Superstar Rajinikanth has acted in more than 200 films in the last 38 years. The actor has worked in several film industries including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali and English.

However, he has acted in more Tamil films compared to other regional releases. 

Here are some of Rajinikanth's most-popular characters in Tamil films. The actor has performed varied roles including that of a hero, villain and comedian. 

Parattai in 16 Vayathinile (1977)

This 1977 film featured Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in main roles. While Kamal played the character of "Chappani" (hero), Rajini appeared in a villainous role as "Parattai".

The performance of the actors met with critical reception, upon film's release.

"16 Vayathinile" had a 175-day theatrical run at the box office and turned to be a huge blockbuster.

Indiran and Chandran in Thillu Mullu (1981)

The film was Rajinikanth's first full-length comedy entertainer. Directed by Balachander, "Thillu Mullu" has Rajinikanth in dual characters - one with moustache and the other clean shaven.

It was the first time that Rajini had removed his moustache for a film.

"Thillu Mullu", which released in 1981, received positive reviews from critics and turned out to be a commercial success.

Hindu saint Raghavendra in Sri Raghavendra (1985)

Rajinikanth plays the role of Hindu saint Raghavendra in this film. "Sri Raghavendra" is the actor's 100th film.

His performance as the saint won him accolades from all quarters.

Suriya in Thalapathi (1991)

The Maniratnam directorial had Rajinikanth and Malayalam actor Mammootty in pivotal roles. The superstar played the role of an abandoned child who turns into a fearless slum king. The film, heavily inspired by epic story Mahabharat, was critically-acclaimed as well as commercially successful.

Annamalai in the film Annamalai (1992)

The film directed by Suresh Krishna is about two close friends played by Rajinikanth and Sarath Babu.

Rajinikanth appears as milkman Annamalai who turns into a rich businessman. The actor's performance and his dialogues won him appreciation.

The film was a huge hit and also completed more than a 150-day run at the box office.

"Annamalai" started the trend of using opening theme songs for Rajinikanth films.

Baasha and Manickam in the film Baasha (1995)

This hugely successful film could be termed as a milestone in Rajinikanth's career. The actor appeared in the role of an innocent auto driver Manickam who was living as Mumbai-don Baasha in the past.

Rajini did a commendable job in the film, which turned out to be a massive hit. The actor had uttered a dialogue in the film - "Naan oru thadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna maadiri" (If I say something once, it is as though I have said it 100 times). The dialogue is immensely popular among Rajini fans even today.

Muthu in the film Muthu (1995)

Rajinikanth performed dual roles in the film - as a son and a father. Some of Rajinikanth's dialogues in the film became a rage in those days. Sample this: "Naan eppo varuven, epdi varuvennu yarukkum theriyathu. Aana vara vendiya nerathula ka correctaa varuven" (Nobody will know when or how I'll arrive -- but I will always appear at the right time).

"Muthu" became a huge success not just in India, but also in Japan. The film was dubbed in Japanese as "Muthu Odoru Maharaja" ("Muthu- The Dancing Maharaja") and was released in theatres there. The commercial entertainer ran for more than 150 days in Japan.

Rajinikanth gained popularity among Japanese people and he still has a huge fan base in the country.

Vaseegaran and Chitti the Robot in Endhiran (2010)

Post the success of "Sivaji", Rajinikanth teamed up with Shankar once again for the mega-budget film "Endhiran" ("Robot"). He appeared in dual roles in the film as a scientist (Vaseegaran) and a robot (Chitti). The actor's performance as the robot was widely appreciated.

"Endhiran" went on to become the highest grossing Tamil film in the history of Indian cinema. 

He will be next in an epic drama titled "Kochadaiiyaan." The film, directed by Soundarya Rajini, will have the actor in double roles.

"Kochadaiiyaan" is touted to be India's first 3D film using motion-capture technology. Rajinikanth is reportedly the first Indian to have appeared in four different formats of films - black and white, colour, 3D and animation.