Rajinikanth real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad and he was born on 12 December 1950 in Bangalore, Mysore State (now Karnataka), India. He is knowna as an Indian film actor and politician who works primarily in Tamil cinema.
Intially he was a bus conductor before he joined the Madras Film Institute. He began his career from tamil movie industry in the year 1975, with a minor role in Apoorva Raagangal. Most of his early roles were negative ones and his first actual lead was in a Telugu movie Chilakamma Cheppindi. Interesting fact about Rajinikanth is that his commercial success and stardom rose after he quit cinema and was brought back. Then came of string of extremely succesful movies like Billa and Murattu Kaalai.
His iconic style, especially with the cigarette flipping in the air and catching it with his mouth
and sunglasses gave him a mass appeal. His commercial stardom started from 1990-2001, Rajinikanth established himself as a commercial entertainer. Almost all the films released during this period were highly successful at the box office.
He then did a full length comedy (Thillu Mullu) to break the trend, again leading to commercial success.
He has also did some very serious roles like my Raghavendra Swami in Sri Raghavendra, his 100th movie.
The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016
for his contributions to the arts. At the 45th International Film Festival of India (2014),
he was conferred with the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year.