Happy Birthday, Rekha! 5 iconic roles immortalised by the timeless beauty

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With her charming screen presence, Rekha has given us some strong and memorable performances

Bollywood actress, Bhanurekha Ganesan, known by her screen name Rekha, has defined the true meaning of being an eternal diva in an industry that's all glam. She has reinvented herself numerous times in her acting career spanning over four decades. Rekha is one of the actresses, who has managed to make a mark in parallel as well as commercial cinema. The actress has always remained in the news for her controversial personal life. Her secret marriage with actor Vinod Mehra is still a mystery that everyone's trying to decode.

Rekha has defied ageing and continues to win hearts by playing supporting but pivotal characters in films like Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, Lajja, Koi... Mil Gaya and Krrish. For her outstanding contribution and achievement in the field of Art and Cinema, Rekha was honoured with a Padmashri Award in 2010 by the Government of India. With her charming screen presence, Rekha has given us some strong and memorable performances, which are still fresh in our mind. The actress has proved her versatility over the years and on her birthday today, as she turns 64, we take a look at some of her iconic roles. These characters were immortalised by the grace of Rekha and we bet no one else can spin the same magic on the silver screen as she did in these roles. See, if you agree...

Umrao Jaan

Based on the Urdu novel, Umrao Jaan Ada, Rekha essayed the central character of a Lucknow courtesan, Umrao Jaan, in 1981's Muzafffar Ali's cult classic. Rekha played the character with such grace and elegance, that her nuances in the songs, 'In Aankhon Ki Masti' and 'Dil Cheez Kya Hai,' will steal your heart. While it turned out to be an average grosser at the box office, Rekha bagged the National and Filmfare Award in the Best Actress category for this role.


With an ensemble cast comprising the likes of Ashok Kumar, David, Shashikala, Dina Pathak and Rakesh Roshan, Rekha stood out and delivered a truly awesome performance in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 1980 flick, Khoobsurat. With her effortless and endearing portrayal of Manju, Rekha did complete justice to her adorable character. The actress won her first Best Actress Filmfare Award for this light-hearted entertaining film.

Khoon Bhari Maang

Rakesh Roshan's 1988 revenge-thriller, Khoon Bhari Maang, showcased the true caliber of Rekha as an actor. Her character's transition from a simple and nondescript widow, Aarti Verma, to a hot, glamorous and ravishing Jyoti was mind-blowing. Khoon Bhari Maang is still considered as one of the most powerful women-oriented films of all time.


Considered as one of Yash Chopra's timeless classics, Silsila, featured Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan and his wife, Jaya Bachchan. Apart from Rekha's earnest portrayal of a helpless woman, who suffers from a heart-break, the crackling chemistry between the lead pair was the USP of this film. Interestingly, this is the last film, where Amitabh and Rekha shared screen space.

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