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Mon, Nov 18, 2019 11:36 PM
Wed, Oct 16, 2019 5:05

‘Dream girl’ Hema Malini turns 71

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Actor-politician Hema Malini turned 71 on Wednesday. The actor, whom the millennials can recall only as a dancer and a BJP politician, was once the highest-paid female superstar on Bollywood. The era was the 1970s and Hema was its prima donna.

 

Actor-politician Hema Malini turned 71 on Wednesday. The actor, whom the millennials can recall only as a dancer and a BJP politician, was once the highest-paid female superstar on Bollywood. The era was the 1970s and Hema was its prima donna.

Hema Born in 1948 to a Tamil-speaking Iyengar family, Hema did her early education in Chennai. Her father was later posted in Delhi, where she attended school at the Delhi Tamil Education Association Serior School (DTEA) on Mandir Marg. After Class 11, she quit to commence her acting career.

Hema made her debut as a supporting actor in the Tamil film, Idhu Sathiyam (1962) but failed to make a mark. Then, in 1968, he made her Hindi film debut in Raj Kapoor’s Sapno Ka Saudagar. It was with this film that the sobriquet ‘Dream Girl’ came to be associated with her as it was coined for her during the film’s promotion. Originally meant to be done by Vyajayanthimala, Hema stepped in when the veteran actor backed out. Her iconic beauty, strong personality and dancing skills immediately got her noticed.

Hema would make her mark next in Dev Anand’s Johnny Mera Naam (1970). After that, there was no stopping Hema. She went on to star in a number of hit films -- Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Andaz (1971), Sholay (1975), Trishul (1978), Meera (1979), Naseeb (1981) and Satte Pe Satta (1982) to name a few.

Hema would emerge as the highest paid female actor of her times (1976 - 1980). She also among the actors who continued to work after marriage, much like Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee.

Her personal life was a constant fodder for the gossip mills, given her affair with the much-married Dharmendra, her almost-married-to-Jeetendra stories in the tabloids and late actor Sanjeev Kumar’s one-sided love for Hema. In fact, her marriage to Dharmendra in 1980 itself was rather controversial. Stories of her strained relationship with Dharmendra’s sons -- Sunny and Bobby -- too are legendary.

In later years, her life and dedication for dance made headlines, often doing shows in the company of her daughters, actor Esha Deol and younger daughter Ahana. Their weddings too were public affairs. In recent times, as the sitting Member of Parliament from Mathura, she is constantly in news.