|Height:||160 cm (5' 3'')|
|Birth Day:||February 3, 1938|
|Birth Place:||Chengalpattu, India|
Waheeda Rehman was born on 3 February 1938 to a Dakhini Muslim family in Chengalpet of present-day Tamil Nadu, India. It is a common misconception that Rehman was born in Hyderabad instead of Tamil Nadu. Her father was Mohammed Abdur Rehman and her mother was Mumtaz Begum, and she was the youngest out of 4 daughters. As a child, she and her sisters were trained Bharatanatyam in Chennai. She studied in St. Joseph's Convent in Visakhapatnam when her father was posted there in the then-Madras Presidency. Her father, who worked as a district commissioner, died in 1951 while she was in her early teens.
Vijay Anand's magnum opus, the 1965 romantic drama Guide presented Rehman with a different outlook of success that resulted in major fame and popularity to her name and turned one of the most iconic actresses of Hindi Cinema. The film itself was an adaptation of the same book written by R. K. Narayan, published in 1958. Rehman and Dev Anand played the lead roles in the film, after having last worked together in Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962), an average success at the box office. The film itself proved difficult for Rehman, as her character Rosie was rebellious, strong-willed and didn't fit the mould of the usual women Bollywood films portrayed. However, Guide was an instant success, becoming the fifth-highest grossing Hindi film of 1965 and a fan-favorite in Rehman's repertoire. Guide opened to high critical acclaim and Rehman's performance received particular praise, with Trisha Gupta of Hindustan Times writing, "Rosie was triply unusual: a woman who walks out of an unhappy marriage, begins a romantic relationship with a man who isn’t her husband, and simultaneously embarks on a successful career as a dancer. She would be an unusual Hindi film heroine even today." and her performance was ranked amongst her and Bollywood's best. She won her first Filmfare Award—Filmfare Award for Best Actress—and soon after, she became a sought-over actress in the latter half of the 1960s. Guide became India's official entry to the Oscars and won for National Film Award for Best Feature Film in the 13th National Film Awards and a staple film in Hindi cinema and is considered a Bollywood classic.
Besides Kala Bazar, Rehman acted in 3 other films in 1960, which were Ek Phool Char Kaante, Girlfriend and Chaudhvin Ka Chand. The lattermost was another partnership between Rehman and Dutt, and was the fourth-highest grossing Hindi film of 1960. It was considered a "saving" point in Dutt's career, after their last collaboration, Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) received an underwhelming response at the box office, which now is considered a classic. It also represented the strained relationship of the duo. Dutt's existing marriage and her film successes with other directors caused them to drift apart both personally and professionally, although they continued to work together into the 1960s. Their last film together was the drama Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), starring Dutt, Meena Kumari, Rehman and Rehman herself in a supporting role, and the movie was a huge success and was lauded by Indian and international critics. The film earned Rehman her first Filmfare nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress, and the film itself received nominations for the Golden Bear at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival and was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars, in addition to a Filmfare Award for Best Film. Rehman and Dutt finally broke away in 1963, and a year later, Dutt was found dead on 10 October 1964 in Mumbai, reportedly from an overdose mixture of sleeping pills and alcohol.
At the beginning of her career, Rehman is rumoured to have been involved with her frequent collaborator Guru Dutt. At the time, Dutt was married to singer Geeta Dutt and had children. One of their films, Kaagaz Ke Phool, which chronicles a film director falling in love with an actress, is thought to be inspired by their ill-fated affair. Eventually, the pair broke off due to personal and professional reasons in 1963. Dutt eventually died in 1964 due to mixing of alcohol and sleeping pills. Rehman is private about her life and seldom speaks about it, as said in an interview at the launch of Conversations With Waheeda Rehman:
Her career continued throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her roles in Guide (1965) and Neel Kamal (1968) where she hit the peak of her career, but despite excellent offbeat roles in subsequent films, including a National Award-winning performance in Reshma Aur Shera (1971) and Zindagi Zindagi (1972), some of her films failed at the box office. Seeing her films being successful, Rehman decided to experiment with roles at this stage of career. She accepted Reshma Aur Shera in 1971 which received nominations for the Golden Bear at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival and was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars, opposite her older co-star Sunil Dutt, with whom she had previously in hits such as Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Meri Bhabhi and Darpan (1970). Her performance was appreciated by critics, but the film failed at the box office. But Rehman continued to experiment with roles and accepted the offer to play a mother to Jaya Bhaduri in Phagun (1973). This, she regards the mistake of her career, as after this film flopped, suddenly people started offering her motherly roles to heroes.
From the mid-'70s, Rehman's career as a lead heroine ended and her career as a character actor began. At around this time, Kamaljit, who starred opposite her in Shagoon (1964), proposed to her and they got married in 1974. After her appearance in Lamhe (1991), she retired from the film industry for 11 years.
In April 1974, Rehman married Shashi Rekhi (also known by his screen name Kamaljeet), and both had worked together prior in the film Shagoon (1964). She has 2 children: Sohail Rekhi and Kashvi Rekhi, both of them are writers. After her marriage, she lived in a farmhouse in Bangalore but after the death of her husband on 21 November 2000, she moved back to her ocean-view bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai, where she currently resides.
In her new innings from the '70s, 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) and Lamhe (1991).Namkeen, Chandni and Lamhe garnered her nominations for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played the central character in the Mahesh Bhatt-directed film Swayam (1991) which also starred Anupam Kher and Akash Khurana. She also appeared in a tele-series being directed by Gulzar.Initially, Rehman was supposed to play the role of frequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan's mother in Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001). However, after having shot a few scenes, she dropped out of the film due to her husband's death in November 2000. Subsequently her role then was then played by Achala Sachdev.
In October 2004, a Waheeda Rehman film-retrospective was held at the Seattle Art Museum and the University of Washington where Rehman participated in spirited-panel-and-audience discussions on her most memorable films; Pyaasa, Teesri Kasam and Guide.
In recent years, she made a comeback playing elderly mother and grandmother roles in Om Jai Jagadish (2002), Water (2005), 15, Park Avenue (2005), Rang De Basanti (2006) and Delhi 6 (2009) all of which received critical acclaim. In 2011 , she was honoured with the Padma Bhushan and in 2013 with the Cenetary Award for Indian Film Personality on the occasion of 100 years of Indian Cinema for her contribution to Indian Cinema.
A biography has been written and published in 2014 about Rehman, entitled Conversations With Waheeda Rehman, which consist of interviews collected by author and director Nasreen Munni Kabir.
Currently, Waheeda Rehman is 84 years, 7 months and 25 days old. Waheeda Rehman will celebrate 85th birthday on a Friday 3rd of February 2023.
Find out about Waheeda Rehman birthday activities in timeline view here.