If you were to think of an epitome of classic beauty and timeless talent in Bollywood, Waheeda Rehman’s name would be sure to top the list. Ever since she starred in C.I.D. in 1956, Rehman has captured the attention of audiences young and old. Yes, even younger generations are mesmerised by her enigmatic screen presence in the old movies. That’s not the only thing that defines her though: she was known to be one of the most powerful female actors of her time and, more importantly, someone who stood by what she wanted and believed in.
She began acting at the tender age of 17, and her youth and innocence stood her in good stead. Giving us classics such as C.I.D., Pyaasa (1957), Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962), and Guide (1965) among others, Rehman wowed audiences and critics alike with her charm and histrionic talent. Today, she is grace personified and still a force to reckon with. The multi-hyphenate has not only aced acting but also straddled other fields such as entrepreneurship. She’s also cracked the Indian FMCG market, launching a very successful breakfast cereal business in Bengaluru with her friend Ashrafa Sattar.
The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recipient might not be seen in movies as often today, but she is doing her fair share with her philanthropic forays. She is an advocate for education and an ambassador for Rang De, an organisation combating poverty in India. As a powerhouse and a presence, Rehman is an inspiration to many strong-willed women who want to lead their lives on their own terms.
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