to quit the film industry. However, he was coaxed into staying put and he made his comeback with Billa, a remake of Hindi Don, which ran successfully at the box-office. Once again he went on to churn hit after hit movies like Murattu Kaalai, Netrika, Thillu Mullu – his first full length comedy and many others.
He has also acted in Bollywood films like Jeet Hamaari, Gangvaa, John Jani Janardhan, Bhagwaan Dada, Insaaf Kaun Karega, Chaalbaaz and Tyagi.
In the 80s and 90s, he continued to appear in a many box-office hits like Padikkathaavaan, Mr. Bharath, Velaikaran, Dharmathin Thalaivan, Thalapathy, Mannan, Annamalai, Veera and Badsha. Baba (2002) was a major setback and incurred heavy loss. However, he turned the tide again with his performance in Chadramukhi and then Sivaji, both becoming major blockbusters. Then, came the sci-fi blockbuster Endhiran (2010), India’s costliest film, which also became the highest grossing film of its time. Rajnikanth who is known not to charge fees for working in his films, was paid a remuneration of a whooping Rs. 45 crores for the film.
Rajnikanth suffered multiple health complications in April 2011 while working for his film Rana. He had to go to Singapore for treatment for two weeks. After Rajnikanth’s health stabilised in late 2011, Rana was shelved to make way for another project Kochadaiyaan in which he is paired opposite Deepika Padukone.