Rakhee Gulzar
Rakhee Gulzar.jpg
Rakhee Gulzar in 2012
Rakhee Majumdar

(1947-08-15) 15 August 1947 (age 75)
Years active1967–2019
Ajay Biswas
(m. 1963; div. 1965)

(m. 1973)
ChildrenMeghna Gulzar
HonorsPadma Shri

Raakhee Gulzar (born Rakhee Majumdar on 15 August 1947 and known as Raakhee) is an Indian actress[1] who has appeared in many Hindi films and Bengali films as well.[citation needed] In four decades of acting, she has won three Filmfare Awards and a National Film Award, apart from many other awards.

At Filmfare, Raakhee has been nominated 16 times in all (8 times for Best Actress and 8 times for Best Supporting Actress).She debuted in the Bengali film Bodhu Boron in 1967 with Geeta Dutta in the lead role. Her first Hindi film was Jeevan Mrityu in 1970.

Early life

Rakhee was born in a Bengali family at Ranaghat in the Nadia district of West Bengal in the early hours of 15 August 1947, just hours after the independence of India.[2][3] She received her early education in a local girls' school. Her father had a flourishing shoe business in his native village in Meherpur disrict of Kushtia East Bengal which was a part of Nadia district of India, modern-day Bangladesh, before the partition of India, and thereafter he settled in West Bengal. While still a teenager, Raakhee had an arranged marriage to Bengali journalist/film director Ajay Biswas, which ended shortly afterwards.

At the start of her film career, she dropped her surname and was mentioned in film credits only as "Rakhee," by which name she attained stardom, but upon marrying lyricist-director, Sampooran Singh Kalra professionally known as Gulzar, she took his pen name as her surname and is credited thereafter as Rakhee Gulzar.


In 1967, the 20-year-old Rakhee acted in her first Bengali film Bodhu Boron, after which she was offered the lead role in Rajshri Productions' Jeevan Mrityu (1970) opposite Dharmendra.

In 1971, Rakhee played a double role opposite Shashi Kapoor in Sharmilee, and also starred in Lal Patthar and Paras; all three films became hits and she established herself as a leading actress of Hindi Cinema. Shehzada (1972) opposite Rajesh Khanna and Aankhon Aankhon Mein (1972) opposite a relative newcomer Rakesh Roshan showcased her comic abilities though their box office performance was unsatisfactory. She continued to display versatility even in relatively small roles in Lal Patthar, Heera Panna (1973) and Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), with her strong performances. The phenomenal success of Rajshri Productions' Tapasya (1976) a heroine-dominated movie where she played the sacrificing sister opposite Parikshit Sahni established her as a box-office name to reckon with. Rakhee regards her performances in Blackmail (1973), Tapasya (1976) and Aanchal as her best.

She acted with Dev Anand in Heera Panna, Banarasi Babu (1973), Joshila (1973) and Lootmaar (1980). Rakhee starred opposite Shashi Kapoor in 10 released films: Sharmilee, Jaanwar Aur Insaan (1972), Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Doosra Aadmi (1977), the critically acclaimed Trishna (1978), Baseraa (1981),[4] Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983), Zameen Aasmaan (1984), and Pighalta Aasman (1985) and the unreleased Ek Do Teen Chaar.[5] Her exemplary chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan was showcased in eight films: Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Kasme Vaade (1978), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Jurmana (1979), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981), and Bemisal (1982). In some films such as Jurmana, her name is even credited ahead of the hero. She also formed a popular pair with Sanjeev Kumar with films like Hamare Tumhare (1979) and Shriman Shrimati (1982).

In 1981, a 23-year-old aspiring director Anil Sharma asked her to star in an out and out female oriented role in his debut film Shradhanjali. After the success of the film Raakhee was flooded by strong heroine-dominated roles. At the peak of her career as a popular heroine, she surprised everyone by accepting strong character roles as sister-in-law to Rajesh Khanna in Aanchal (1980), Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh in Shaan (1980), Mithun Chakraborty in Dhuan, and mother to Amitabh in Shakti (1982) and Rishi Kapoor in Yeh Vaada Raha (1982).

She acted in other Bengali films; Paroma (1984) and was awarded the BFJA Award for Best Actress.

Towards the late 1980s and 1990s she played strong character roles as the elderly mother or a woman of principles in commercially successful films such as Ram Lakhan (1989), Anari (1993), Baazigar (1993), Khalnayak (1993), Karan Arjun (1995), Border (1997), Soldier (1998), Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001) and Dil Ka Rishta (2002).

In 2003 she appeared in Rituparno Ghosh directed film Shubho Mahurat for which she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In one of her interviews, she said in 2012 that her favourite heroes were Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor.[6]

In 2019 Kolkata International Film Festival the film Nirbon directed by Goutam Halder was premiered, where Rakhee portrayed the role of Bijolibala, a seventy years old lady with a strong conviction. "Doing films is not on my agenda right now, but the story fascinated me" Rakhee said about the adaptation of Moti Nandi's novel Bijolibalar Mukti.[7]

Rakhee Gulzar has diverse experiences in a wide range of activities she has been associated with in the film industry. In many occasions she extended her contributions beyond acting and delved into various other field of activities, some of which are listed below: 1998 – Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha – Costume Designer1999 – Dil Kya Kare – Dress Assistant. In 1982 she lent her voice for the film Taaqat in the song Teri nindiya ko lag jaye aag re sung in duet with Kishore Kumar.

Personal life

In her second marriage, Raakhee married film director, poet and lyricist Gulzar. The couple have a daughter, Meghna Gulzar. When their daughter was only one year old, they separated.[8] After completing her graduation in films from New York University, Meghna went on to become a director of films including Filhaal..., Just Married and Dus Kahaniyaan,[9] and authored a biography of her father in 2004.[10]

At one point, Raakhee stayed in her bungalow, "Muktangan" (bought from the Marathi playwright P. L. Deshpande), on Sarojini Road in Khar, Mumbai. Later, she sold the property and moved to an apartment two buildings away, though the new high rise is still called by the same name, as she had wished. As of 2015 she mostly stays in the Panvel farmhouse on the Mumbai outskirts.[11][12]

"My mother has lived her professional and personal life with tremendous dignity and grace". said Meghna Gulzar, daughter of Rakhee, in an interview.[13] Presently she lives in recluse in her farmhouse at Panvel, spending time in tending to a huge flock of animals, growing vegetables and reading books.[14]

Awards and nominations


Year Title Role Director Notes
1967 Badhu Bharan Dilip Nag Bengali film
1968 Baghini Bijay Bose Bengali film
1970 Aparajeya Bina[18] Chaturanga Assamese film
Jeevan Mrityu Deepa Satyen Bose
1971 Sharmilee Kanchan/Kamini Samir Ganguly
Reshma Aur Shera Gopal's Wife Sunil Dutt
Paras Barkha Singh C.P. Dixit
Lal Patthar Sumita Sushil Majumdar
1972 Anokhi Pehchan Satyen Bose
Aan Baan Rekha Prakash Mehra
Aankhon Aankhon Mein Parvati Raghunath Jhalani
Beimaan Sohanlal Kanwar
Janwar Aur Insaan Meena Tapi Chanakya
Shehzada Chanda K. Shankar
Shaadi Ke Baad Shova L.V. Prasad
Sub Ka Saathi Rosie A. Bhimsingh
Wafaa Saraswati Ramanna
Yaar Mera Atma Ram
1973 Heera Panna Reema Singh Dev Anand
Daag Chandni Yash Chopra
Blackmail Asha Mehta Vijay Anand
Banarasi Babu Neela Shankar Mukherjee
Joshila Sapna Yash Chopra
1974 Pagli Gori C.P. Dixit
27 Down Shalini Awtar Krishna Kaul
1975 Mere Sajna Kammo Kewal Kumar
Angaarey Shova Govind Saraiya
1976 Tapasya Indrani Sinha "Indu" Anil Ganguly
Kabhi Kabhie Pooja Khanna Yash Chopra
1977 Doosra Aadmi Nisha Ramesh Talwar
1978 Chameli Memsaheb Chameli[19] Indar Sen Bangla film
Trishna Aarti S. Gupta Anil Ganguly
Kasme Vaade Suman Ramesh Behl
Trishul Geeta Yash Chopra
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar Kaamna Prakash Mehra
1979 Hamare Tumhare Maya Umesh Mehra
Jurmana Rama Sharma Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Kaala Patthar Dr. Sudha Sen Yash Chopra
Shyamla Joginder Shelly
1980 Lootmaar Raksha Bhagat Dev Anand
Aanchal Shanti Anil Ganguly
Hum Kadam Indu Gupta Anil Ganguly
Shaan Sheetal Kumar Ramesh Sippy
1981 Rocky Parvati Sunil Dutt
Laawaris Vidya Prakash Mehra
Dhuaan Dulal Guha
Barsaat Ki Ek Raat Shakti Samanta
Anusandhan Rajni Shakti Samanta Bengali/ Hindi
Baseraa Sharda Balraj Kohli Ramesh Talwar
Shradhanjali Anil Sharma
1982 Yeh Vaada Raha Mrs. Sharda Rai Bahadur Kapil Kapoor
Taaqat Devi Narendra Bedi
Shriman Shrimati Parvati Devi Vijay Reddy
Bemisal Kavita Chaturvedi (Sakhi) Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Dil Aakhir Dil Hai Kusum Desai Esmayeel Shroff
Shakti Sheetal Ramesh Sippy -
1983 Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka Anil Sharma
1984 Anand Aur Anand Mrs. Arun Anand Dev Anand
Bandh Honth Raj Marbros
Parama Parama Aparna Sen Bengali
Zindagi Jeene Ke Liye K.S. Sethu Madhavan
Zameen Aasmaan Kavita Bharat Rangachary
1985 Pighalta Aasman Aarti Shammi
Saaheb Sujata Sharma Anil Ganguly
1986 Amma Shanta Jiten
Zindagani Sumitra Devi Prabhat Roy
1987 Muqaddar Ka Faisla Laxmi Prakash Mehra
Dacait Devi Choudhrain Rahul Rawail
1988 Gold Medal Shobha / Dimple Ravikant Nagaich
Mere Baad Vidya Vishwamitra
Falak Durga Verma Shashilal K. Nair
Prateek Sunanda Prabhat Roy Bengali film
Sagar Sangam Dulal Guha
1989 Ram Lakhan Mrs. Sharda Pratap Singh Subhash Ghai
Santosh Rachna Balbir Wadhawan
1990 Jeevan Ek Sangharsh Dharam Verma Rahul Rawail
1991 Saugandh Ganga Raj Sippy
Pratikar Saraswati Devi T. Rama Rao
1993 Rudaali Bhikni/Euli Kalpana Lajmi
Pratimurti Bimal Dutta
Khal Nayak Mrs. Aarti Prasad Subhash Ghai
Kshatriya Maheshwari Devi J. P. Dutta
Dil Ki Baazi Nirmala Devi Anil Ganguly
Anari K. Murali Mohana Rao
Baazigar Mrs. Shobha Sharma Abbas–Mustan
1994 Phiriye Dao Arjun's mother Chiranjit Bengali film
Vivekananda G.V. Iyer
1995 Karan Arjun Durga Singh Rakesh Roshan
Kismat Geeta Harmesh Malhotra
1996 Durjan Sanjay Bhattacharya
Jaan Rukmini Raj Kanwar
1997 Achena Atithi Ashim S. Samanta
Border Dharamvir's mother J. P. Dutta
Jeevan Yudh Mrs. Rai Partho Ghosh
Ankhon Mein Tum Ho Ranimaa (Mrs. Burman) Ashim Samanta
1998 Sham Ghansham Ganga Satyadev Singh Ashok Ghai
Barood Gayetri Sharma Pramod Chakravorty
Soldier Geeta Malhotra Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla
1999 Baadshah Chief Minister Gayatri Bachchan Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla
Dil Kya Kare Prakash Jha
2001 Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love Pratima Kapoor Suneel Darshan
2003 Talaash: The Hunt Begins Purnima Suneel Darshan
Dil Ka Rishta Mrs. Sharma Naresh Malhotra
Shubho Mahurat Ranga Pishima Rituparno Ghosh Bengali film
2009 Classmates
2019 Nirbaan Bijolibaba Goutam Halder


  1. ^ "Rakhee Gulzar is Unrecognizable as She Makes a Rare Public Appearance". News18. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ Saran, Renu (25 February 2014). Encyclopedia of Bollywood–Film Actresses. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-93-5083-691-0.
  3. ^ "Raakhee". Film World. T.M. Ramachandran. February 1972. p. 11. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Three's company". Pune Mirror. 16 September 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  5. ^ "The only memory". Pune Mirror. 29 May 2011. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  6. ^ Lalwani, Vickey (18 September 2012). "Today's hits are 7-day wonders: Rakhee". Mumbai Mirror. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Rakhee Gulzar interview: 'My reward is when people come up to me even now and say they recognise me'". 7 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Raakhee and Gulzar's love story". The Times of India. 16 September 2013. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Women directors scale Bollywood". BBC News. 21 February 2002. Archived from the original on 6 June 2004. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  10. ^ "On the Shelf". The Indian Express. 11 January 2004.
  11. ^ "Bipasha to rebuild home to suit her 'energy'". Sify. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  12. ^ Dasgupta, Priyanka (24 February 2009). "Rakhee-Meghna delight on Gulzar's win". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  13. ^ Mukherjee, Shreya (30 July 2018). "Meghna Gulzar on parents Rakhee and Gulzar: I learned dignity from my mother and simplicity from my father". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  14. ^ De, Hemchhaya (28 October 2018). "The life and times of Rakhee Gulzar". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  15. ^ "37th Annual BFJA Awards". BFJA. Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  16. ^ 21st National Film Awards Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. ^ Phani Sarma (1978). অসমীয়া কথাছবি.
  19. ^ "1978 Bangla Cinema Chameli Memsaheb". Retrieved 1 February 2020.