Rekha is one of the rare celebrities who have been extremely vocal about their personal lives, and yet so little is known about it. Her career and life have been marred with numerous ups and downs and here we take a look at her journey through photos.

Born to actors Pushpavalli and Gemini Ganesan, Bhanurekha Ganesan started working in films when she was just 4 years old. Her first project was the Telugu movie Inti Guttu. 

Here we look at a photo from the time when she was a child. 

rekha childhood photo
Source: WikiPedia

In 1970, she made her Hindi movie debut with Sawan Bhadon, which got people to notice her camera presence.

rekha in sawan bhadon
Source: Inuth
Rekha in sawan bhadon
Source: Twitter/Film History Pics

While things seemed to be going well for her, she would often be criticised for not looking like a "quintessential movie heroine", a concept we are still struggling to get rid of.

Rekha always seemed unhinged, and openly talked about issues. She also discussed how she underwent physical transformation through yoga and worked on her Hindi. 

rekha early career
Source: Inuth
Rekha early career
Source: Times of India

Rekha worked on changing herself and it was for everyone to see (should mention here that we think she has always looked gorgeous).

rekha in movie ghar
Source: YouTube
rekha in her career
Source: DNA India

Career-wise, she was only climbing up. With movies like Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Khubsoorat, she had started establishing herself as one of the biggest names in the industry.

Her true breakthrough, however, came with the movie Umrao Jaan, for which she was presented with the National Award for Best Actress.

Rekha In Umrao Jaan
Source: The Indian Express
Rekha in Umrao Jaan
Source: The Hindu

It was around this time that Silsila also released. This was the last movie where she was seen alongside Amitabh Bachchan, with whom she was linked relentlessly and emphatically.

There were also rumours that she got married to Vinod Mehra, but she denied the same.

amitabh bachchan and rekha
Source: India Today
rekha in silsila
Source: Rediff

While there was no denying the fact that she was the reigning queen of the industry, a lot of unfortunate things happened in Rekha's personal life during the years that followed.

She got married to business Mukesh Agarwal in 1990, who died by suicide the same year. In what was truly an unfortunate turn of events, she was blamed for his death and his family members went as far as calling her a "dayan".

rekha with her husband mukesh
Source: Tribune
rekha with her family
Source: Bollywood Shaadis

After this, she stopped getting good roles as many producers were scared of working with her. This led to a decline in her career. 

She started doing 1-2 movies per year and even those did not get her much appreciation. Her pairing against Akshay Kumar in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi got a lot of headlines though. She also received a Filmfare award for that role.

rekha in khiladiyon ka khiladi

Beyond this, she did not get many meaty roles as the protagonist but did great work in films like Zubeidaa and Lajja.

Source: Cinestaan

Fans don't know much about what's going on with her life right now, but Rekha continues to make appearances on reality shows and award functions.

rekha making public appearances
Source: Cinestaan

Incredibly talented, gorgeous, and fascinating to say the least.