On Rekha’s Birthday, Here's a Look at Her 5 Classic Movie Performances

(Image: Viral Bhayani)

(Image: Viral Bhayani)

Let us take a look at some of the roles which couldn’t have been portrayed by anyone but Rekha herself.

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Rekha, the timeless beauty of Bollywood, is one of the finest female actors that the industry has ever seen. She has acted in more than 180 films in her career spanning over 50 years. Throughout her career, she has often played strong female characters and, apart from mainstream cinema, appeared in parallel cinema as well.

Rekha redefined the idea of “Bollywood herione” in many path breaking ways. As she turns 65 on October 10, let us take a look at some of the roles which couldn’t have been portrayed by anyone but Rekha herself.

Umrao Jaan

A career-defining role, this one won her a National Award for Best Actress. In fact, it made such an impact on the cinemascape that 30 years later it was inducted in Filmfare’s 80 Iconic Performances. Critics responded favourably to the carefully done historical setting of the film.

Khoon Bhari Maang

Even before female-centric films were even debated upon, Rekha was already working in plots which revolved around a strong female character. And of course, when there is Rekha, who needs a male lead? A story about revenge for honour and dignity, it was successful both critically and commercially. Rekha went on to describe Khoon Bhari Maang as "the first and only film I concentrated and understood all throughout."


The film was a commercial failure at the box office as it was ahead of its time. However, over the years, the film has acquired a cult classic and is today considered one of Yash Chopra's best works. This film hinted the off-screen relationship which Rekha was rumoured to have with Amitabh Bachchan.


Gulzar brought back Rekha to the screen in 1987 with another power packed performance. She played Naseeruddin Shah's wife who struggles to keep their relationship intact after his ex-lover enters their life and then leaves him, only to find that she has misunderstood him. Rekha was lauded for her nuanced performance.

Muqaddar ka Sikandar

This performance by Rekha as ‘Zohra Bai’ redrew her career chart after her two decades of affiliation with the industry. Her selfless love for Sikandar (Amitabh Bachchan) and evergreen song sequences are part of Bollywood history.

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