Seduction personified. That is Rekha.

For three decades now, the actress has been setting the screen on fire, blazing a glorious trail in her wake.

On October 10, 2001, as she turns 47, we present 47 facts about the actress:

1. Rekha is the love child of actors Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavalli. Born on October 10, 1954 in Madras, her real name is Bhanurekha.

2. Her first regional film in south was her aunt Anjala Devi's Ammakosam.

3. At 13, she starred in her first Hindi film --Saawan Bhadon, opposite Navin Nischol.

4. Instantly rejected by the audiences as fat and ugly, Rekha worked her way to looking beautiful by practising yoga. The result was nothing short of a miracle.

5. She is extremely friendly on the sets of her films. She loves to converse like a child on the sets.

6. Her personal favourites among her films are Saawan Bhadon, Do Anjaane, Aalap, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Ghar, Silsila, Umrao Jaan, Khoon Bhari Maang, Ijaazat, Phool Bane Angaarey.

7. If she could change just one thing about herself, it would undoubtedly be her hips.

8. To drive her blues, Rekha loves watching the classic Kishore Kumar-Sunil Dutt-Mehmood comic caper Padosan.

9. Laura Branigan, Barbara Streisand, Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston and Sting are some western singers she enjoys listening to, besides of course, good old Hindi music.

10. Her late dog Pisti, got as much press mileage as its mistress. The little pomeranian was supposedly treated like Rekha's very own baby and given VIP treatment. Now, she pets a cat called Bhaiyyu.

11. Rekha intrigues everyone. But she herself finds the likes of Late Indira Gandhi and Oprah Winfrey commendable.

12.When every star worth his or her salt has given in to the lure of doing advertisements and commercials, Rekha remains the only glamorous celebrity not to have indulged in endorsing products.

13. While actresses like Hema Malini, Rati Agnihotri, Raakhee are content playing mothers to the latest stars, Rekha still continues to do parallel roles opposite today's stars like Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor (Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi and Zubeidaa).

14. A child at heart, Rekha loves reading comics -- Dennis The Menace and Archies, for example.

15. According to Rekha, the roles worth dying for are Madhubala's in Mughal-e-Azam, or Jessica in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

16. She regrets that she missed the opportunity to work under the legendary Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor.Rekha

17. Lamborghinis, Porches, Volkswagens, Beetles, Jaguars and Maruti 800s catch her fancy.

18. Diamonds are a girl's best friends. But for Rekha, traditional jadau, pearls and oxidised silver does the trick. Her favourite accessories are bangles.

19. Rekha has an enviable collection of tissue Kanjeevaram and chiffon saris, most of which are gold in colour.

20. New York, Rome and San Francisco are some of Rekha's favourite holiday spots.

21. Rekha is a wonderful mimic. Remember some of her antics in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Khoobsurat?

22. China Garden, Shamiana and The Thai Restaurant are her favourite restaurants in Bombay.

23. For someone who could barely speak a word in Hindi at the start of her career, Rekha not only learnt the language, but for her role as the tragic courtesan in Umrao Jaan, she also learnt the fine nuances of Urdu.

24. So far Rekha's most successful on-screen partnership has been with Amitabh Bachchan. Witness: Do Anjaane, Suhaag, Muqqadar Ka Sikander, Mr Natwarlal, Khoon Pasina, Ram Balram and Silsila.

25. Rekha's motto in life is that if you do not have control over any element in your life, then you must learn to let go. But give your best to whatever is in your control.

26. The versatile actress has been honoured time and again with prestigious awards like Filmfare award of best actress for Khubsoorat, National Award for film Umrao Jaan, Filmfare award for best actress for Khoon Bhari Maang, Filmfare award for best supporting actress for Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi. She was also awarded the UP award for the best kathak dancer in Hindi films by the King of Kathak, Pandit Lachchu Maharaj.

27. Her brief marriage to industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal came under lot of speculation after he committed suicide by hanging himself with Rekha's duppatta. One of the most trying and tough times in her life.

28. The media affectionately refers to Rekha as Re and Madame X after the infamous film she acted in, that never saw the light of day.

29. Rekha's secret behind maintaining that stunning face and figure is a regular nutritious diet and exercise.

30. Her daily routine includes drinking numerous glasses of water, avoiding fried and over cooked food, dining before eight and going to bed early.

31. She was the original choice for the coveted role of the mother in Kalpana Lajmi's Darmiyaan, which was eventually done by Kiron Kher.

32. Rekha, who ruled the roost for a whopping three decades, proved tough competition for Hema Malini, Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman in 70s, Jaya Prada and Sridevi in 80s, Madhuri Dixit and Meenakshi Sheshadri in the 90s.

33. If she had a son, she would have liked him to be like Hrithik Roshan. Her dream is realised on screen at least, as she plays reel life mom to Hrithik in his home production Koi Mil Gaya.

Rekha 34. Yash Chopra's Silsila was Rekha's most talked about art film, as her co-star was Amitabh Bachchan, her alleged beau at the time. The film bombed at the BO, but remains to be classic romance.

35. Rekha plans to direct a film at some juncture in her life, which would be a visual treat and offer a social message.

36. Rekha is a complete nature freak and loves gardening and watering her beloved plants, without fail.

37. The actress loves the colour white. Besides dressing up in white, the walls of her posh bungalow in Bandra are, reportedly, an off-white shade.

38. Rekha's secretary cum constant companion Farzana started out as a hairdresser to the actress. Farzana is apparently very possessive and protective about the glamorous star.

39. A sucker for philosophy, her most read book is Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch.

40. Since Rekha didn't lead a very fulfilled childhood, as she was busy working in the studios at a tender age, even a small gesture like someone gifting her a rose or bangles makes her emotional.

41. Till date, Rekha converses with her Silsila dialogue writer Sagar Sarhadi with dialogues from the film.

42. She is known to have a sharp memory and remembers numerous nazams, shayri and lines from her films.

43. The secret behind Rekha's miraculous change of skin colour, besides Yoga, was a special cream she purchased from Singapore. The actress, of course, denies it.

44. Not many know that the first film people Rekha approached when she came to Bombay, were Nargis and Sunil Dutt, whom she always held in high regard.

Rekha 45. Rekha, who does her own make-up learnt the art from London. She was the first to introduce the concept of oily make-up when others were into dry, talcum look.

46. A stickler for perfection, Rekha shoots with a select few fashion photographers. After the shoot, she goes through the transparencies and stills and personally decides which one should be used.

47. One of her favourite activities is to sit on the swing in her balcony and gaze at the sea.

Compiled by Sukanya Verma

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