Bengali actresses have always done well in Hindi films - Rakhee being no exception. Born on the day India attained freedom, she hails from an ordinary family where no one had opted for films prior to her. Traits of a true blue actress were always ingrained in her. Slowly it got recognized by all and sundry. Rakhee was spotted for the filmworld by maker Sunil Dutt, who cast her in Reshma Aur Shera. She did not get the right kind of response for this film but she did not give up. She continued doing miniscule roles in films like Falak before Hema Malini commented on the exceptional acting skills talent in her and amply displayed in the film Laal Pathhar. It was a nice role, which got overshadowed by the heavy presence of stalwarts like Rajkumar and Hema herself. Finally 'Lady Luck' smiled on Rakhee when she bagged the meaty role opposite the then hearthrob Dharmendra. Jeevan Mrityu went on to become a great hit and the song 'jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga...' still lingers on everyone's mind. This film paved the way for this incredible actress and from here on, she kept marching her way to success. She has worked with almost all the top heroes of her time - Dev Anand (Heera Panna), Dharmendra (Blackmail), Shashi Kapoor (Sharmilee) and Rajesh Khanna (Daag). All her roles are still remembered because she had a way of her own and also a lilting voice. Audiences just could not have enough of her contagious smile and dollops of good looks. They just adored her. Filmfare Best Actress award came her way for films like Sharmilee and Daag. But she is one of those few actresses who opted for 'matured' roles too soon in their careers. On one hand, she was pairing with Amitabh Bachchan for films like Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Trishul, Kasme Vaade and Kala Patthar; and at the same time, she played his mother in films like Shakti, which was ridiculed by some people. But this showed nothing but her versatility as an actress and she stay put with her decision. And an actress of elephantine talent she indeed was. Rakhee also worked with Rakesh Roshan (Aankhon Aankhon Mein), Vinod Mehra (Bemisaal) and Vinod Khanna (Laawaris). Of late, she has been playing a lot of Maa-roles where she is required to drape herself in white sarees sans make up. Her beauty is reflected in such simple clothes as well and the mind just goes back to those years when she adorned designer clothes and looked as beautiful. Though married to Gulzar, one of the noted directors of our times, Rakhee never got the opportunity to act in his meaningful films. But the reputation of being his wife always brought immense of respect from the industrywallas including the Big B who would be a bit hesitant in doing romantic scenes with her. But this did not effect their successful run as the most sought after romantic pair on screen. Some of her recent noteworthy films have been Ram Lakhan, Baazigar, Anari, Karan Arjun, Khalnayak and Baadshah. Rakhee has won Best Supporting Actress awards for films like Ram Lakhan, which has strengthened her image in the industry. She remains an actress of great demeanor.
Date of Birth : 15 August 1947
Place of Birth : West Bengal, India