Starting her film career in 1968 with Raj Kapoor-starrer Sapno Ka Saudagar, Hema Malini regaled movie buffs with roles in films like Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Dream Girl and Satte Pe Satta. An accomplished classical dancer, Hema Malini earned the tag of 'Dreamgirl' for her flawless beauty and became a pioneering female superstar in the otherwise male-oriented film industry. In picture: A young Hema Malini during a dance performance.
Hema Malini got married to Dharmendra in 1979. The couple has two daughters together - Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. In picture: Hema Malini with Dharmendra.
Hema Malini's elder daughter Esha Deol is a Bollywood actress, who made her debut in 2002 with Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. Esha married to businessman Bharat Takhtani and has a daughter named Radhya. In picture: Hema Malini with Esha Deol.
Hema Malini's younger daughter Ahana Deol is a trained classical dancer, just like her mom and sister. She is married to Vaibhav Vohra and has a son named Darien. In picture: Hema Malini with her daughters Esha and Ahana Deol.
Coming back to Hema Malini's professional life, Bollywood's 'dream girl' had to face rejection at the start of her career. It is worth mentioning that Hema Malini's first film was a South Indian film and starred late Jayalalitha, who was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. In picture: Hema Malini with Esha Deol and Sridevi.
"The director shot with me for 15 days and then replaced me without informing me. I was barely 13-14 year old when this happened to me and I went into depression. But I did not become a victim of depression because I had no idea what depression was all about. The director, Sridhar even changed my name and named me Sujata. He realised much later that I was not fit for the role. I wasn't a trained actress back then and I took up the opportunity at the behest of my mother," said Hema Malini. In picture: Hema Malini and co-star Amitabh Bachchan.
Russia's romance with Raj Kapoor is well-documented, but very few know that Hema Malini too enjoys wide popularity in the country. She is the first Indian actor to have appeared on Andrey Malakhov's talk show, Tonight. In picture: Hema Malini with Parveen Babi in Razia Sultan.
Andha Kanoon was Hema Malini's first movie in which she, despite being one of the top heroines, did not have a 'hero' cast opposite her. She was cast as the hero's (Rajinikanth) sister and her role was on par with Thalaiva. In picture: Hema Malini and Rajinikanth in a still from the movie Andha Kanoon (1983).
Hema Malini and Dev Anand have shared screen space in many films together. To name a few - Chhupa Rustam, Shareef Budmaash, Jaaneman, Joshila and Johny Mera Naam. In picture: A still from the movie Johny Mera Naam.
Hema Malini has shared screen space with Sanjeev Kumar in Dhoop Chhaon, Sholay and Seeta Aur Geeta. Well, the duo's chemistry was so much liked by the audience that the 70s were filled with rumours about Kumar proposing to Hema. In picture: A still from the movie Seeta Aur Geeta (1972).
While Hema shared a cordial equation with most of her co-actors, there were exceptions. Though she has never said it in words, she revealed in her autobiography 'Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl' that working with Rajesh Khanna was almost always unpleasant for her. In Andaz, he played the role of Hema's first husband and apparently his starry tantrums and unprofessional attitude used to enrage her. In picture: Hema Malini in a film with Rajesh Khanna, with whom she did 15 films.
Hema Malini has shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan, a number of times. Satte Pe Satta, Sholay, Gehri Chaal, Kasauti, Nastik, Baabul, Baghban, Desh Premee, Veer Zara and many more. In picture: A still from the super-hit film Baghban.
Talking about Hema Malini's political career, in 1999, she campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and veteran actor later Vinod Khanna, in the Lok Sabha Elections in Gurdaspur, Punjab. In February 2004, Malini officially joined the BJP. In picture: Hema Malini with Dev Anand.
Hema Malini served as an MP to the upper house – the Rajya Sabha from 2003 to 2009, having been nominated by the then President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In picture: Hema Malini during her dance performance.
In 2010, Hema Malini was made the general secretary of the BJP. In picture: Hema Malini looks radiant in a still from her film.
Hema Malini is currently BJP MP from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. The veteran actress recently said that she feels she got to become an MP because of her film career. "I am known mainly because of my name in Bollywood, call it 'dream girl' or Hema Malini," she said referring to one unforgettable role.
Hema Malini said she had done a lot of work for the Bharatiya Janata Party even before entering Parliament. She has done much work in her constituency as an MP during the last five years, Hema Malini added, referring in particular to the state of the roads.
Calling her Mathura constituency as the 'nagri' of Krishna, Hema Malini loves working for the 'Brijwasi' people.
Hema Malini has appeared in television serials such as Jai Mata Ki (2000), which was directed by veteran actor Puneet Issar. She played the role of goddess Durga.
Hema Malini also starred in TV show Kamini Damini. She played twin sisters in the show. In picture: A still from the film Dream Girl (1977).
We wish Hema Malini a very happy birthday!
As Bollywood actress Hema Malini turns 71 on October 16, we present you some beautiful photos of the 'Dream Girl' from film career and personal life. Take a look! (All photos/mid-day archives)
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