Originally posted by .Elixir.
Wow didnt know Hema Malini ruled for so long.Top actress for 11 or 12 odd years.
Hema's popularity can be gauged from reactions of our parents' generation!
Hers is the first name that comes to mind as the heroine "jo bahut chali thi".
She had those classical Indian beauty looks...resembling portraits of goddesses. No wonder she still plays Durga in her dance recitals often till date.
She's worked with and given hits with every actor worth his salt from those decades. If you watch 70s,80s films you can see Hema's face on calendars and posters even in films where she has not starred. She managed to get strong roles in make dominated films and women oriented films like Seeta aur Geeta. Did very well in artsy films like Kinara, Meerabai.
I've read her face was everywhere. Sari shops, beauty parlours, tea shops...
She had that true blue celeb status with all leading men swooning for her...Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar...
She is the only actress who was getting ads in late 80s/early 90s despite no longer being in her prime in those years.
I believe she has played great role in expanding role of female star with her ventures as dancer, politician, activist, editor of women's magazines, producer, director etc.
I saw an interview on TV once, in a special on Hema Malini. Some film journalist was recalling how Amitabh had said - heroine is fighting, horse riding, arguing with villain...toh hamara kya kaam hai...sab kuch toh yehi kar rahi hai - while working with Hema in a movie. That was to illustrate how she played strong roles and had substantial to do despite presence of biggest male stars in her films. It was a compliment to her stature.
One can argue on her personal life. But not on her career. She ruled!
I admire her for not exposing much and not being too explicit onscreen.
I believe she changed paradigm of typical Hindi film heroine. It was no longer just about oppressed women or pretty daddy's girls or village belles. This was one woman who knew her mind whether she was tangewali, queen, lawyer, nurse, housewife! Equally innocent, equally prone to getting angry.
I find it funny when others win top female star polls. Generation gap at play here.
Hema and Rekha are my first favorite heroines ever since I watched their old movies on Doordarshan!