Waheeda was born in a Tamil and Urdu-speaking family in Chengalpattu-Tamil Nadu, India. Her father was the District Magistrate which led him to be posted in several places. Tragedy visited her in 1948 when her dad passed away. Her mom passed away in 1955.
Waheeda Rehmaan combined the classic Tamil-Islamic beauty with an extraordinary grace, talent and a truly transcendent appeal that ranked her among the pantheon of Bollywood’s elite actresses. And few could dance better than she could!
She was born into a traditional Tamil Urdu speaking Muslim family on 3 February 1938, in Chengalpattu,Tamil Nadu. Growing up, she was trained in dancing, especially the Bharatnatyam dance. Her first films were Jayasimha (1955) and Rojulu Marayi (1955), both in Telegu and Kalam Mari Pochu in Tamil. These films became a huge success and established her as a hit-heroine, but it was a song Eruvaaka Sagaroranno Chinnanna in the Rojulu Marayi that got Rehman recognition in South. During success party of Rojulu Marayi, Guru Dutt noticed her and cast her in CID. The result was one of the most stunning debuts ever made in a Hindi film. As a mysterious woman named Kamini, she added a thrill to the whole film and it remains one of the most seductive and memorable roles of her career.
Yesteryear actor Waheeda Rehman will be honoured with the first Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on November 20.
The 77-year-old actor, known for her memorable performance in films like ‘Guide’ and ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’, will be given the honour in recognition of her unparalleled contribution to Indian cinema on the opening day of the 10-day festival.
Waheeda was selected unanimously by a five-member jury. The award carries a citation, a certificate, a medal (silver peacock), a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
Waheeda was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
Information & broadcasting minister Manish Tewari announced the decision on Sunday, saying the award was instituted to mark 100 years of Indian cinema.