Waheeda Rehman: The 8 Best Movies Of India’s Enduring Cultural Icon

Updated on 5 Mar, 2014 at 8:21 pm


Waheeda Rehman is a graceful beauty, who has adorned the Indian screens for nearly 6 decades. She was a rare combination of elegant beauty, dancing skills and talent which put her among the elite few actress of Bollywood. No other actress could do justice to the song Chaudhvin ka Chaand ho, like she did. Born in a Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu, Waheeda Rehman aspired to be a doctor; a dream cut short by her father’s untimely death. She made her debut in Telugu film ‘Rojulu Marayi’, as a dancing child artist to support her family. Since then she has performed in a number of memorable films, especially with Guru Dutt and Dev Anand. She has been widely recognized for her contribution to Indian film industry.  Here is the list of 8 unforgettable movies of Waheeda Rehman.

8. Neel Kamal

Neel Kamal, directed by Ram Maheswari was released in 1968. Waheeda Rehman was paired with Manoj Kumar and Raaj Kumar in this thriller love story. Her performance as a suffering daughter in law, whose sleep walking leads to suspicion won her Filmfare Best Actress Award for Neel Kamal in 1968.

Neel Kamal

7. Ram aur Shyam


In 1967, Waheeda Rehman starred opposite the superstar Dilip Kumar in a box office hit Ram aur Shyam along with Mumtaz. Based on the story of Alexandre Dumas’s story ‘The Corsican Brothers’ and a remake of Telugu hit Ramudu Bheemudu, Ram aur Shyam is one of the 3 films she co-starred with Dilip Kumar besides Aadmi and Dil Diya Dard Liya.

Ram aur Shyam

6. Reshma aur Shera

Waheeda Rehman received National Film Award for Best Actress for Reshma Aur Shera in 1971. She starred opposite Sunil Dutt in a film which is set against the backdrop of feuds between clans of Rajasthan. The film was critically acclaimed internationally and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival and was also an Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 44th Academy Awards. reshma-aur-shera

5. Kaagaz Ke Phool

Kaagaz Ke Phool, is the only movie produced by Guru Dutt which was termed a box-office disaster. Waheeda Rehkman played the lead role of lady Shanti, who stands by the director who is hit by his personal tragedy.  Though initially it did not earn recognition, the film was later resurrected as a world cinema cult classic in the 1980s. kagaaz k phol

4. Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam

Though the film belonged to tragedy queen Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman stunned the audience with her screen presence, innocence and beauty in this film which tells the story of the fall of the zamindars and feudalism in Bengal under the British Raj. This is one of those rare Bollywood movies which achieve both critical and commercial success. Waheeda Rehman was nominated for Filmfare Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Jaba.

sahib biwi aur ghulam


3. Pyaasa

Waheeda Rehman plays the role of Gulabo, a prostitute with a heart of gold which is now a common feature of Bollywood movies. She falls in love with a struggling poet who is ridiculed and sidelined by everyone and eventually helps him get his poems published. She is true admirer of his poetry. Pyaasa was one of the most commercially successful movies of the year; moreover, it has a large cult following in France and Germany even to this day. pyaasa

2. Chaudhvin Ka Chaand

The song and the movie can be considered an ode to the resplendent beauty of Waheeda Rehman. In a romantic love triangle set in Lucknow, the film was a great commercial success after the box-office of Khagaz ke Phool by Guru Dutt.  Waheeda Rehman shines as Jameela in the film which has captured her beauty to the fullest. Chaudhvin Ka Chaand

1. Guide


Guide brings one of the most successful and charismatic pairs – Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman together on the screen. Waheeda Rehman was loved and admired in the film, especially for the evergreen song, “Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai” which also showed her skill as a Bharatnatyam dancer. Guide is the first film to win all four of the major Filmfare awards for Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Guide

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