Rajnikanth’s journey from being a conductor to becoming demi-god
One of the greatest actor of all time – Shivaji Rao Gaekwad now known to all of us as ‘Rajinikanth’ , Born on 12th December 1950, in a Marathi family. He started his career as a child artist in the hindi epic ‘Mahabharata’. The youngest in four siblings, He was named after the Maratha king Chhatrapathi Shivaji. His family’s financial conditions was poor, due to this he had to go through odd works like coolie, carpenter .etc. from very early age. While supporting his family financially, he nurtured his acting skills by participating in various school plays. Later, when he was working as a bus conductor in Bangalore he felt drawn to the stage again and joined Kannada plays.
He joined Madras Film Institute in 1973 to pursue a diploma in acting. The first person to discover his acting talent was K.Balachander , an Indian director working in Tamil film industry. However, he wasn’t quite convinced with his acting as he thought his acting was a copy of mannerisms of Shivaji Ganesan. He rejected him and advised him to develop a style of his own. Next time, when they met , Rajnikanth was able to convince him and got a small role in his upcoming movie. He appeared on the screen for the first time in 1975 in Balachander’s Apoorva Raagangal’. However, he got his first lead role in ‘Bairavi’ by M. Bhaskar. In a short time, he was seen as a prominent film star and his style of flipping cigarette was a great hit.
After giving many hit movies, he starred in a Bollywood movie alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini which went on to a super hit proving that language ain’t a barrier for talent. His unique dialogue delivery and stylish walk style earned him a title ‘Superstar’. Rajinikanth married to Latha Rangachari, whom he met when she interviewed him for her college magazine. Also, there was a time when many directors were ready to cast him but he decided to gave up acting, this sent shock waves in the whole industry.
However, Balachander and other close friends of him convinced him to not to take such step. In 1984, he was awarded with ‘The Filmfare award’ for the best tamil actor for Nallavanuku Nallavan. In 1990s , he established himself as a commercial entertainer through a series of many hit movies like Thalapathi (1991), Annamalai (1992), Baasha (1995) and Padayappa (1999). In 2000, he was awarded with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ by Govt. Of India for his achievements in cinema. In 2005, he signed up for ‘Chandramukhi’ which set a record of longest running movie in cinemas.
Rajinikanth earned a whopping ₹26 crore for his role in Sivaji (2007) making him the second-highest-paid actor in India after Jackie Chan. While being known for his actions and stylish dialogues, he is a soft-hearted person in real life and indulges in a lot of philanthropic activities. In 2011, he also supported Anna Hazare’s anti corruption movement by providing his marriage hall to their members to hold their fast at free of cost. In 2014, Rajinikanth signed up for Kochadaiiyaan, produced by his daughter. This also made him the first actor in India to work in films using different camera technologies like black-and-white, color, 3D and motion capture. In 2016, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.