Indian film industry has superstars and then there is Rajinikanth, whose name alone is enough to make moviegoers buy tickets in large numbers. He enjoys the semi-divine status in the minds and hearts of millions of his fans worldwide. Born on 12 December 1950, Rajinikanth's real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. He was a bus conductor in Bengaluru, when he decided to move to Chennai (then Madras) to pursue his interest in acting. But little did he know that one
day he would emerge as the biggest movie star the country as ever produced. He first appeared in a small role in 1975 film Apoorva Raagangal, directed by his mentor K Balachander. And he continued to play supporting roles, antagonist and second lead in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies until he debuted as a hero with 1978 film Bairavi and the rest is history. The actor, who first appeared in a black and white film five decades ago, has been setting trends in embracing path-breaking technologies in filmmaking. He was the first Indian actor to star in the animated film, Kochadaiyaan, which was shot using motion capture technology. Rajinikanth is married to Latha Rajinikanth and has two daughters -- Aishwarya and Soundarya.