Rekha, the iconic Indian actress, has stolen millions of hearts over the years and enticed audiences with her gorgeous looks. Throughout her acting career Rekha faced some tough times, but she always reinvented herself on numerous occasions and came back with more fame. She is credited for her ability to sustain her status as an iconic Bollywood actress.
She was born in Chennai on 10 October, 1954. Her formal name is Bhanu Rekha Ganesa, which was later shortened to Rekha. Her father was the renowned Tamil actor, Gemini Ganesan and her mother was the Telegu actress Pushpavalli. Rekha's parents were not married and this situation would continue to rankle Rekha all her life. She married Delhi-based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal, who later committed suicide. She is also rumoured to have married Vinod Mehra, another Indian actor. However, she denied of having any such relation with him in a 2004 television interview with Simi Garewal.
Rekha had entered the Mumbai film industry since her childhood days and came into limelight sooner rather than later. She was first seen as a child actor in a Telegu film, Rangula Ratnam (1966). Then she did a successful Kannad film Goadalli CID 999 (1969) with Dr. Rajkumar. In 1970, she released two films: the Hindi film Sawan Bhadon and the Telegu film Amma Kosam. Of the two, Sawan Bhadon was a huge hit at the box office and Rekha went on to become a star.
Her first serious role was in the film Do Anjanne (1976), in which her co-star was Amitabh Bachchan. In 1978, she did Ghar for which she received critical acclaim and which also got Rekha a nomination for the Filmfare best actress award. She co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in many Bollywood films; most notable is the 1978 film Muqaddar Ka Sikander, then came Silsila and after a few films in the 1980s, she starred in the critically acclaimed Umrao Jaan for which she received the National Film Award for best actress. She portrayed a courtesan with a heart of gold in the film.
After the Bachchan era, during which she was cast as Amitabh Bachchan's heroine in many of her films, her choice of films shifted towards women-centric narratives (Khoobsurat, Khoon Bhari Maang and Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye). She also appeared in Art films like Utsav, Basera and Ijazat.
In recent years, she has increasingly taken on diverse positive roles in contemporary themed films like Zubeidaa (2001), Dil Hai Tumhara (2002), Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and Parineeta (2005). She also acted in the sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya as Hrithik Roshan's Grandmother in the film Krrish.
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