Mumbai: Superstar Rajinikanth is celebrating his 70th birthday today, and not only the actor’s 45-year film career has been an inspiring one for many, but his life as well.
Here are some lesser known facts about the Thalaiva:
- Rajinikanth’s real name is Chhatrapati Shivaji. The actor was named after a Maratha warrior King, and was brought up speaking Marathi at home and Kannada outside.
- Before entering the film film industry, Rajinikanth used to work as coolie, carpenter and bus conductor in the cities of Bangalore and Madras.
- Rajinikanth pursued diploma in acting from Madras Film Institute and also learnt Tamil during his course
- Rajinikanthh is also the only Indian actor to be featured in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus, in a lesson titled From Bus Conductor to Superstar.
- Rajinikanth married Latha Rangachari on February 26, 1981. Latha was a student of Ethiraj College for Women and had interviewed Rajini for her college magazine.
- In the first couple years of his film career, Rajinikanth got only negative roles to play – of an abusive husband, a rapist, a womaniser, a pornographer, an adulterer etc, but it was in 1977 when he first got to enact in a positive role in the film ‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri‘
- Rajinikanth is a follower of Hinduism, spiritualism, and a strong believer of spirituality. He is also a practitioner of yoga and meditation.
- For his role in ‘Sivaji‘ (2007) Rajinikanth received an acting fee of Rs 26 crore in 2007 and became the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan at the time.
- Besides starring in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu films, Rajinikanth also starred in a Bengali film, Bhagya Debata.
- Apart from his film career, he is also a philanthropist, spiritualist, and serves as an influence in Dravidian politics.