Biography: Vahida Rehman was born on May 14, 1936 (according to other sources, 1939) in Chengalpatta (now the territory of the state of Tamil Nadu). Her father was an officer of the Indian Administrative Service, a Muslim by religion. In addition to her, the family had three more daughters. When the family moved to Jaipur, Wahida attended school at the monastery of St. Joseph. Parents allowed her and her sister Saida to learn classical dance bharatanatyam, although this was not welcome at the time. After her father passed away in 1948, Rehman received the first offer to play in a movie, but her mother refused. Waheeda convinced her mother to give consent when she was offered to take part in the dance number of the film "Rojulu Marayi". At that moment, she was only 15 years old. Her mother passed away before her Bollywood debut in 1955.
Waheeda Rehman had a long relationship with director Guru Datt, which began during the filming of the film "Pyaasa". They broke up after the failure of their joint film "Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam" at the 1963 Berlin Film Festival. The alleged reasons for their personal and professional distance were also the married status of Guru Datt and the success of Vahida in films of other directors.
On April 27, 1974, Vahida Rehman married the actor Shashi Rekha (stage name Kamaljit) whom she met while filming the movie "Shagoon" in 1964. The couple arranged a modest nickname ceremony at Wahida’s house in Bandra, and seven years after the wedding, they moved to a farm in Bangalore. They had two children - a son Soheil (born 1975) and a daughter Kashvi (born 1976). On November 21, 2000, Shashi died after a long illness.
In 1987, when her children went to school, Vahida together with her friend Asharafa Sattar started producing breakfast cereals and organized the Good Earth Foods factory. Since due to illness Rehman husband moved to Mumbai in 2005, she sold the business, "the company Avestha Gengraine Technologies'. Since 2000, Vahida Rehman has been a goodwill ambassador for the Pratham public organization that deals with children's education issues.
Movie history Nasrin Munni Kabir, said she was going to write a book about Wahidaa Rehman. Daughter Rehman, Kashvi, said that "The book is planned as an extended interview with my mother, with funny facts about her films".
Career: Vahida Rehman played her first roles in the Telugu films Jayasimha and Rojulu Marayi (both 1955). The last of them became a hit largely due to her dance number. At a party on the occasion of the success of the film, director Guru Dutt noticed her and later invited her to Bombay. The beginning of her Bollywood career consists almost entirely of films in which Guru Dutt was a producer, director and actor. He was the producer of "CID" (1956) Raj Khosla, her first Hindi film with Dev Anand starring. This role was not central, like her previous ones, but the performance of the song "Kahin pe nigahen", when she tries to seduce the villain and give the hero a chance to escape, allowed her to demonstrate the extraordinary mobility of the face and the talent of the dancer.
Her first main role was the prostitute Gulabo in the Guru Datta film "Pyaasa" (1957). After Wahida Rehman appeared in several of his films, including Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962).
In addition to Guru Datt, Vahida worked well with Dev Anand. After "CID", the couple released such hits as "Solva Saal" (1958) and "Kala Bazar" (1960). The last film was produced by Dev Anand himself (Navketan Films company), and the director was Dev's younger brother Vijay Anand. The film also starred the elder brother, Chetan Anand (as a result of which the film became the only one where the three Anand brothers met at once). However, their partnership reached its zenith with the film "Guide" (1965). Here she played Rosie - a dancer who moves away from an imperious unloved husband to a pretty young guide. There were many doubts about whether the audience would accept such a heroine, but Vahida decided to take a risk. And this particular film brought her the first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The role of Rosie Wahida Rehman considers the best in her career.
In the same period Waheeda worked with Satyajit Rai in "Abhijan" (1962) paired with Sumitra Chatterjee. In the film, she had to speak in broken Bengali, because her character, Gulabi, lives on the border of Bangladesh. Since the actress did not know the Bengali language, the director got hold of her dialogue recordings and allowed her to practice.
One of the brightest manifestations of her talent took place in 1967 in the Third Oath of Basu Bhattacharya, where the main male role was played by Raj Kapoor. Previously, they had already been filmed together in "Ek Dil Sau Afsane". In the Third Oath, Vahida Rehman plays Hira Bai, a singer and dancer, traveling to the fair in the covered cart of the hero Raj Kapoor where she plans to perform. Playing the actress and dancer, Rehman was able to show her amazing dance skills in a number of stage performances. However, her most subtlest play in lyrical and dramatic scenes is most impressive. Mukul Kesavan wrote in an article for The Telegraph (Calcutta), that "its unparalleled ability to play characters who live on or behind the strictly respectable border protected in Hindi movies has never been better expressed".
In 1967, she was offered to replace Vijayantimala on the set of the film "Ram and Shyam" with Dilip Kumar. The film was a commercial success, and for this role she was nominated for Filmfare a second time, but did not win the award. She received her third nomination and second Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in the movie Neel Kamal (1968). For the fourth time, Waheeda was nominated for Filmfare after the film Khamoshi (1969), where she performed the role of a nurse in a mental hospital, where the hero Rajesh Khanna was placed.
In 1972 she received the National Film Award for her role in the film "Reshma and Shera" (1971), the history of Rajasthan Romeo and Juliet, filmed among the sands of the desert in the then Western aesthetics spaghetti-western style. Here her partner would be Sunil Dutt, with whom they had previously starred in "Mujhe Jeene Do" (1963) and Kohra (1964). On the set Vahida and other actors had to work in difficult conditions. The film crew spent several months living in tents in the middle of the desert, and in one scene Rehman had to stand barefoot in the sun for an hour without any umbrella, without water, when the temperature was close to 40-45°C.
Since the late 1970s, after playing the mother Jai Bhaduri in Phagun (1973), she was offered only the minor roles of mothers. Vahida Rehman played the mother of Amitabh Bachchan five times (and, in two cases, Amitabh played both father and son at the same time, so Vahid accounted for his characters and his wife and mother in the same film).
In the 1980s and '90s, she took less and less offers of filming, raising children first, then marketing her brand of cereal and spending her days on a farm in Bangalore. After the release of the film "Lamhe" (1991), Vahid left cinema and returned to shooting only 11 years later in 2002, starring in the films "Om Jai Jagadish" (2002), "Water" (2005), "Rang De Basanti" (2006) and Delhi-6 (2009).
In 2005, more than 40 years after The Journey, Vahida Rehman met again on the set with Sumitra Chatterjee in the film "Park Avenue 15" by Aparny Sen.