The biggest superstar in the country, Rajnikanth turns 61 today and it’s been quite a journey for arguably India’s most humble superstar.
Born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in Bangalore, Rajni as he is fondly called by his fans, used to do small-time jobs as a coolie after the death of his mother when he was just 5 years old. As an adolescent he worked for the Bangalore Transport Service as a Bus conductor. He was first spotted by Kannada play writer Topi Muniappa, who offered him a chance to play Duryodhana in a stage play.
In 1975 he made his debut in a small role as Pandiyan in the Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal. Initially type-cast in negative roles, much like Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, Rajnikanth soon started getting offers for lead roles. His first such role was in a Telugu film Chilakamma Cheppindi.
Already a huge star by the late 70s, Rajni’s popularity soared to dizzying heights when he successfully played the role of Billa, which was a Tamil remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s Don.
Over the years, his fan-following has only increased. He continues to be – by quite some distance – the single biggest superstar of Tamil cinema. His films are larger than life, he commands a fan-following that extends beyond the borders of India. Truly, there is noone quite as big as Rajnikanth. And yet with all the fame, he remains humble and down-to-earth.
From the entire Indicine Team, we wish Rajnikanth a very Happy Birthday and pray for his good health and success.
You can wish him too, just drop in your wishes below.