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Waheeda Rehman

Waheeda Rehman (born on May 14, 1936) is an Indian film actress. She is often regarded as one of the most prominent actresses of the golden era,
and is cited in the media as the "Quintessential Beauty of Bollywood". Rehman is perhaps best known for many successful and critically acclaimed movies from the 1950s, 60s and early 70s most notably C.I.D. (1956) and 5 Guru Dutt classics - 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).

Waheeda Rehman was born into a Muslim family in Chengalpattu, 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 two Tamil and four Telugu movies. In the first one, Kaalam Maari Pochu along with Gemini Ganesan a bilingual film which was made in Tamil and Telugu as Rojulu Maraayi, I did only a folk dance number in both Tamil and Telugu 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 and 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 Maaripochu in Tamil (1956).

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 Shagun (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 a Mahesh Bhatt directed tele-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 had 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.


Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

Waheeda Rehman is an Indian film actress

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