Rekha, born October 10th, 1954 in Chennai, India, is an award winning Bollywood actress.
Bhanurekha Ganesan (later known simply as "Rekha") is the daughter of renowned Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and the Telugu actress Pushpavalli. Her father came from an orthodox Smartha Brahmin family belonging to the Mulukanadu sub-caste but chose to take up acting as a profession. He enjoyed phenomenal success and Rekha was to follow in his footsteps.
Rekha's parents were not married, and her father did not acknowledge his paternity during her childhood. It was during the early 1970s, when she was looking for a footing in the Bollywood film industry, that she revealed her origins. Later, at the peak of her career, Rekha told a magazine interviewer that her father's neglect still rankled and that she had ignored his efforts at reconciliation. She has had various unsuccessful relationships with Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan (see below),Vinod Mehra and was briefly married to a businessman Mukesh Aggarwal from Delhi before he committed suicide.
Rekha appeared as a child actor in the Telugu film Rangula Ratnam (1966). Rekha made her debut as heroine in the successful Kannada film Goadalli CID 999 with Dr. Rajkumar in 1969. She had two films released in 1970: the Telugu film Amma Kosam and the Hindi Sawan Bhadon. Sawan Bhadon was a hit and she becomes a star overnight. She did get lot of offers but nothing of any substance, her roles were mostly used to be just of a glamour girl, a typical hindi movie heroines. She appeared in several successful films, such as Kahani Kismat Ki, Raampur Ka Lakshman, and Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye. Her first serious and performance oriented role came in 1976 when she signed 'Do Anjaane' with Amitabh Bachchan. People noticed her in that and then came Ghar in 1978 which got critically acclaim and she was nominated for filmfare best actress award.
She first attained real fame in 1978 with Muqaddar Ka Sikandar , in which she co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan. She went on to co-star with Amitabh in a number of 1980s hits. The most scandalous of these was Silsila, in which she played Amitabh's love interest and Amitabh's real-life wife, Jaya Bhaduri, played his wife. She also starred in the film Umrao Jaan. The film was considered one of her best performances and she received the National Film Award for Best Actress. In films such as Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Umrao Jaan, her portrayal of courtesan with a heart of gold won acclaim and she played similar roles in other movies.
She was rumoured to be Amitabh's real-life flame and the film-column gossip may have contributed to her success. However, even critics had to admit that she had worked hard to perfect her Hindi and her acting, and that she had transformed herself from a "plump" duckling to a "swan" in the early 1980s. Rekha credits this transformation to yoga, a nutritious diet, and a regular, disciplined life.
After her "Bachchan era", Rekha took on increasingly serious, even adventurous roles. She starred in heroine-oriented films such as Khoobsoorat, Khoon Bhari Maang and Mujhe Insaaf Chaahiye. She was also willing to work with independent and "art film" directors, in films such as Utsav, Basera, and Ijaazat.
In recent years, she has appeared in relatively few movies, usually as a mother or a widow rather than a glamour queen. She has won praise for her acting in films such as Kama Sutra: A Tale Of Love (1996), Zubeidaa (2001), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and Parineeta (2005). This year, she has been seen in the sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya i.e Krrish, where she plays Hrithik Roshan's grandmother. Among her forthcoming movies are Yatra (as Lajwanti) Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaanaand Kaala(2007),Tamil film.
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