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Rekha Birthday Special: Incredible Journey of an actress who is a film herself

Rekha ‘Kanjeevaram Queen’

The epitome of beauty, the legendary actress Rekha is set to celebrate her 67th birthday on October 10, 2021. Be it her stellar performances in movies or her sensational affair with Amitabh Bachchan, this actress has always been in the news.

On the occasion of her birthday, let us brief you a little about her journey so far.

A star was born

Born as Bhanurekha Ganesan, Rekha was born on October 10, 1954, in Madras. Her parents were not married and her father, Gemini Ganesan, never considered her his daughter. He hardly met her and her family. He already had 6 other children from his previous marriages.

Because of her poor relationship with her father, Rekha never spoke about her family. It was only in the later 1970s that the actress spoke about her unstable childhood. She doubted that her father was even aware of her existence.

It was after the demise of her mother, Pushpavalli in 1991 that the father-daughter duo shared a close bond and was seen resolving all their issues.

Rekha Acting Career

It was at the age of just one that Rekha made her debut as a child artist in a Telugu drama ‘Inti Guttu’ in the year 1958 and the film was a huge hit. After this, it was in the year 1968 that her mother, Pushpavalli requested her to start her acting career in order to meet the expenses of the family.

Rekha made her Bollywood debut at the age of 12 in the film ‘Anjana Safar’ in the year 1969 but in a supporting role. She bagged her first lead role in the film ‘Savan Badhon’ in 1970, starring opposite Navin Nischol. The film was a huge blockbuster and this is when Rekha came into the limelight.

Though she worked in a huge hit, still she had her share of struggles and rough patches. She struggled with the Hindi language as she was South Indian and was often taunted for her dark complexion and plump body. It took years of dedication with her diet and exercises that she transformed into a beauty queen.

She then bagged a breakthrough role with ‘Do Anjane’ in 1976, which resulted as a huge hit and the reason was not only that she gave a stellar performance but also because she was starred opposite Amitabh Bachchan.

In 1978, she received her first Filmfare award nomination for best actress for the movie ‘Ghar’, in which she played the role of the plight of a rape victim. She was much appreciated for the same.

Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan

Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan still from their film

Her next big hit with Amitabh Bachchan ‘Muqaddar ka Sikandar’ also gained popularity with their on-screen and off-screen chemistry. She bagged a nomination for best-supporting actress in the Filmfare awards for the same.

She also worked in the comedy flick ‘Khoobsurat’ in 1980 which bagged her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The film displayed her comic side.

She grabbed eyeballs when she acted vivaciously in her next film ‘Silsila’ in 1981, where the director brought her real-life story on reel, with Amitabh and Jaya playing a role of a married couple and Rekha playing the ‘other woman’. This was her last film with Big B and was much popularized.

The same year she was honored with her first National Award for best actress for the film ‘Umrao Jaan’, where she looked mesmerizing and the audience was in awe of her beauty.

In the late 80s, she featured in various films like ‘Kalyug’ (1981), ‘Vijeta’ (1982), ‘Utsav’ (1984), ‘Ijaazat’ (1987).

She bagged her second best actress Filmfare award in 1988 with ‘Khoon Bhari Mang’, where she played the role of a woman who gets completely transformed from a shy, quiet girl to a revengeful woman. The film was directed by Rakesh Roshan and was a remake of the Australian movie ‘Return to Eden’ (1983).

It was in the early 90s that she saw a huge dip in her career with young actresses coming to the forefront. She still managed to bag many films like ‘Kama Sutra: A tale of love’ (1996), ‘Khiladiyo ka Khiladi’ (1996), ‘Lajja’ (2001), and ‘Zubeidaa’ the same year.

She was also seen in dynamic roles in the movies ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ (2005), ‘Parineeta’ (2005), and ‘Krishh’ (2006).

Rekha received her first Padma Shree in 2010 for her immense contribution to Indian cinema. She was last seen in a cameo in 2015 ‘Shamitabh’, where she shared the screen with Amitabh, Dhanush, and Akshara Hasan.

Rekha Personal Life

There is one thing that gained attention throughout her career apart from her performances and that is her relationships. Her much-famed relationship with Amitabh Bachchan was hyped in the 80s and continues to create sensation to date.

We see her daunting that ‘Sindoor Bhari Mang‘, which has been rumored to be her secret marriage with Amitabh Bachchan. One instance where she left the world shocked was when she gave a dazzling entry at Neetu and Rishi Kapoor’s wedding, wearing a white saree and a pinch of sindoor in her mang. Everyone was left pondering over the same.

Though she has been called unlucky in love, she was involved in a short-term marriage with a businessman, Mukesh Aggarwal in 1990. The marriage ended soon after a year with Mukesh’s demise as he committed suicide.

Rekha and Mukesh Agarwal

Rekha and Mukesh Agarwal

Apart from this, her rumored relationship with the veteran actor Jeetendra was much popular. She met him when he was already married to Shobha Kapoor and was tagged the ‘home breaker’. Soon their relationship ended.

Rekha was also rumored to be married to Vinod Mehra but she denied of any such marriage in an interview with Simi Garewal in 2004.

Pakistan’s biggest all-rounder, Imran Khan was also supposedly in a relationship with Rekha. He was said to be fond of her so much so that once he had visited the actress in Mumbai and stayed back with her for a whole month. Anyway, the fumes dried and their relationship didn’t go for too long.

She also had her shares of other rumored relationships with Kiran Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, and Akshay Kumar, but no confirmation ever came across for the same.

She is undoubtedly one of the finest artists of Bollywood and her contribution to the Indian Cinema has been par excellence. Even when she’s set to turn 67 this year, her beauty is eternal. We wish the queen of Bollywood a very Happy and Blessed Birthday!

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