Hema Malini (born October 16, 1948) is an Indian actress and Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer, who starred in several successful Bollywood films in the 1970s, most notably the extremely successful Sholay.
She is one of the most successful female filmstars of Bollywood. She has starred in a large number of hit films and in both commercial and arthouse cinema. She is a member of India's Bharatiya Janata Party and represents the party in Rajya Sabha, the upper House of parliament . She now spends most of her time involved in charitable and social ventures. However, she still makes special appearances in films.
Hema Malini R. Chakravarty was born October 16, 1948 in Ammankudi, Tiruchirapalli district, Tamil Nadu to, V.S.R. Chakravarty and Jaya Chakravarthy (Iyengar Brahmins) who was a film producer. Her Mother Tongue is Tamil. Her mother, Shrimati Jaya Chakravarty, died on June 11, 2004 due to gangrene on her leg.
Hema Malini was educated at Andhra Mahila Sabha, Chennai. She acted in a short episode as dancer in Pandava Vanavasam, a 1961 Telugu film. Hema first tried to enter films in 1964, but was rejected; Tamil director Sridhar said she had no star appeal. She persisted and found her niche in Bollywood. She debuted in a 1968 film Sapnon Ka Saudagar ("The Dreamseller"), playing a young teen opposite the ageing superstar Raj Kapoor. With Dev Anand in Johnny Mera Naam (1970), Hema became a top star. She worked with him again in Tere Mere Sapne (1971), among other films, with the latest being Aman Ke Farishtey (2003). Hema double-roled with Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar in 1972's Seeta Aur Geeta as the top female star in Bollywood. She became one of the reigning divas of the Bollywood film industry, and her fans called her The Dream Girl of Bollywood (an allusion to the movie of the same name where she starred opposite Dharamendra).
Hema Malini with Dharmendra in film, Seeta Aur Geeta 1972
Hema Malini with Dharmendra in film, Seeta Aur Geeta 1972
Hema starred in many movies throughout the 1970s and 1980s and is perhaps best remembered for her glamour, style, and accomplished classical dancing. She formed a hit pair with Dharmendra, and the duo performed a number of hit movies like Sholay, Charas, Aas Paas, Jugnu, Seeta Aur Geeta, The Burning Train. She also achieved some strong dramatic or comic moments in films like Trishul, Joshila, Lal Patthar, Meera and Satte Pe Satta.
After taking a back seat from films for a number of years in the 1990s and early 2000s, Hema has recently made a comeback of sorts. She co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in the successful film Baghban (2003), and played a cameo role (also opposite Bachchan) in the 2004 blockbuster Veer-Zaara. In both films, she played a beautiful, self-possessed, old married woman rather than the ingenuinee roles of her earlier career.
She tried her hand at directing and made the 1992 film Dil Aashna Hai which featured an all-star cast including Shahrukh Khan and the late Divya Bharti.
She also directed and starred in the TV serial Noopur, in which she was depicted as a Bharatanatyam dancer going to America.
She is a dedicated Bharatnatyam artiste, a classical dance of India. Her two daughters have trained in the related Odissi school of dance, and the three have performed together at several charity dance concerts.
Top Bollywood stars like Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra proposed to her, but she married Dharmendra on 2 May 1980 , who was already married with four children; two sons: Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and two daughters. Later Dharmendra and Hema Malini had two daughters: Esha Deol (born 1982 and Ahana Deol.
In 2005, on the TV show Koffee with Karan, she said that she taught her daughters Tamil language very well, but had to hire a tutor to help her daughter Esha Deol learn Punjabi for a film. Apparently, Esha's father Dharmendra, whose mother tongue is Punjabi, converses with Hema and his daughters only in Hindi and English.
Hema Malini and her husband have been involved in politics, as members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, with the support of the BJP. In February 2004, she joined the party officially. With her film career less hectic, she has been an active member of the party, attending party meetings and rallies and campaigning for the party through various elections.
She has said in interviews that she would never wear revealing outfits in movies, and has been true to her words till date. It is said that after she had shot for a swimsuit scene in a movie early in her career, her mother was so upset that she promised never to repeat it.
Awards, honours and recognitions
* 1973 - Filmfare Best Actress Award, Seeta Aur Geeta
* 1999 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
* 1974 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Amir Garib
* 1974 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Prem Nagar
* 1975 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Khushboo
* 1975 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Sanyasi
* 1976 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Mehbooba
* 1977 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Kinara
* 1979 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Meera
* 1981 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Naseeb
* 1990 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Rihaee
* 2003 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Baghban
* 1998 - Guest of Honour Award at the 18th Ujala Cinema Express Awards
* 2003 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
* 2003 - Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1, Baghban (with Amitabh Bachchan)
* 2003 - Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bollywood Movie Awards.
* 2004 - Bollywood Movie Award - Most Sensational Actress for Baghban.
* 2004 - Sports World's "Jodi of the Year" along with Amitabh Bachchan for Baghban
* 2004 - Icon of the year
* 2000 - Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award from the Government of India.
* 2004 - "Living Legend Award" by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in recognition of her contribution to the Indian entertainment industry.
* 2007 - The 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival screened several films starring Hema Malini in a special tribute programme.
* 2008 - Honoured for her contribution to classical dance.