New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The ethereal Waheeda Rehman, best known for her performances in movies like 'Pyaasa' and 'Guide', has been chosen to receive the Padma Bhushan, the nation's third highest civilian award, on the eve of Republic Day.
Waheeda, currently not in India, was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 1972.
Born into a Muslim family in Tamil Nadu, the 74-year-old veteran started her tryst with Indian cinema with Telugu film 'Jayasimha' in 1955 and a year later made her debut in Bollywood with 'C.I.D', in which she played a small role.
A Guru Dutt discovery, Waheeda got her big break in her mentor's 'Pyaasa' and later she featured in his cinematic masterpieces like 'Kaagaz Ke Phool', 'Chaudhvin Ka Chand' and 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam'.
Waheeda also featured in 'Guide' with Dev Anand. Based on R.K. Narayan's novel, it is considered a most remarkable movie for its screenplay, direction, performances and music. In fact the film bagged all the main Filmfare awards of the year including the actress for her.
She is also known for her dance and one sees her graceful moves in songs like 'Paan khaye sainyaan hamaro', 'Kaanton se kheench ke yeh aanchal' and 'Piya tose naina'.
She continued to do various films through the 1970s and 1980s, but after 'Lamhe' in 1991, she took a long sabbatical. It was only over a decade later that she returned to the big screen with projects like 'Om Jai Jagadish', 'Water', 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Delhi 6'.
Waheeda won her first National Award for her performance in the 1971 film 'Reshma Aur Shera'.
She has received accolades and awards galore during her over five-decade-long movie career including Filmfare best actress trophy for 'Neel Kamal' in 1968. She received the Filmfare lifetime achievement award in 1994, and is also a recipient of the NTR National award for 2006.