Bollywood Actress Hema Malini
Dream Girl Hema Malini is one of the most successful actresses in Hindi cinema. Famous for her beauty and dancing poweress she made her Bollywood debut in the film Sapnon Ka Saudagar and there has been no looking back ever since.
Hema Malini was born in Ammankudi, Tamil Nadu, on 16th October 1948 in a Tamil speaking Iyengar family. Her actual name is Hema Malini R. Chakravarty. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and has given several dance performances. After Vyjayanthimala, she is the second actress from South India to make it big in Hindi film industry, having starred in more than 140 Hindi films.
She married film star Dharmendra after having rejected offers of marriage from actors Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra. As Dharmendra was already married they converted to Islam and were married according to Islamic rites. Both husband and wife are now active in politics and are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is at present a Member of Parliament, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Rajya Sabha.
She has two daughters Ahana Deol and Esha Deol. Her daughters are also classical dancers and together they have given many performances at charity concerts. Daughter Esha is an actress of her own right today.
Her first film was as a dancer in a telugu film, Pandava Vanavasam (1961). Her career as an actress almost ended even before it had begun when she was thrown out of her first Tamil film on the grounds that she had no star appeal. Her first Hindi film, Sapnon Ka Saudagar, was in 1968 opposite veteran actor Raj Kapoor. The film flopped but earned her the nickname - dream girl. The movie Johnny Mera Naam with Dev Anand catapulted her into the top star category. She has worked with all the leading male actors in Bollywood and was a reigning diva of the industry for a long time.
Her most successful film was Sholay opposite Dharmendra. Some of her other famous and successful films are Trishul, Lal Pathar, Andaz,The Burning Train, Satte Pe Satta, Jugnu and Meera. She took a break from acting for some time. After her comeback, she has acted in many films playing the role of middle aged married woman. Baghban, in which she acted opposite Amitabh Bachchan was very successful. Her latest movie Sadiyan is under production. She is going to act opposite hubby Dharmendra after a long gap of 24 years in a forthcoming project. They had last worked together in Kamal Amrohi’s Razia Sultan.
A conservative person, Hema Malini is one of the few actresses who have kept their word of not appearing in revealing outfits. She is remembered for her dancing, style and glamour and was one of the first actresses in Bollywood to wear shirts and bell bottom pants. She also defied convention and continued working in films after marriage.
She won the Filmfare best actress award in 1973 for her double role in Seeta Aur Geeta opposite Sanjeev Kumar and Dharmendra. She has also won the Filmfare lifetime achievement award in 1999. She was nominated for the film fare best actress award continuously from 1974 to 1977 and then in 1979, 1981, 1990 and 2003. She has also won the Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1 for Baghban with Amitabh Bachchan and the Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement, both in 2003. She has won many other awards besides.
Hema Malini was honored with the ‘Padma Shri’, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2000. The Federation Of Indian Chamber Of Commerce And Industry awarded her the ‘Living Legend Award’ in 2004 for her contribution to the entertainment industry.
Her directorial debut, Dil Aashna Hai in 1992, was a multi starrer Bollywood movie with Shahrukh Khan and Divya Bharati. She has directed a few Hindi TV serials also. She directed and played the lead role of a Bharatanatyam dancer in the TV serial Noopur along with Kabir Bedi.
She has set up an institution, Natya Vihar Kalakendra which is dedicated to presenting themes from Indian mythology through the medium of dance. These days she is also involved in many charitable and social activities.
Two books have been written on her. One is ‘Hema Malini Authorized Biography’ by Bhawana Somaaya and ‘Hema Malini - Diva Unveiled’, an illustrated coffee table book written on her by Ram Kamal Mukherjee.