In the book 'Hema Malini: Authorized Biography', 2007, she revealed that both Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kumar had proposed marriage to her around the same time. But the Dream Girl's dream man Dharmendra stole the princess away with his heartwarming gesture, good looks and affection.

As a co-actor, Hema always made a hugely successful on-screen pair with the 'yamla pagla deewana' hero. They got married in the year 1980. But Shashi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand remained to be her favorite co-stars.

Hema Malini first appeared as a dancer in 1961 Telugu film Pandava Vanavasam. She marked her Bollywood debut with 1968 movie ‘Sapnon Ka Saudagar ‘opposite Raj Kapoor but the film had a lukewarm response at the box office. However, Hema's performance could not be overlooked. She stormed the Bollywood era of 70s with her outstanding performances and starred in more than 150 movies.

In 1977, she starred in the film 'Dream Girl'. This film was not only a blockbuster but also saw her overnight transformation into the Dream Girl of Bollywood. Noted for both comic and dramatic roles, charismatic beauty and accomplished classical dance, Hema Malini has always embodied tradition and modernity in its true sense.

Hema did take her share of career risks. The 60’s heroines were unwilling to play the deglamourized role of the sari-clad widow in ‘Andaaz. No heroine was ready to essay the black-shaded role of Raaj Kumar's scorned and vengeful mistress in ‘Lal Patthar’. Mumtaz was not in a mood to lower her price for ‘Seeta Aur Geeta ‘, but Hema took on all these films and they changed her career. Her performance in Lal Patthar is an underrated achievement, in the scene where she mocks Raaj Kumar's new wife, Raakhee, as merely a ‘gudia’. The outstanding box office success of ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, where Hema played double roles - as the meek Seeta and the fisticuffs - ready Geeta made Hema the No 1 heroine back then.

But when asked about her real passion, Hema Malini says, "My interest was dance. In the beginning, I didn't enjoy acting at all. It was my mother who brought me into films and looked after my career. I remember each time a producer came to meet her, my only reaction was, 'Oh God, another year of my life gone." The Dream Girl said in one of her interviews.

This south Indian actress is more than just a beautiful face; she's like an exquisite piece of lace threaded with steel. Hema insisted on living her life on her own terms, took an unconventional step and became the second wife to Dharmendra. She continued to work after her marriage. After the birth of her children, she shifted gears from acting to direction to television to stage dance shows. She has become an icon of the beautiful synergy between the traditional and modern image of a woman. Certainly, she epitomizes the complete woman for most Indians.

Jagran Post wishes Hema Malini a very happy birthday.


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