Shivaji Rao Gaekwad said Rajinikanth (Kannada: ರಜನೀಕಾಂತ್) (born December 12, 1950 in Bangalore) is an actor, producer and playback singer of Indian cinema especially cinema tamil.
Since the early 1990s, each of his films has become an unprecedented commercial success with few exceptions such as Baba. That's why the "Superstar", as his fans call him, is one of the highest paid actors in Asian cinema right after Jackie Chan. Rajinikanth is considered by many to be one of the giants of the Tamil film industry, Kollywood. He is one of the most popular actors on the planet although he only plays in Indian films and is considered an idol matinee.
After earning ₹26 crore (equivalent to ₹43 crore or US $6.4 million in 2016) for his role in Sivaji (2007), he was the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan at the time.
Regardless of his film career, he is also known for his philanthropic activities throughout Tamil Nadu. A fervent defender of the most destitute, Rajinikanth has often denounced in his films the injustices resulting from social strife in Tamil society.
Rajinikanth, born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, comes from a Marathi family in Bangalore, India. He is the fourth child of Rambhai, police officer, and Ramoji Rao Gaekwad who dies when he is only five years old.
Rajinikanth studied at Acharya Paathshala Primary School in Basavanagudi (Bangalore) and then at Sangh Balak Vivekananda, a unit of the Ramakrishna Mission. His mother tongue is marathi even though he has never shot a film in that language.
Rajinikanth suffered a lot at a young age due to the poverty of his family. Subsequently, he exercises all kinds of small "jobs" to live. He works as a stuntman at the Rama Hanuman temple near his home.
Before entering the film industry, he is a bus driver for the Bangalore transport department. Noticing his charisma and style, passengers suggest he look to the cinema. From then on, he has a gesture and an attitude that will make him the king of Indian cinema afterwards. During this period, he nourished his passion for theater by participating in many plays.
Personal and family life
Rajinikanth married Latha Rangachari on February 26, 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. His wife is currently running a school called the Ashram.
His eldest daughter Aishwarya Rajinikanth, a play-back singer and director, married actor Dhanush on November 18, 2004 and they have two sons, Yathra and Linga. His youngest daughter, Soundarya Rajinikanth, works in the film industry as a director, producer and graphic artist.
Rajinikanth joined the Madras Film Institute in 1973. He has appeared in more than 200 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, English and Bengali.
Rajinikanth made a foray into Bollywood cinema with Andha Kanoon but without getting the impact he has in Tamil cinema, Kollywood. It still appears in some Hindi films such as Chaalbaaz, Uttar Dakshan, Giraftaar and Hum.
He also attempted a breakthrough in American cinema with Bloodstone released in 1988 but without success. But some of his films have been dubbed in Japanese, Muthu, or in German, Chandramukhi.
Rajinikanth made his debut in 1975 with a Tamil film, Apoorva Raagangal, in the role of a cancer patient. The film is directed by Kailasam Balachander, constantly quoted by Rajinikanth as his "guru" or mentor. The following year, Rajinikanth plays his first film in kannada, Katha Sangama, directed by Puttanna Kanagal.
Although Rajinikanth refers to Kailasam Balachander as his mentor, it is SP Muthuraman who highlights the image of Rajinikanth. He offers him his first hero role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977). The film Mullum Malarum (1978), directed by J. Mahendran, dedicates Rajinikanth as a movie hero in the landscape of the kollywood cinema. The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri then incites Muthuraman to do a rose-water melodrama where Rajinikanth sacrifices everything for his brothers and sisters in Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979). These three films are the turning point in Rajinikanth's acting career. During these films, he imposes his stylized mimicry that allows him to move from a common actor status to that of "star".
During this period, he often replies to actors such as Kamal Haasan, another emblematic figure of Kollywood.
During this phase of his career, Rajinikanth suddenly chooses to leave the scene but he is quickly caught up by his success. His performance in Billa, the remake of a Bollywood blockbuster Don, turns Rajinikanth into an accomplished actor. He is now able to hold the headliner and fill the movie theaters.
During this period, he chained the blockbusters including Murattu Kaalai, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Naan Mahaan Alla, Pudukavithai and Moondru Mugam. K. Balachandran's Netrikan is another highlight of his career. In Anbulla Rajinikanth (1984), he played alongside Meena Durairaj, then a child, an actress later known as the Meena Stage. Other successes punctuate the 1980s such as Padikkathavan, Thee, Velaikaran or Dharmathin Thalaivan.
Films released in the 1990s include Thalapathy, Mannan, Annamalai, Uzhaippali, Veera, Bacha, Muthu, Arunachalam and Padayappa. These films are unprecedented successes in India. Some become blockbusters abroad such as Muthu, first Tamil film translated into Japanese and great success in the Land of the rising sun. After the release of Padayappa (1999), Rajinikanth retired from the cinema for three years.
In 2002, the actor returns with Baba, a self-production and self-realization. But the film is far from the expected commercial success and Rajinikanth must therefore reimburse the distributors.
In 2005, Rajinikanth appears in P. Vasu's new film, Chandramukhi a tamil remake of a Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu. This film is one of his great commercial successes and the one that remains the most time on the bill.
In 2007, Rajinikanth is headlining the new film by S. Shankar, Sivaji: The Boss. This new film breaks many records, becomes one of the major films of Indian cinema and enters the top 10 box offices of the United Kingdom and South Africa.
In 2008, the actor plays again in a film by P. Vasu, Kusulan, a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol. He plays the role of a movie star and friend of the main character.
The popularity of Rajinikanth now exceeds India's borders, and that's how we find fan clubs all over Asia (China, Japan and Malaysia in particular), and movie releases are more than ever experienced as national holidays for his fans.
In October 2010 spell Enthiran in which he plays alongside Aishwarya Rai. A futuristic Indian film directed by Shankar, and distributed by Sun Pictures, this film is undoubtedly the most anticipated film in the history of Indian cinema. Never before has an Asian film experienced such a media hype. At the time of its release, it is the biggest box office success of an Indian film, the biggest budget for an Indian film, one of the most prestigious castings and the music composed by the double winner at the Oscars, AR Rahman, makes this film even more remarkable.
Health problems that occurred during the filming of Rana, directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth, kept Rajinikanth away from the plateaus during the year 2011. However, he appears for a cameo in Ra.One.
Rajinikanth has been named as one of Asia's most influential men by Asiaweek. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor, equivalent to the Oscars for South Indian Cinema, successively for Nallavanuku Nallavan (1984) and Muthu (1994).
He has also been awarded many times as Best Actor for his performance in such films as Sivaji, Chandramukhi, Padayappa, Peddarayudu, Baasha, Muthu, Annamalai, Thalapathy, Velaikaran, Sri Raghavendra, Nallavanuku Nallavan, Moondru Mugam, Enkeyo Ketta Kural, Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai, Mullum Malarum and 16 Vayathinile.
In 2005, he received the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for his role in Chandramukhi. Most recently, he was selected as NDTV's 2007 Indian Entertainer of the Year among other actors such as Shahrukh Khan.
His work is recognized by the Indian government. Therefore receives in 2000 the Padma Bhushan, who is the 3 highest honor of the country, then in 2016 the Padma Vibhushan, which is 2 highest honor of the country.