Rajinikanth (born 12 December 1950 as Shivajirao Gaikwad), is an Indian film actor. He made his debut as an actor in the National Film Award–winning Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor.
Rajinikanth has worked in over 150 films across in Tamil,Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada film Industry. He has won six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards—four Best Actor Awards and two Special Awards for Best Actor—and a Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. He was bestowed the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour in 2000. Other than acting, Rajinikanth has also worked as a producer and screenwriter.
He was a bus conductor during which time he reportedly caught the fancy of the bus travelers with his mannerisms and style of issuing tickets and blowing the whistle and so on. Looking to become an actor, he moved to Chennai and joined the film institute. It was here that he caught the eye of K. Balachander, a director known for introducing talented, new faces into the tamil film industry.
Balachander gave him a small role – as the no-good husband of Srividya – in Aboorva Raagangal and the rest, as they say, is history. Rajnikanth soon graduated to playing villains and his style, swagger and casually unique brand of villainy vowed the movie-going public. Be it the sadistic husband of Sujatha in Avargal or the wolf in sheep’s clothing in Moondru Mudichu or the lust-filled village rowdy in Bharathiraja’s 16 Vayadhinile, Rajnikanth was the villain the people loved to hate.
From here, it was a small step for Rajni, playing the anti-hero and finally, the hero in Bhairavi. Rajnikanth firmly captured the vacant, action-hero slot in tamil movies with a series of movies where he routinely bashed up the bad guys who had done him injustice in one way or the other. Once in a while he did movies like Aarulirundhu Arubadhu Varai or Johny which gave us glimpses of his acting potential. But action was what the fans expected from a Rajni movie and action was what he gave them. He has been superstar for the past 25 years.