Super Star – 60
Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (born on 12 December 1950), professionally known by his stage name Rajinikanth (Tamil: ரஜினிகாந்த்; Kannada: ರಜನೀಕಾಂತ್; Marathi: रजनीकांत), is an Indian film actor. He received India’s third highest honour, the Padma Bhushan, for his contribution to Indian cinema. He is best known for his mass popularity and appeal, largely drawn from his mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue in films. Other than acting, Rajinikanth worked as a screenwriter, film producer, and also a playback singer. Apart from his film career, he is a philanthropist and also serves as an influence in the politics of Tamil Nadu.
Rajinikanth debuted as an actor in 1975 under the direction of K. Balachander in supporting roles. He was later favoured in portraying antagonistic characters and gradually rose to acting in lead roles. After the release of his 1978 film Bhairavi, he became known as the “super star” of Tamil cinema, which was the title given to him by film Producer Director Oscar Movies M.Bhaskar  and till this date used by many people to refer to him. He also appeared in the cinemas of other nations, including American cinema. He was paid Rs. 26 crores for Sivaji: The Boss, making him the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.
Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad into a Marathi family in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. He was the fourth child of his parents, Jijabai and Ramojirao Gaekwad, a police constable. He lost his mother at the age of five. He attended elementary school at the Acharya Paathshala in Basavanagudi, Bangalore and then at the Vivekananda Balaka Sangha. Rajinikanth struggled a lot during his early age because of his family’s low income. Although his mother-tongue is Marathi, he has not yet acted in any Marathi films.
He worked with various jobs in Bangalore and also attended a theatre for stage plays. Before starting his career in the film industry, he used to practice stunts at the Rama Hanuman Temple at a hill near his house. He then primarily worked as a bus conductor for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Bangalore. His charisma and style were noted by the passengers who travelled with him and gave him suggestions in becoming an actor. It was during this time that he nurtured his acting interests by performing in various stage plays
Rajinikanth joined the Madras Film Institute in 1974.  Rajinikanth made his debut in Bollywood with Andha Kanoon but the film went on to become an average grosser. He still appeared in several Hindi films, such as Chaalbaaz, Uttar Dakshan, Giraftaar and Hum. He starred in the 1988 American film Bloodstone, which released with much fanfare in India, and successful in the United States. He also made brief stints in the Japanese and German language film industries. His 1995 film Muthu was dubbed into Japanese while his 2005 film Chandramukhi was dubbed in German and released in all German-speaking nations.
Supporting roles: 1975-1977
Rajinikanth’s first film was in Tamil cinema, where he was initially casted in supporting roles, debuting as a cancer patient in Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. The film was directed by K. Balachander, who is constantly referred to by Rajinikanth as his own “guru” or mentor. The following year, Rajinikanth acted in his first Kannada film, Katha Sangama, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. Though Rajinikanth refers to director K. Balachander as his mentor, it was director S. P. Muthuraman who actually revamped Rajinikanth’s image entirely. Muthuraman first experimented with him in a positive role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri (1977), as a villain in the first half of the film and a protagonist in the second. Around this time Mullum Malarum (1978), directed by J. Mahendran, established Rajinikanth in the Tamil film arena as a film hero. The success of Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri prompted Muthuraman to make a mushy melodrama with Rajinikanth as a hero sacrificing everything for his siblings in Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai (1979). These films were the turning points in Rajinikanth’s career; he changed from an actor who merely enthralled the audiences to one who could also evoke emotions. The acceptance of Rajinikanth sans his stylized mannerisms proved he had at last become a “star” from a “common actor.” His film roles were mainly as a villain during the period 1975 to 1977, co-starring frequently with Kamal Haasan as the protagonist, in movies like 16 Vayadhinilae, Moondru Mudichu and Avargal. In 1978, Rajinikanth acted in the film Bairavi.
Lead roles: 1978-1989
During this phase of his career, Rajinikanth abruptly chose to quit acting, but was coaxed back. He continued acting with the blockbuster Tamil film Billa, which was a remake of the blockbuster bollywood movie Don. With its phenomenal success he was accepted as a full-fledged hero. Billa was followed by a row of hits, namely Murattu Kaalai, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Naan Mahaan Alla, Pudukavithai and Moondru Mugam. K. Balachander’s first home production, Netrikan proved to be yet another milestone in Rajni’s career. He acted in his first cameo role alongside Meena Durairaj, who was a child actor then, in the movie Anbulla Rajinikanth (1984). More box-office hits dominated the 80’s with Padikkathavan, Thee, Velaikaran, Dharmathin Thalaivan, Mr. Bharath, and Maaveeran. In his 100th movie, Sri Raghavendra, he played the Hindu saint Raghavendra Swami.
Career peak: 1989-1999
To get Super star songs – get Super star songs
The movies released during the nineties included Thalapathy, Mannan, Annamalai, Uzhaippali, Veera, Baasha, Muthu, Arunachalam and Padayappa. Rajinikanth wrote his first screenplay and acted as a special appearance in the film Valli (1993). His film Baasha was released in 1995. His film Muthu was the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Japanese as Muthu: The Dancing Maharajah and became very popular in Japan. Padayappa’s release in 1999. Padayappa was directed by K. S. Ravikumar.
After more than a three year sabbatical from cinema, at 52 years of age, he starred in his home production, Baba which released on August 15, 2002. The screenplay revolved around the story about a gangster who later engages in spirituality. It fell short of market expectations and the high bids reportedly translated to heavy losses for the distributors which Rajinikanth repaid.
Kuselan controversy: 2008
Following Sivaji, Rajinikanth worked with P. Vasu again for Kuselan, a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol, in which Rajinikanth played a cameo role as himself, a star in the Indian film industry, and as a best friend to the main character. Some distributors incurred major losses due to the film, for which Rajinikanth voluntarily settled with his own budget.
Endhiran and future projects
During the course of the production for Sivaji, Ocher Studios, the animation company of Rajinikanth’s daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth, in association with Adlabs announced their intention of producing a CGI animation film starring an animated version of Rajinikanth. He will be lending his voice to the lead character in the project is titled Sultan: The Warrior; it will be directed by his daughter Soundarya Rajinikanth with music provided by A. R. Rahman. The movie is scheduled for a release in 2009. Rajinikanth has also been signed to work with the Sivaji team of S. Shankar and A. R. Rahman for another movie, tentatively entitled Endhiran. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will play opposite Rajinikanth as heroine for the first time.
A. R. Murugadoss had previously shown interest in directing Rajinikanth in his next feature film after Ghajini. Rajinikanth has stated that he is interested in starring in Pyramid Saimira’s next production, in order to compensate for Kuselan.