Rajinikanth is one of the biggest stars in Indian cinema. He is also revered by various prominent film personalities across the globe. In 2007, Rajinikanth became the highest-paid actor in Asia. He made his debut in K. Balachander’s 1975 film, Apoorva Raagangal and has now starred in more than 200 films across various languages. As the star turns 69 today, here are some of the facts that we bet you did not know about him:
1. Rajinikanth was actually named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad by his Maharashtrian parents, Ramoji Rao Gaikwad and Jijabai, after the Maratha emperor, Shivaji. He only spoke Marathi and Kannada in his house until he bagged his first film. His father was a police constable and Rajinikanth has three other siblings.
2. Rajinikanth’s close friend pestered him to take up an acting course in the then newly formed Madras Film Institute. The star’s family was not supportive of his decision and his career choice. However, his friend asked him to take it up anyway and even supported him financially throughout the period.
3. The megastar has acted in almost 11 Tamil remakes of Amitabh Bachchan’s classic films including Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Laawaris, Don, etc. One of his initial films that were a huge commercial success was Billa. The film was a remake of Bachchan’s Don.
4. For the initial few years in his career, Rajinikanth played many negative roles. He bagged his first full-fledged role as protagonist in S P Muthuraman's Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri.
5. Thalaiva is known for his gimmicks that he uses in his acting. His cigarette flipping act gained huge popularity but the actor suffered a lot of health issues due to the same. Subsequently, he quit cigarettes and even asked his fans to do so.
6. Rajinikanth is reportedly also the only actor to have a lesson on their life in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus. It is a biography of his journey in the film industry. It is titled From Bus Conductor to Superstar.
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