Hema Malini

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Hema Malini, the "Dream Girl" (2007)

Hema Malini (born October 16, 1948) is a popular Indian film actress, director and producer, and most importantly an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer. After initially starting as a dancer, she followed an acting career with debut in Sapno Ka Saudagar and from then on she has acted and directed in scores of popular Bollywood films. She is known by the epithet "Dream Girl" from the time of her debut film. She has continued with her repertoire of dancing performances. She has also released a music album of devotional songs scripted by Adi Shankarachrya. She is now also a politician and a member of Raja Sabha in the Parliament of India and belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is recipient of the national civilian award of Padma Shri, apart from numerous awards for her films and dancing. The Norwegian Government issued a postal stamp in her honour marking the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema at the Bollywood film festival held in Norway on 7 September 2012.


  • My interest was dance and, in the beginning, I didn't enjoy acting at all. It was my mother who brought me into films and who looked after my career. I remember each time a producer came to meet her, my only reaction was, 'Oh God, another year of my life gone.'
  • Politics is a jungle where destinies change every evening.
    • Her reflective note. Data India. Press Institute of India. 2007. 
  • I am glad I got to be part of such a historic film,” she says and pauses to think. And then adds, “The movie is still popular and that’s great. It also means that for as long as people remember the film, I will also be there in their memories. That’s special. And of course, it is not just Sholay but people also remember me for Seeta Aur Geeta. When I am in the U.S., I love travelling in cabs. And there have been times when Russian cab drivers recognised me and hummed a few tunes from the movie!


Hema Malini
Hema Malini in a dance performance

Sommya, Bhawana / Jigna Kothari / Supriya Madangarli. MOTHER MAIDEN MISTRESS. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 1976–. ISBN 978-93-5029-485-7. 

  • Though I was too young to understand the complexities of marriage, I understand that the premise of their disagreement was unfair. Why must a woman have to give up her passion after marriage when the same is never asked of a man.
    • In the film Abhinetri where she played the role of dancer where after marriage she was expected to give up her career. Page 1976
  • It has been my most appreciated performance to date and though I have played myriad characters over the years, some how none was as complex or as passionate as Suadamini. The director later told me that the only reason he cast me was because I was a dancer and capable of delivering navarasas [nine forms].
    • About her acting in Suadamini page=1977
  • I was cast opposite multiple heroes and as luck would have it, the chemistry worked with most.
    • In page=1977
  • Learning the long lines and delivering them in one take was a nightmare, but Rameshji helped me as also the fact that I have a good memory. It is only when you become successful that you realize how everything contributes to your success.
    • On her delivery of long dialogue In the film Sholay, page 1978
  • So many roles, so many trends, so many kinds of cinema and so many stories…I have projected different images during different decades, voiced different concerns –sometimes as a daughter, sometimes as a wife and mother- but often I ask myself if things have really changed. I am not sure.
    • Page=1979
  • I made a serial called Nupur in which I danced for one particular shloka of Soundarya Lahari . The show was mostly about dance. It is then that I started learning to chant Soundarya Lahari . …People only know me as an actor and a dancer but recently I thought about doing this album.

About Hema Malini

  • One day she will be the biggest star of the Indian screen.
    • Raj Kapoor after taking her screen test for his film Sapno ka Saudagar.in "MOTHER MAIDEN MISTRESS". Page=1976.
  • It has been more than three decades but Hema Malini’s passion for dance has not diminished. Starting in the early 70s with solo Bhratanatyam performances, the diva has reinvented herself at every stage of her career. When she felt that the pure classical dance form would not be appreciated by a less aware audience, she expanded her art form to include ballets.
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