Born on Oct 10, 1954, Bhanurekha Ganesan started her career with screen-name Rekha in 1966 as a child actress in the Telugu movie 'Rangula Ratnam'.
Her film debut as a lead however, happened four years later with the Hindi film 'Sawan Bhadon' (1970).
Rekha has acted in over 180 films in a career that has spanned over 40 years.
Throughout her career, she has often played strong female characters and, apart from mainstream cinema, appeared in arthouse films, known in India as parallel cinema.
She has won three Filmfare Awards - two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress, for her roles in 'Khubsoorat' (1980), 'Khoon Bhari Maang' (1988) and 'Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi' (1996), respectively.
Her portrayal of a classical courtesan in 'Umrao Jaan' in 1981 not only won her wide critical acclaim but also bagged her the National Film Award for Best Actress.
Some of her works in the parallel stream include films like Shyam Benegal's award-winning drama, 'Kalyug' (1981), Govind Nihalani's 'Vijeta' (1982), Girish Karnad's 'Utsav' (1984) and Gulzar's 'Ijaazat' (1987), among others.
Rekha was conferred with the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2010.
She took oath as a Rajya Sabha MP in 2012.
Her upcoming films include 'Super Nani' and 'Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai'.
--IBNS (Posted on 10-10-2013)