These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 16:21 | Nikita Wagh
  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth was born on December 12, 1950, in a Maharashtrian family, based in Bangalore, Karnataka. His birth name was Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. (All photos/mid-day archives)

    In picture: Rajinikanth in a still from 'Badshah'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Belonging to a middle-class family, Rajinikanth's mother was a homemaker, while his father Ramoji Rao Gaekwad was a police constable.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Padayappa'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Since childhood, Rajinikanth was brought up speaking Marathi at home and Kannada outside.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in a still from 'Robot' as Chitti

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth is the youngest of four siblings - two elder brothers, namely Satyanarayana Rao and Nageshwara Rao and a sister Aswath Balubhai.

    In picture: Rajinikanth as evil Chitti

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth was nine when he lost his mother. He was six when his father took retirement from work. And the entire family moved to the suburb of Hanumantha Nagar in Bangalore.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Veera'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Owing to his humble background, the south superstar had to do various jobs like that of a coolie and carpenter to support himself and his family financially.

    In picture: Rajinikanth's bald look in 'Sivaji: The Boss'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth later joined Bangalore Transport Service as a bus conductor.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Hum'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, however, was always interested in seeing himself on the big screen and fulfilled his dream following years of struggle.

    In picture: A still from 'Bhrashtachar'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth made his debut as an actor in the National Film Award-winning motion picture Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander also starring fellow South superstar Kamal Haasan.

    In picture: The superstar in 'Gair Kanooni'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth's Muthu (1995) was the first Indian film to be dubbed into Japanese as Mutu: Odoru Maharaja and grossed a record USD 1.6 million in 1998. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a special note about the reach of this film among the Japanese in his speech at the National Diet of Japan on 14 December 2006.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Geraftaar'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Interestingly, Rajinikanth has starred in the Tamil remakes of both Amitabh Bachchan's Don (1978) and Amol Palekar's Golmaal (1978) titled Billa (1980) and Thillu Mullu (1981) respectively. The latter could be considered his first foray into comedy.

    In picture: Rajini in 'Billa'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Director KS Ravikumar has collaborated with Rajinikanth in several blockbuster Tamil films.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Muthu'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    "Rajinikanth facts" or "Rajinikanth jokes" are satirical factoids about Rajinikanth. They are widely circulated in text messages and over the internet.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Chandramukhi'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth married Latha Rangachari in 1981. The duo met when Latha interviewed him for her college magazine.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Baba'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth and Latha have two daughters named Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Soundarya Rajinikanth.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in his signature pose

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Considering his outstanding contribution to the Indian film industry, Rajinikanth has received numerous awards for many of his films.

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016 by the Government of India.

    In picture: Rajini in 'Arunachalam'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth enjoys a huge fan following in Malaysia as the majority of ethnic Indians there are Tamils.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in the blockbuster 'Baashha'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Most of Rajinikanth's films have not only had successful innings at the box office, but they have also left indelible impressions on his fans' mind.

    In picture: Rajini in 'Thalapathi '

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Be it his 'Mind it' dialogue or his iconic style of using his glares - the 'Thalaivaa' has managed to create trends galore throughout his career.

    In picture: Rajini in 'Annamalai'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth holds a matinee idol status among his fans because of his honesty and sincerity.

    In picture: Rajinikanth as Alex Pandian in 'Moondru Mugam'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Some interesting facts about Rajinikanth:

    Shivaji Rao Gaekwad changed his name to Rajinikanth because Sivaji Ganesan was already a huge star.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Sivaji The Boss' Pic/Santa Banta

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Do you know what Rajinikanth did before becoming a bus conductor? He loaded sacks of rice onto trucks.

    In picture: Rajini from a song in 'Robot'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Do you know about Rajinikanth's Hollywood stint? He starred in Bloodstone, 1988, with Bob Christo.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Sivaji: The Boss'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Rajinikanth is one of the highest-paid actors of the Indian film industry; do you know where his money goes? Well, almost half of it goes to charity.

    In picture: A still from 'Kulesan'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Do you know what the meaning of his stage name 'Rajinikanth' is? It means colour of night.

    In picture: A still from 'Thillu Mullu'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Apart from his acting career, Rajinikanth has made his mark as a philanthropist, spiritualist, and also serves as an influence in Dravidian politics.

    In picture: Rajinikanth in 'Sri Raghvendra'

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  • These photos of Rajinikanth prove why the actor is the ultimate Thalaiva

    Here's wishing Rajinikanth a very happy birthday!

    In picture: The superstar in 'Billa', the Tamil remake of Amitabh Bachchan's 'Don'

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About The Gallery

It's a big day for Rajinikanth fans, as the Tamil superstar turns 69 today. On this note, we look back at some of his inimitable avatars over the years...