Bollywood’s reigning diva, Rekha was born as Bhanurekha Ganesan on the 10th October 1954 in Chennai. She is one of the most versatile talents in the industry. She has been known for her films, love affairs and immaculate sense of style and beauty for over four decades now.
Family and Background
She hails from a family of actors, therefore, it is not surprising to know that acting runs in her blood. Her father Gemini Ganesan was a well known Tamil actor and her mother Pushpavalli was a Telugu actress. It is believed that her parents never got married officially. In fact, people are of the say that, when Rekha was born, her father didn`t even make the declaration of his paternity.
Debut of a Diva
Rekha’s film career started out in early 70’s. She made her first appearance as a child artist in the Telugu film Rangula Ratnam (1966). She was a young girl all of thirteen and did not even know Hindi at that time. However, a quick learner she was, Rekha learnt Hindi and dancing. ‘Goadalli CID 999’, a Kannada film was her first film in lead role. She worked in a number of Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films.
Diva moves to Bollywood
Rekha made her debut in Bollywood with ‘Sawan Bhadon’, which starred Navin Nischol in the year 1970. It was a major hit at the Box Office. This film brought her overnight stardom. After that, there was no looking back. Throughout the seventies, she remained an insignificant entity in the film industry.
Birth of a new avatar!
Rekha turned out to be a hardworking girl and she always had a go-getter vibe in her personality. With the help of yoga and image makeover, she underwent amazing transformation in early 1980s both physically and mentally, transforming from a plump, darkish girl into an athletic, sexy looking damsel. This overnight transformation boosted her image in the Bollywood so much so that she reigned as number one for almost a decade!
Love and Life
It was at towards the end of 80’s and beginning of 90’s, that Amitabh Bachchan entered her personal and professional life. They worked in many films together and delivered some super hits. Like `Mukaddar Ka Sikandar`, `Mr. Natwarlal`, `Khoon Paseena` and `Silsila`. This made Amitabh-Rekha one of the most successful pairs on the Hindi screen. Her most memorable film till date is ‘Umrao Jaan’, in which she played the role of a court dancer; it also starred Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role.
She is believed to have had several relationships. She has dated a couple of film stars of her era- Jeetendra, Vinod Mehra, Kiran Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. But none of the relationships worked out and she finally got married to a Delhi based businessman Mukesh Aggarwal in the year 1990. However, he committed suicide the next year in 1991.
Rumors and Facts
She was rumored to have been married to actor Vinod Mehra in 1973, but in a 2004 television interview with Simi Garewal, she denied being married to him referring to him as a ‘well-wisher’. She has been single ever since the death of her husband. Rekha now lives with her secretary Farzana in her Bandra home in Mumbai.
The Legend`s life continues...
Rekha will continue to be the sex symbol, glamorous and hot actress of Bollywood.
She was last seen in ‘Krrish’ playing the role of Hrithik Roshan’s mother. She has had an extremely rewarding career, she won three Filmfare Awards, two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in ‘Khubsoorat’ (1980), ‘Khoon Bhari Maang’ (1988) and ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) respectively. Her portrayal of a classical courtesan in ‘Umrao Jaan’ (1981) won her the National Film Award for Best Actress.