Rekha Age Husband Children Family Biography & More

Rekha Height Weight Bra Size Age Biography Family Wiki Net Worth, Affairs, Marriage & much more. Bhanurekha Ganesan (born 10 October 1954), better known by her stage name Rekha, is an Indian actress who appears predominantly in Hindi films. Acknowledged as one of the finest actresses in Indian cinema, she has starred in more than 180 films and is the recipient of several accolades, including one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. She has often played strong and complicated female characters—from fictional to literary—in both mainstream and independent films. Though her career has gone through certain periods of decline, Rekha has gained a reputation for reinventing herself numerous times and has been credited for her ability to sustain her status. In 2010, the Government of India honoured her with Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.

The daughter of actors Pushpavalli and Gemini Ganesan, Rekha started her career as a child actress in Telugu films Inti Guttu (1958) and Rangula Ratnam (1966). Her first film as a lead happened with the Kannada movie Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 (1969). Her Hindi debut with Sawan Bhadon (1970) established her as a rising star, but despite the success of several of her early films, she was often panned in the press for her looks and weight. Motivated by criticism, she started working on her appearance and put effort into improving her acting technique and command of the Hindi language, resulting in a well-publicised transformation. Early recognition in 1978 for her performances in Ghar and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar marked the beginning of the most successful period of her career, and she was one of Hindi cinema’s leading stars through most of the 1980s and early 1990s.

For her performance in the comedy Khubsoorat (1980), Rekha received her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She followed it with roles in Baseraa (1981), Ek Hi Bhool (1981), Jeevan Dhaara (1982) and Agar Tum Na Hote (1983). While mostly prolific in popular Hindi cinema, during this time she ventured into parallel cinema, a movement of neo-realist arthouse films. These films included dramas such as Kalyug (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984), and her portrayal of a classical courtesan in Umrao Jaan (1981) won her the National Film Award for Best Actress. After a short setback in the mid 1980s, she was among the actresses who led a new trend of women-centred revenge films, starting with Khoon Bhari Maang (1988), for which she won a second Best Actress award at Filmfare.

Her work was much less prolific in subsequent decades. Her roles in early 1990s mostly met with lukewarm reviews. In 1996, she played against type in the role of an underworld don in the action thriller Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), for which she won a third Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actress category, and further appeared in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996) and Aastha: In the Prison of Spring (1997) to critical acclaim but some public scrutiny. During the 2000s, she was praised for her supporting roles in the 2001 dramas Zubeidaa and Lajja, and started playing mother roles, among which was her role in the science fiction Koi… Mil Gaya (2003) and its superhero sequel Krrish (2006), both commercial successes. The lattermost emerged as her highest-grossing release.

Apart from acting, Rekha has served as a member for the Rajya Sabha since 2012. Her private life and public image have been the subject of frequent media interest and discussion. Her pairing opposite Amitabh Bachchan starting in the 1970s in a number of successful films was accompanied by speculation about a love affair between the two, culminating in their starring film Silsila (1981), which was reflective of media projections. Her only marriage to the Delhi-based industrialist and television manufacturer Mukesh Agarwal in March 1990 ended seven months later when he died by suicide. Her public image has often been tied to her perceived sex appeal. Rekha is reluctant to give interviews or discuss her life, which resulted in her being labelled a recluse.

Early life and work

Rekha was born Bhanurekha Ganesan in Madras (present-day Chennai) on 10 October 1954 to South Indian actors Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavalli, when the couple were unmarried. Ganesan was previously married to T. R. “Bobjima” Aramelu and had four children: the Illinois-based radiation oncologist Revathi Swaminathan, the gynecologist Kamala Selvaraj, The Times of India’s journalist Narayani Ganesan, and the medical doctor Jaya Shreedhar. He had two more children with actress Savitri—Vijaya Chamundeswari, a fitness expert, and Sathish Kumaar. Meanwhile, Pushpavalli had two children (Babuji and Rama) from her earlier marriage to the lawyer I. V. Rangachari. Gemini and Pushpavalli had another daughter, Radha (born 1955). Nagaprasad and the actress Shubha are her cousins, while Vedantam Raghavaiah and his wife Suryaprabha are her uncle and aunt, respectively. Rekha’s mother tongue is Telugu, and she is fluent in Hindi and English, having revealed she thinks in the latter.

Rekha did not reveal her family background until mid-1970s. During her unstable childhood, her relationship with her father Gemini was poor. Gemini did not want to recognize her as his daughter and gave her a living. He rarely met both of his children with Pushpavalli, who subsequently married K. Prakash, a cinematographer from Madras, and she legally changed her name to K. Pushpavalli. She gave birth to two more children, Dhanalakshmi (who later married to the actor Tej Sapru) and the dancer Seshu (died 21 May 1991). Due to her mother’s hectic acting schedule at the time, Rekha would often stay with her grandmother. Asked in an interview by Simi Garewal about her father, Rekha believed he was never even aware of her existence. She recalled that her mother often spoke about him and added that despite never having lived with him, she felt his presence all through. Even so, the relationship started to improve five years after Pushpavalli died in 1991. He told a Cine Blitz interviewer of his happiness about this and stated, “Rekha and I have such a good rapport. We are really close.” He died in 2005.

Rekha was one year old when she played a small role in the Telugu-language drama Inti Guttu. Directed by Vedantam Raghavaiah, the film was released in late 1958 and became a commercial success. She was enrolled at a kindergarten when she was at the age of three and next joined the Presentation Convent School in Madras during her adolescence. She also met Narayani, Gemini and Aramelu’s second daughter, at the school when the latter was around nine or ten years old. Always an awkward and lonely girl, she admitted that she experienced childhood obesity. In a 1990 interview to The Illustrated Weekly of India, she called herself as “the fattest girl in the school”. In this period, she developed a love for dances and sports, although never participated in them due to her weight. Because of this, she was bullied by many of her schoolmates, who called her lotta (Tamil for “bastard”). Rekha, describing herself as a “firm believer” in God and destiny, used to spend her time at the school’s chapel. Another brief screen role came with the release of Rangula Ratnam (1966)—a political satire which was popular among the audience—co-starring Pushpavalli and sister Radha.

According to her biographer Yasser Usman, Rekha was asked by Pushpavalli to start an acting career when their family faced financial troubles in 1968, as the latter was sure that it would help them. Although never had interest for acting, Rekha (who was initially aspired to be a flight attendant) obeyed her desire and, at the age of 13 to 14—while she was in ninth grade—she dropped out from school to start a full-time career in acting; she later regretted not having completed her education. A protective sister, she did not let her younger sister Radha to join her, because she wanted Radha to finish hers.

Personal life

In 1990, Rekha married Delhi-based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal. Aggarwal was a self-made entrepreneur and owner of the kitchenware brand Hotline. He is believed to have had a long-standing struggle with depression and according to Rekha’s biographers, she only found out about his mental health after marriage. He was introduced to Rekha through a mutual friend and fashion designer Bina Ramani who termed him Rekha’s ‘crazy fan’. He proposed marriage to her on March 4, 1990, and a few months later—while she was in London—he committed suicide, after several previous attempts, leaving a note, “Don’t blame anyone”. She was pilloried by the press at that time, a period which one journalist termed as “the deepest trough in her life.” Bhawana Somaaya observed the period speaking of “a strong anti-wave against the actress — some called her a witch, some a murderess,” but added that soon “Rekha came out of the eclipse once again unblemished!”

She was rumoured to have been married to actor Vinod Mehra in 1973, but in a 2004 television interview with Simi Garewal she denied being married to Mehra referring to him as a “well-wisher”. Rekha currently lives in her Bandra home in Mumbai.

She was also rumoured to have been in a relationship with Amitabh Bachchan after they first acted together in Do Anjaane, and later in Silsila.

Critics noted Rekha for having worked hard to perfect her Hindi and acting, and media reporters often discussed how she had transformed herself from a “plump” duckling to a “swan” in the early 1970s. Rekha’s credits to this transformation were yoga, a nutritious diet, and a regular, disciplined life. In 1983, her diet and yoga practice were published in a book called “Rekha’s Mind and Body Temple”. Rekha has no children.

Rekha Age Husband Children Family Biography & More

Real NameBhanurekha Ganesan
NicknameThe Bollywood Queen, Rekhaji, Madame X
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 6”
Weight (approx.)in Kilograms- 60 kg
in Pounds- 132 lbs
Figure Measurements (approx.)34-28-34
Eye ColourBrown
Hair ColourBlack
Personal Life
Date of Birth10 October 1954
Age (as in 2022)68 Years
Birth PlaceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Zodiac sign/Sun signLibra
HometownChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
SchoolChurch Park Convent, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
CollegeNot Known
Educational QualificationsNot Known
DebutAs a Child Artist– Rangula Ratnam (Telugu, 1966)
As Female Lead– Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 (Kannada, 1969)
FamilyFather– Gemini Ganesan (Tamil Actor)

Mother– Pushpavalli (Telugu Actress)

Brother– Sathish Kumar Ganesan
Sisters– Kamala Selvaraj, Radha, Jaya Sreedhar, Vijaya Chamundeswari, Revathi Swaminathan, Narayani Ganesh
AddressSea Spring, Bungalow No.2, B.J. Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai. 400050
HobbiesWriting Poetry, Doing Yoga, Making Charcoal Sketches
Controversies• 15-year-old Rekha became a victim of a controversy during the shoot of her ‘supposed’ debut film, Anjana Safar. According to an excerpt from Rekha’s biography, the scene featuring Rekha and Biswajeet Chatterjee, the male lead, was supposed to be a short romantic scene with no intimate/offensive actions. However, when the camera rolled, Biswajeet grabbed Rekha and started to smooch her. The director kept yelling ‘cut’ but the lead actor was in no mood to stop. The Biography further alleges that both the actor and the director had planned out this heinous act for their personal and commercial benefits respectively.

• It is a common Known fact that Rekha had a love fling with actor Vinod Mehra. According to reports, the duo got married in a secret ceremony in Kolkata. But, when the groom took Rekha to his house, his mother acted highly hostile to her. She reportedly pushed Rekha away when the actor tried to touch her mother-in-law’s feet. She refused to let the new ‘bride’ enter the house and kept abusing and humiliating Rekha who kept standing at the door. Vinod tried to keep matters under control but his mother was too agitated. His mother even took off her sandals and almost assaulted Rekha with it.

• Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh were getting married on 22nd January 1980. Their wedding ceremony, which was being attended by a number of notable Bollywood personalities also included the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and his wife, Jaya Bachchan. Suddenly, Rekha stormed into the venue; dressed up in a white Sari with a Red Bindi on forehead and Sindoor on her hair, Rekha headed directly in Amitabh Bachchan’s direction and confronted him for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile, Jaya could hardly bear this sight and eventually gave way to tears. To date, the exact conversation between the two is not known and has thus given way to absurd speculations.

• According to the book- Rekha: The Untold Story, Rekha’s late entrepreneur husband, Mukesh Agarwal, was a patient of chronic depression and was even seeing a psychiatrist for the same. Just after 7-months of their marriage, cracks started to appear in the relationship as Mukesh began exhibiting erratic behavior. He kept Rekha in the dark about his failing business, became too overbearing and started embarrassing her by leaving his work in Delhi and hanging around on her sets for no reason. A few days later, On October 2, 1990, Mukesh committed suicide by hanging himself to his bedroom’s ceiling fan. People all over the country started blaming and hating her and even declared her a man-eater ‘witch’.

• Rekha and Kajol had shot for the cover of a popular magazine back in 90s, where the two ladies tucked themselves into one sweater. The cover of the magazine had created quite an uproar throughout the country. However, there has been no explanation given for the idea behind the shoot.

• On seeing Hrithik Roshan at the red carpet of an award function, Rekha got so excited that when she leaned in to greet him, she almost had an ‘accidental’ lip-lock.
Favourite Things
Favourite ActressKangana Ranaut
Favourite ActorDilip Kumar
Favourite ColoursGolden, Red
Boys, Affairs and More
Marital StatusDivorced
Affairs/BoyfriendsBiswajit Chatterjee, Actor
Late Vinod Mehra, Former Actor
Sajid Khan, Actor
Late Navin Nischol, Actor
Jeetendra, Actor
Shatrughan Sinha, Actor
Yash Kohli, Film Producer
Amitabh Bachchan, Actor
Late Mukesh Agarwal, Entrepreneur
Akshay Kumar, Actor (Rumoured)
Husband/SpouseLate Vinod Mehra (rumored)
Late Mukesh Agarwal (m. January 1990; d. October 1990)
ChildrenSon– N/A
Daughter– N/A
Money Factor
Net Worth$30 million



1958Inti Guttu
1966Rangula Ratnam
1969Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999Mona
1970Sawan BhadonChanda
Amma KosamGita
1971Haseenon Ka DevataSunita/Chabili
ElaanMala Mehta/Mary
Dost Aur Dushman
1972Zameen AasmaanKalpana
Gora Aur KalaPhoolwa
Gaon Hamara Shaher TumharaParvati “Paro”
Ek BecharaKavitha
Do Yaar
Double CrossRekha
Raampur Ka LakshmanRekha Choudhury
Khoon Khoon
Kahani Kismat KiRekha
DharmaMrs. Asha Singh
Barkha Bahar
Anokhi AdaNeeta Gupta
Namak HaraamShyama
1974Woh Main NahinAnjali
Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na JayeJanniya/Sheetal
Duniya Ka Mela
Do Aankhen
Kahte Hain Mujhko RajaRina
Dafaa 302
Dharam KaramBasanti
Do AnjaaneRekha Roy/Sunita Devi
Aaj Ka MahaatmaMala
1977Saal Solvan ChadyaWedding entertainer
Ram BharoseKiran
Kachcha ChorAsha
Farishta Ya Qatil
Ek Hi Raasta
Chakkar Pe ChakkarShila Sahini
AlaapRadha Kumari (Radhiya)
Aap Ki KhatirSarita
Immaan DharamDurga
Khoon PasinaChanda
Palkon Ki Chhaon MeinDancer
1978Saawan Ke Geet
Ram Kasam
Rahu KetuTulsi
Bhola BhalaChampa
Aakhri Daku
Ganga Ki SaugandhDhaniya
GharAarti Chandra
Kasme VaadeDancer
Do MusafirBijli
Muqaddar Ka SikanderZohrabai
1979MuqablaQawwali singer
Mr. NatwarlalShanno
Jaani DushmanChampa
Prem BandhanMahua
Do ShikaariSunita
Gol MaalHerself
Naya BakraQawwali singer
1980Ram BalramShobha
Maang Bharo SajanaRadha
KhubsooratManju Dayal
JudaaiGauri Singh/Gauri S. Verma
Kali GhataRekha/Rashmi
Jyoti Bane JwalaCourtesan
Jal MahalNamita / Gayatri Devi / Rekha
AgreementMala Mathur
1981Umrao JaanAmiran/Umrao Jaan
Saajan Ki SaheliMoon-Moon Dhawan
Chehre Pe ChehraDaisy
MangalsutraGayatri B. Prasad
Khoon Aur PaaniChampa
BaseraaPurnima Kohli aka Nima
Ghungroo Ki AwaazKajal/Kiran Gomes/Rani
Ek Hi BhoolSadhana Srivastav
Chashme BuddoorHerself
Mehndi Rang Layegi
Jeevan DhaaraSangeeta Shrivastav
Raaste Pyar KeGauri
Apna Bana LoRoopadevi
1983Prem TapasyaBela
Film Hi Film
Mujhe Insaaf ChahiyeShakuntala
Agar Tum Na HotePurnima Mehra / Radha Bedi
1984Bindiya ChamkegiRadha
Maati Maangey KhoonShyamlee (Courtesan)
Asha JyotiAsha
Zameen Aasmaan
Jhutha SachAlka
Paan Khaye Saiyan HamaarCourtesan ‘Dil De Be Na Ham’
1985Ram Tere Kitne NamMrs. Radha Aloknath Gupta
JhoothiKalpana Srivastav
1986Sadaa SuhaganLaxmi
Insaaf Ki AwaazInspector Jhansi Rani
JaalAmita S. Singh / Meenabai
Janbaazitem number
1987Pyar Ki JeetSoni
Apne ApneSharda R. Kapoor
SansarUma V. Sharma
Jaan Hatheli Pe
KhazanaAnita Mathur
1988Soorma BhopaliDrunk Woman
Khoon Bhari MaangAarti Verma/Jyoti
Ek Naya RishtaAarti Saxena
Biwi Ho To AisiShalu Mehra
1989Kasam Suhaag Ki
ClerkMrs. Sneh Kapoor
Souten Ki BetiRadha S. Verma
LadaaiShakuntala Verma
BahuraniMadhuri/Malti Chaudhary
Mera Pati Sirf Mera HaiSharda Dayal Sharma
Azaad Desh Ke GulamBharti Bhandari
Amiri GaribiSona
Aag Ka Darya
1991Yeh Aag Kab Bujhegi
Phool Bane AngarayNamrata Singh
1992Insaaf Ki DeviSadhana S. Verma
1993GeetanjaliAnjali Mehra/Geeta S. Bhardwaj
1994Madam XMadam X / Sonu
Ab Insaf HogaJankidevi Prasad
1996Aurat Aurat AuratSita Vajpai
Khiladiyon Ka KhiladiMaya
Kama Sutra: A Tale of LoveRasa Devi, teacher of the Kama Sutra
1997Aastha: In the Prison of SpringMansi
UdaanVarsha Sahay
1999MotherAsha Britannia
2001ZubeidaaMaharani Mandira Devi
CensorMs. Shrivastav (Censor Board Member)
Mujhe Meri Biwi Se BachaaoKamini Mathur
2002Dil Hai TumhaaraSaritaji
Koi… Mil GayaSonia Mehra
2005Bachke Rehna
Re Baba
ParineetaMoulin Rouge singer
2006Kudiyon Ka Hai ZamanaMayuri
KrrishSonia S. Mehra
Om Shanti Om
2013Krrish 3Sonia Mehra
2014Super NaniBharti Bhatia
2018Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se


1986Aakhree RaastaVinita BhatnagarSridevi
1988WaarisParamjeet “Paro”Smita Patil
1999SooryavanshamSharda, RadhaJayasudha, Soundarya

Playback singing

YearFilmSongMusic director
1980Khubsoorat“Qayda Qayda”R. D. Burman
1983Agar Tum Na Hote“Kal To Sunday Ki Chhuti”R. D. Burman
1983Ek Naya Rishta“Ehsaas Ka Sauda Hai”Khayyam

Exercise video

1983Rekha’s Mind and Body Temple

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