Rakhee Gulzar

- Vikram Chandiramani 

Raakhee, besides Moushumi Chatterji, was another married Bengali actress to make it in Hindi films. However, it was not easy. She was married to Ajoy Biswas, a journalist and director. After a screen test, she was not selected even for the film he was directing (Sambandh). Rajshri Films gave her the first break opposite Dharmendra in `Jeevan Mrityu` (1970). The film was a hit and a career began.
However, her marriage suffered and she opted for a divorce.    

Her haunting beauty and talent (`Daag`) win her several admirers. At the peak of her career she married once again. The man was Gulzar. Unfortunately, this marriage too didn't work out. While the couple didn't divorce, they separated. Raakhee made a comeback to films and followed several silver jubilee hits Tapasya and Kabhie Kabhie (1975), Trishul and Muqqadar Ka Sikander (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Laawaris 1981).

Interestingly, both her husbands were romantically involved with Meena Kumari. A Meena Kumari hang-up has always been visible in Raakhee. This turned her into an alcoholic and also aged her faster. But, like Meena Kumari, her strong point was an expressive face and an equally animated dialogue delivery, which helped her make her presence felt. Unlike most of her contemporaries who faded away or cribbed for not getting meaty roles, Raakhee happily accepted mother roles. She even agreed to play mother to Amitabh, once her romantic lead, in `Shakti` and continued playing mother roles in several films.

The films include `Ram Lakhan` (1989), `Khalnayak` (1993) and `Karan Arjun` (1995) where she has played mother to Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
The intensity with which she once projected her love was transferred to strength to becoming an avenging angel in `Karan Arjun` and several other films.

Raakhee loves to cook fish curry and every member has tasted it at least once.