The Bollywood veteran actress Bhanurekha Ganesan (simply known as Rekha) is one of the all time greatest and unforgettable actress of Hindi Cinema.

Rekha was born on 10th October, 1954 in the Telugu-speaking Ganesan household in Madras (now Chennai). Her real name is Bhanurekha.

Rekha is the daughter of renowned Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and the Telugu actress Pushpavalli. Her father enjoyed phenomenal success and Rekha was to follow in his footsteps. She has seven sisters and one brother.

Rekha's parents were not married, and her father did not acknowledge his paternity during her childhood. It was during the early 1970s, when she was looking for a footing in the Bollywood film industry, that she revealed her origins. Later, at the peak of her career, Rekha told a magazine interviewer that her father's neglect still rankled and that she had ignored his efforts at reconciliation. She has had various unsuccessful relationships with Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan ,Vinod Mehra and was briefly married to a businessman Mukesh Aggarwal from Delhi before he committed suicide.

No stranger to the tinsel screen, Rekha acted in a Telugu movie 'Rangula Ratnam' as Baby Bhanurekha along with her mother during 1966, which was subsequently re-made and released in Hindi during 1976 as Rangila Ratan.

Rekha made her debut as heroine in the successful Kannada film "Goadalli CID 999" with Dr. Rajkumar in 1969. Later she appeared in one more Telugu film "Amma Kosam" in 1970.

Due to her background, she ended up being very gloomy and pessimistic during her early years. She get a chance to debut in Bollywood movies during 1970 with Sawan Bhadon (1970) opposite Navin Nischol with a screen name of Rekha. Inability to speak Hindi, a dusky complexion as well as her weight did not exactly add to her assets in a predominantly fair-skinned, Hindi-speaking North-Indian film industry.

She decided to take matters seriously, took Yoga, shed those extra pounds, learned Hindi and dancing, and thus was born a new and much improved Rekha - who went on to deliver one box office hit after another.

Her first serious and performance oriented role came in 1976 when she signed "Do Anjaane" with Amitabh Bachchan. People noticed her in that and then came "Ghar" in 1978. She got critical acclaim for her performance as a rape victim and received her first nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards ceremony.

She first attained real fame in 1978 with "Muqaddar Ka Sikandar", in which she co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan. The movie was the biggest hit of the year and Rekha was set as one of the most popular actresses of these times. She went on to co-star with Amitabh in a number of 1980s hits. She was rumoured to be Amitabh's real-life flame, and that's why the most scandalous of their films together was "Silsila" (1981), in which she played Amitabh's love interest and Amitabh's real-life wife, Jaya Bhaduri, played his wife. The film-column gossip may have contributed to her success.

In 1981, she starred in the critically acclaimed Urdu film "Umrao Jaan". The film was considered one of her best performances and she received the National Film Award for Best Actress.

The 1990s saw drop in her success and she almost lost her stardom. She was part of some commercially and critically unsuccessful films, in spite of doing even more challenging roles. Unlike most of the actresses of her generation during the 70s and the 80s like Hema Malini and Raakhee, who began making supporting roles as the mother or the aunty, Rekha was known for still playing the leading roles, at the same time as heroines Madhuri Dixit and Raveena Tandon were notable.

The foreign film "Kama Sutra: A Tale Of Love" and the commercially successful "Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi" (1996) were some of her most notable films during the decade. While the former, was known for its controversial issue that Rekha played a Kama Sutra teacher in the film, the latter was a major grosser and earned her several awards in the Best Supporting Actress and the Best Villain categories for her first villain role.

In her later years she has taken up character roles and appeared as a mother, even a grandmother in Krrish (2006) during 2006.

Her slim, slender looks got her many admirers. The young Rekha filled the gossip columns with rumours of affairs with actors Jeetendra, Vinod Mehra, Kiran Kumar, and Amitabh Bachchan. In 1990 she married Delhi-based businessman Mukesh Aggarwal, who committed suicide in 1991. She was rumored to have married to actor Vinod Mehra in the 1973, but in a 2004 television interview with Simi Garewal she denied being married to him calling him a "well-wisher."

She likes to surf the Internet, has written biographies of actresses like Zeenat Aman, and Salma Agha on IMDb, likes to collect old photographs and postcards, mimic people, watch movies, and practices Yoga regularly, read comics like Archie and Dennie the Menace, and is a vegetarian. She now lives with her Secretary, Farzana, and pets in a self-owned bungalow in Bandra (West) in Mumbai.

Rekha is a Indian National Film Award-winning popular Bollywood actress. She is considered to be the eternal Diva of the Bollywood film industry. Throughout the 1970s till date she has been considered as a Sex Symbol icon, known for her beauty, acting talent and dancing skills. She has acted in over 180 films in her career, taking part both in the Indian mainstream cinema as well as in parallel cinema, having commercial success as an actress, as well as critical acclaim for her strong performances down the years.

Rekha was as one of the most successful actresses in Bollywood. The Divine Diva ‘Rekha” was awarded by the Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian award given by the Government of India.