Rajinikanth’s real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth was born on 12 December 1950, in a Maratha family in Bangalore,Karnataka. His mother was a housewife, and his father Ramoji Rao Gaekwad, a police constable, He was named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad after Chhatrapati Shivaji, a Maratha warrior King, and was brought up speaking Marathi at home and Kannada outside.
He began acting in plays while working in the Bangalore Transport Service as a bus conductor. In 1973, he joined the Madras Film Institute to pursue a diploma in acting.
He started off his acting career with mythological Kannada plays. His most prominent role was that of Duryodhana.
Rajinikanth was noticed in a Kannada play at the Film Institute by director K Balachander.
'Learn Tamil,' the director told Rajini before leaving.
Rajinikanth began his film career through the Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975). K Balachander gave Rajinikanth a relatively small role as an abusive husband of Srividya.
A review from The Hindu noted that, "Newcomer Rajinikanth is dignified and impressive".
After playing several negative roles and characters with grey shades, his first positive role was in S P Muthuraman's Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri. After this, he collaborated with director Muthuraman in 25 movies.
Rajinikanth's first big commercial success was Billa, a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer, Don.
T Rama Rao's Andha Kanoon was Rajinikanth's first Bollywood film. It also starred Hema Malini and Reena Roy, and Amitabh Bachchan had a special extended guest appearance.
In 1988, Rajinikanth made an appearance in the English action adventure Bloodstone.
The critically and commercially appreciated Thalapathi, which also starred Mammooty, was the first and only film in which Rajinikanth worked with noted director Mani Ratnam. Thalapathi is also Rajini’s only film that was released by the Censor Board with a U/A certificate.
Baasha, which released in 1995, established the actor as a superstar and broke several box-office records.
Rajinikanth usually goes to the Himalayas after the release of his films. Also to Bangalore however, is his favourite spot to hang out with his old buddies.
He got Rs 26 crore remuneration for his film sivaji which was a super hit and became the highest paid actor in India and second highest in Asia after Jackie Chan. He broke his own record when he was paid Rs 45 Crore for the Blockbuster film Endhiran(Robot).