Born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in a Marathi family, Rajinikanth started his career as a bus conductor, before dabbling in theatre. Fortunately for him, his talent was spotted by filmmaker K Balachander, who advised him to learn Tamil.
Rajinikanth made his acting debut on the silver screen in a K. Balachander film Apoorva Raagangal, which also starred Kamal Haasan. In the film, Rajinikanth played the role of an abusive husband and went on to play mostly negative roles in a few films following his debut.
The actor underwent a major image revamp when SP Muthuraman cast him in a positive role in one of his films. Rajinikanth's first role as a lead actor came with the Tamil flick Bairavi. By the end of the 1980s, he became a popular actor in South Indian cinema. Rajini's first Bollywood flick was the 1983 flick Andha Kanoon, in which he shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini.
Rajinikanth is still one of the most iconic personalities in the Indian film industry and down South, the star, known for his on screen style, is often treated like a God. Over the years, Rajinikanth has been honoured with many awards and has also been awarded the Entertainer of the Decade Award by NDTV in 2011 by the then Indian Minister for Home Affairs P. Chidambaram.
On the day of his birthday, we at MovieTalkies wish Indian film industry's Thalaivar a very happy birthday and a long and healthy life.