Rajinikanth to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019
He is the fourth actor from South Indian cinema after Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan, and Rajkumar to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phallke award
Actor Rajinikanth will be awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019, as confirmed in an announcement made by Union I&B minister Prakash Javdekar on Thursday. He said, “A jury consisting of Asha Bhonsle, Mohanlal, Biswajit Chatterjee, Shankar Mahadevan and Subhash Ghai unanimously decided to nominate Rajinikanth for the award, and we have accepted the nomination. For the last fifty-odd years, he has been the uncrowned king of cinema. Through his charisma, his talent, and efforts, he has made a place for himself in the hearts of the people."
The actor now joins an illustrious list of film personalities to have been conferred this award, including his mentor K Balachander, Sivaji Ganesan, Satyajit Ray, Amitabh Bachchan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and K Vishwanath. He is set to become the fourth star from South Indian cinema after Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan, and Rajkumar to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke.
Having began his career with a cameo in K Balachander’s Apoorva Raagangal (1975), Rajinikanth has gone on to act in over 160 films across the languages of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, and English. Tasting success as a stylish antagonist in many landmark films, including Aadu Puli Aatam, 16 Vayathinile, and Moondru Mudichu, Rajinikanth made the transition to ‘hero’ roles with Bairavi (1978), which was also the first film to give him the ‘Superstar’ sobriquet that would later become so iconic. He further cemented his hero status with the Mahendran drama, Mullum Malarum, in which he played a gritty winch operator who suffers a tragic accident. Known for style and charisma, Rajinikanth’s box office success even resulted in many established production houses, like AVM and Vijaya Vauhini Studios, returning from a sabbatical to do films again.
Fondly called ‘Thalaivar’ by his fans, Rajinikanth’s 100th film was Sri Raghavendra, which saw him explore his spiritual side for the first time. An admitted admirer of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth has remade more than 10 Hindi films of the legendary actor, including Don (Billa), Hum (Baasha), Laawaris (Panakkaran) and Namak Halaal (Velaikkaran).
The actor also made an explosive Hindi debut with Andha Kanoon (1983), following which he shared screenspace with the likes of Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Hema Malini, and Govinda. He was also among the first Tamil stars to do an English film with Bloodstone (1988).
It was in the 90s that his popularity truly soared, with his film, Muthu, becoming a massive success in Japan where he has since come to be known as ‘The Dancing Maharaja’. While he was expected to step into politics given his own public flirtations with starting a party, he recently announced his decision not to, citing health reasons.
In a career comprising few difficult stretches, the actor over the last decade, has truly become a pan-India phenomenon, following his collaborations with director Shankar. With the re-release of Sivaji in 3D in 2017, Rajinikanth earned the unique tag of being the only Indian actor to have acted in the black and white era, cinemascope, colour, animation, and 3D.
The actor won the Kalaimamani in 1984, the MGR-Sivaji award in 2011, and as many as six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. Having been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2000, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016, the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest honour awarded for film personalities, is now the third National recognition for the actor.
The award will be presented to Padma Vibhushan Rajinikanth on May 3 when the recently announced National Awards will also be awarded to the recipients.