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Rajanikanth - Film actor

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Rajinikanth  is the highest paid Indian film actor. He is best known for his mass popularity and appeal, largely drawn from his mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue in films. He received India's third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 2000 for his contribution to Indian cinema. Other than acting, Rajinikanth also worked as a screenwriter, producer, and playback singer. Apart from his film career, he is a philanthropist, spiritualist, and serves as an influence in the politics of Tamil Nadu.

Rajinikanth was born on 12th December, 1949, in a lower middle class, rather poor family in Karnataka state.  He, who worked as bus conductor, developed interest in Cinema. So abruptly gave up his job and came to Chennai and joined Film Institute as an acting course student. His original name then was Sivaji Rao. His modesty, smartness and sharp eyes attracted the attention of director K.Balachander who had come to attend some function at Film Institute. A well wisher of Sivaji Rao then told Balachander about the anxious willingness of Sivaji Rao to act in a film in Balachander's direction. Balachander assured that he would give a chance when proper time would come!

                    Accordingly Balachander introduced Sivaji Rao by changing his name as Rajinikanth in his "Apoorva Raagangal". His acting in the first film itself was very satisfactory to Balachander.  

                    It was only in "Moontru Mudichu" that he started doing gimmicks and so many stylish movements on screen. Throwing a cigarette on air and catching it again by his mouth (without using hands), wearing sun glasses with style and the like mannerisms when shown on screen got wonderful and extraordinary reception among audience.

                    Not only as hero but also as villainous character roles artist he earned distinct fame. In Bharathi Raja's "16 Vayathinile" he acted in the role of 'Parattai" and got extraordinary reception for that role among audience. In this film, the oft repeated dialogue "Yithu Yeppadi Irukku?" became a very, very popular one! 

                    Rajini's 100th film  "Sree Ragavendrar" explained his piety and spiritual nature. It is noteworthy that untill the final work of that film was over he was undergoing strict religious austerity and 'viratham'! Rajini has as much belief in and love for his fans as he is having piety for God.

                        The saying that behind every successful man there would be a woman is only very much true in the case of Rajinikanth. The woman who is behind this great Rajini is none but his wife Lata Rajinikanth, the very symbol of modesty.  She has started a school by name 'Sree Ragavendra Ashram' and is very anxious to make that school flourish as one of the best schools in India. This school reflects the spirit of the olden day educational system of 'Kurukulam'.

                    That Rajini-Lata pair's two daughters, Aiswarya and Soundarya pursue their education only at this school is a noteworthy point here. Recently Lata Rajinikanth has prepared and published children's book. 

                    There are so many artistes who have received felicitations from Rajini for their inherent talents. Nowadays Rajini has this habbit that after the completion of every one of his films he uses to visit Rishikesh or Hong Kong for taking rest. When he goes to Rishikesh he loves very much the practice of meditation and the deep and peaceful divine milieu. Like that while in Chennai whenever he goes out for participating in public functions he avoids make-up and all sorts of luxury and looks very natural with whitened or grey beard and remains dressed in quite ordinary, simple way. 

                    He has acted in a variety of roles. He has worked with talented directors like Barathiraaja (Pathinaru Vayathinelae, Kodi Parakuthu), Mahendran (Mullum Malarum, Johnny). He has acted in dozens of Block-Busters like Mullum Mallarum, Johnny, Muratu Kallai, Nallavanuku Nallavan, Thalapathi, Annamalai, Mannan, Basha, Muthu, Arunachalam etc. He has acted in more than 157 films. Apart from Tamil he has acted in many other Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali. His other language hits include Andha Kanoon in Hindi Bedda Raidu, Geevana Poratum in Telugu and many other Indian Language films. He has  also acted in one English film (Blood Stone). His some latest films were got released in Japan also. 

India's most expensive film Enthiran ( Robot ) acted by Rajanikant, Music by A.R.Rahman and directed by Shankar was released on 1st October 2010

  ( Courtesy: Dinakaran, Tamil News paper )

Rajinikanth made his debut as an actor in Apoorva Raagangal (1975), a Tamil film directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers as his mentor. He was later favoured in Tamil cinema for portraying antagonistic characters and gradually rose to acting in lead roles. Post-1978, he became known as the "superstar" of Tamil cinema and successfully held a matinee idol status among the mass media and popular culture of India. While acting in many Indian languages, he also appeared in films of other nations, including in those of the United States. After being paid a salary of 26 crores for his role in Sivaji (2007), he became the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.

Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a Marathi-speaking family, mother Jijabai and father Ramoji Rao Gaekwad, on December 12, 1949 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. He was the youngest among four children and has two elder brothers and a sister. After the death of his mother at the age of 5,he struggled with an impoverished lifestyle during his childhood. During that time, he often did odd jobs as a coolie in his community. He attended the Acharya Patasala for elementary education and had his higher education at the Ramakrishna Mission in Bangalore.

Between 1968 and 1973 he worked in many places in Chennai, thus moving continuously from Bangalore to Chennai. He performed various odd jobs before joining the then-Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) as a bus conductor. In 1973, he moved to Chennai to seek a career in acting and joined the Madras Film Institute with the help of his friend, Raj Bahadur, who was his co-worker in the BTS.

Rajinikanth joined the Madras Film Institute in 1973 and completed a basic course in acting.

As of 2010, Rajinikanth has acted in over 150 films, including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, English, and Bengali films. After the release of his first Bollywood film, Andha Kanoon, Rajinikanth did not make as much of an impact in the Mumbai-based industry as he had in the south. He still appeared in several Hindi films, such as Chaalbaaz, Uttar Dakshin, Giraftaar and Hum. He appeared in a supporting role in the American film, Bloodstone, co-produced by Ashok Amritraj in 1988, with much fanfare in India at the time of its release. He also made brief stints in the German- and Japanese film industries. His film Muthu was dubbed into Japanese and later turned out to become a major hit in the country, ultimately creating Rajinikanth a huge Japanese fan-following. In 2005, his film Chandramukhi was dubbed in German and released in all German-speaking nations. Despite his first language being Marathi, Rajinikanth has not yet acted in any Marathi films.

Rajinikanth's first film was in Tamil cinema, where he was initially casted in supporting roles, debuting as a cancer patient in Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. The film was directed by K. Balachander, who is constantly referred to by Rajinikanth as his own "guru" or mentor. The following year, Rajinikanth acted in his first Kannada film, Katha Sangama, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. Though Rajinikanth refers to director K. Balachander as his mentor, it was director S. P. Muthuraman who actually revamped Rajinikanthís image entirely. Muthuraman first experimented with him in a positive role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977), as a villain in the first half of the film and a protagonist in the second.

Breakthrough: 1978-1991

Rajinikanth in the film Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979)Around this time Mullum Malarum (1978), directed by J. Mahendran, established Rajinikanth in the Tamil film arena as a film hero. The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri prompted Muthuraman to make a mushy melodrama with Rajinikanth as a hero sacrificing everything for his siblings in Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979). These films were the turning points in Rajinikanthís career; he changed from an actor who merely enthralled the audiences to one who could also evoke emotions. The acceptance of Rajinikanth sans his stylized mannerisms proved he had at last become a "star" from a "common actor." His film roles were mainly as a villain during the period 1975 to 1977, co-starring frequently with Kamal Haasan as the protagonist, in movies like 16 Vayadhinilae, Moondru Mudichu and Avargal. In 1978, Rajinikanth acted in the film Bairavi, in which he was credited as "superstar."

He continued acting with the blockbuster Tamil film Billa, which was a remake of the blockbuster bollywood movie Don. With its phenomenal success he was accepted as a full-fledged hero. Billa was followed by a row of hits, namely Murattu Kaalai, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Naan Mahaan Alla, Pudukavithai, and Moondru Mugam. K. Balachanderís first home production, Netrikan proved to be yet another milestone in Rajniís career. He acted in his first cameo role alongside Meena Durairaj, who was a child actor then, in the movie Anbulla Rajinikanth (1984).

More box-office hits dominated the 80's with Padikkathavan, Thee, Velaikaran, Dharmathin Thalaivan, Mr. Bharath, and Maaveeran all of which are remakes of Amitabh Bachchan movies.[17][18] In his 100th movie, Sri Raghavendra, he played the Hindu saint Raghavendra Swami.

Peak years: 1992-1999
The majority of his movies released during the nineties were extremely successful, notably Thalapathy, Mannan, Annamalai, Uzhaippali, Veera, Badsha, Muthu, Arunachalam and Padayappa. Rajinikanth wrote his first screenplay and made a special appearance in the film Valli (1993), which failed to make an impact at the box office. His cult classic Badsha, released in 1995, went on to become a massive blockbuster and is routinely touted by his fans and critics alike as the movie which elevated him from being just another very popular actor with loads of charisma to an almost demigod status in the eyes of the masses. His film Muthu was the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Japanese as Muthu:

The new millennium began very well for Rajinikanth; Padayappa had rewritten previous box office records. Finally, after more than a three year sabbatical from cinema, at 52 years of age, he starred in his home production, Baba, which released on August 15, 2002 amid much fanfare and hype. The film did poorly at the box office due to a very weak screenplay, which Rajinikanth himself had written, in his second stint at screenplay-writing after Valli. The thin screenplay revolved around the story about a gangster who later engages in spirituality; when compared to his previous film, Padayappa, it was a colossal disappointment. Although the film grossed enough to cover its budget, it was viewed as a tremendous loss when compared to his previous box office successes throughout his career. It fell short of market expectations and the high bids reportedly translated to heavy losses for the distributors. Rajinikanth himself repaid the losses incurred by the distributors.

Rajinikanth, right, in Sivaji (2007).After the Baba debacle, Rajinikanth mulled over numerous scripts with many directors, including K. S. Ravikumar, and finally chose to act in director P. Vasu's Tamil remake of Manichithrathazhu, Chandramukhi. Many people within the industry had written Rajinikanth off after the Baba fiasco, essentially saying "the bloom was off the rose" and that "the gold does not glitter anymore". In essence, many viewed Chandramukhi as Rajinikanth's comeback film, his make or break movie and in the end, when it was released on April 14, 2005, it went on to create new box office records and smashed his own previous records and once and for all removed any doubt within the industry with regards to Rajinikanth's box office clout and incomparable appeal to the masses. Chandramukhi broke the record of being the longest running Tamil film, as of 2007. Just after Chandramukhi's release, it was reported that AVM Productions were to produce a film directed by S. Shankar starring Rajinikanth, the largest collaboration yet for a Tamil film. The film was titled Sivaji and released on June 15, 2007 after two years of filming and meticulous production. With massive international anticipation, it subsequently went on to become a major blockbuster, being ranked among other major Bollywood and Hollywood releases of the year. Sivaji became the first Tamil movie to be charted as one of the top-ten best films of United Kingdom and South Africa box-offices upon release. Rajinikanth received a salary of 26 crores, approximately US$5.3 million at the time, for his role the film, which made him become the second highest paid actor in all of Asia.

Following Sivaji, Rajinikanth worked with P. Vasu again for Kuselan, a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol, in which Rajinikanth played a cameo role as himself, a star in the Indian film industry, and as a best friend to the main character. According to Rajinikanth, the film somewhat narrarates his early life. The film however performed poorly at box offices; some distributors incurred major losses due to the film, which Rajinikanth voluntarily settled with his own budget.

During the course of the production for Sivaji, Ocher Studios, the animation company of Rajinikanth's daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth, in association with Adlabs announced their intention of producing a CGI animation film starring an animated version of Rajinikanth. As of 2009, Rajinikanth joined hands with Shankar again for Endhiran, a science fiction film produced by Sun Pictures. He will be lending his voice to the lead character in the animation film, Sultan: The Warrior, which is being directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth.

Awards and honours

Rajinikanth received his first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor in 1984 for Nallavanuku Nallavan. He later received Filmfare Award nominations for his performances in Muthu (1995) and Sivaji (2007).[41] Rajinikanth also received Tamil Nadu State Film Awards in the Best Actor category for his roles in Moondru Mugam (1982), Muthu (1995), Padayappa (1999), Chandramukhi (2005), and Sivaji (2007). He also received awards from Cinema Express and Filmfans Association for his on-screen performances and off-screen contributions in writing and producing.

Rajinikanth received the Kalaimamani award in 1985 and the M. G. R. Award in 1989, both from the Government of Tamil Nadu. In 1995, the South Indian Film Artistes' Association presented him with the Kalaichelvam Award. He was named and honoured with the Padma Bhushan award, India's third highest civilian honour, in 2000 from the Government of India. He was selected as the Indian Entertainer of the Year for 2007 by NDTV, competing against the likes of Shahrukh Khan.The Government of Maharashtra honoured him with the Raj Kapoor Award the same year. He received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema at the 2010 ceremony of the Vijay Awards.

He married Latha Rangachari, an Iyengar , whom he met during an exclusive interview, on February 26, 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. They have two daughters named Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Soundarya Rajinikanth. His wife, Latha Rajinikanth currently runs a school - The Ashram. His elder daughter Aishwarya Rajinikanth married actor Dhanush on November 18, 2004 and they have two sons named Yathra and Linga. His younger daughter, Soundarya Rajinikanth, works in the film industry as a director, producer and graphic designer; she is married to industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar since September 3, 2010.

Rajinikanth is a follower of Hinduism, spiritualism, and a strong believer of spirituality. As a reader, he also enjoys books on such topics. He is also a practitoner of yoga and meditation. Rajinikanth is known for visiting temples prior to the release of each of his films; for instance he visited the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple before the release of Sivaji in 2007 and visited Sathya Sai Baba at Prasanthi Nilayam in Andhra Pradesh before the release of Kuselan the following year. He also occasionally leaves for pilgrimage to the Himalayas. He has often referred to Swami Satchidananda, Ragavendra Swami, Mahavatar Babaji, and Ramana Maharishi as his favourite spiritual leaders

He converted one of his banquet halls, the Raghavendra Marriage Hall, to a charitable trust to help the needy.

India's most expensive film Enthiran ( Robot ) acted by Rajanikant, Music by A.R.Rahman and directed by Shankar was released on 1st October 2010

( Reference : Wikkipedia )


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