Published 22:54 IST, May 3rd 2024

DYK: THIS Veteran Actress Was The First Choice For Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's first full-fledged series, Heermandi, marked its premiere. Can you guess which veteran actress was his first choice for the series?

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Rekha | Image: IMDb

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi, marked its premiere on Netflix, on May 1. The series has been through its fair share of complete overhauls, both in terms of vision as well as execution. Bhansali recently revealed that there was a point in time when he wanted to cast one of the most notable names from yesteryears, in a pivotal role in Heermandi. Can you guess who this actress is?


An icon through the ages

With Sanjay Leela Bhansali opening up about his initial vision for Heeramandi, one cannot help but agree how the actress in question would have been a perfect fit for the same. Though the director did not reveal which exact character he had wanted to cast the actress in, her evergreen, opulent aesthetic makes her a shoo-in for the world of Heeramandi. 


Born in 1954, this actress has managed to stay relevant and more than that, timeless, across a hefty six decades in the film industry. The name in question is none other than Rekha. Born as Bhanurekha Ganesan, Rekha began her career in front of the camera as a child artist just at 4 years of age, in the Telugu film Inti Guttu (1958). This was followed by another Telugu film, Rangula Ratnam (1966) before she finally debuted as an adult in Kannada film Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 (1969). The very next year, she marked her Bollywood debut in Sawan Bhadon, never looking back. The actress has 283 titles to her credit to date, having established a career reflecting her superstardom.

When Rekha opened up about her troubled childhood

In a previous interaction with Simi Grewal, Rekha had opened up about her tumultuous childhood. She was born to actors Pushpavalli and Gemini Ganesan. However, her father was never really part of her life. She shared, "I was a baby when he moved out of our lives. I don’t even remember the time when he was at home."


Recalling her very limited recollections of her father, she shared how she never really felt "seen" by him. Rekha added, "A couple of times he came to drop other kids, so that was my first impression of him, I was like, 'oh this is appa...' But I never had a chance to meet him. I don’t think even he noticed me there. He never saw me."


22:54 IST, May 3rd 2024