Here’s wishing one of India’s most loved divas much happiness, a long life and more success
Hema Malini was born as Hema Malini R Chakravarty on October 16, 1948 in Ammankudi, Tamil Nadu. Having mastered Bharata Natyam, a young Malini featured in a South Indian movie as a dancer. But it was Bollywood she made her acting debut with, in Mahesh Kaul’s Sapno Ka Saudagar (1968) opposite the legendary Raj Kapoor. In 1970, she appeared opposite another legend, Dev Anand in Johny Mera Naam and went on to do Tere Mere Sapne with him the following year.
The pretty lady soon impressed audiences with her acting and dancing skills and delivered great performances in romantic, dramatic, comic as well as women-oriented roles with ease. Many of her popular films – including Naya Zamana, Sholay, Seeta Aur Geeta, Dream Girl, Chacha Bhatija, Razia Sultan, The Burning Train, Sharafat, Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Raja Jani, Meri Aawaz Suno, Alibaba Aur 40 Chor, Patthar Aur Payal, Dost, Charas, Jugnu, Azaad, Dillagi, Kinara – were with reigning idols Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra and Dharmendra Deol. Legend goes that all three actors fell in love with her but it was Dharmendra she gave her heart to, and the couple has two daughters today – actor Esha Deol and her younger sister Ahana.
Although Malini makes a great jodi with Dharam Paaji, her pairing Amitabh Bachchan hugely loved, whether starring opposite him or not. Having worked together in Trishul, Do Aur Do Paanch, Nastik and Satte Pe Satta, the onscreen couple’s chemistry was adored in post-2000 movies like Baghban, Veer-Zaara, Baabul and Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap.
Malini also starred with the late Rajesh Khanna in Andaz, Bandish, Dard, Mehbooba and Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, among others.
And it was she who launched Shahrukh Khan into films with her Bollywood directorial and production debut Dil Aashana Hai. She had earlier helmed a TV series on dance called Noopur and later directed another TV production, Mohini. After a long break, she wrote and directed daughter Esha’s comeback film Tell Me O Kkhuda last year.
Nicknamed the Dream Girl of Bollywood after her movie, the actor-dancer-director continues to enchant with her performances on celluloid and on stage. She is also a very elegant and confident woman off screen, carrying herself with dignity and poise at all times. We wish the charming Hema Malini a very happy birthday!