Just like 'Ugly Duckling', who later transformed into a swan, Rekha came on her own after she shed a few pounds, started dressing better and choosing her role with more care. Not only that, she also corrected her Hindi for which she was ridiculed intially and also dubbed some of the films for Sridevi, as they were good friends then.
'Do Anjaane' showed her as an ambitious and greedy wife of Amitabh Bachchan. But her acting prowess came to the full attention when she portrayed a rape victim in the film 'Ghar'.
She became a household name with the film Khoobsurat and every Indian girl who wanted to rebel against the rules at home identified with the character. It gave her the Best Actress award from Filmfare. Yash Raj's Silsila brought Rekha, Amitabh Bacchcan and Jaya Bachchan together for the last time.
Although Silsila would always be noted, it was the character of Umrao Jaan, which was tailor made for the actress and gave her the National award. Her second National award was won with her film Khoon Bhari Maang.
She chose roles that not only furthered her career but also enriched the Indian Film Industry. Films such as Utsav, Vijeta and Kalyug made a permanent place for Rekha at the top.
It was during the 90's when Rekha was losing out as an actress and it was not due to her acting prowess but because the shelf life of an actress in India is very less. Yet with Koi Mil Gaya, where she played mother to Hrithik Roshan, she tried to make a come back.
59 and still youthful, Rekha would remain an enigma to many but no one can deny that she has left some very good films for the future generation.