Free Press Journal

15 lesser known facts about Hema Malini on her 68th birthday



The Dream Girl of Bollywood, Hema Malini turns 68 today. From her acting career to her notable-movies, the actor-turned-politician’s contribution to the Indian Cinema has always remained praiseworthy. The actress has always made headlines for her personal, political and social life. On her birthday, October 16, check out some interesting facts about the gorgeous actress.


Hema Malini is a 10th standard dropout as she always wanted to get into films. In 2012, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Singhania University in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Faced rejection

In 1964, she was rejected by Tamil director CV Sridhar for not being a ‘star material’. The role was later grabbed by Jayalalitha. Hema Malini got her first break in 1965 with a small role in a film called Pandava Vanavasam.

Bollywood debut

Hema’s Bollywood debut was opposite Raj Kapoor in Sapno Ka Saudagar (1968). Though the film didn’t perform well, she was praised for her work and was signed for Johny Mera Naam and Tum Haseen Main Jawaan opposite Dev Anand and Dharmendra respectively. Both the films were super hit.

Awards and acknowledgement

The dream girl got her first Filmfare award for Seeta aur Geeta in 1972. She was also felicitated with Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was awarded Padma Bhushan for her contribution to Indian Cinema.

For repeatedly raising her voice to oppose cruelty to animals and for her staunch commitment to a humane vegetarian diet, she has won the title PETA Person of the Year in 2011.

Highest paid actress

She was the fourth highest paid actress in 1971-1975 and the second highest paid actress in 1976-1980 and 1982-1985 along with Zeenat Aman.

Trend setter

Hema Malini was amongst the first few actresses to wear bell bottoms and shirts on Silver Screen.

Marriage proposal

In her autobiography ‘Hema Malini: The Authorized Biography’ she reveals that Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kapoor, two of the biggest superstars of the retro era, approached her with marriage proposal. But it was Dharmendra who won her heart.

Dharmendra bribed light boys

During a scene in Sholay where Veeru (Dharmendra) is seen teaching pistol to Basanti (Hema Malini), Dharmendra paid the light boys to repeatedly make mistakes during the shots so that he gets a chance to embrace the actress.

Met soul mate

Hema Malini met her love Dharmendra on the sets of ‘Tum Haseen Main Jawan’. Thereafter, the couple did more than 40 films together.

Converted to Islam

As Dharmendra was already married and had four children, Hema Malini and Dharmendra converted to Islam. Post conversion Hema was named Aisha Bi R Chakravarty and Dharmendra was named Dilwar Khan.

Age matters

Hema Malini is six year elder to Sunny Deol –Dharmendra’s son from Prakash Kaur.

Kapoor connection

Hema has more than 150 films to her credit. She is the only actress in Bollywood who has acted opposite all Raj Kapoor clan actors.

Raj Kapoor – Sapno Ka Saudagar
Shammi Kapoor – Andaaz
Shashi Kapoor – Trishul
Randhir Kapoor – Haath ki Safaai
Rishi Kapoor – Ek Chaadar Maili Si

Hema’s gift to Bollywood

Shah Rukh Khan is Hema Malini’s gift to Bollywood. She was the one who gave Bollywood break to King Khan after watching him in Fauji (TV Serial). Hema signed him for Dil Ashana Hai (1992) which is also her directorial debut.

Love for art

Hema Malini is the founder of Natya Vihar Kalakendra, an institution committed to create and spread the Indian mythological themes from the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata through the medium of dance.

Politics calling

In 1999 Lok Sabha Elections in Punjab’s Gurudaspur she campaigned for the BJP candidate and former Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna. In 2003, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by then President APJ Abdul Kalam. She officially joined BJP in 2004 and became the General Secretary in 2010. In 2014 she became an MP in the General Elections by winning the Mathura Lok Sabha seat.

There’s a whole lot more to say about the actress. But now all we can say is ‘Happy Birthday’!