Belonging to an Iyengar family, Hema Malini is a trained classical dancer. She started her career with Telugu films. she was then offered the movie Sapno ka saudagar opposite Raj Kapoor. Her breakthrough movie was Johnny mera naam with Dev Anand. She played many challenging roles in movies like Andaaz, Lal patthar and Seeta aur Geeta. After the movie Dream Girl was released and became a hit, she was referred to as Bollywood’s Dream Girl. She moved up the ladder and became the top heroine with hits like Sanyasi, Pratigya, Sholay, Raja Jani, Charas, Jugnu, Trishul, Kinara, Meera, Khushboo, etc. Her pair with Dharmendra was loved by the audience. She married him in 1980. She continued working even after marriage and delivered hits like Naseeb, Satte pe satta, Andha kanoon, Kudrat, etc. She then moved on to character roles in films like Jamai Raja. She directed the film Dil aashna hai starring Divya Bharti and Shah Rukh Khan. She made a comeback to acting with Baghban and Veer Zaara. Her last directorial venture was Esha Deol starrer Tell me, Oh Khuda! She is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and still gives performances. She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and has joined Bhartiya Janata Party. She is quite active in politics.