Rajinikanth Birthday: 10 lesser known facts about the superstar

Bhubaneswar: Megastar Rajinikanth turned 71 today and Indian cine industry is celebrating it. Paving his way from a normal Bengaluru boy to the ‘Thalaiva’ of the south cine industry, Rajinikanth’s unusual journey continues to inspire Indian masses.

On 71st birthday of the living legend, here are 10 lesser-known facts about him:

  1. Rajinikanth’s real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. He was named after Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  2. He grew up learning Marathi and Kannada. Later, while pursuing diploma in acting from Madras Film Institute, he learnt Tamil.
  3. Before stepping into acting career, he took up jobs of coolie, carpenter and bus conductor to eke out a living.
  4. Rajinikanth’s acting career began with villainous roles. During the first couple of years, he played anti-hero roles. He played abusive husband, a womanizer, a rapist and also a pornographer’s role. In 1977, he was seen on silver screen playing a positive character in the movie Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri.
  5. He called Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan his inspiration and starred in as many as 11 Tamil remakes of Big B’s films.
  6. During his 46-year-long acting career, Rajinikanth has been part of as many as 170 movies.
  7. A recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Rajinikanth was named by Forbes India as the most influential Indian in  2010.
  8.  He is the only Indian actor to have featured in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus in a lesson titled From Bus Conductor to Superstar.
  9. In 2015, a film about Rajinikanth’s fandom For the Love of a Man was premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival.
  10. In 2010, his sci-fi film Enthiran became the only Tamil film to make it into IMDb’s Top 50 films from around the world. It’s been included as a case study in an IIM-A PG elective course, Contemporary Film Industry: A Business Perspective.


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