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Rajinikanth is the highest paid
Indian film actor. He is best known for his mass popularity and appeal, largely
drawn from his mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue in films. He
received India's third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 2000 for
his contribution to Indian cinema. Other than acting, Rajinikanth also worked as
a screenwriter, producer, and playback singer. Apart from his film career, he is
a philanthropist, spiritualist, and serves as an influence in the politics of
Rajinikanth was born on 12th December, 1949, in a lower middle class, rather
poor family in Karnataka state. He, who worked as bus conductor, developed interest
in Cinema. So abruptly gave up his job and came to Chennai and joined Film
Institute as an acting course student. His original name then was Sivaji Rao.
His modesty, smartness and sharp eyes attracted the attention of director
K.Balachander who had come to attend some function at Film Institute. A well
wisher of Sivaji Rao then told Balachander about the anxious willingness of
Sivaji Rao to act in a film in Balachander's direction. Balachander assured that
he would give a chance when proper time would come!
Accordingly Balachander introduced Sivaji Rao by changing his name as
Rajinikanth in his "Apoorva Raagangal". His acting in the first film
itself was very satisfactory to Balachander.
It was only in "Moontru Mudichu" that he started doing gimmicks and so
many stylish movements on screen. Throwing a cigarette on air and catching it
again by his mouth (without using hands), wearing sun glasses with style and the
like mannerisms when shown on screen got wonderful and extraordinary reception
Not only as hero but also as villainous character roles artist he earned
distinct fame. In Bharathi Raja's "16 Vayathinile" he acted in the
role of 'Parattai" and got extraordinary reception for that role among
audience. In this film, the oft repeated dialogue "Yithu Yeppadi Irukku?"
became a very, very popular one!
Rajini's 100th film "Sree Ragavendrar" explained his piety and
spiritual nature. It is noteworthy that untill the final work of that film was
over he was undergoing strict religious austerity and 'viratham'! Rajini has as
much belief in and love for his fans as he is having piety for God.
saying that behind every successful man there would be a woman is only very much
true in the case of Rajinikanth. The woman who is behind this great Rajini is
none but his wife Lata Rajinikanth, the very symbol of modesty. She has started a school by
name 'Sree Ragavendra Ashram' and is very anxious to make that school flourish
as one of the best schools in India. This school reflects the spirit of the
olden day educational system of 'Kurukulam'.
That Rajini-Lata pair's two daughters, Aiswarya and Soundarya pursue their
education only at this school is a noteworthy point here. Recently Lata
Rajinikanth has prepared and published children's book.
There are so many artistes who have received felicitations from Rajini for their
inherent talents. Nowadays Rajini has this habbit that after the completion of
every one of his films he uses to visit Rishikesh or Hong Kong for taking rest.
When he goes to Rishikesh he loves very much the practice of meditation and the
deep and peaceful divine milieu. Like that while in Chennai whenever he goes out
for participating in public functions he avoids make-up and all sorts of luxury
and looks very natural with whitened or grey beard and remains dressed in quite
ordinary, simple way.
He has acted in a variety of roles. He has worked with talented directors like
Barathiraaja (Pathinaru Vayathinelae, Kodi Parakuthu), Mahendran (Mullum Malarum,
Johnny). He has acted in dozens of Block-Busters like Mullum Mallarum, Johnny,
Muratu Kallai, Nallavanuku Nallavan, Thalapathi, Annamalai, Mannan, Basha, Muthu,
Arunachalam etc. He has acted in more than 157 films. Apart from Tamil he has
acted in many other Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and
Bengali. His other language hits include Andha Kanoon in Hindi Bedda Raidu,
Geevana Poratum in Telugu and many other Indian Language films. He has
also acted in one English film (Blood Stone). His some latest films were got
released in Japan also.
India's most expensive film
Enthiran ( Robot ) acted by Rajanikant, Music by A.R.Rahman and directed by
Shankar was released on 1st October 2010
Courtesy: Dinakaran, Tamil News paper ) http://www.dinakaran.com/
Rajinikanth made his debut as an actor in Apoorva Raagangal (1975), a
Tamil film directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers as his mentor.
He was later favoured in Tamil cinema for portraying antagonistic characters and
gradually rose to acting in lead roles. Post-1978, he became known as the
"superstar" of Tamil cinema and successfully held a matinee idol status among
the mass media and popular culture of India. While acting in many Indian
languages, he also appeared in films of other nations, including in those of the
United States. After being paid a salary of 26 crores for his role in Sivaji
(2007), he became the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.
Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a Marathi-speaking family, mother
Jijabai and father Ramoji Rao Gaekwad, on December 12, 1949 in Bangalore,
Karnataka, India. He was the youngest among four children and has two elder
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 odd jobs before
joining the then-Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) as a bus conductor. In 1973,
he moved to Chennai to seek a career in acting and joined the Madras Film
Institute with the help of his friend, Raj Bahadur, who was his co-worker in the
Rajinikanth joined the Madras Film Institute in 1973 and completed a basic
course in acting.
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 had 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 later turned out to become a major hit in the
country, ultimately creating Rajinikanth a huge Japanese fan-following. 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.
Rajinikanth's first film was in Tamil cinema, where he was initially casted in
supporting roles, debuting as a cancer patient in Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. The
film was directed by K. Balachander, who is constantly referred to by
Rajinikanth as his own "guru" or mentor. The following year, Rajinikanth acted
in his first Kannada film, Katha Sangama, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. Though
Rajinikanth refers to director K. Balachander as his mentor, it was director S.
P. Muthuraman who actually revamped Rajinikanthís image entirely. Muthuraman
first experimented with him in a positive role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977),
as a villain in the first half of the film and a protagonist in the second.
Rajinikanth in the film Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979)Around this time
Mullum Malarum (1978), directed by J. Mahendran, established Rajinikanth in the
Tamil film arena as a film hero. The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri prompted
Muthuraman to make a mushy melodrama with Rajinikanth as a hero sacrificing
everything for his siblings in Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979). These films
were the turning points in Rajinikanthís career; he changed from an actor who
merely enthralled the audiences to one who could also evoke emotions. The
acceptance of Rajinikanth sans his stylized mannerisms proved he had at last
become a "star" from a "common actor." His film roles were mainly as a villain
during the period 1975 to 1977, co-starring frequently with Kamal Haasan as the
protagonist, in movies like 16 Vayadhinilae, Moondru Mudichu and Avargal. In
1978, Rajinikanth acted in the film Bairavi, in which he was credited as
He continued acting with the blockbuster Tamil film Billa, which was a remake of
the blockbuster bollywood movie Don. With its phenomenal success he was accepted
as a full-fledged hero. Billa was followed by a row of hits, namely Murattu
Kaalai, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Naan Mahaan Alla, Pudukavithai, and
Moondru Mugam. K. Balachanderís first home production, Netrikan proved to be yet
another milestone in Rajniís career. He acted in his first cameo role alongside
Meena Durairaj, who was a child actor then, in the movie Anbulla Rajinikanth
More box-office hits dominated the 80's with Padikkathavan, Thee, Velaikaran,
Dharmathin Thalaivan, Mr. Bharath, and Maaveeran all of which are remakes of
Amitabh Bachchan movies. In his 100th movie, Sri Raghavendra, he played
the Hindu saint Raghavendra Swami.
Peak years: 1992-1999
The majority of his movies released during the nineties were extremely
successful, notably Thalapathy, Mannan, Annamalai, Uzhaippali, Veera, Badsha,
Muthu, Arunachalam and Padayappa. Rajinikanth wrote his first screenplay and
made a special appearance in the film Valli (1993), which failed to make an
impact at the box office. His cult classic Badsha, released in 1995, went on to
become a massive blockbuster and is routinely touted by his fans and critics
alike as the movie which elevated him from being just another very popular actor
with loads of charisma to an almost demigod status in the eyes of the masses.
His film Muthu was the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Japanese as Muthu:
The new millennium began very well for Rajinikanth; Padayappa had rewritten
previous box office records. Finally, after more than a three year sabbatical
from cinema, at 52 years of age, he starred in his home production, Baba, which
released on August 15, 2002 amid much fanfare and hype. The film did poorly at
the box office due to a very weak screenplay, which Rajinikanth himself had
written, in his second stint at screenplay-writing after Valli. The thin
screenplay revolved around the story about a gangster who later engages in
spirituality; when compared to his previous film, Padayappa, it was a colossal
disappointment. Although the film grossed enough to cover its budget, it was
viewed as a tremendous loss when compared to his previous box office successes
throughout his career. It fell short of market expectations and the high bids
reportedly translated to heavy losses for the distributors. Rajinikanth himself
repaid the losses incurred by the distributors.
Rajinikanth, right, in Sivaji (2007).After the Baba debacle, Rajinikanth mulled
over numerous scripts with many directors, including K. S. Ravikumar, and
finally chose to act in director P. Vasu's Tamil remake of Manichithrathazhu,
Chandramukhi. Many people within the industry had written Rajinikanth off after
the Baba fiasco, essentially saying "the bloom was off the rose" and that "the
gold does not glitter anymore". In essence, many viewed Chandramukhi as
Rajinikanth's comeback film, his make or break movie and in the end, when it was
released on April 14, 2005, it went on to create new box office records and
smashed his own previous records and once and for all removed any doubt within
the industry with regards to Rajinikanth's box office clout and incomparable
appeal to the masses. Chandramukhi broke the record of being the longest running
Tamil film, as of 2007. Just after Chandramukhi's release, it was reported that
AVM Productions were to produce a film directed by S. Shankar starring
Rajinikanth, the largest collaboration yet for a Tamil film. The film was titled
Sivaji and released on June 15, 2007 after two years of filming and meticulous
production. With massive international anticipation, it subsequently went on to
become a major blockbuster, being ranked among other major Bollywood and
Hollywood releases of the year. Sivaji became the first Tamil movie to be
charted as one of the top-ten best films of United Kingdom and South Africa
box-offices upon release. Rajinikanth received a salary of 26 crores,
approximately US$5.3 million at the time, for his role the film, which made him
become the second highest paid actor in all of Asia.
Following Sivaji, Rajinikanth worked with P. Vasu again for Kuselan, a remake of
the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol, in which Rajinikanth played a cameo role as
himself, a star in the Indian film industry, and as a best friend to the main
character. According to Rajinikanth, the film somewhat narrarates his early
life. The film however performed poorly at box offices; some distributors
incurred major losses due to the film, which Rajinikanth voluntarily settled
with his own budget.
During the course of the production for Sivaji, Ocher Studios, the animation
company of Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth, in association with
Adlabs announced their intention of producing a CGI animation film starring an
animated version of Rajinikanth. As of 2009, Rajinikanth joined hands with
Shankar again for Endhiran, a science fiction film produced by Sun Pictures. He
will be lending his voice to the lead character in the animation film, Sultan:
The Warrior, which is being directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth.
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
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.
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 - 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 is married to industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar since September 3,
Rajinikanth is a follower of Hinduism, spiritualism, and a strong believer of
spirituality. As a reader, he also enjoys books on such topics. He is also a
practitoner of yoga and meditation. Rajinikanth is known for visiting temples
prior to the release of each of his films; for instance he visited the Tirumala
Venkateswara Temple before the release of Sivaji in 2007 and visited Sathya Sai
Baba at Prasanthi Nilayam in Andhra Pradesh before the release of Kuselan the
following year. He also occasionally leaves for pilgrimage to the Himalayas. He
has often referred to Swami Satchidananda, Ragavendra Swami, Mahavatar Babaji,
and Ramana Maharishi as his favourite spiritual leaders
He converted one of his banquet halls, the Raghavendra Marriage Hall, to a
charitable trust to help the needy.
India's most expensive film Enthiran ( Robot ) acted by Rajanikant, Music by
A.R.Rahman and directed by Shankar was released on 1st October 2010
( Reference : Wikkipedia )