Rekha, on her real name Bhanurekha Ganesan, is a popular Indian actress. She was born on 10 October 1954 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Rekha is coming from a Tamil – speaking family and she has one sister, one half-brother and five half-sisters. Their parents are popular Indian actors, Gemini Ganeshan and Pushpavalli. Her biological sister is Rhada which is now living in San Francisco. She is the younger sister of Rekha. Rhada has a son, Naveed, which tried to act in Bollywood movies but give it up after one year and returned in San Francisco.
The half-brother, Satheesh Kumar, and one half-sister, Vijayasamundeeswari, have Savithri as mother and the mother of the other 4 half-sisters ( Revathi, Kamala, Jayalakshmi and Narayani) is Amelu.
Rekha’s childhood was not easy . Gemini Ganeshan, Rekha’s father, didn’t recognize her as a daughter from the beginning, because , at that time, he wasn’t married with Pushpavalli and he was having only an affair with she. Rekha has been forced to quit the school early due to financial problems so at age of 12 she had the first film debut.
Her debut was in 1966 year, in Telegu movie “Rangula Ratnam” where she played along her mother, Pushpavalli, Rekha having the role of Baby Bhanurekha. In 1976, “Rangula Ratnam” movie has been released in Hindi and named “Rangila Ratan”. “Rangula Ratnam” won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film for Telugu.
Rekha debuted in Hindi films in 1970 with „Sawan Bhadon” movie.
Till present, Rekha have played in more than 180 films in around 40 years of career.
In her early years of acting, she was pessimistic and complexed. Her complexion arisen due to her dark color, surplus weight and bad speaking in Hindi. She was called the ‘Ugly Duckling’ because she couldn’t be compared with the other Hindi heroines. That it was the moment when she decided to change and „refresh” herself.
For her transformation, Rekha took Yoga and dancing, lost the extra pounds and learned Hindi. After the transformation has been finished, Indian film industry had a new and improved Rekha. This new image of Rekha, brought her a lot of successful movies that became box office hits : Nagin (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978), Mr. Natwarlal (1979), Khubsoorat (1980), Umrao Jaan (1981), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988).
During her career, Rekha has played a variety of roles but most of them were strong female characters. In the last years, Rekha has accepted also mother or grandmother roles ( Krrish (2006) ) . Other apparitions of Rekha were in art-house films. In India, these films were known as a parallel cinema.
Rekha is recognizing that she learned very much and became what is now, a famous actress, from Indian actor, Amitabh Bachchan. She is declaring Amitabh Bachchan as “one of the most versatile actors of Indian cinema”. They were a team for years and have played in 9 films as couple. “ Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Khubsoorat” (1978) put Rekha on success podium.
Rekha made a screen couple also with Jeetendra actor. With him has cumulated a total of 26 films.
“Umroa Jan” is the movie that changed Rekha’s professional life into a better one – she was excited with her role – a classical courtesan, studied a lot and created performance with it : „… I felt I had Umrao in me — the character influenced me so much. I put my soul into each minute aspect of my performance …” . “Umroa Jan” remains one of Rekha’s favorite movies.
Rekha played also disputed roles as it was the teacher role of Kama Sutra (1996) and many people considered that this will be the end of Rekha’s career.
For her career based on work and devotement, Rekha has been called one of the legendary Indian film actress and won many film fare awards and national awards : three Filmfare Awards, two awards for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress. “Umroa Jan” brought her the title for the National Film Award for Best Actress.
Rekha was one of the highest paid actresses. Between 1979-1981 she was the second highest paid Hindi actress, from 1982 – 1984 was the 1st highest paid and starting with 1987 till 1992 she was the third highest paid actress.
Rekha was appreciated also for her beauty. After her transforming was completed, she kept the same healthy style of life. Rekha continued to have regular nutritious diet and to make exercises, recording albums to promote the fitness. She has been compared with Jane Fonda – both of them promoting healthy style and exercises, Jane for America and Rekha for India. Beside healthy life, she improved also her make-up technique and dressing style.
Due to daily yoga exercises, Rekha keeps her ageless aspect. The media from India tagged her as a “sex-simbol” and “Madonna and Cher of the Bollywood industry”.
Beside her professional success, she had got a lot of admirers, some of them being Bollywood actors like Kiran Kumar, Jeetendra, Vinod Mehra, and Amitabh Bachchan. One of Rekha’s disputed and public affairs was with the actor Jeetendra in the period when him was married with Shobha Kapoor. Jeetendra was known as a male that loved to flirt with her co-stars but Rekha was judged and called as “home-breaker” and that it was the reason of their short relationship.
The love relationship between Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan remains the one of the most disputed. Same as relation with Jeetendra, the one with Amitabh Bachchan has consumed during period of marriage of Amitabh with Jaya Bhaduri. All of them, played as a trio in the film Silsila (1981) were the subject was a man married but in love with other woman. This film was also the last film for the couple Rekha – Amitabh Bachchan.
Other public names speculated that had an affair with Rekha were : Kiran Kumar, Vinod Mehra, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar and Mukesh Agarwal.
The only man that Rekha married with was Mukesh Agarwal. Their love was very strong and decided to tie the knot after one month of relation. Their marriage last only one year and ended with Mukesh Agarwal suicide.
Mukesh Agarwal was suffering of acute chronic depression and his medical problems got worst once his business started to down. On his depression, beside the business downfall, contributed also Rekha’s acting success and their post-divorce trauma. Mukesh gave his last breath on 2 October 1990 when has been found hanged from a ceiling fan. This episode brought Rekha in a new bad light being considered and named as a ‘witch-hunter’, ‘black widow’, ‘man-eater’.
As hobbies, Rekha likes fashion, surfing on internet, collecting old photographs and postcards, watching movies and reading. She also likes to spend time in nature, taking care of her garden and plants, and writing biographies on IMDB of actresses as Zeenat Aman and Salma Agha.
Related fashion, over the years, Rekha improved by bringing something new on each of her dress and she inspired a fashion trend too. Their favorite colors were cream and gold but she was appreciated also for her choices of dressing a brightly-colored sari. Rekha’s wardrobe can be described as elegant and sophisticated.
Rekha has a collection of chiffon saris and tissue Kanjeevaram, most of them in gold color.
Her favorite celebrities are Oprah Winfrey, Laura Branigan, Barbra Streisand, Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston and Sting. Rekha is appreciating the Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and is considering her an idol for Indian movies industry.
Rekha doesn’t have a love relationship or children, but, accordingly to her declaration she doesn’t exclude the possibility to find a man with which may marry but regarding children she declared that doesn’t regret that she has no child. In the past, when she was young she imagined herself having a lot of children but the time passed, the “perfect man” didn’t appear and she focused on her career. Rekha is considering that a child has to grow up in a complete family with mother and father and is also a big responsibility supposing to let the career on second plan.
Rekha is living now with her secretary, Fanza, and his pet (a cat) in a bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai.
Church Park Covent, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
In 2018 Her net worth is estimated at $ 40 milion
- Full Name : Bhanurekha Ganesan
- Nicknames : Rekha, The Bollywood Queen, Rekhaji, Madame X
- Occupation: Actress
- Age: 64 years old (2018)
- Date of Birth: 10 October 1954
- Place of Birth: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
- Gender: Female
- Star: Libra
- Eye color: Brown
- Hair color: Black
- Ethnicity: Asian
- Nationality: Indian
- Height in feet: 5 ft 6 inches
- Height in cm: 168 cm
- Weight in kg: 60 kg
- Weight in pounds: 132 lbs
Body Measurements : 33-26-35
- Parents: Father Gemini Ganeshan and Mother Pushpavalli
- Siblings: one biological sister ( Rhada ) , one half-brother (Satheesh Kumar) and 5 half-sisters (Vijayasamundeeswari, Revathi, Kamala, Jayalakshmi and Narayani)
- Children: no children
- Spouse : Widow
Mumtaz on Social media
- no official account on social media