Rekha, born Bhanurekha Ganesan on October 10, 1954, is known for her versatility as an actress, but she is most known for her portrayals of female characters, such as the schoolgirl in “Khubsoorat” and the resolute avenger in “Khoon Bhari Maang,” both of which garnered her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. She earned the National Film Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of a traditional courtesan in “Umrao Jaan,” which was followed by a string of critically praised performances. She has been portrayed as a sex symbol in Indian media from the 1970s to the present. Let us commemorate her birthday by sharing fascinating details about her life!

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Bhanurekha Ganesan


The Bollywood Queen, Rekhaji, Madame X

Birth date:

October 10, 1954



Zodiac Sign:



5' 6"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$40 million


Acknowledged as one of the finest actresses in Indian cinema, Rekha has won multiple awards, including one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. She has a long history of portraying strong and complex female characters in mainstream and independent films, ranging from fiction to literature. Despite her career’s ups and downs, Rekha has earned a reputation for renewing herself continuously and has been praised for her ability to maintain her standing. Her parents are actors Pushpavalli and Gemini Ganesan. Rekha started her acting career as a child actress in the Telugu films “Inti Guttu” (1958) and “Rangula Ratnam” (1966). “Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999,” a Kannada film, was her debut leading role. Her Hindi debut, “Sawan Bhadon” (1970), established her as a rising star.

While she was primarily known for popular Hindi films, she has also dabbled in parallel cinema. Rekha was one of the actresses to begin the trend of women-centered vengeance films with “Khoon Bhari Maang” (1988). She received her third Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of an underworld don in the action film “Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi” (1996), and she also acted in “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love” (1996) and “Aastha: In the Prison of Spring” (1996).

During the 2000s, she was hailed for her supporting appearances in the 2001 plays “Zubeidaa” and “Lajja.” Rekha also played mother characters, including in the science fiction film “Koi… Mil Gaya” (2003) and its sequel “Krrish” (2006), which both did really well. The latter became her highest-grossing release. Aside from acting, Rekha has been a Rajya Sabha member since 2012. Her personal life and public image have sparked a lot of curiosity and discussion in the media. At the beginning of the 1970s, her pairing with Amitabh Bachchan in several successful films was accompanied by rumors of a romantic relationship between the two, culminating in their starring movie “Silsila” (1981) which was indicative of media projections. In March 1990, she married Mukesh Aggarwal, a Delhi-based industrialist and television manufacturer, but he died a few months later.

Career timeline

The Acting Debut

Rekha makes her first public debut as a child artist in the Telugu film "Rangula Ratnam."

The First Performance-Oriented Role

“Do Anjaane,” in which she co-stars with Amitabh Bachchan and is a critical and commercial triumph, features her as an ambitious woman.

The First Award Nomination

Rekha's first significant achievement is the film "Ghar," which earns her a nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards.

Rekha Gets Married

Rekha ties the knot with Mukesh Aggarwal, a Delhi-based industrialist, and Hotline cookware brand owner.

The All-Time Bestseller

She sets a new record after the superhero film emerges as her highest-grossing release.

Why We Love Rekha

  1. She has an evergreen beauty

    Every day, Rekha does yoga. She believes that yoga and her well-trained lifestyle have helped her become an ageless beauty in Bollywood. She attributes her youthful appearance and body to a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.

  2. She is an animal-person

    Rekha has a soft spot for animals. She used to have her beloved dog, Pisti, who regrettably passed away and she now has a pet cat called Bhaiyyu.

  3. She doesn't let anything stop her

    Rekha's career in Bollywood has been a heady mix of controversies, relationships, successes, and failures. But the legendary actress never faltered and never allowed anything to get in the way of her stellar career.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. She loves make-up

    When she was younger, she befriended flight attendants who would bring her the best make-up brands worldwide.

  2. Rekha had a different childhood dream

    The actress had always desired to travel the world, so she applied to be an airline stewardess, but she was turned down due to her young age.

  3. She is a nature geek

    Rekha is a nature lover who enjoys working in her garden and caring for her plants.

  4. She used to be looked down upon

    Rekha was often undervalued because of her dark complexion and looks throughout her early years in the acting field.

  5. Rekha loves singing

    The actress has a strong interest in singing, and she even sang two songs in her film “Khoobsurat.”

Rekha FAQs

What does Rekha use for her hair?

Rekha makes her hair pack out of honey, yogurt, and egg white. She doesn’t use curling irons, straightening irons, or other artificial hair products.

How many movies has Rekha starred in till now?

Throughout her 40-year career, Rekha has appeared in over 180 films. She has reinvented herself several times over her career and is well-known for her ability to maintain her position.

What is Rekha's recent film?

Her latest work was in 2018’s film “Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se” as a special appearance.

Rekha’s birthday dates

2024October 10Thursday
2025October 10Friday
2026October 10Saturday
2027October 10Sunday
2028October 10Tuesday

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