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 S. Thanu 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 (approximately USD 6 million) for Sivaji, making him the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan.
He converted one of his banquet halls, the Raghavendra Marriage Hall, to a charitable trust to help the needy. He is planning to construct a new hospital and a new school on a piece of land near Chennai.