Real Name: Shivajirao Gaikwad
Birthday: 12 December, 1950
Birthcity: Bangalore, India
Height: 1.75 m
Spouse: Latha Rangachari, (1981- present)
First film: Apoorva
Rajinikanth was born as Shivajirao Gaikwad, 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 nine 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.
Between 1966 and 1973 he worked in many places in Bangalore and Madras. He performed various jobs before joining the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) as a bus conductor. He began to take part in stage plays after Kannada playwright and director Topi Muniappa offered him a chance to act in mythological moral plays. His most notable was that of the villainous Duryodhana. In 1973, his friend and co-worker Raj Bahadur motivated him to join the Madras Film Institute and also financially supported him during this phase. His performance in a stage play eventually caught the eye of film director K. Balachander. The director advised him to learn to speak Tamil, a recommendation that Rajinikanth quickly followed and which proved to be extremely useful in his career.
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