Rehman Khan was born on 23rd June 1923, in Lahore. His family later re-located to Jabalpur where he attended the Robinson College. After completing college he joined the Indian Air Force as a Pilot. In 1944 he opted out of the Indian Air Force and started working at Prabhat Studios, Bombay, as a 3rd Assistant to Bollywood Director, Vikram Bedekar, who was then filming Lakharani. On the sets of Chand the crew were unable to find anyone who could tie a Pathani Turban. Rehman did the needful, and was given a two-lined dialogue role in the film. He ended up starring in over 70 movies, in character roles, mostly debonair and aristocratic, often as a villain.
Rehman’s first major role was in Hum Ek Hain with Dev Anand during 1946, and then as legendary Emperor Shahjahan in Shahjahan in the same year, which was a huge hit. Rehman’s next film Mela (1948) was a big hit and so was Badi Bahen (1949). After a long gap, he came back in Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa (1957) which was a super hit. This gave him a big boost and brought him many more offers. Rehman’s major hits included Phir Subah Hogi (1958), Guru Dutt’s Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), Ghunghat (1960), Taj Mahal (1963) starring Pradeep Kumar, Mere Mehboob (1963) starring Rajendra Kumar. Other big hits were Yash Chopra’s Waqt (1965), Jaanwar (1965) starring Shammi Kapoor, Shikar (1968) starring Dharmendra, Inteqaam (1969), Dushman (1971) starring Rajesh Khanna, Dost (1974) starring Dharmendra, Chacha Bhatija (1977) starring Dharmendra and Randhir Kapoor. Some films, in which Rehman acted, managed to gather good collections viz. Bahen (1959), Chhalia (1960), Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968) starring Dharmendra, Tumse Achcha Kaun Hai (1969) starring Shammi Kapoor, Anhonee (1973), Aap Ki Kasam (1974) starring Rajesh Khanna, Majboor (1974), Aandhi (1975) starring Sanjeev Kumar. A lot was expected from films like Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966), Palki (1967), Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka (1977), but they failed to create any magic and flopped badly. Other major flops included Paras (1949) starring Madhubala, Shaan (1950), Batwara (1961) starring Pradeep Kumar, Ganga Ki Lahren (1964) starring Dharmendra, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1964) again starring Dharmendra, Darpan (1970) starring Sunil Dutt, and a few others. Rehman’s acting career was cut short during 1977 when he suffered three massive heart attacks, which he barely survived, only to be inflicted by throat cancer - which led to the loss of his voice, and ultimately took his life during 1979. He was a close friend of Film-maker/Actor, Guru Dutt. Many of the films he acted in starred Dharmendra in the main lead.