Tamil actor Rajini gets Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2020

Veteran actor Rajinikanth was conferred Indian cinema’s top honour, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2020 on Thursday.

“Happy to announce Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic,” union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

Presented annually at the National Film Award ceremony, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award recognises “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.” It was first presented in 1969 and its recipients include Lata Mangeshkar, Shashi Kapoor, Yash Chopra and Dev Anand, among several others. It was last awarded to Amitabh Bachchan in 2019.

Rajinikanth, born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a Marathi family, begun his film career with Tamil movie Apoorva Raagangal (1975). The actor is renowned for his mannerisms and style — the signature walk, flicking a cigarette and catching it between his lips (cigarette was replaced with chewing gum over the years to cultivate a more responsible image), and his natural comic timing, in the over 200 films.

A string of blockbusters from the 1970s to the mid-2000s include titles like Bairavi, Mullum Malarum, Billa, Murattu Kaalai , Naan Sigappu Manithan, Padikkathavan, Mr. Bharath, Velaikaran, Thalapathi, Annamalai, Baashha, Muthu, Arunachalam, Padayappa, Baba and Chandramukhi.

Last seen in action thriller Darbar, released in January 2020, the 70-year old actor has also been honoured with the Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016). Rajinikanth is said to have had some 55,000 fan clubs registered around the world in 2001, after which he stopped certifying them.

Known as one of the few leading men in Tamil, as well as Indian cinema, who could strike a chord with the common man on the street and the upper class, trade experts say he still has both the multiplex and the single-screen audience rooting for him, including the youth, the target group for Tamil films.

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