Why is Rajinikanth so famous in India?

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The Early Life and Career Beginnings of Rajinikanth

Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, the man who would become the legendary Rajinikanth had a journey far different from the typical Bollywood or South Indian film star. This sub-section explores his early life, his entry into the world of cinema, and the initial challenges he faced on his path to superstardom.

Humble Beginnings and a Passion for Performance:

Rajinikanth’s story begins not in the glamorous world of cinema, but in the bustling city of Bangalore, India. He was the youngest of four siblings, raised by a police officer father and a homemaker mother. While his family life was grounded in normalcy, Rajinikanth harbored a passion for performance from a young age. He actively participated in stage plays during his school days, showcasing a talent that would later blossom on the silver screen.

From Bus Conductor to Aspiring Actor:

After completing his education, Rajinikanth took on various odd jobs, including a stint as a bus conductor for the Bangalore Transport Service. However, his desire for acting never faded. He actively sought opportunities to hone his craft, eventually joining the prestigious Madras Film Institute (now known as the Chennai Film Institute) in the early 1970s.

Facing the Initial Hurdles:

Entering the film industry wasn’t a walk in the park for Rajinikanth. Despite his talent and dedication, he initially faced challenges in breaking into Tamil cinema, the industry he would later dominate. Starting with small roles, he often portrayed negative characters, a far cry from the larger-than-life hero he would become famous for. These early years were marked by perseverance and a constant struggle to prove his worth as an actor.

A Glimpse into the Making of a Legend:

Rajinikanth’s early life and career beginnings offer a fascinating glimpse into the making of a legend. His journey from a simple background, marked by initial struggles and perseverance, resonates with many aspiring actors and individuals chasing their dreams. While the initial chapters were filled with challenges, they laid the foundation for the extraordinary career that would unfold, transforming him into the beloved superstar known and admired across India and beyond.

The Milestones of Rajinikanth’s Rise

Rajinikanth’s journey from Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, a young man working as a bus conductor, to the iconic “Thalaiva” of Tamil cinema is an inspiring tale. His rise to superstardom wasn’t a straight shot to fame, but rather a series of milestones that cemented his place in the hearts of millions. Let’s delve into some key moments that shaped the legend:

1. Early Spark: Breaking into the Industry (1970s)

While Rajinikanth started with small roles, his talent was undeniable. He caught the eye of legendary director K. Balachander, who gave him the name “Rajinikanth” and offered him his first significant role in the 1975 film “Apoorva Raagangal” (Rare Melodies). While the film wasn’t a commercial success, it showcased Rajinikanth’s potential and marked his entry into the world of Tamil cinema.

2. The Turning Point: Establishing Stardom (1980s)

The 1980s proved to be a pivotal decade for Rajinikanth. He started by playing villainous roles, surprising audiences with his on-screen intensity. But the real turning point came with his dual role in the 1980 film “Billa” (a remake of the Hindi film “Don”). This film showcased his versatility and established him as a leading action hero. Films like “Murattu Kaalai” (Rebellious Bull) and “Pokkiri Raja” (Rogue King) further solidified his position as a box-office draw.

3. Reaching New Heights: Superstardom and Fan Frenzy (1990s)

By the 1990s, Rajinikanth wasn’t just a star; he was a phenomenon. Films like “Thalapathi” (Leader), “Baasha” (Ash), “Muthu” (Pearl), and “Padayappa” (Warrior) became massive blockbusters, breaking box office records and rewriting the definition of commercial success in Tamil cinema. His unique style, charming personality, and action-hero persona resonated with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Fan clubs mushroomed across the country, and his devoted followers, affectionately called “Rajini fans,” became a force to be reckoned with.

4. Beyond Tamil Cinema: Pan-Indian Appeal and Legacy (2000s – Present)

While his primary focus remained Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth’s popularity transcended language barriers. His films were dubbed and released in various languages, and his iconic status spread across India. He even ventured into Bollywood with films like “Hum” (We) alongside Amitabh Bachchan, further solidifying his pan-Indian appeal. Today, Rajinikanth is not just a superstar; he’s a cultural icon, a symbol of hope, and an inspiration to millions. His journey from humble beginnings to superstardom serves as a testament to the power of hard work, talent, and the unwavering support of his dedicated fans.

These milestones paint a picture of Rajinikanth’s extraordinary journey. It’s a story of dedication, talent, and the ability to connect with audiences on a deeper level. Rajinikanth’s iconic status is a testament to his enduring legacy, one that continues to inspire generations of actors and fans alike.

Why is Rajinikanth so famous in India?

Rajinikanth. The name itself evokes a sense of awe and adoration in millions of Indian hearts. But what makes this man, born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, such a phenomenal force in Indian cinema? His influence transcends mere acting; he’s a cultural icon, a demi-god, and a symbol of hope for many.

1. From Humble Beginnings to Superstardom: A Relatable Rise

Unlike many actors born into filmy families, Rajinikanth’s story resonates with the common man. He started his career as a bus conductor, a job many Indians can identify with. His rise to stardom wasn’t overnight; it was a steady climb through hard work and dedication. This rags-to-riches narrative inspires millions, proving that success can be achieved by anyone with talent and perseverance.

2. The “Rajini” Style: A Unique Blend of Action and Charm

Rajinikanth’s acting style is one of a kind. He can effortlessly switch between intense action sequences and deliver witty dialogues with a wink and a smile. His signature sunglasses flips, the handlebar mustache twirls, and the iconic punchlines have become a part of Indian pop culture. This unique blend of action hero and charming persona makes him a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

3. The Champion of the Masses: Fighting for Justice on Screen

Rajinikanth’s characters often portray the fight against social injustice and corruption. He embodies the common man’s desire to see good triumph over evil. His movies, while entertaining, often carry underlying messages of social responsibility and standing up for what’s right. This resonates deeply with audiences who might feel powerless in real-life situations.

4. Transcending Language Barriers: A Pan-Indian Appeal

Despite primarily working in Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth enjoys a fan following across India. His films are dubbed in various languages, and his larger-than-life persona transcends language barriers. He’s a unifying figure in a country with diverse cultures and languages.

5. The Power of Myth and Fandom: The “Rajini Phenomenon”

The adulation surrounding Rajinikanth borders on the mythical. There are numerous fan clubs dedicated to him, celebrating his every move. Legends and jokes about his superhuman abilities are a testament to the almost cult-like following he enjoys. This fervent fandom fuels his popularity and keeps him ever-present in the public eye.

6. More Than Just Movies: A Pillar of Social Good

Rajinikanth’s influence extends beyond cinema. He’s a vocal advocate for social causes and has actively participated in philanthropy. His voice carries significant weight, and his support for social issues brings them to the forefront of public discourse.

7. The Enduring Legacy: Rajinikanth – A Timeless Icon

In a film industry obsessed with youth, Rajinikanth remains a reigning superstar despite his age. He continues to deliver successful films, proving that age is just a number. His dedication to his craft and his enduring popularity have cemented his place as a timeless icon in Indian cinema.

Rajinikanth’s Physical Appearance


HeightAround 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm)
BuildLean and athletic
HairNaturally black, often styled in a salt-and-pepper look, sometimes with a signature handlebar moustache
EyesDark brown
Distinguishing FeaturesNaturally black, often styled in a salt-and-pepper look, sometimes with a signature handlebar mustache

Is Rajinikanth Tamil or Telugu?

While Rajinikanth is most popular and known for his work in Tamil cinema, he is not ethnically Tamil. He was born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad to a Marathi family in Bangalore, Karnataka.

What religion is Rajinikanth?

Rajinikanth is a Hindu. He was born into a Marathi Hindu family and has spoken about his faith and spirituality on various occasions. It’s important to remember that while his religion is part of his background, his immense popularity and cultural impact transcend religious boundaries. His films and persona resonate with people of various faiths and backgrounds, making him a true pan-Indian icon.

Can Rajinikanth speak Tamil?

Yes, Rajinikanth can speak Tamil fluently. Although his native language is Marathi and he learned other languages like Kannada and Hindi early in his life, he is highly proficient in Tamil as well.

Is Rajinikanth a millionaire?

No, Rajinikanth is much wealthier than a millionaire. He is considered a billionaire, with an estimated net worth of approximately USD 52 million (around INR 430 crore). This means his wealth is in the billions, not just millions.

Who is Rajinikanth’s guru?

Rajinikanth is a devotee of a spiritual figure named Mahavatar Babaji. While details surrounding Mahavatar Babaji are not widely documented, he is known to be a revered figure in some spiritual traditions. It’s important to note that information about Mahavatar Babaji primarily comes from the writings and experiences of others, not historical records.

Is Rajinikanth spiritual?

Yes, Rajinikanth is widely known for his spiritual beliefs and practices. Here are some indications of his spirituality:

  • He regularly visits spiritual places: He has been photographed visiting temples, ashrams, and meditation centers across India, including the Himalayas.
  • He speaks openly about his faith: In interviews and public speeches, he has shared his belief in God and the importance of spirituality in his life.
  • He follows spiritual practices: He has been reported to practice Kriya yoga meditation, a form of yoga focusing on breath control and inner energy.
  • He portrays spiritual characters in movies: Some of his film roles carry themes of good vs. evil and social justice, often reflecting an underlying moral message.

Who gives voice for Rajinikanth?

The voice actor for Rajinikanth depends on the language of the movie you’re watching:

  • In Tamil movies: Rajinikanth usually dubs his own voice, as he’s fluent in Tamil.
  • In Hindi movies: The most frequent voice for Rajinikanth is Mayur Vyas. He has dubbed for Rajinikanth in several successful Hindi films, including “Sivaji,” “Robot,” and “Kabali.”
  • In other languages: Depending on the specific movie, other actors might dub Rajinikanth’s voice based on regional requirements. For example, in the recent Telugu movie “Lal Salaam,” actor Sai Kumar provided the voice for Rajinikanth.

Who is Rajinikanth wife?

Rajinikanth’s wife is Latha Rajinikanth. She was born Latha Rangachari and is an Indian film producer and playback singer.

Who gave Rajinikanth the superstar title?

While the title “Superstar” is often associated with Rajinikanth, it wasn’t officially bestowed upon him by any specific person or award ceremony. It was popularized by film producers and the media in the late 1970s and early 1980s, coinciding with his rise to superstardom in Tamil cinema.

Here’s how it happened:

  • 1978: The film “Bairavi” marked a turning point in Rajinikanth’s career, showcasing his potential as a leading actor.
  • The film’s distributor, S. Thanu, was so impressed with Rajinikanth’s performance that he started promoting the movie with the tagline “Superstar Rajinikanth” on posters and marketing materials.
  • This tagline resonated with audiences, and the media soon picked it up, further solidifying the association between the title and the actor.

Even though it wasn’t an official title, “Superstar” organically became synonymous with Rajinikanth due to his exceptional popularity and the collective recognition from the film industry and the public.

What is Rajinikanth 100th movie name?

Rajinikanth’s 100th movie, released in 1985, is titled Sri Raghavendrar. It’s a biographical film based on the life of the Hindu saint Raghavendra Swami.

Is Rajinikanth retired?

Rajinikanth’s status as retired is a bit unclear. While there have been rumors and speculations about his retirement, particularly after filmmaker Mysskin’s comments in 2023, Rajinikanth himself hasn’t officially announced his retirement.

He currently has multiple projects lined up, including “Jailer” (directed by Nelson Dilipkumar) and “Thalaivar 171” (directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj), both scheduled for release in the future.

Therefore, based on available information, it’s safe to say that Rajinikanth is not currently retired.

What is the net worth of Rajinikanth?

Rajinikanth’s net worth is estimated to be around 430 crore rupees, which is roughly equivalent to 52 million US dollars. This information comes from various sources like Lifestyle Asia and is based on estimates of his assets, income, and career earnings.

Who introduced Rajinikanth?

While Rajinikanth’s journey to superstardom involved many individuals who helped him along the way, the person credited with introducing him to the film industry is director K. Balachander.

  • It was Balachander who spotted Rajinikanth’s talent during his time at the Madras Film Institute.
  • He offered him his first significant role in the 1975 film “Apoorva Raagangal” (Rare Melodies).
  • Additionally, Balachander is the one who gave Rajinikanth his screen name, as his birth name, Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, already belonged to another established actor.

Will Rajinikanth quit acting?

While there have been rumors about Rajinikanth retiring from acting, there is no official confirmation from him. He continues to film projects, and his next movie, “Jailer,” is slated for release in August 2024.

How many cars does Rajinikanth have?

Rajinikanth is known to own several luxury cars, but the exact number is not publicly available and may not be accurately reported in different sources. It’s important to be cautious about information found online, as it might not be entirely accurate or up-to-date.

Was Rajinikanth a bus driver?

Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor for the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) before entering the film industry. This early experience provided him with valuable life lessons and honed his communication and public interaction skills, which later proved beneficial in his acting career.

Does Rajinikanth have Rolls Royce?

Yes, Rajinikanth is known to own several luxury cars, including two Rolls Royces:

  • Rolls Royce Phantom: This is considered the most expensive car one can buy in India without facing a lot of paperwork hassles. The estimated price of this model falls somewhere around Rs. 16.5 crores.
  • Rolls Royce Ghost: This model costs around Rs. 6 crores and is known for its powerful engine and luxurious interiors.

How much does Rajinikanth charge for a movie?

While exact figures can vary depending on the project and negotiations, reports suggest Rajinikanth currently commands a remuneration of around ₹100 crore to ₹120 crore per film. This translates to roughly 100 to 120 million Indian rupees.

It’s important to remember that these are just estimations, and the actual fee could be higher or lower depending on various factors.

Is Rajinikanth a philanthropist?

Yes, Rajinikanth is widely known for his philanthropic activities. While he prefers to keep many of his good deeds private, here are some instances that showcase his generosity:

  • He reportedly donates a significant portion of his income to various charities. His biographer claims he donates half his income, though the exact amount remains unknown.
  • He actively supports various causes, including:
    • Disaster relief: He has donated to various relief funds after natural disasters like floods and cyclones.
    • Education: He has reportedly helped individuals and institutions with educational expenses.
    • Healthcare: He has contributed to hospitals and other healthcare initiatives.

Can Rajinikanth speak Hindi?

Yes, Rajinikanth can speak Hindi. He has acted in several Hindi films throughout his career, such as “Andhaa Kanoon” (Blind Law) and “Hum” (We), where he starred alongside Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

Why is Rajinikanth famous in Japan?

Rajinikanth’s popularity in Japan is a fascinating phenomenon! Here are some reasons why he’s become such a big star there:

  1. Surprise Hit: Muthu’s Magic (1998)

It all started with a movie called “Muthu” (released as “Odori Maharaja” or Dancing Maharaja in Japan) in 1995. This Tamil film wasn’t a major hit in India, but when it was dubbed and released in Japan three years later, it became a surprise blockbuster! The movie ran in theaters for over 23 weeks, which is a long time for a foreign film in Japan.

  1. A Unique Style: Something New and Exciting

Japanese audiences weren’t used to seeing the kind of action, comedy, and larger-than-life hero that Rajinikanth portrays. His charismatic personality, catchy songs, and action sequences were a breath of fresh air for them.

  1. Cultural Connection Beyond Language

Even though they couldn’t understand the Tamil language, Japanese audiences connected with the themes of good versus evil, overcoming challenges, and the hero’s fight for justice. These are universal themes that resonate across cultures.

  1. Loyal Fan Following: A Dedicated Fanbase

Rajinikanth’s success in Japan sparked a dedicated fan following. These fans celebrate his movies, learn about Indian culture, and even travel to India to experience the excitement of a Rajinikanth film release!

So, Rajinikanth’s fame in Japan is a unique mix of a surprising movie hit, his captivating acting style, a cultural connection that transcends language, and the dedication of his fans who have helped keep his popularity alive.

Why is Rajinikanth so famous?

Rajinikanth’s fame in India stems from a unique combination of factors:

1. Relatable Rise: Unlike many actors, Rajinikanth started as a regular guy, working as a bus conductor. His rise to stardom shows that success is possible for anyone with talent and hard work.

2. Entertaining Style: He blends action-hero moves with witty dialogues and humor, making him enjoyable for all ages. His signature style, like the sunglasses flip, is instantly recognizable and loved by fans.

3. Champion of the People: His characters often fight for justice and against villains, resonating with the common person’s desire for good to triumph.

4. Transcending Languages: Despite acting mainly in Tamil films, his movies are dubbed and enjoyed across India, making him a unifying figure in a diverse country.

5. Devoted Fan Base: He has a massive and passionate fanbase who celebrate him and contribute to his ongoing popularity.

6. Social Impact: He uses his voice to support good causes and speaks out on social issues, making him a role model beyond just acting.

7. Timeless Appeal: Even at his age, he continues to deliver successful films, proving that age doesn’t define his talent or popularity.

These factors combine to create a unique phenomenon – the immense fame of Rajinikanth. He’s not just an actor; he’s a cultural icon, a symbol of hope, and a testament to the power of hard work and connection with the audience.

Which is the most successful film of Rajinikanth?

While Rajinikanth has many successful films under his belt, determining the absolute “most successful” can be tricky as there are different ways to measure success. Here are two contenders, each with their own claim to fame:

1. 2.0 (2018): Highest Worldwide Collection

This film, a sequel to the sci-fi hit “Enthiran” (Robot), holds the record for Rajinikanth’s highest worldwide collection, with an estimated gross of ₹712 crore (around $87.7 million USD).

2. Kabali (2016): Cultural Impact and Fan Frenzy

While not the highest-grossing film, “Kabali” had a significant cultural impact and generated immense fan frenzy. The film resonated with the Tamil diaspora and tackled themes of identity and displacement, making it a powerful and emotionally charged experience for many viewers.

Therefore, depending on the criteria used to define “success,” you could argue for either 2.0 or Kabali as Rajinikanth’s most successful film.

Where did Rajinikanth learn acting?

While Rajinikanth’s natural talent played a crucial role in his success, he also honed his acting skills through various avenues:

  • Formal training: Rajinikanth joined the Madras Film Institute (now known as Chennai Film Institute) in the early 1970s. This prestigious institute provided him with a strong foundation in acting techniques and exposed him to the nuances of filmmaking.
  • Stage experience: Before entering films, Rajinikanth actively participated in stage plays. This helped him develop his stage presence, confidence, and ability to connect with an audience in a live setting.
  • Observing and learning: As a film buff, Rajinikanth was an avid observer of other actors, particularly admiring the work of Sivaji Ganesan, Rajkumar, and M. G. Ramachandran. He likely learned and adapted techniques from observing their performances.

Therefore, Rajinikanth’s acting skills stemmed from a combination of formal training, practical experience on stage, and his own dedication to learning from others.

Is Rajinikanth a smoker?

While Rajinikanth was known to smoke and drink earlier in his life, he quit both habits years ago. He has openly spoken about overcoming these addictions and encourages his fans to do the same.

What surgery did Rajinikanth have?

In October 2021, Rajinikanth underwent a carotid artery revascularization surgery. This is a procedure that helps restore blood flow to the brain by removing any blockages in the carotid arteries, which are the main vessels supplying blood to the head and neck.

Is Rajinikanth non veg?

While Rajinikanth was known to enjoy non-vegetarian food earlier in his life, he currently follows a vegetarian diet. He adopted this lifestyle change in 2014 due to health concerns.

Why does Rajinikanth look different?

Rajinikanth, like everyone else, ages and his appearance naturally changes over time. Here are some reasons why he might look different:

  1. Natural Aging: He was born in 1949, so he’s naturally going to have wrinkles, grey hair, and other signs of aging compared to his younger self in movies.
  2. Makeup and Hairstyles: Makeup artists use different techniques for different roles and depending on the desired look. They might use less makeup and simpler hairstyles for a more realistic portrayal in some films while using specific techniques and styles to create a specific character in others.
  3. Special Effects: Sometimes, visual effects (VFX) are used in movies to enhance certain features or create a specific visual style. This can also contribute to differences in his appearance compared to how he looks in real life or in other films.

Why does Rajinikanth wear a wig?

Rajinikanth actually doesn’t wear a wig in all his movies. He’s known for sporting different hairstyles and hair colors on screen, sometimes even wigs, but he’s also comfortable showcasing his natural hair, which has turned gray with age.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Movies with wigs: In some films, Rajinikanth might wear wigs to:
    • Play different characters: Different hairstyles can help portray different characters and their personalities.
    • Maintain a specific look: If a movie requires a specific hair color or style for continuity, a wig might be used.
  • Movies without wigs: In many films, particularly in recent years, Rajinikanth proudly displays his natural, gray hair. This reflects his age and adds a sense of authenticity to his character.

Rajinikanth real name

Rajinikanth’s real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. He was born with this name and later adopted the stage name “Rajinikanth” when entering the film industry.


Why is Rajinikanth such a big deal in India?

Rajinikanth’s fame stems from a unique combination of factors:
Rise from Ordinary Man: Unlike many actors, Rajinikanth started from humble beginnings and worked his way up. This resonates with millions who see him as a symbol of hope and achievement.
Electrifying Screen Presence: His acting style blends action-hero intensity with witty humor and charming charisma. His signature moves and iconic dialogues are pop culture staples.
Champion of the Masses: His characters often fight for justice and social good, giving voice to the common man’s desire to see good triumph over evil.
Transcending Language Barriers: Despite working primarily in Tamil cinema, his films are dubbed and enjoyed across India. His larger-than-life persona connects with audiences regardless of language.
Fervent Fan Following: His fans, called “Rajini fans,” are incredibly devoted, creating a strong social media presence and keeping him in the spotlight.
Social Responsibility: He uses his influence to advocate for social causes and philanthropy, making him a respected figure beyond entertainment.

How long has Rajinikanth been famous?

Rajinikanth’s rise to superstardom happened gradually. He started with small roles in the 1970s, had a breakthrough in the 1980s, and became a massive box-office draw by the 1990s. His popularity has endured for over 40 years.

Is Rajinikanth just popular in South India?

While his core fanbase is in South India, particularly Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth enjoys national recognition. His films are dubbed in various languages, and his influence extends across India.

What’s next for Rajinikanth?

Despite his age, Rajinikanth remains active in cinema. His dedicated fans eagerly await his next films, solidifying his legacy as a timeless icon in Indian cinema.


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