An actor, a dancer and now a politician, Hema Malini turns 69 today. The evergreen actress, with her endearing accent, emerged not only as a leading actor and performer but also an active parliamentarian. Among the many highlights of her life, her dominance over classical dancing and being the only woman to become an MP from the Mathura constituency, are the ones that stand out.
However, the journey to becoming Bollywood’s ‘Dream Girl’ seemed like a distant thought when Hema Malini was rejected by renowned Tamil director CV Sridhar in 1964 for lacking ‘star material’. But Hema Malini got her first break in 1965 with a small role in a film titled ‘Pandava Vanavasam’. She made her acting debut with Tamil film ‘Ithu Sathiyam’ in the year 1963 and she never looked back.
In 1968, Malini played opposite Raj Kapoor in Sapno Ka Saudagar which was the beginning of her promotion as the ‘Bollywood dream girl’. Although known for her outspoken and talkative roles, she took up characters that her contemporaries generally shied away from. Be it a young widow in Andaz (1971) or a poor woman in Lal Patthar (1971) and of course her double role in Seeta Aur Geeta opposite Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar. She even made the portrayal of a tonga-driver in Sholay iconic with her dialogue ‘Yun ki... Ye kaun bola’.
After rejecting marriage proposals from Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kapoor, she tied the knot with her love interest Dharmendra in the year 1979 after converting to Islam. Post-marriage, the couple gave hits like Alibaba Aur 40 Chor, Baghavat, Samraat, Razia Sultan, Andha Kanoon (1983), Baghavat, and Raaj Tilak (1984).The classically trained dancer, who gives splendid stage performances even today, is also a director and producer. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan owes his superstardom to Hema Malini who roped him for her film 1992 film Dil Aashna Hai.
After taking a brief break, she returned to the silver screen opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Baghban (2003) followed by Veer Zara in 2007.And now Hema Malini is all set to unveil her life ‘Beyond The Dream girl’ a full-length biography which is to be launched today to coincide with her birthday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has given a foreword (a first for him) for the book lauding her 50 years of cinematic brilliance as well as her work as the Member of Parliament. The book is written by former editor of Stardust and producer Ram Kamal Mukherjee.