Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, aka Rajinikanth, will be the recipient of India’s prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year. The prize recognizes lifetime contribution to cinema and is handed out by the Government of India.
Known for his work in Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth made his big screen debut in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, with his career blossoming through roles in films including box office smash Baashha and more recently the sci-fi Enthiran and its sequel 2.0. A documentary about his fan following, For the Love of a Man, premiered at Venice in 2015.
The actor had announced a move into politics in 2017 but since said he would no longer be pursuing that career path, citing ill health.
Upcoming, he has Annaatthe scheduled to release for the popular Diwali festival in November 2021.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was last handed out in 2018 to fellow superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Prakash Javadekar, who is India’s Minister for Information & Broadcasting, announced the news on Twitter:
My all-time favourite movie of Thalaiva is the 1992 Tamil classic Annamalai. pic.twitter.com/LOVDm9K6qs
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) April 1, 2021
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his congratulations:
Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality…that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you.
It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 1, 2021
Rajinikanth tweeted in response:
Immensely humbled and honoured with your greetings and the most prestigious #DadasahebPhalkeAward award respected and dearest Shri @narendramodi ji. My heartfelt thanks to you and the government of india 🙏🏻 https://t.co/XT9X6paSNT
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 1, 2021
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