Superstar Rajinikanth is the most celebrated actor in Indian cinema with millions of fans not just in India but globally. He’s worshiped as a god & his film releases are celebrated as a festival by his fans down South.
Rajnikanth’s Early Life
Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on December 12, 1950, in a Marathi family in Bangalore. He was the fourth child of Jijabai and Ramojirao Gaekwad, who was a police constable. In his childhood & youth, Rajinikanth has struggled a lot due to financial issues. To support his parents in managing the expenses for their daily living, he took up a number of odd jobs like carpentry or a coolie. For a long time, he has worked as a bus conductor in Bangalore Transport Service. For his sense of style, he was suggested by many to try his chance in acting.
Rajinikanth took part in numerous stage plays & he was also offered a role in playwright Topi Muniappa’s mythological plays. Having attained a keen interest in acting he joined acting classes at the Madras Film Institute against his family’s wishes. He experienced a lot of difficulties at this stage of life & was supported both financially & morally by his close friend Raj Bahadur. During one of his onstage performances, Tamil film director K Balachander noticed a spark in his performance & spoke to him personally & advised him to learn Tamil, which Rajinikanth obeyed & this was exactly where his life took a turn.
Rajinikanth’s Entry into Tamil Film Industry
His first entry into Tamil cinema came in the year 1975 with ‘Apoorva Raagangal’ where he played a supporting role of an abusive husband opposite Srividya. The film was relieved by critics & was awarded three National Awards. He also made his entry into the Kannada film industry with ‘Katha Sangama’, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. However, coming from a Marathi background, Rajinikanth hasn’t yet acted in a film in Marathi.
His career in the Tamil film industry was revamped when he met Director S. P. Muthuraman who cast him for the movie ‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri’ (1977) in a diverse role that portrayed him in a negative role in the first half of the film and later as a protagonist. Later on, his brilliance performance in ‘Mullum Malarum’ established Rajinikanth in Tamil cinema.
His performance in ‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri’, a melodrama was so brilliant that it moved the audience to tears. Since then, he went on to stare in a number of films in the Tamil film industry. He also made his Bollywood debut with ‘Andha Kanoon’ along with Amitabh Bachchan.
The year ‘90s was very successful for Rajinikanth as most of his went on to become blockbusters & the list includes ‘Thalapathy’, ‘Mannan’, ‘Annamalai’, ‘Uzhaippali’, ‘Veera’, ‘Baasha’, ‘Muthu’, ‘Arunachalam’ and ‘Padayappa’. His film ‘Muthu’ was also released in Japan as ‘Muthu: The Dancing Maharajah’ & it was very successful there.
In 2002, Rajinikanth starred in his home production, ‘Baba’ which filed to perform at the box office & his next film Valli’ too failed to show an impact at the box office. He made a successful comeback with ‘Chandramukhi’, which went to break all his previous Box office records and it became one of the highest-grossing films. His next film ‘Endhiran’ alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan went on to become the highest-grossing film in the country at the time.
Awards & Accolades
Rajinikanth has received numerous awards & accolades which include six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards – four Best Actor Awards and two Special Awards for Best Actor. He was awarded the Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. The government of India has bestowed him with Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor.