Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, aka Rajinikanth, will this year receive the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Prize from India. The award recognizes lifelong contribution to cinema and is awarded by the Indian government.
Known for his work in Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth made his big screen debut in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, with his flourishing career through film roles including box office success Baashha and more recently science fiction Enthiran and its sequel 2.0. A documentary on his next fan, For the love of a man, created in Venice in 2015.
The actor announced a move to politics in 2017, but has since said he will no longer pursue that career path, citing poor health.
Coming up, he has Annaatthe is slated to release for the popular Diwali festival in November 2021.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Prize was last awarded in 2018 to fellow superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Prakash Javadekar, who is India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, announced the news on Twitter:
My all-time favorite Thalaiva movie 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 was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Prize. Congratulations to him.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 1, 2021
Rajinikanth tweeted in response:
Immensely honored and honored with your greetings and most prestigious #DadasahebPhalkeAward respected price and dear Shri @Narendra Modi ji. My most sincere thanks to you and the Indian government 🙏🏻 https://t.co/XT9X6paSNT
– Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 1, 2021