Rajinikanth was born 12th of December 1950 as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad. He is an Indian film actor, media personality, and cultural icon. He made his debut as an actor in the National Film Award–winning Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander, whom the actor considers his mentor.
Rajinikanth has worked in over 150 films across various film industries of India. He has won six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards—four Best Actor Awards and two Special Awards for Best Actor—and a Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. He was bestowed the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour in 2000. Other than acting, Rajinikanth has also worked as a producer and screenwriter.
Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in a Maratha family, to mother Jijabai and father Ramoji Rao Gaikwad, a police constable, on 12 December 1950 in the Indian city of Bangalore in Mysore State, present-day Karnataka. He was the youngest of four siblings and has two brothers and a sister. After his mother’s death when he was five years old, he struggled with an impoverished lifestyle during his childhood. During that time, he often did odd jobs as a coolie in his community. He attended the Government Model Primary School at Gavipuram, Bangalore, where he had his elementary education in Kannada. Rajinikanth married Latha Rangachari on 26 February 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The couple have two daughters named Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Soundarya Rajinikanth. His wife, Latha Rajinikanth, currently runs a school named “The Ashram”. His elder daughter, Aishwarya, married actor Dhanush on 18 November 2004 and they have two sons named Yathra and Linga. His younger daughter, Soundarya, works in the film industry as a director, producer and graphic designer. She married industrialist Ashwin Ramkumar on 3 September 2010.