Waheeda Rehman in Pyaasa (1957)
|Born||Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, British India|
|Other names||Waheeda Rahman|
|Years active||1955–1991, 2002–present|
|Notable work(s)||Reshma in Reshma Aur Shera
Rosie Marco/Miss Nalini in Guide
Rajkumari Neel Kamal/Sita in Neel Kamal
Nurse Radha in Khamoshi
|Religion||Converted to Hinduism|
|Spouse(s)||Shashi Rekhi (1974–2000 his death)|
Waheeda Rehman is an Indian actress who has appeared in mainly Hindi films, as well as Tamil and Telugu films. She is noted for her contributions to different genres of films from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. She has received a Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality, a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, a National Film Award for Best Actress and two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress, throughout her career. She has been cited as the Bollywood's "most beautiful" actress by various media outlets, a title for which she has received substantial publicity.
Rehman was born in Chengalpattu, Madras Province (now Tamil Nadu), British India. She was in her teens when her father died. Her dream was to become a doctor but, due to her family circumstances and her mother illness, she abandoned her goal. In order, to help her family, she hit the silver screen with Telugu films, Jayasimha (1955), followed by Rojulu Marayi (1955) and a Tamil film Kaalam Maari Pochu (1956). It is in Vijaya-Suresh's Ram aur Shyam (a remake of Telugu movie Ramudu Bheemudu) in 1967 that she acted again under the direction of the topnotch Telugu director Tapi Chanakya who incidentally directed her movies Rojulu Maaraayi in Telugu (1955) and Kaalam Maaripochu in Tamil (1956).
Her first initial appearance in a Hindi film was in CID (1956) for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. Later, she was seen in a series of successful films including Pyaasa (1957), 12 O'Clock (1958), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1961). Her other notable works include Solva Saal (1958), Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962), Kohra (1964), Bees Sal Baad (1962), Guide (1965), Teesri Kasam, Mujhe Jeene Do (1966), Neel Kamal and Khamoshi (1969).
Early life and background
Waheeda Rehman was born into a Muslim family in 1936 in Chengalpattu, Madras Province (now Tamil Nadu), British India. She and her sister learnt Bharatnatyam in Chennai, where Guru Trichunder Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and in Bombay Guru Jayalaxmi Alva, doyen among nattuvanars taught and performed on stage together. Her father, who was a district commissioner, died while she was in her teens.
It is a common misconception that Rehman was born in Hyderabad. "It's a long story," she says, "When I was in Chennai, I did four Telugu and two Tamil movies. In the first one, Kaalam Maari Pochu (tamil) along with Gemini Ganesan a bilingual film which was made in Telugu and Tamil as Rojulu Maraayi, I did only a folk dance number in both Telugu and Tamil versions. However, it went on to become a hit! I was in Hyderabad celebrating its success and Guru Dutt happened to be there. He was on a lookout for new faces and heard that I could speak in Urdu. It is because he spotted me in Hyderabad that people assume I was born there."
Her dream was to become a doctor but, due to circumstances of illness, she abandoned this goal. Instead helped by her supportive parents, she hit the silver screen with Telugu films Jayasimha (1955), followed by Rojulu Marayi (1955) and Tamil film Kaalam Maari Pochu (1956). It is in Vijaya-Suresh's Ram aur Shyam (a remake of Telugu movie Ramudu Bheemudu) in 1967 that Waheeda acted again under the direction of the topnotch Telugu director Tapi Chanakya who incidentally directed her movies Rojulu Maaraayi in Telugu (1955) and Kaalam Maari Pochu in Tamil (1956).
Acting career and personal life
In the success party of Rojulu Maaraayi, Guru Dutt noticed her and decided to groom her and have her act in Hindi films. Waheeda considered Guru Dutt as her mentor. Dutt brought her to Bombay (now Mumbai) and cast as a vamp in his production CID (1956), directed by Raj Khosla. A few years after joining the Hindi film industry, she lost her mother. After the success of C.I.D., Dutt gave her a leading role in Pyaasa (1957). Their next venture together, Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), depicted the story of a successful director's decline after he falls for his leading lady. Dutt's existing marriage and her film successes with other directors caused them to drift apart personally and professionally, although they continued to work together into the 1960s (Chaudhvin Ka Chand). She completed Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) under some strain. They broke away from each other after its indifferent reception at the Berlin Film Festival in 1963. Soon afterward, Guru Dutt died on 10 October 1964 in Mumbai reportedly from an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol.
Waheeda Rehman established a great working relationship with Dev Anand, and together as a pair had number of successful films to their credit. The box office hits of the pair include CID (1956), Solva Saal (1958), Kala Bazar (1960), Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962) and Guide (1965); box office duds were Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961) and Prem Pujari (1970). She reached her peak with Guide (1965) and was much in demand. Rehman was cast as Gulabi in Satyajit Ray's Bengali film Abhijan in 1962. She worked in comedy film Girl Friend in 1960 with Kishore Kumar. She was offered lead actress's role in films even opposite actors junior to her by experience like Dharmendra, but they flopped. But she continued to taste success in the late sixties when she was paired with well established stars. She delivered hits opposite Dilip Kumarin three successive years; Dil Diyaa Dard Liyaa in 1966, Ram Aur Shyam in 1967 and Aadmi in 1968 and some box office duds but critically acclaimed films with Rajendra Kumar – Palki, Dharti and Shatranj ; two films opposite Raj Kapoor – Ek Dil Sau Afsane and the acclaimed Teesri Kasam which was the debut film of Basu Bhattacharyya; a few films opposite Biswajeet like, Bees Saal Baad and Kohra; this helped her continue to get lead roles in the early seventies. Her career's biggest hit Khamoshi came in 1970, opposite Rajesh Khanna.
Her career continued throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her roles in Guide (1965), where she hit the peak of her career, and Neel Kamal (1968), but despite excellent offbeat roles in subsequent films, including a National Award winning performance in Reshma Aur Shera (1971), some of the films failed at the box office. Seeing her films being successful, Waheeda decided to experiment with roles at this stage of career. She accepted Reshma Aur Shera, opposite her old co-star Sunil Dutt, with whom she had previously in the sixties had hits like Ek Phool Char Kaante, Mujhe Jeene Do, Meri Bhabhi and Darpan. Her performance was appreciated by critics, but the film failed at the box office. But Waheeda continued to experiment with roles and accepted the offer to play a mother to Jaya Bhaduri in Phagun (1973). This she regards the mistake of her career as after this film flopped suddenly people started offering her motherly roles to heroes.
Film expert Rajesh Subramanian informs that Manmohan Desai had approached her on behalf of Shammi Kapoor during the making of Naseeb. In the song John jani janardhan, Shammi Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman make a grand entry holding hands. Incidentally this was the first time the two stars appeared together on screen. Later she also did Manmohan Desai's Coolie and Allah Rakha.
From the mid seventies, Waheeda's career as lead heroine ended and her career as character actor began. At around this time, Kamaljit, who starred opposite her in Shagoon (1964), proposed and they got married in 1974. After her appearance in Lamhe (1991), she retired from the film industry for 12 years.
In her new innings from seventies her successful films, where she played pivotal roles include, Kabhi Kabhie (1976),Trishul (1978), Jwalamukhi (1980), Namkeen and Namak Halaal (1982),Mashaal (1984), Chandni(1989), Rang De Basanti(2006). She played the central character in the Mahesh Bhatt directed film Swayam that starred Akash Khurana and Anupam Kher. She also appeared in a tele-series being directed by Gulzar.
In recent years she made a comeback playing elderly mother and grandmother roles in Om Jai Jagadish (2002), Water (2005) and Rang De Basanti (2006), 15, Park Avenue and Delhi 6 (2009) which were all critically acclaimed.
In October 2004, a Waheeda Rehman film retrospective was held at the Seattle Art Museum and the University of Washington where Waheeda participated in spirited panel and audience discussions on her most memorable films—Pyaasa, Teesri Kasam and Guide—although her most successful film is still considered to be Khamoshi, with costar Rajesh Khanna.
After her marriage to Shashi Rekhi (screen name Kamaljeet) on 27 April 1974, she shifted to a farmhouse in Bangalore. She has two children named Sohail and Kashvi, who are writers. On 21 November 2000, her husband died following a prolonged illness. She moved back to her ocean view bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai where she currently lives.
|1955||Kaalam Maari Pochu||Guest Appearance in the song
"Yeru thooki povayae annae chinnanae"
|1955||Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum||Dancer||Tamil|
|1958||12 O'Clock||Bani Choudhary||Hindi|
|1959||Kaagaz Ke Phool||Shanti||Hindi|
|1960||Ek Phool Char Kaante||Sushma||Hindi|
|1960||Chaudhvin Ka Chand||Jameela||Hindi|
|1961||Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja||Hindi|
|1962||Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam||Jaba||Hindi|
|1962||Bees Saal Baad||Radha||Hindi|
|1962||Baat Ek Raat Ki||Neela/Meena||Hindi|
|1963||Mujhe Jeene Do||Chameli Jaan||Hindi|
|1963||Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya||Asha||Hindi|
|1963||Ek Dil Sau Afsane||Sunita||Hindi|
|1965||Guide||Rosie Marco/Miss Nalini||Hindi|
|1966||Teesri Kasam||Hira Bai||Hindi|
|1966||Dil Diya Dard Liya||Roopa||Hindi|
|1967||Patthar Ke Sanam||Taruna||Hindi|
|1967||Ram Aur Shyam||Anjana||Hindi|
|1967||Ghar Ka Chirag||Hindi|
|1968||Neel Kamal||Rajkumari Neel Kamal/Sita||Hindi|
|1970||Prem Pujari||Suman Mehra||Hindi|
|1970||Man Ki Aankhen||Guddi (Geeta)||Hindi|
|1971||Man Mandir||Krishna and Radha||Hindi|
|1971||Reshma Aur Shera||Reshma||Hindi|
|1972||Zindagi Zindagi||Meeta Sharma||Hindi|
|1972||Subha O Sham||Shirin||Hindi|
|1972||Dil Ka Raaja||Laxmi||Hindi|
|1973||Phagun||Shanta Bangan/Shamrao Dhamle||Hindi|
|1976||Kabhi Kabhie||Anjali Malhotra||Hindi|
|1979||Aaj Ki Dhara||Hindi|
|1980||Jyoti Bane Jwala||Malti||Hindi|
|1982||Sawaal||Anju D. Mehta||Hindi|
|1982||Dharam Kanta||Radha Singh||Hindi|
|1985||Bayen Hath Ka Khel||Hindi|
|1986||Allah Rakha||Adv.Salma Anwar||Hindi|
|1994||Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzilen||Hindi|
|2002||Om Jai Jagadish||Saraswati Batra||Hindi|
|2005||Water||Bhagavati (Narayan's Mother)||Hindi|
|2005||Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara||Principal Khanna||Hindi|
|2005||15 Park Avenue||Mrs. Mathur/Mrs. Gupta||English/Bengali|
|2006||Rang De Basanti||Ajay's Mother||Hindi|
|2006||Chukkallo Chandrudu||Arjun's Grand-Mother||Telugu|
|2009||Delhi 6||Dadi (Annapurna Mehra)||Hindi|
|2013||Love in Bombay||Hindi|
- National Film Award for Best Actress for Reshma Aur Shera in 1971
- Filmfare Best Actress Award for Guide in 1966
- Filmfare Best Actress Award for Neel Kamal in 1968
- Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994
- Padma Shri in 1972
- Padma Bhushan in 2011
- Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, Best Actress (Hindi) for Teesri Kasam in 1967
- Mumbai Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
- Centenary Award for the Indian Film Personality of the Year in 2013
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
- Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
- Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Khamoshi (1970)
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Namkeen (1982)
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Lamhe (1991)
- "I am not very keen on doing films: Waheeda Rehman". timesofindia.com. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Interview : Waheeda Rehman". glamsham.com. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Waheeda Rehman : The Quintessential Beauty of Bollywood". firstpost.com. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "'I did not consider myself beautiful' – Waheeda Rehman". india.com. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Guru Dutt was my mentor: Waheeda/
- "Life dedicated to dance". The Hindu. 3 January 2003.
- Gulzar, p. 22
- eenadu.net-heart & soul of andhra
- "The Winners – 1966". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Winners – 1968". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Lifetime Achievement (Popular)". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Brajesh Mishra, Azim Premji, Montek in list of 128 Padma awardees". The Times of India.
- 32nd Annual BFJA Awards
- "The Nominations – 1962". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Nominations – 1967". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Nominations – 1970". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Nominations – 1976". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Nominations – 1982". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The Nominations – 1991". Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Gulzar, Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee, ed. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- Waheeda Rehman at the Internet Movie Database
- Waheeda Rehman Interview
- A Film Retrospective in Seattle. October 2004 *
- Popular Waheeda Rehman songs
- Queen of Hearts an interview with Rehman published in The Hindu