Divya Solgamawrote on Aug 20 2008 6:14PM
Raakhee was born on August 15, 1947 She hailed from an ordinary and non-filmi family and was born on the day India attained Independence. She is originally from the state of West Bengal .
She achieved phenomenal success at her very first movie in Bengali 'Bandhu Baran' during the year 1967. She was then noticed by noted Bollywood actor, Sunil Dutt, who recommended her for a lead role in 'Reshma Aur Shera'. But before the release of this movie, Rakhee had already appeared in 'Jeevan Mritya' and 'Sharmeelee' opposite Dharmendra and Shashi Kapoor respectively. Her personal life hasn't been very happy for her. While still a teenager, Raakhee had a very brief unhappy marriage to Bengali film director Ajay Biswas. She is now married to famous film director, poet and lyricist Gulzar. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2003. She has a daughter called Meghna (Bosky) who had directed a film named "Filhaal" starring Sushmita Sen, Tabu, Sanjay Suri and Palaash Sen. In a film and social culture where marriage often means retirement for an actress. Raakhee who was already married and divorced by the time she was 18 was one of the few married woman to become a star in Bollywood. In fact she took the retirement route after her second marriage to the script writer/ director Gulzar. She had a child but Raakhee couldn't stay away from acting and made a film comeback that strained and eventually ended her second marriage.She didn't get to do any of his films, but she certainly got all the respect from the people of the industry. They separated amicably without a divorce. Raakhee has won three Fimfare acting awards and unlike most all of the actress' who were beauty queens of the 60s and 70s she continues to act in films to this day. She is a true troubadour with over 30 years in the film industry. Her marriage to Ajoy Biswas, a producer and journalist, seemed to show a ray of light in her career. But when she was not selected in the screen test for the film, which her own husband was directing, her hope diminished. However it was Rajashri Films that sparked up her hope again in the film called "Jeevan Mrityu" casting with the then rage Dharmendra. The movie was a big hit. The song 'Jhilmil Sitaron Ka Aangan Hoga" became a household song. With the good news of starting her career afresh came the bad news, the divorce with her husband Ajoy Biswas. That did not hinder her acting career. She shot to fame in the 1971 film "Sharmilee" where she played a double role opposite Shashi Kapoor. She has since starred in many more Hindi blockbuster films most notably "Kabhie Kabhie" (1976), "Muqaddar Ka Sikander" (1977), "Trishul "(1978), "Kaala Patthar" (1979) and "Lawaaris" (1981). She also did some memorable films like "Daag"(1973), "Tapasya" (1976) , "Jurmana" (1979) and "Bemisal"(1982). She seemed to work with all the heartthrobs of her time, including Dev Anand, Shashi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra. In later years she went on to act with Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra. But she was best paired with none other that Big B himself.When she was in the peak of her career she re-married the Filmmaker Gulzar, but unfortunately even this marriage didn't seem to work. Around this time she made a comeback with films like "Laawaris", "Tapasya", "Kaala Patthar", "Kabhie Kabhie", "Trishul" and "Muqaddar Ka Siqandar", the films that went on to celebrate their Silver Jubilee. Raakhee became an alcoholic and for a time drank heavily. During this mid-career period Raakhee excelled in dramatic roles and was compared to the 'queen of tragedy' Meena Kumari. Ironically both of her ex-husband's reportedly had affairs with Kumari. This comparison rankled Raakhee to no end and must have caused her great angst as Raakhee was a great dramatic actress in her own right. Unlike the other actresses who refused to do a mother's role in the later years of their career, Rakhee never seem to mind doing that. For her it is only a part of her career and that does not seem to bother her much. Infact Rakhee, who was paired with Amitabh Bachchan as his heroine in films like "Barsaat Ki Ek Raat"," Trishul", "Kasme Vaade", "Kala Patthar"and the most remembered "Kabhie Kabhie", played his mother in films like "Shakti". The spree of being mother on the screen continued in the movies. She has been the mother of almost all the actors since late 90s including Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan,Akshay Kumar and Shahrukh. The list goes endlessly. "Ram Laakhan", "Karan Arjun", "Khalnayak", "Border", "Soldier", "Shyam Ghanshyam" and "Ek Rishtaa". She also got the best supporting actress award for her motherly role in "Ram Laakhan". Rakhee has almost quit acting in movies her last appearance was in 'Shubhu Muhurat'.