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Published on 15 Jan 2010 | over 8 years ago


Sharmilee is a 1971 Hindi movie produced by Subodh Mukherjee and directed by Samir Ganguly. The film stars Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, Ranjeet, Anwar and Asit Sen. The films very popular music is by S. D. Burman. Rakhee played a double role in this film, and its success helped make her one of the decades top leading lady in Hindi films.

It is interesting to note that young Indian woman flocked to the theaters to watch the female stars of the time, like Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Sadhana, and Zeenat Aman, to see what new Western fashions, hairstyle, and make-up they were wearing. Often the new styles seen in films became the fashion rage on the street.

"Sharmilee" is also full of classic music by S.D. Burman sung by Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar. The songs, 'O Meri Sharmilee', 'Khilte Hain Gul Yahan' and the Lata-Kishore duet 'Aaj Madhosh Hua' were chart toppers. The film also was a huge hit and was instrumental in making Bengali actress Raakhee a big star in Bollywood.

Rakhee (born 15 August 1947) is a Indian film actor, who appeared in lead roles in the 1970s and 1980s, both in Hindi cinema as well as in Bengali cinema, and is most remembered for her role in Daag, Reshma Aur Shera, Sharmilee, Bemisal, Trishul, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Kabhie Kabhie and Ram Lakhan. She is popularly known as Rakhee Gulzar after her marriage with lyricist-director Gulzar .

While still a teenager, Rakhee had an arranged marriage to Bengali film director Ajay Biswas, which ended shortly and unhappily thereafter.She was offered the lead role in her first Hindi film, Rajshri Productions Jeevan Mrityu with Dharmendra in 1970, the film went on to become a big hit including its song 'Jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga.

She shot to fame in the 1971 film Sharmilee where she played a double role opposite Shashi Kapoor. Consequently she established herself as a popular and major Hindi heroine acting with the best co-stars and directors, in several blockbuster films like Heera Panna (1973), Daag (1973), Blackmail (1973) and Tapasya (1976). To her great advantage she formed an extremely popular romantic screen team with the reigning king of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan.

They went on to star in no less than eight hit films; Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1977), Kasme Vaade (1978), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Jurmana (1979), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981), and Bemisal (1982). With her main focus on good roles rather than star status, Raakhee raised eyebrows when she did not hesitate to play Amithab's elder sister-in-law in Shaan (1980) and even his mother in the film Shakti (1982), when their romantic pairing was still at the height of its popularity. She also played his dead mother in Lawaaris (1981).

Towards the mid 1980s and 1990s she played elderly mother or supporting roles in films such as Ram Lakhan (1989), Baazigar (1993), Khalnayak (1993), Karan Arjun (1995), Border (1997), Soldier (1998) and Baadshah (1999).

Her last film was Shubho Mahurat in 2003 for which she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and she has since retired from the film industry.In her second marriage She married film director, poet and lyricist, Gulzar. The couple had a daughter, Meghna Gulzar (Bosky), though when their daughter was only one year old, they separated but never divorced. Meghna Gulzar grew up with her father Gulzar and after completing her graduation in films from New York University, went on to become a film director, of films like Filhaal, Just Married and Dus Kahaniyaan , and also a biography of her father Gulzar, in 2004 .

At one point, Rakhee stayed in her bungalow, Muktangan on Sarojini Road in Khar, Mumbai, later she sold off the property and moved to an apartment two buildings away, though the new high rise is still called by the same name, as she had wished. These days she mostly stays in the Panvel farmhouse on Mumbai outskirts.
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