On Tuesday, 26 September, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur announced that veteran actor Waheeda Rehman will be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 — the highest recognition in the field of Indian cinema.
Regarded one of India’s finest actors, Waheeda Rehman is best known for films like Pyaasa (1957), CID (1956), Guide (1965), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Khamoshi (1969), and Trishul (1978).
Interestingly, the announcement coincides with the late actor Dev Anand’s centenary year celebrations.
Dev Anand was Waheeda Rehman’s co-star in Guide which brought her name and fame. Dev Anand received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002.
‘A Fitting tribute’
Anurag Thakur took to his official X account to make the announcement.
“I feel an immense sense of happiness and honour in announcing that Waheeda Rehman ji is being bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema,” the minister wrote.
Thakur wrote, “At a time when the historic Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam has been passed by Parliament, her being awarded this lifetime achievement award is a fitting tribute to one of the leading ladies of Indian Cinema and one who has dedicated her life after films to philanthropy and the greater good of society.”
“I congratulate her and humbly pay my regards to her rich body of work that is an intrinsic part of our film history,” Thakur further said in his post on the microblogging site.
I feel an immense sense of happiness and honour in announcing that Waheeda Rehman ji is being bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema.
Waheeda ji has been critically acclaimed for her…
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) September 26, 2023
Over 70 years of acting career
Waheeda Rehman, 85, made her acting debut with the 1955 Telugu films Rojulu Maraayi with Akkineni Nageshwara Rao and Jayasimha with Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.
She made her Hindi cinema debut with CID, the 1956 film headlined by Dev Anand.
In a career spanning over five decades, the legendary actor worked in more than 90 films across languages. She received a National Film Award for her role as a clanswoman in Reshma and Shera (1971).
She is already the recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
Rehman was last seen in Skater Girl, a 2021 coming-of-age sports drama.
All about iconic Guide
In Economic Times, remembering Dev Anand, Waheeda Rahman wrote that she met Dev Anand on the sets of CID, “I was a fan, but never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be working with him in my first Hindi film.”
She further wrote: “He never made me feel like ki main newcomer hoon aur woh established star hain. He made me feel so comfortable aur naturally woh ek understanding thi, toh humne ek ke baad ek saat (seven) picturein ki. And the best was of course, (Guide) saari duniya janti hai. He was so charming and decent. Kabhi kisi ki burai nahi karte thay”.
She also shared that she was in Guide only because of Dev Anand. “He was the producer, and he had given me the contract pehle se. Unfortunately, the directors Chetan Anand and Tad Danielewski (for the US version) didn’t want me.”
“I told Dev ‘Aapke dono directors mujhe nahi pasand kar rahe. Problem ho jayegi. Aap kisi aur ko le lijiye.’ He said, ‘Are you crazy? Meri marzi hai main kise loon. I am the producer. What makes you think like that?’ I told him to ask his publicist and friend Amarjeet. He confirmed it.”
“Tad also said there’s going to be a very hot love scene. When I told Dev, he said, ‘You know I won’t do a scene like that. Tumko darane ki koshish kar rahe hain.’ Finally, although Tad stayed (for the US version, which didn’t have Waheeda), Vijay Anand aa gaye (in place of Chetan Anand for the Indian version),” she added.
When #Navketan was launching #Guide a lot of top heroines phoned #DevAnand to express their interest in portraying the role of #Rosie.
But #DevAnand was very clear that only #WaheedaRehman could do justice to the character.#Guide made history n 62 years laterremains relevant. pic.twitter.com/m6xqwF0PVA
— Bhawana Somaaya (@bhawanasomaaya) September 24, 2023
(With PTI inputs)