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Rakhee Gulzar at Neena Singh's art exhibition
15 August 1947
Ranaghat, Bengal, Dominion of India
(now in West Bengal, India)
Raakhee Majumdar (born 15 August 1947) is an Indian film actress, who has primarily appeared in Hindi films, as well as several Bengali films. She is popularly known as Raakhee Gulzar after her marriage to lyricist-director Gulzar. In four decades of acting, Raakhee won three Filmfare Awards and a National Film Award, among others. At the Filmfare, Raakhee has been nominated 16 times (8 for Best Actress and 8 for Best Supporting Actress), making her the overall most-nominated performer in the female acting categories alongside actress Madhuri Dixit.
Rakhee was born in a Bengali family at Ranaghat in the Nadia district, West Bengal, in the early hours of 15 August 1947, just hours after the declaration of independence of India. She received her early education in a local girls' school. Her father had a flourishing shoe business in his native village in East Bengal, modern-day Bangladesh, before the partition of India and thereafter he settled in West Bengal. While still a teenager, Raakhee had an arranged marriage to Bengali journalist/film director Ajay Biswas, which ended shortly thereafter.
In 1967, the 20-year-old Raakhee (also credited as "Rakhee") acted in her first Bengali film Badhu Baran, after which she was offered the lead role in her first Hindi film in 1970, Rajshri Productions' Jeevan Mrityu with Dharmendra.
In 1971, Rakhee played a double role opposite Shashi Kapoor in Sharmilee, and in the same year she also acted in Lal Patthar and Paras; all three films were popular and she therefore became established as a major Hindi lead heroine. Her films over the next decade included Shehzada (1972), Heera Panna (1973), Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), Hamare Tumhare (1979), Aanchal (1980), and Taaqat (1982). She regards her performances in Blackmail (1973) and Tapasya (1976) to be her best performances. She acted with Dev Anand in Heera Panna, Banarasi Babu, Lootmaar, and Joshila.
Rakhee worked with Shashi Kapoor in 10 released films, including Sharmelee (1971), Jaanwar Aur Insaan (1972), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Doosra Aadmi (1977), the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978), Baseraa (1981), Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983), Zameen Aasmaan (1984), and Pighalta Aasman (1985). She also acted opposite Kapoor in the film Ek Do Teen Chaar, which was produced in 1970 but never released. Her films with Amitabh Bachchan include Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1977), Kasme Vaade (1978), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Jurmana (1979), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981), and Bemisal (1982). In 1981, the 23-year-old aspiring director Anil Sharma asked her to star in leading role in his debut film Shradhanjali; Raakhee agreed to take the part despite lack of funding for the film project, and the film was successful. She acted in other Bengali films Paroma (1984) and was awarded the BFJA Award for Best Actress. Her last film as the lead female heroine was Pighalta Aasman in 1985 with Shashi Kapoor.
Towards the late 1980s and 1990s she played strong character roles as the elderly mother—usually a bereaved and bitter widow whose husband died at the hands of ruthless villains—or woman of principles in commercially successful films such as Ram Lakhan (1989), Anari (1993), Baazigar (1993), Khalnayak (1993), Karan Arjun (1995), Border (1997), Soldier (1998), and Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001).
In her second marriage, she married film director, poet and lyricist, Gulzar. The couple have a daughter, Meghna Gulzar (Bosky); when their daughter was only one year old, they separated but never divorced. Meghna Gulzar grew up with her father and, after completing her graduation in films from New York University, went on to become a director of films like Filhaal, Just Married and Dus Kahaniyaan, and authored the biography of her father Gulzar, in 2004.
At one point, Raakhee stayed in her bungalow, "Muktangan," on Sarojini Road in Khar, Mumbai, later she sold off the property and moved to an apartment two buildings away, though the new high rise is still called by the same name, as she had wished. These days she mostly stays in the Panvel farmhouse on Mumbai outskirts.
Awards and nominations
- Badhu Bharan (1967)
- Baghini (1968)
- Jeevan Mrityu (1970) ... Deepa
- Sharmilee (1971) ... Kanchan/Kamini
- Reshma Aur Shera (1971) ... Gopal's Wife
- Paaras (1971) ... Barkha Singh
- Lal Patthar (1971) ... Sumita
- Pagli (1972)
- Wafaa (1972) ... Saraswati
- Shehzada (1972) ... Chanda
- Yaar Mera (1972)
- Shaadi Ke Baad (1972) ... Shobha
- Janwar Aur Insaan (1972)
- Beimaan (1972)
- Anokhi Pehchaan (1972)
- Aan Baan (1972) ... Rekha
- Aankhon Aankhon Mein (1972) ... Parvati
- Heera Panna (1973) ... Roma
- Daag (1973) ... Chandni
- Blackmail (1973) ... Asha Mehta
- Banarasi Babu (1973)
- Joshila (1973) ... Sapna
- 27 Down (1974) ... Shalini
- Chameli Memsaab (1975)
- Mere Sajna (1975)
- Angaarey (1975)
- Tapasya (1976) ... Indrani Sinha "Indu"
- Kabhi Kabhie (1976) ... Pooja Khanna
- Doosra Aadmi (1977) ... Nisha
- Trishna (1978) ... Aarti S. Gupta
- Kasme Vaade (1978) ... Suman
- Trishul (1978) ... Geeta
- Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978) ... Kaamna
- Hamare Tumhare (1979) ... Maya
- Jurmana (1979) ... Rama Sharma
- Kaala Patthar (1979) ... Dr. Sudha Sen
- Lootmaar (1980) ... Raksha Bhagat
- Aanchal (1980) ... Shanti
- Hum Kadam (1980)... Indu Gupta
- Shaan (1980) ... Sheetal Kumar
- Rocky (1981) ...Parvati
- Laawaris (1981) ... Vidya
- Dhuaan (1981)
- Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981)
- Anusandhan (1981) ... Rajni
- Baseraa (1981) ... Sharda Balraj Kohli
- Shradhanjali (1981)
- Yeh Vaada Raha (1982) ... Mrs. Sharda Rai Bahadur
- Taaqat (1982)
- Shriman Shrimati (1982) ... Parvatidevi
- Bemisal (1982) ... Kavita Chaturvedi (Sakhi)
- Dil Aakhir Dil Hai (1982) ... Kusum Desai
- Shakti (1982) ... Sheetal
- Bandhan Kachche Dhaagon Ka (1983)
- Zindagi Jeene Ke Liye (1984)
- Paroma (1984) ... Parama
- Anand Aur Anand (1984) ... Mrs. Arun Anand
- Zameen Aasmaan (1984)
- Saaheb (1985) ... Sujata Sharma
- Zindagani (198]) ... Sumitra Devi
- Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987) ... Laxmi
- Dacait (1987) ... Devi Choudhrain
- Gold Medal (1988)
- Falak (1988) ... Durga Verma
- Ram Lakhan (1989) ... Mrs. Sharda Pratap Singh
- Santosh (1989) ... Rachna
- Jeevan Ek Sangharsh ... Dharam Verma
- Saugandh (1991) ... Ganga
- Pratikar (1991) ... Saraswati Devi
- Rudaali (1993) ... Bhikni/Euli
- Pratimurti (1993)
- Khal Nayak (1993) ... Mrs. Aarti Prasad
- Kshatriya (1993) ... Maheshwari Devi
- Dil Ki Baazi (1993) ... Nirmaladevi
- Anari (1993)
- Baazigar (1993) ... Mrs. Shobha Sharma
- Karan Arjun (1995) ... Durga Singh
- Kismat (1995) ... Geeta
- Border (1997) ... Dharamvir's mother
- Jeevan Yudh (1997) ... Mrs. Rai
- Ankhon Mein Tum Ho (1997) ... Ranimaa (Mrs. Burman)
- Sham Ghansham (1998) ... Ganga Satyadev Singh
- Barood (1998) ... Gayetri Sharma
- Soldier (1998) ... Geeta Malhotra
- Baadshah (1999) ... Chief Minister Gayatri Bachchan
- Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001) ... Pratima Kapoor
- Talaash: The Hunt Begins (2003) ... Purnima
- Dil Ka Rishta (2003) ... Mrs. Sharma
- Shubho Mahurat (2003) ... Ranga Pishima
- Classmates (2009)
- "Biography for Rakhee Gulzar".
- "Lounge: Rakhee Gulzar". Mint (newspaper). 11 August 2007.
- Analysis: I celebrate Independence Day, Not my Birthday: Rakhee Boloji.com, 2007.
- "Women directors scale Bollywood". BBC News. 21 February 2002.
- "On the Shelf". Indian Express. 11 January 2004.
- "Bipasha to rebuild home to suit her 'energy'". Sify.com. 2 July 2008.
- Dasgupta, Priyanka (24 February 2009). "Rakhee-Meghna delight on Gulzar's win". The Times of India.
- "37th Annual BFJA Awards". BFJA. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- 21st National Film Awards