Rehana Sultan

Rehana Sultan (born 19 November 1950[1]) is an Indian film actress best known for her debut role in the acclaimed 1970 film Dastak which won her the National Film Award for Best Actress. A graduate of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, she is also known for another bold role in the film Chetna (1970), which got her typecast thus ending her film career, despite its promising start.[2][3][4]

Rehana Sultan
Born (1950-11-19) 19 November 1950
Allahabad, India
Alma materFTII, Pune
Years active19701992
Spouse(s)B. R. Ishara
AwardsNational Award (Best Actress), 1971


Born and raised in Allahabad to Baháʼí parents, she graduated from high school in 1967, and was selected in the same year to study acting at FTII.[5] After she graduated with a sexy role in Vishwanath Ayengar's diploma film Shadi Ki Pehli Salgirah (1967),[6] she got her break in a feature film in Rajinder Singh Bedi's Dastak (1970), making her the first actress from the Institute to land a lead role in the film industry.[7][8] She won the National Film Award for her role in that film. In the same year she also played the lead role in the film Chetna which was shot in 28 days along with the shooting of Dastak. That film was about the rehabilitation of prostitutes, and her role changed the portrayal of sex workers in Hindi cinema.[9]

Her sexy roles brought her success but also limited her choice of roles in future films. She had roles in Haar Jeet (1972), Prem Parvat (1973), and the famous political satire Kissa Kursi Ka (1977). In 1984, after starring in Vijay Anand's Hum Rahen Na Rahen (1984) with Shabana Azmi, she married writer-director B. R. Ishara, who had directed Chetna. She also appeared in a Punjabi movie Putt Jattan De (1981) with Shatrughan Sinha.



1970 Chetna Seema
Dastak Salma Ahmed National Film Award for Best Actress
1971 Padosi
Man Tera Tan Mera
1972 Tanhai
Man Jaiye Suman
Haar Jeet Kamal
1973 Prem Parbat
Dil Ki Rahen
Bada Kabutar Rita
1974 Albeli
Khhotte Sikkay Rani / Paro Ramdin
Ek Ladki Badnaam Si
1975 Yeh Sach Hai
Zindagi Aur Toofan
1976 Sajjo Rani
1977 Agent Vinod Zarina
Ooparwala Jaane
1978 Nawab Sahib
Assignment Bombay
1979 Deen Aur Imaan
Aaj Ki Dhara
1980 Sister
Agent 009
1981 Jwala Daku Rambhabai
1982 Bedard
1983 Putt Jattan De Jagat Singh's wife Punjabi
Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka Advocate Thakur
1984 Hum Rahe Na Hum Kalyani M. Sharma / Madam
1985 Aakhri Chaal TV film
1992 Surajmukhi


  1. "Happy Birthday to Rehana Sultan". ILuvCinema. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  2. Rehana Sultan who was a trailblazing 'sexy actress' The Telegraph, 25 November 2005.
  3. Anupama Chopra (28 September 2011). "Why Silk Smitha is Bollywood's favourite bad girl". NDTV Movies. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011.
  5. Down the memory lane with Rehana Sultan, 29 October 2008.
  6. The Sunday Standard, Bombay, India, 10 June 1973.
  7. Charge of the FTII brigade Screen.
  8. Merits - FTII
  9. Fallen women in Bollywood films Times of India, 26 July 2004.
  10. "The Illustrated Weekly of India". 92. 1971: 57. Retrieved 9 January 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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