15th August 1947 saw the birth of our great country, India. On the same day, one of our greatest ever actors, Rakhee Gulzar. She was born in Nadia, West Bengal. Rakhee wanted to be a scientist but her destiny was to be a superstar actor.
On her 72nd birthday today, let us go on a trivia journey of her filmi journey and reminiscence some of her memorable movies.
Rakhee acted in her 1st Bengali movie, Badhu Baran when she was 20, and she entered the Hindi film industry with Jeevan Mrityu opposite Dharmendra. This movie which had the all-time great song “Jhilmil sitaron ka” straightaway established her in the industry as a top heroine. Her second movie was Sharmilee opposite Shashi Kapoor in which she had a double role. Each and every song of this movie, namely “O meri sharmilee”, “Khilte hain gul yahan”, “Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi”, “Megha chaaye aadhi raat”, “Aaj madhosh hua jaaye re”, and “Kaise kahe hum” were memorable and all-time hits. Rakhee was there to stay.
In interviews, she has said that her favourite heroes were Shashi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna. She had four movies opposite Rajesh Khanna and as many as ten opposite Shashi Kapoor. She also had many landmark movies opposite Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan.
Rakhee was heroine for just 15 years and in those years she had many memorable movies. To name just a few, Kasme vaade, Muqaddar ka Sikandar, Baseraa, Daag and Bemisaal. The list actually is endless. Her last movie as the female lead was Pighalta Aasmaan with Shashi Kapoor. Kasme Vaade is dear to her and she has said in an interview to Times of India “Kabhie kabhie was conceived keeping me in mind”.
Later, she did many powerful movies as a supporting actress in which she often played the role of an angry mother. He dialogue “Mere Karan Arjun aayenge, zaroor aayenge” will always be remembered as long as Hindi cinema is there. She performed such roles in many movies including Ram Lakhan, Border, Baazigar, Karan Arjun, Khalnayak, Soldier and many more.
Rakhee, along with Madhuri and Rani Mukherjee was nominated for as many as 16 Filmfare awards, making them the most nominated actress across categories. She won 3 Filmfare awards for Daag ( best supporting actress), Ram Lakhan (best-supporting actress) and Tapasya (best actress). She also received the National Film Award for best-supporting actress for the Bengali film Shubho Muhurat.
After an illustrious career, Rakhee stopped acting as she felt she was not getting roles of her choice. She spends her time with books and animals and at her farmhouse has many animals. In the same Times of India interview, she said: “she may have belonged to the animal kingdom in her past life”.
Rakhee will always be one of our top actors ever. Wishing her a very happy birthday!