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Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, better known by his screen name Rajinikanth, is an iconic actor who primarily works in the Tamil film industry. Endearingly referred to as `Thalaiva` by his fans, Rajinikanth`s larger-than-life aura is without parallels, and has even redefined the limits of superstardom and earned him a demigod status among many of his ardent admirers. He debuted in the K. Balachander film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), and has since graced the screen in over 200 films in the course of a celebrated career spanning over four decades.

Real NameShivaji Rao Gaekwad
Nickname(s)Rajinikanth, Thalaiva, Superstar
Profession(s)Actor, Producer, Screenplay Writer, Philanthropist
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet inches- 5’ 8”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 75 kg
in pounds- 165 lbs
Body Measurements- Chest: 40 Inches
- Waist: 33 Inches
- Biceps: 12 Inches
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourWhite (Semi-bald)
Personal Life
Date of Birth1950-12-12
Age (as in 2019)69 Years
BirthplaceBengaluru, Mysore State (now Karnataka), India
Zodiac signSagittarius
SignatureRajinikanth signature
HometownBengaluru, Karnataka, India
School• Acharya Paathshala in Basavanagudi, Bangalore
• Vivekananda Balaka Sangha
CollegeM.G.R Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu
Educational QualificationDiploma in Acting
DebutTamil Film: Apoorva Raagangal (1975)
Kannada Film: Katha Sangama (1976)
Telugu Film: Anthuleni Katha (1976)
Bollywood Film: Andha Kanoon (1983)
FamilyFather- Ramoji Rao Gaekwad (Worked as a police constable)
Mother- Jijabai (Homemaker)Rajinikanth parents
Brothers- Satyanarayana Rao (Elder), Nageshwara Rao (Elder)Rajinikanth with his brother Satyanarayana Rao
Sister- Aswath Balubhai (Elder)
AddressA bungalow in Poes Garden, Chennai
HobbiesTravelling, Reading, Gardening
Awards/Honours2000: Padma Bhushan
2014: Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year
2016: Padma Vibhushan
Controversies• In 2014, Rajinikanth got the stay from the Madras High Court to stop the release of Bollywood film 'Main Hoon Rajinikanth.' Later, the name of the film was changed to 'Main Hoon Part-Time Killer.'
• In 2015, the Madras High Court issued a notice to Rajinikanth, on a plea by a financier to take action against the director, Kasthuri Raja, father of actor Dhanush. The financier also claimed that he gave money to Kasthuri Raja after he had used Rajinikanth's name. He wanted Rajinikanth to 'initiate action against his relative for misusing his name without his consent.'Kasthuri Raja with Dhanush
• In 2017, Lyca Productions announced that Rajinikanth will unveil a housing scheme by its charity wing 'Gnanam Foundation' for displaced Tamils in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. After this announcement, the pro-Tamil protested against Rajinikanth's visit.
Favourite Things
FoodMasala Dosa
Actor(s)Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Sylvester Stallone
ActressesRekha, Hema Malini
FilmVeera Kesari (Kannada)
Book(s)Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki, Amma Vanthal by T. Janakiraman
PoliticianLee Kuan Yew (Former Prime Minister of Singapore)
Social ActivistAnna Hazare
DestinationThe Himalayas
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/GirlfriendsSilk Smitha (Actress)
Latha (Producer, Singer)
Wife/SpouseLatha (M.1981-present)
Marriage Date1981-02-26
ChildrenSon- None
Daughters- Aishwarya (born in 1982), Soundarya (born in 1984)
Style Quotient
Cars CollectionPremier Padmini Fiat, Chevrolet Tavera, Toyota Innova, Ambassador, Honda Civic
Bikes CollectionSuzuki Hayabusa, Suzuki Intruder M1800 RZ
Money Factor
Salary₹40-45 crore/film
Net Worth$55 million

Some Lesser Known Facts About Rajinikanth

  • Does Rajinikanth smoke?: No
  • Does Rajinikanth drink alcohol?: Yes
  • Rajnikanth is a Maharashtrian by birth and not a Tamilian, though his ancestors hailed from both Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
  • He lost his mother at a young age after which he was raised by his father and his elder brothers.
  • He was a very naughty kid in his childhood.
  • Before becoming an actor he did odd jobs in Chennai and Bengaluru such as a carpenter, a coolie, and a bus conductor for the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS). As a bus conductor, he used to get ₹750/month.
  • His friend, Raj Bahadur, used to give him funds to learn acting in a film institution in Chennai.
  • As he was keen on acting, he joined the Madras Film Institute, and during one of his stage performances, he met the director, K Balachander, who offered him a role in his Tamil film. Until that time, he was not good at speaking Tamil, but he quickly learned it and master the language.
  • He made his acting debut alongside Kamal Haasan in Tamil film ‘Apoorva Raagangal‘ (1975).
  • For the initial two years of his acting career, he got recognised for his negative roles, until he got the lead role in the Telugu film ‘Chilakamma Cheppindi‘ (1977).
  • His first commercial success was ‘Billa’ (1980), a remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Don’ (1978).
  • He met his wife Latha, when a group of college girls came to take his interview, where Latha was leading the group. Rajinikanth got so much attracted to Latha that he proposed her on the same day.
  • In his 100th film, he played the role of a Hindu saint ‘Raghavendra Swami’ in the film ‘Sri Raghavendra‘ (1985)
  • In 1988, Rajinikanth did his first and only English film ‘Bloodstone,’ an Indian-American action-adventure film.
  • His film ‘Raaja Chinna Roja‘ (1989), was the first Tamil film to use animation.
  • His only film that was released with a U/A certificate was ‘Thalapathi‘ (1991).
  • In 2002, he did a day-long fast to protest the Karnataka Government’s decision not to release water from the river Kaveri into Tamil Nadu. Also in 2008, he participated in a day-long fast with other Tamil film personalities, demanding that the Sri Lankan government must end the civil war and give Sri Lankan Tamils their rights.
  • In 2007, he became the highest paid Asian actor after Jackie Chan, when he was paid ₹26 crore for the film ‘Sivaji.’
  • His science fiction film ‘Enthiran‘ (English – Robot) was supposed to be done by Kamal Haasan.
  • Rajinikanth was named as the Most Influential Indian of 2010, by Forbes India.
  • He made a special appearance in Shah Rukh Khan‘s Sci-Fi film, ‘Ra.One‘ (2011).
  • In 2011, he supported social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement and offered him to use of his marriage hall, Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai.
  • Since 1995, he goes to the Himalayas after every film.
  • He doesn’t meet people after 9 pm.
  • Rajinikanth is very punctual and reaches all his shootings before time.
  • He is known for his humble nature, simplicity, and down to earth personality.
  • He has a God-like stature in South India.
  • Meena is the only actress who has worked with him as a child actor and as his heroine.
  • His fans celebrate his birthday (12 December) as ‘World Style Day‘ or ‘International Style Day.’
  • His spiritual guru was, Swami Satchidananda, the founder of Integral Yoga.
  • He has acted alongside Sripriya in more than 27 movies, the most with any actress.
  • He paid the losses of his distributors when his films ‘Baba’ (2002), and ‘Kuselan’ (2008), failed at the box office.
  • He is the owner of Raghavendra Mandapam marriage hall in Chennai.Rajinikanth owns Raghavendra Mandapam marriage hall in Chennai
  • His much famous style of tossing cigarette came from an incidence when he wanted to join a gang in his school days, as they were his seniors so they refused, after which he thought he would impress the guys with this trick. He used to practice this trick in the bushes of the school.
  • He is the first Indian actor to have featured in black & white, coloured, animated, and 3D film.
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