Happy Birthday Waheeda Rehman. Still Charming @78

February 03, 2016 07:30
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    One of the classic beauties of Indian cinema, Waheeda Rehman, turns a year older today. She still is the epitome of grace and charm and continues to make her presence felt on screen. Waheedaji is also part of Bollywood's social circuit. As she turns 78, here's a pictorial look at her journey in Bollywood so far.

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    Waheeda Rehman was born on February 3, 1938 in Chengalpattu which is now in Tamil Nadu. Her family is, however, originally from Andhra Pradesh. She and her sister, daughters of a district commissioner, learnt Bharatnatyam at an early age in Chennai and performed on stage.

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    The young Waheeda, known for critically acclaimed films Pyaasa, Guide and Kagaz Ke Phool, aspired to become a doctor, a dream she was forced to abandon because of financial problems.

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    The talented dancer started her career in her mother tongue, Telugu. Her first hit was Jayasimha in 1955 followed by Rojulu Marayi. Next year, came her Tamil film Kaalam Maari Pochu.

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    It was at the party to celebrate the success of her Telugu film Rojulu Marayi that Bollywood director and to-be mentor Guru Dutt, with whom she went on to do some remarkable films, noticed Waheeda and took her to Mumbai.

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    Then came the big Bollywood break with CID in 1956, directed by Raj Khosla and co-starring Dev Anand, in which Waheedaji played a vamp. The film was a huge success and prompted Guru Dutt to cast her as the leading lady in his next film, Pyaasa (1957), setting in motion a chain reaction of masterpieces and stardom.

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    Guru Dutt and Waheedaji were next seen in Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), the story of a successful director's affair with his leading lady and his subsequent decline. The film was said to reflect the rumoured real life relationship between the lead actors. Kaagaz Ke Phool was a major flop when it released but acquired cult status over the years. Its dismal reception at the box office broke Guru Dutt's heart and he never directed another film.

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    As their partnership eroded, Waheeda and Guru Dutt co-starred in the acclaimed Chaudhvi Ka Chand (1960) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), directed by Mohd Sadiq and Abrar Alvi respectively. In 1964, Guru Dutt died, reportedly from an overdose of sleeping pills.

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    Waheeda Rehman also formed a hit screen partnership with Dev Anand in the late '50s and '60s. They appeared in a number of successful films like Solva Saal (1958), Kala Bazar (1960), Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962) and Guide (1965). The two also delivered some flops like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961) and Prem Pujari (1970). With award winning film Guide, for which she bagged the Filmfare Best Actress Award, Waheeda reached the peak of her career.

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    Next, she worked with Satyajit Raj in Bengali film Abhijan (1962). Waheeda, who was often cast opposite younger actors, continued as a leading lady right upto the early '70s.

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    With Bollywood thespian Dilip Kumar, she appeared in a string of hits including Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966), Ram Aur Shyam (1967) and Aadmi (1968).

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    Waheedaji also won a National Award for her performance in Reshma Aur Shera (1971), where she was cast opposite Sunil Dutt.

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    By this time, Waheedaji was ready to experiment and played mother to Jaya Bhaduri in Phagun (1973), a decision she was to regret and later to blame for the eventual drying up of leading lady roles.

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    In the late '70s and '80s, she was cast mainly in in character roles. She appeared in successful films like Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Trishul (1978), Jwalamukhi (1980), Namkeen (1982), Namak Halaal (1982), Mashaal (1984) and had a small role in Chandni (1989).

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    Waheedaji married her Shagun co-star Kamaljit in 1974. After her wedding, she moved to Bangalore. The actress has two children, Sohail and Kashvi.

    In the year 2000, her husband died following a prolonged illness and she moved back to the bright lights of Mumbai.

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    Waheedaji took a 12 year break after her appearance in Yash Raj Films' Lamhe in 1991 with Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, and returned to films in 2002 with Om Jai Jagadish. This time, she played mom to her Lamhe co-star Anil Kapoor. Next up was Water (2005) followed by Rang De Basanti (2006).

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    Waheedaji appeared in Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra's Delhi 6 (2009). She played the role of Abhishek Bachchan's grandmother and showed the younger actresses a thing or two with her dance moves in the famous song Sasural Genda Phool.

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    Waheeda Rehman featured in 2015's Vishwaroopam 2, starring Kamal Haasan, and also made an appearance in Bengali movie Arshinagar, the same year.

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    Waheeda Rehman has won several Filmfare and other awards and, in 1972, received the Padma Shri and then a Padma Bhushan in 2011.

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    In 2013, Waheeda Rehman was the first recipient of the Centenary Award for the Indian Film Personality of the Year, an annual honour introduced to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. She received the award at the India International Film Festival in Goa.

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    Waheedaji is the subject of a book called Conversations with Waheeda Rehman, authored by noted film journalist Nasreen Munni Kabir, which was released in April last year.

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    In May 2015, Waheedaji, along with former co-stars - Nafisa Ali, Asha Parekh, Zeenat Aman, Shabana Azmi, Rekha, Neetu Singh and Supriya Pathak - accompanied Shashi Kapoor, who received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award from Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai.

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    Here's to wishing her a very happy birthday!

    This image was posted on Instagram by hshah27

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