Happy birthday Rekha, the mujra queen of Bollywood

The top actress of Bollywood, Rekha, has turned 60 today (on October 10, 2014). She is the living legend of Bollywood film industry. She is known as one of the most appreciated mujra dancers in Bollywood movies.

Bollywood actress Rekha at 4th Annual asiaSpa Awards. Photo: FilmiTadka.

  • Rekha was born on 10 October 1954
  • Rekha was born in Chennai (then Madras) to Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and Telugu actress Pushpavalli. She was born before her parents married. During her childhood Gemini Ganesan had refused paternity to Rekha.
  • Rekha’s original name is Bhanurakhi Ganesan
  • Rekha debuted acting in ‘Rangula Ratnam’, a Telugu film in 1966 as a child artist. ‘Rangula Ratnam’ had won National Film Award for Best feature film in Telugu that year.
  • Rekha debuted in lead role in Kannada film “Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999” in 1969 opposite to Rajkumar.
  • Rekha also starred in her first Hindi film, “Anjana Safar” in 1969. But, because of censor and other problems, the movie was released a decade later (in 1979) titled ‘Do Shikaari’. Rekha told that she was tricked into a kissing scene in the movie.
  • In 1970s she made Bollywood debut in ‘Sawan Bhadon’ in leading role. Navin Nischol was opposite to Rekha in ‘Sawan Bhadon’
  • Rekha acted in more than 180 films in 40 years of her acting career.
  • She had won three Filmfare Awards two best actress and one for supporting actress role. She won Best Actress Award for her roles in Khubsoorat (1980), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988). She had also won one Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actress in  Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996).
  • Rekha won National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Umrao Jaan (1981).
  • In 2010, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
  • In 1990, Rekha married Delhi-based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal. A year later—while she was in London—he committed suicide, after several previous attempts, leaving a note, “Don’t blame anyone”.
  • Rekha’s best known relationship was her long-time affair with superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The affair ended after their last movie together ‘Silsila’. There was also a rumor of her marriage to actor Vinod Mehra in 1973. Rekha however says Vinod is only a “well wisher”.

Rekha had no interest in acting, in the start. Because of financial needs she had to start acting in her initial days. She didn’t speak Hindi and it was  tough time in those initial days. When ‘Sawan Bhadon’ became a hit movie, she was a star overnight.

Because of dark complexion and South Indian features, Rekha wasn’t considered beautiful in the beginning. Rekha didn’t like being ugly and wanted to transform herself to a beautiful actress. She started paying attention to make-up and dress sense. In addition to beauty, she also worked to improve her acting skills and Hindi-language skills.

Let’s watch one of the best mujra dances of Rekha in ‘Umrao Jaan’ (1981):

and Salaam E Ishq from ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’:

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