Waheeda was born in a Tamil and Urdu-speaking family in Chengalpattu-Tamil Nadu, India. Her father was the District Magistrate which led him to be posted in several places. Tragedy visited her in 1948 when her dad passed away. Her mom passed away in 1955.
A year after her dad's death she appeared in a Telegu movie 'Rojulu Marayi'. Her role was as an dancing child artiste. She is proficient in Bharat Natyam. It was here that she was spotted by noted Bollywood actor and film-maker, Guru Dutt, who gave her a lead role in C.I.D. She went on to appear in 5 Guru Dutt classics - Pyaasa, 12 O'Clock, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Chaudhvin Ka Chand. Her pairing with Devanand was very popular and they had 5 blockbusters - C.I.D., Solva Saal, Kala Bazar, Baat Ek Raat Ki and Guide and 2 critically acclaimed but box office flops - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Prem Pujari. She has acted as a child artiste, a leading lady, then switched to character appearances. She has procured the Best Film Actress Award in 1965 for her role in 'Guide', and then again in 1968 for 'Neel Kamal'.
She had co-starred with Kamaljit Singh in 'Shagun', and later married him on April 27, 1974, and moved to his farmhouse in Bangalore. She subsequently gave birth to a son, Sohail, and then to a daughter, Kashvi. She being not happy with roles offered to her declined offers after 1991. When Kamaljit became ill, she and the family re-located to 'Sahil', located near Bandra Bandstand, Bombay. Kamaljit passed away on November 21, 2000. Sohail has achieved his M.B.A. and is working in a Private Limited Company, while Kashvi is a Jewelery Designer.After her husband's death she appeared in 7 films from 2002.
She is very friendly with former actress Nanda and her other close friends include Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, Nimmi, Shyama.
Waheeda Rehmaan combined the classic Tamil-Islamic beauty with an extraordinary grace, talent and a truly transcendent appeal that ranked her among the pantheon of Bollywood's elite actresses. And few could dance better than she could!
She was born into a traditional Tamil Urdu speaking Muslim family on 3 February 1938, in Chengalpattu,Tamil Nadu. Growing up, she was trained in dancing, especially the Bharatnatyam dance. Her first films were Jayasimha (1955) and Rojulu Marayi (1955), both in Telegu and Kalam Mari Pochu in Tamil. These films became a huge success and established her as a hit-heroine, but it was a song Eruvaaka Sagaroranno Chinnanna in the Rojulu Marayi that got Rehman recognition in South. During success party of Rojulu Marayi, Guru Dutt noticed her and cast her in CID. The result was one of the most stunning debuts ever made in a Hindi film. As a mysterious woman named Kamini, she added a thrill to the whole film and it remains one of the most seductive and memorable roles of her career.
Amazed (and enraptured) by her beauty and talent, Guru Dutt cast her in 5 films. Thus, Rehman gave a mesmerizing performance in Pyaasa (1957) as Gulab, the prostitute with a heart of gold, and she stole the hearts of audiences as Jameela, a shy Muslim girl in the romance Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1961). But by then she was involved in an affair with Guru Dutt and this affair led to the disintegration of Dutt's marriage - and soon the two of them broke apart after their last collaboration, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962).
Moving on after Guru Dutt, Rehman worked with the acclaimed director Satyajit Ray in The Expedition (1962) and consolidated her position as a top Bollywood star with her commercial successes Bees Saal Baad (1962) and _Kohra (1964)_. With Devanand she did 7 films and 5 were super-hits. Then she did _Guide (1965/I)_ - a film that took her to the peak of her career. In the conservative 1960s, Rosie was a daring role for Waheeda to play, and yet the gamble paid off - her performance as Rosie, a woman who leaves her husband for her lover, is ranked as her best ever! And to think that when she did the film, she was certain she would never, ever be able to do another film again!
She had commercial films like Ram Aur Shyam (1967) and Patthar Ke Sanam (1967) proved to be huge successes and had 4 hits with Sunil Dutt in 60's Ek Phool Char Kaante, Mujhe Jeene Do, Meri Bhabhi and Darpan but her offbeat films Teesri Kasam (1967) and Reshma and Shera (1972) bombed, in spite of her critically acclaimed performances in those films. Her 3 films with Rajendra Kumar though critically acclaimed became box-office flops and her films with Dharmendra between 1967-1973 bombed. Then she acted in Khamoshi opposite Rajesh Khanna which became her career's biggest hit.In 1974, Rehman married Kamaljit, her hero in Shagoon(1964) a businessman who had earlier tried to make it in films and moved to Bangalore.
After her marriage she cut down acting assignments, preferring to market her own brand of breakfast cereal and lead a contented life in a Bangalore farmhouse. She turned to supporting roles and did 24 films as supporting actress from 1976-1994. After her husband's death in 2000, she again started appearing in 9 films as elderly woman.
Her best friend is actress Nanda, and they had co-starred in Kala Bazar (1960)
In Tamil film Kaalam Maari Pochu, Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum and Telugu films - Rojulu Marayi and Jayasimha - she was only a dancer and not the lead heroine.
Her mother tongue was Tamil and from her parents she learned Urdu and Tamil.
Her last hit movie as a lead heroine was Man Mandir opposite Sanjeev Kumar in 1971.
Her husband adopted the name of Kamaljit Singh to enter in films but his actual birth name was Shashi Reiki. He tried his hand in acting in early 60's but failed so went to become a businessman from 1965 and got settled in his business by early 70's.
Nanda and Waheedha are very close friends and both spend a lot of time together, and often go out to eat out, including Dahi, Bhel, and Pani Puri - right outside Elco Arcade in Bandra, West.
She is the actress who did maximum number of films with Dev Anand - 7 and had 5 box-office hits - C.I.D., Solva Saal, Kala Bazar, Baat Ek Raat Ki and Guide and 2 - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961) and Prem Pujari (1970) were flops.
Had 4 box-office hits with Sunil Dutt - Ek Phool Char Kaante, Mujhe Jeene Do, Meri Bhabhi and Darpan; but her other critically acclaimed film Reshma Aur Shera, flopped at box-office.
Her career's biggest hit Khamoshi came in 1970, opposite Superstar Rajesh Khanna.
Worked with Guru Dutt as the lead hero in 5 classics -Pyaasa , 12 O'Clock, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Chaudhvin Ka Chand.
Her husband Kamaljit Singh was in love with her since 1964 when they worked together in the film Shagoon in 1964.The film flopped but they continued to meet each other and in 1974 he proposed her and they married on 27 April 1974.
Waheedha Rehmaan was 2nd highest paid Hindi actress from 1966-1969 with Nanda and Nutan and 3rd highest paid Hindi actress from 1959-64.
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