Rakhee Gulzar in 2012
15 August 1947
(m. 1963; div. 1965)
Rakhee Gulzar (born Rakhee Majumdar on 15 August 1947 and widely known as Rakhee) is an Indian film actress who has appeared in many Hindi films and Bengali films as well. In four decades of acting, she has won three Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award, apart from many other awards. At Filmfare, Raakhee has been nominated 16 times in all (8 times for Best Actress and 8 times for Best Supporting Actress), making her the second most-nominated performer in the female categories, behind Madhuri Dixit and Rani Mukerji. She debuted in the Bengali film Bodhu Boron in 1967 with Geeta Dutta in the lead role. Her first Hindi film was Jeevan Mrityu in 1970.
Rakhee was born in a Bengali family at Ranaghat in the Nadia district of 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 afterwards.
At the start of her film career, she dropped her surname and was mentioned in film credits only as "Rakhee," by which name she attained stardom, but upon marrying lyricist-director Gulzar, she took that as her surname and is credited thereafter as Rakhee Gulzar.'
In 1971, Rakhee played a double role opposite Shashi Kapoor in Sharmilee, and also starred in Lal Patthar and Paras; all three films became hits and she established herself as a leading actress of Hindi Cinema. Shehzada (1972) opposite reigning superstar Rajesh Khanna and Aankhon Aankhon Mein (1972) opposite a relative newcomer Rakesh Roshan showcased her comic abilities though their box office performance was unsatisfactory. She continued to display versatility even in relatively small roles in Lal Patthar, Heera Panna (1973) and Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), with her strong performances. The phenomenal success of Rajshri Productions' Tapasya (1976) a heroine-dominated movie where she played the sacrificing sister opposite Parikshit Sahni established her as a box-office name to reckon with. Rakhee regards her performances in Blackmail (1973), Tapasya (1976) and Aanchal as her best.
She acted with Dev Anand in Heera Panna, Banarasi Babu (1973), Joshila (1973) and Lootmaar (1980). Rakhee starred opposite Shashi Kapoor in 10 released films: Sharmilee, Jaanwar Aur Insaan (1972), Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Doosra Aadmi (1977), the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978), Baseraa (1981), Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983), Zameen Aasmaan (1984), and Pighalta Aasman (1985) and the unreleased Ek Do Teen Chaar. Her exemplary chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan was showcased in eight films: Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Kasme Vaade (1978), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Jurmana (1979), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981), and Bemisal (1982). In some films such as Jurmana, her name is even credited ahead of the hero. She also formed a popular pair with Sanjeev Kumar with films like Hamare Tumhare (1979) and Shriman Shrimati (1982).
In 1981, a 23-year-old aspiring director Anil Sharma asked her to star in an out and out female oriented role in his debut film Shradhanjali. After the success of the film Raakhee was flooded by strong heroine-dominated roles. At the peak of her career as a popular heroine, she surprised everyone by accepting strong character roles as sister-in-law to Rajesh Khanna in Aanchal (1980), Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh in Shaan (1980), Mithun Chakraborty in Dhuan, and mother to Amitabh in Shakti (1982) and Rishi Kapoor in Yeh Vaada Raha (1982).
Towards the late 1980s and 1990s she played strong character roles as the elderly mother or a 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), Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001) and Dil Ka Rishta (2002).
In one of her interviews, she said in 2012 that her favourite heroes were Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor.
In 2019 Kolkata International Film Festival the film Nirbon directed by Goutam Halder was premiered, where Rakhee portrayed the role of Bijolibala, a seventy years old lady with a strong conviction. “Doing films is not on my agenda right now, but the story fascinated me” Rakhee said about the adaptation of Moti Nandi’s novel Bijolibalar Mukti. 
Rakhee Gulzar has diverse experiences in a wide range of activities she has been associated with in the film industry. In many occasions she extended her contributions beyond acting and delved into various other field of activities, some of which are listed below: 1998 - Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha - Costume Designer1999 - Dil Kya Kare - Dress AssistantIn 1982 she lent her voice for the film Taaqat in the song Teri nindiya ko lag jaye aag re sung in duet with Kishore Kumar.
In her second marriage, Raakhee married film director, poet and lyricist Gulzar. The couple have a daughter, Meghna Gulzar. When their daughter was only one year old, they separated. After completing her graduation in films from New York University, Meghna went on to become a director of films including Filhaal..., Just Married and Dus Kahaniyaan, and authored a biography of her father in 2004.
At one point, Raakhee stayed in her bungalow, "Muktangan" (bought from the Marathi playwright P. L. Deshpande), on Sarojini Road in Khar, Mumbai. Later, she sold 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. As of 2015[update] she mostly stays in the Panvel farmhouse on the Mumbai outskirts.
“My mother has lived her professional and personal life with tremendous dignity and grace.” said Meghna Gulzar, daughter of Rakhee, in an interview.. Presently she lives in recluse in her farmhouse at Panvel, spending time in tending to a huge flock of animals, growing vegetables and reading books.
Awards and nominations
|1967||Badhu Bharan||-||Dilip Nag||Bengali film|
|1968||Baghini||Bijay Bose||Bengali film|
|1970||Jeevan Mrityu||Deepa||Satyen Bose|
|1971||Reshma Aur Shera||Gopal's Wife||Sunil Dutt|
|1971||Paaras||Barkha Singh||C.P. Dixit|
|1971||Lal Patthar||Sumita||Sushil Majumdar|
|1972||Anokhi Pehchan||Satyen Bose|
|1972||Aan Baan||Rekha||Prakash Mehra|
|1972||Aankhon Aankhon Mein||Parvati||Raghunath Jhalani|
|1972||Janwar Aur Insaan||Meena||Tapi Chanakya|
|1972||Shaadi Ke Baad||Shova||L.V. Prasad|
|1972||Sub Ka Saathi||Rosie||A. Bhimsingh|
|1972||Yaar Mera||Atma Ram|
|1973||Heera Panna||Reema Singh||Dev Anand|
|1973||Blackmail||Asha Mehta||Vijay Anand|
|1973||Banarasi Babu||Neela||Shankar Mukherjee|
|1974||27 Down||Shalini||Awtar Krishna Kaul|
|1975||Mere Sajna||Kammo||Kewal Kumar|
|1976||Tapasya||Indrani Sinha "Indu"||Anil Ganguly|
|1976||Kabhi Kabhie||Pooja Khanna||Yash Chopra|
|1977||Doosra Aadmi||Nisha||Ramesh Talwar|
|1978||Chameli Memsaheb||Chameli||Indar Sen||Bangla film|
|1978||Trishna||Aarti S. Gupta||Anil Ganguly|
|1978||Kasme Vaade||Suman||Ramesh Behl|
|1978||Muqaddar Ka Sikandar||Kaamna||Prakash Mehra|
|1979||Hamare Tumhare||Maya||Umesh Mehra|
|1979||Jurmana||Rama Sharma||Hrishikesh Mukherjee|
|1979||Kaala Patthar||Dr. Sudha Sen||Yash Chopra|
|1980||Lootmaar||Raksha Bhagat||Dev Anand|
|1980||Hum Kadam||Indu Gupta||Anil Ganguly|
|1980||Shaan||Sheetal Kumar||Ramesh Sippy|
|1981||Barsaat Ki Ek Raat||Shakti Samanta|
|1981||Anusandhan||Rajni||Shakti Samanta||Bengali/ Hindi|
|1981||Baseraa||Sharda Balraj Kohli||Ramesh Talwar|
|1982||Yeh Vaada Raha||Mrs. Sharda Rai Bahadur||Kapil Kapoor|
|1982||Shriman Shrimati||Parvati Devi||Vijay Reddy|
|1982||Bemisal||Kavita Chaturvedi (Sakhi)||Hrishikesh Mukherjee|
|1982||Dil Aakhir Dil Hai||Kusum Desai||Esmayeel Shroff|
|1983||Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka||Anil Sharma|
|1984||Anand Aur Anand||Mrs. Arun Anand||Dev Anand|
|1984||Bandh Honth||-||Raj Marbros|
|1984||Zindagi Jeene Ke Liye||K.S. Sethu Madhavan|
|1984||Zameen Aasmaan||Kavita||Bharat Rangachary|
|1985||Saaheb||Sujata Sharma||Anil Ganguly|
|1986||Zindagani||Sumitra Devi||Prabhat Roy|
|1987||Muqaddar Ka Faisla||Laxmi||Prakash Mehra|
|1987||Dacait||Devi Choudhrain||Rahul Rawail|
|1988||Gold Medal||Shobha / Dimple||Ravikant Nagaich|
|1988||Falak||Durga Verma||Shashilal K. Nair|
|1988||Prateek||Sunanda||Prabhat Roy||Bengali film|
|1988||Sagar Sangam||-||Dulal Guha|
|1989||Ram Lakhan||Mrs. Sharda Pratap Singh||Subhash Ghai|
|1990||Jeevan Ek Sangharsh||Dharam Verma||Rahul Rawail|
|1991||Pratikar||Saraswati Devi||Tatineni Rama Rao|
|1993||Khal Nayak||Mrs. Aarti Prasad||Subhash Ghai|
|1993||Kshatriya||Maheshwari Devi||J. P. Dutta|
|1993||Dil Ki Baazi||Nirmala Devi||Anil Ganguly|
|1993||Anari||K. Murali Mohana Rao|
|1993||Baazigar||Mrs. Shobha Sharma||Abbas-Mustan|
|1994||Phiriye Dao||Arjun's mother||Chiranjit||Bengali film|
|1995||Karan Arjun||Durga Singh||Rakesh Roshan|
|1997||Achena Atithi||-||Ashim S. Samanta|
|1997||Border||Dharamvir's mother||J. P. Dutta|
|1997||Jeevan Yudh||Mrs. Rai||Partho Ghosh|
|1997||Ankhon Mein Tum Ho||Ranimaa (Mrs. Burman)||Ashim Samanta|
|1998||Sham Ghansham||Ganga Satyadev Singh||Ashok Ghai|
|1998||Barood||Gayetri Sharma||Pramod Chakravorty|
|1998||Soldier||Geeta Malhotra||Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla|
|1999||Baadshah||Chief Minister Gayatri Bachchan||Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla|
|1999||Dil Kya Kare||-||Prakash Jha|
|2001||Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love||Pratima Kapoor||Suneel Darshan|
|2003||Talaash: The Hunt Begins||Purnima||Suneel Darshan|
|2003||Dil Ka Rishta||Mrs. Sharma||Naresh Malhotra|
|2003||Shubho Mahurat||Ranga Pishima||Rituparno Ghosh||Bengali film|
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- "Biography for Rakhee Gulzar". Archived from the original on 17 April 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "Three's company". Pune Mirror. 16 September 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- "The only memory". Pune Mirror. 29 May 2011. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- Lalwani, Vickey (18 September 2012). "Today's hits are 7-day wonders: Rakhee". Mumbai Mirror. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- "Rakhee Gulzar interview: 'My reward is when people come up to me even now and say they recognise me'". 7 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "Raakhee and Gulzar's love story". The Times of India. 16 September 2013. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Women directors scale Bollywood". BBC News. 21 February 2002. Archived from the original on 6 June 2004. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "On the Shelf". Indian Express. 11 January 2004.
- "Bipasha to rebuild home to suit her 'energy'". Sify.com. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Dasgupta, Priyanka (24 February 2009). "Rakhee-Meghna delight on Gulzar's win". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Mukherjee, Shreya (30 July 2018). "Meghna Gulzar on parents Rakhee and Gulzar: I learned dignity from my mother and simplicity from my father". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- De, Hemchhaya (28 October 2018). "The life and times of Rakhee Gulzar". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "37th Annual BFJA Awards". BFJA. Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- 21st National Film Awards Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Phani Sarma (1978). অসমীয়া কথাছবি.
- "1978 Bangla Cinema Chameli Memsaheb". Retrieved 1 February 2020.