Superstar Rajinikanth is one of the finest actors of India, he is widely loved among his fans for his fans across the world love him for his enchanting on-screen persona, his larger-than-life portrayal of characters, and his off-screen simplicity. With a career spanning over 40 years, the actor has acted in over 170 films and has set a benchmark for himself, and has been an inspiration for millions across the globe.

Thalaiva has ruled the Tamil film industry for decades and is completing 45 successful years in cinema on August 15. As the actor turns 70 today here are some lesser-known facts on thalaiva :

Darbar Worldwide Collection: Day 1
Rajinikanth in Darbar.PR Handout
  • Before entering the film industry, Rajinikanth worked as a coolie, carpenter, and a bus conductor
  • Rajinikanth commands a huge fan following. On Twitter alone, the superstar has 5.7 million worldwide followers.
  • Rajinikanth is a follower of Hinduism and a strong believer in spirituality. He practices yoga and meditation.
  • Rajini is known to be a man of simplicity and a person who values everything he owns. However, he is a person who loves cars and has an awesome collection i.e Premier Padmini, Toyota Innova, Honda Civic, Hindustan Motors Ambassador, BMW X5, Mercede7s-Benz G Wagon, Rolls Royce Phantom, Rolls Royce Ghost, Customised Bentley Limousine, Lamborghini Urus.
Rajinikanth with Bear Grylls on Man vs Wild
Rajinikanth with Bear Grylls on Man vs Wild.PR Handout
  • After the release of every film, Rajinikanth makes a trip to the Himalayas in search of peace and tranquillity. Every time he wraps up a film, and before commencing his next movie, he visits the place to create inner peace in the ashrams there.
  • During the initial days of his career, he got only negative roles to play - of an abusive husband, a rapist, a womanizer, a pornographer, an adulterer, etc, it was only in 1977 when he first got to play a positive role in the movie Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri, which is an evergreen classic film.
  • Moondru Moogam had Rajini playing a triple role for the first time. It earned him a Best Actor award from the Tamil Nadu government.
Rajinikanth (Cigarette smoking is injurious to health)YouTube
  • Rajinikanth is perhaps the first Indian actor to ever discover a market in Japan. 'Muthu' received an overwhelming response from fans in Japan. The film, directed by KS Ravikumar, achieved a strong Japanese fanbase for Rajinikanth. It's also worth mentioning that a die-hard Rajini fan flew down all the way from Japan to watch his gangster drama 'Kabali' in Chennai.
  • Rajinikanth has starred in eleven Tamil remakes of Amitabh Bachchan films like Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Laawaris, and Don among others which went on to become superhits.
Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan
Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan.PR Handout
  • Baasha, which released in 1995, established the actor as a superstar and broke several box-office records.
  • Enthiran is the only Tamil film that made it into IMDb's Top 50 films from around the world list in 2010.
  • Enthiran has been included as a case study in an IIM-A postgraduate elective course, Contemporary Film Industry: A Business Perspective.
Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.PR Handout
  • In 2011 when Rajini was really ill his fans conducted a special pooja for his speedy recovery and 25 fans from the fans' association had walked on the fire. Not just this, fans also took to eating 'Mann soru', a ritual that Tamils consider most powerful. The fans ate rice spread on the floor at the famous Kalikamba temple at Hosur. Many fans performed angapradhikshanam (rolling around a temple's periphery in wet clothes) in temples across the state.
  • Rajini received a whooping fee of Rs 26 crore for his role in 'Sivaji' (2007) and became the highest-paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan at the time.
Rajinikanth in Petta
Rajinikanth in Petta.PR Handout
  • About 22 years ago, three of his fans on returning home after meeting him on his birthday died in a car accident. From then Raji decided to never celebrate his birthday in Chennai
  • On his birthday every year, his fan clubs organize blood donation, eye donation camps and also distribute food for the poor. 
Rajinikanth's Annaatthe
Rajinikanth's AnnaattheTwitter