Waheeda Rehman's Journey, From CID Debut To India's Top Film Honour

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the country's highest film honour and is given by the government

Waheeda Rehman's Journey, From CID Debut To India's Top Film Honour

Waheeda Rehman in a still from Guide. (Courtesy: WaheedaRehman)

New Delhi:

Yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman, the star of ageless classics such as Guide and Kaagaz Ke Phool, is all set to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2021, tweeted Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.  The veteran star is being honoured for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the country's highest film honour and is given by the government. In a post on X, Anurag Thakur wrote, "I feel an immense sense of happiness and honour in announcing that Waheeda Rehman ji is being bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema.” (Read the full story here.) Not to miss, the announcement coincides with legendary actor Dev Anand's birth centenary. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002. A sweet connection here: Waheeda Rehman shared the screen space with Dev Anand in her debut film CID.

Now on this special day, let us take a look at Waheeda Rehman's journey:

Her memorable films 

Waheeda Rehman made her Hindi film debut with Guru Dutt's crime thriller CID in 1956. The film also featured Dev Anand. He played the role of a police officer in the film, directed by Raj Khosla. Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand went on to work together in a total of seven movies  Solva Saal (1958), Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961), Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962), Kala Bazar (1960), Guide (1965) and Prem Pujari (1970). 

Apart from Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman has worked with many stalwarts of the film industry like Kishore Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar. Other top works of the actress include Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Chaudhavi Ka Chand (1960), Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962), Bees Saal Baad (1962), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), Khamoshi (1969), Patthar Ke Sanam (1967), Trishul (1978), Shagoon (1964), Baazi (1968), Mahaan (1983), Naseeb (1981) and Palki (1967).

Waheeda Rehman has also worked with Abhishek Bachchan in Delhi-6 (2009), as well as Aamir Khan in the 2006 release Rang De Basanti. 

She was last seen in Skater Girl, a 2021 coming-of-age sports drama.

Waheeda Rehman and Guru Dutt

The world is no stranger to Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman's alleged romance. During one of her interviews, the veteran actress had said, "I know we are public figures, but I strongly believe my private life should remain private. What ultimately matters and concerns the world is the work we left behind."

Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman also delivered one too many super hit films, including Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Chaudhavi Ka Chand (1960), Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962), Kala Bazar (1960) and 12 O'Clock (1958).

Waheeda Rehman's love for dance

In a career spanning over five decades, Waheeda Rehman has delivered a slew of path-breaking performances. The 1965-release Guide, which emerged as a cult classic, is certainly one of them. Waheeda Rehman portrayed Rosie, a rebellious character, at a time when the film industry was not open to such roles for females. Talking about her experience, Waheeda Rehman had said, "When I signed Guide, my colleagues in the industry said that I was doing a big mistake. They even said that this might be my last film because that was the phase when actresses in the industry were portrayed as submissive women. We used to do love stories or family dramas where women were ideal in every role.” 

Waheeda Rehman revealed that she took up the role in Guide also because she wanted to showcase her dancing prowess. She said, "As I was born and brought up in a Muslim family, people never believed that I could dance. I am a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and I told Dev [Anand] (who also happened to be the co-director of the film) not to cut out my dance sequences while editing because it was my dream to work in a dance-based film. I underwent rigorous training for 15 days to perform one dance sequence.” 

Waheeda Rehman's famous dance numbers

Some of Waheeda Rehman's top dance performances include Piya Tose Naina and Mose Chhal Kiye Jaaye from Guide, Rangeela Re from Prem Pujari, Paan Khaye Saiyaan Humaro from Teesri Kasam, Jungle Me Mor Nacha from Shatranj, Sharma Ke Yun Na Dekh from Neel Kamal and Matwali Naar from Ek Phool Chaar Kante.

A look at her awards

Waheeda Rehman was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1972 and Padma Bhushan in 2011. She won the National Award for Best Actress in 1971 for Reshma Aur Shera. 

Waheeda Rehman won Filmfare Awards for Best Actress in 1966 for Guide and 1968 for Neel Kamal. 

Waheeda Rehman was also the first recipient of the Centenary Award for the Indian Film Personality of the Year.