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Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, known professionally as Rajinikanth, is an iconic Indian actor whose illustrious career in Tamil cinema spans over five decades and includes an impressive filmography of over 170 films across multiple languages, including Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, and Malayalam. Widely acclaimed as one of the most successful and popular actors in the history of Indian cinema, Rajinikanth has garnered an international fan base and a cult following for his unique style and on-screen charisma.

Rajinikanth was born on December 12, 1950, in Bangalore to a Marathi Hindu family. His early life was marked by humble beginnings and the loss of his mother at a young age. After working various jobs, including as a bus conductor, he pursued his passion for acting. Encouraged by friends, he joined the Madras Film Institute, where his talent was discovered by director K. Balachander.

Rajinikanth's remarkable journey began with his debut in K. Balachander's 1975 Tamil drama Apoorva Raagangal. Initially cast in antagonistic roles, he soon showcased his versatility, earning critical acclaim for his performance as a scorned lover in Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri (1977). His portrayal in Mullum Malarum and Aval Appadithan further solidified his reputation, with the former earning him a Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for Best Actor.

By the early 1980s, Rajinikanth had established himself in all South Indian film industries. His role in the action thriller Billa (1980), a remake of the Hindi film Don, catapulted him to stardom and cemented his action hero image. His triple role in Moondru Mugam (1982) and his Bollywood debut in Andhaa Kaanoon (1983) marked significant milestones, with the latter being a top-grossing film.

Throughout the latter half of the 1980s and into the 1990s, Rajinikanth delivered a series of successful films, including Geraftaar (1985), Padikkadavan (1985), Mr. Bharath (1986), and Velaikaran (1987). His collaboration with Mani Ratnam in Thalapathi (1991) earned him major critical acclaim. Subsequent collaborations with Suresh Krissna in films like Annaamalai (1992) and Baashha (1995) broke box office records, with Baashha becoming the highest-grossing film in Tamil cinema at the time.

Rajinikanth's consistent success continued with hits like Muthu (1995) and Padayappa (1999), the latter surpassing previous box office records. After a brief hiatus, he made a triumphant return with Chandramukhi (2005), which set new records as the highest-grossing Tamil film. His role in Sivaji (2007) saw it become the first Tamil film to enter the 100 Crore Club, and his dual roles in Enthiran (2010) and its sequel 2.0 (2018) further established his dominance, with both films being among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

In 2023, Rajinikanth's blockbuster Jailer made a significant impact in the Tamil film industry, earning over 600 crores and establishing him as the sole actor with two films grossing over 500 crores. His unparalleled contributions to Indian cinema have earned him numerous accolades, including a National Film Award, seven Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, a Nandi Award, and a Filmfare Award. The Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 2000, the Padma Vibhushan in 2016, and the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2019 for his contributions to Indian cinema.

Rajinikanth's personal life is as inspiring as his professional one. He married Latha Rangachari in 1981, and they have two daughters, Aishwarya and Soundarya. Known for his spiritual pursuits, Rajinikanth often visits Hindu temples and practices yoga and meditation.

Place of Birth: Bengaluru

Date of Birth: December 12, 1950

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