Shivaji Rao Gaekwad known professionally as Rajinikanth, is an Indian actor who works primarily in Tamil Cinema. He made his debut as an actor, in the National Award winning Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor. Initially, he portrayed characters with a negative streak, before his talent to play the hero was recognized and he captured his place as the leading man. His immense stage presence, comedic timing, stylish good looks, unique dialogue delivery and acting ability have endeared him so much in the hearts of people that he is worshiped with God-like devotion.
For more than four decades, Rajinikanth has acted in numerous box-office hits in all major Indian languages; Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri (1977), Mullum Malarum (1978), Billa (1980), Enkeyo Ketta Kural (1982), Nallavanuku Nallavan (1984), Bloodstone (1988), Thalapathi (1991), Annamalai (1992), Baashha (1994), Muthu (1995), Padayappa(1999), Chandramukhi (2005), Sivaji (2007), many of which has won him several awards and accolades.
In addition to acting, he has also worked as a producer and screenwriter. He has won many awards, including four Tamil Nadu State Film Best Actor Awards and a Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. The Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016). He received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema at the 4th Vijay Awards. At the 45th International Film Festival of India (2014), he was conferred with the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year. At the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (2019), he was honoured with the Icon of Global Jubilee award.
With a fan following running into millions, he is well-known in most countries apart from India, predominantly in Japan and the United States of America. Rajinikanth is the only Indian actor to be featured in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus, in a lesson titled From "Bus Conductor to Superstar". Despite all the fame and fortune, he is known for his simplicity, humility and compassion.
Born on: 12 December, 1950
Born in: Bangalore, Karnataka
Height: 5' 8''
Nickname(s): Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, Thalaivaa