The Ensemble of Glamour and Versatility – Rekha

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It is surprising to know that an actress who was initially criticized for her looks and faced a struggle in the name of her physical looks, later went on to become the queen of hearts for millions of her fans. Rekha doesn’t need an introduction for the contribution she made to Indian cinema and especially to Bollywood.

A girl who was forced to choose the field of acting to support her family financially eventually became one of the versatile and finest actresses of Hindi cinema. Rekha was born on 10th October, 1954 to Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and Telugu actress Pushpavalli. As a child she made debut in the Telugu film Rangula Ratnam in the year 1966 and the movie Sawan Bhadon in the year 1970 marks the debut movie of the actress in Bollywood. The movie was well received. In the early stages of her career she gave hits like Rampur ka Lakshman (1972), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), despite of which she found it difficult to get the roles which she wanted to act and remained in the headlines because of her dark complexion and plump figure.

The period after this saw the metamorphosis of the actress into a thin, beautiful, sleek, heroine who became the overnight diva of the Indian cinema. She started choosing matured roles. Beginning with Do Anjaane opposite Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha went on to do intense roles in super hit movies like Ghar, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar where she played the role of a courtesan. Then there were hits streaming in the box office. Baseraa, Ek Hi Bhool, Jeevan Dhaara, established the Rekha as the great artist. Umrao Jaan (1981) where she was again seen playing the role of a courtesan which won her the National award for the best actress category.

After gaining success in commercial movies Rekha experimented her acting skill set in the arena of Parallel cinema. She gained a lot of appreciation and widened her career options by doing films like Girish Karnad’s Utsav, Gulzar’s Ijazzat, and Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug. Expanding on her versatile aspect of acting Rekha went on to do heroine oriented movie Khoon Bhari Maang in 1988 which raised the actress to a different level of recognition in Bollywood. She went on doing similar roles in quiet a few movies.

The saga of the actress doesn’t end here. She took a bold step to do Kamasutra : A Tale of Love. The audience got to see the unusual side of the actress romancing with much younger actor Akshay Kumar in the movie Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi. She was seen playing the role of mother and grandmother of the actor Hrithik Roshan in the movie Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish respectively. The song ‘Kaisi Paheli Zindagani’ in the movie Parineeta (2005) featured the actress as a club singer and dancer won her lot of accolades and the song became more popular because of the actress.

Even after having a disturbing personal life which picked up lot of controversies in her life Rekha never became vulnerable to the social situation and continued to do her work with dedication. She is the recipient of Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 2010 and became the member of Rajya Sabha in 2012.

Her long and successful journey in the world of cinema is difficult to comprise and put in words. Her versatility knows no limits. She is a star of her kind and her story and performances are always looked up as an inspiration by the younger generation actresses. Her style and looks are considered iconic and stars like her are the pride of the Bollywood.


Passionate about watching movies and loves listening to songs.

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