Living legend and the evergreen iconic actress of Bollywood, Rekha turned 66 on Saturday, October 10th. The talented and beautiful diva made her mark in Bollywood with her amazing performances in the 70s and 80s. Rekha has acted in many great films in Bollywood.
Her personal life has been very mysterious. Bhanurekha Ganesan, known as Rekha today, was born in Madras to Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and Telugu actress Pushpavalli. Rekha has a sister, one half-brother, and five half-sisters.
She had started working in films at the age of 14 years to make her family condition better. Rekha started her career as a child actress in Telugu films Inti Guttu (1958) and Rangula Ratnam (1966). Her first film as a lead happened with the Kannada movie Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 (1969). She made her Hindi debut with Sawan Bhadon (1970), which gained her wider recognition.
Birthday wishes have been pouring in from friends and fans all through the day. “Happy Birthday wishes go out today to dear Rekha. We have been good friends for many years now and I always wish her happiness and prosperity in life. Have a great day and year dear friend,” actress-politician Hema Malini tweeted, along with a picture collage of the two superstar actresses who were contemporaries in their heydays.
Urmila Matondkar wrote: “Star-struck. Happy Birthday Most Gorgeous #Rekha ji. Thank you for sharing love n warmth both on n off screen. Love you to moon and back.” “Wish you a very happy birthday Rekha Maa. The love that you shower, the aura around you, and the affection you lavish me…with are all so pure. May you continue to shine brighter and spread positivity like only you can,” Shilpa Shetty wrote on Instagram Story.
Wishes also poured in from fans, who have been sharing pictures of the actress to posting scenes from her movies. “You are one in a billion; we respect you from the bottom of our heart,” a fan wrote on the microblogging site. “Happy birthday Rekha ma’am. You look so beautiful,” another user one wished.
Rekha started her acting career as a child artiste in the 1958 Telugu film, “Inti Guttu”, and she made her Bollywood debut in Mohan Segal’s 1970 release, “Sawan Bhadon”, opposite Navin Nischol. Many consider the 1976 release, “Do Anjaane” to be her breakthrough film. She impressed essaying a role with grey shades.
She has acted in over 180 Hindi films and won a National Film Award in 1982 for her role in Muzaffar Ali’s “Umrao Jaan”. In 2010, she was a recipient of Padma Shri for her contribution to the arts. In hero-dominated Bollywood of the seventies, eighties and nineties, Rekha was a rare actress who regularly scored with heroine-centric films such as “Ijaazat”, “Khubsoorat”, “Umrao Jaan”, “Ghar”, “Khoon Bhari Maang”, “Utsav”, “Jhoothi”, “Biwi Ho To Aisi”, “Jeevan Dhaara”, “Sansar”, “Azaad Desh Ke Gulam” and “Phool Bane Angaray” among many others.
In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Rekha has scored numerous memorable roles in Bollywood films across genres that include “Raampur Ka Lakshman”, “Kahani Kismat Ki”, “Namak Haraam”, “Dharmatma”, “Dharam Karam”, “Nagin”, “Khoon Pasina”, “Ganga Ki Saugandh”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”, “Mr. Natwarlal”, “Jaani Dushman”, “Kartavya”, “Maang Bharo Sajana”, “Judaai”, “Kalyug”, “Silsila”, “Ek Hi Bhool”, “Ghazab”, “Agar Tum Na Hote”, “Baazi”, “Asha Jyoti”, “Jhutha Sach”, “Insaaf Ki Awaaz”, “Jaal”, “Souten Ki Beti”, “Ladaai”, “Bhrashtachar”, “Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi”, “Dil Hai Tumhaara”, “Bhoot”, and “Koi… Mil Gaya”.
Nowadays where actresses usually wear gowns and dresses in functions, Rekha stands out in her golden Kanjeevaram saree which has now become an ‘evergreen’ trend for her admirers. Rekha is considered a Bollywood style icon for her ethnic statements, particularly in signature Kanjeevaram saris.