Hema Malini was born into a conservative Brahmin family and was first rejected by a South Indian director. She debuted in Hindi films as a heroine in Raj Kapoor starrer Sapnon Ka Saudagar. Her mother would accompany her on film shoots even after she emerged as Bollywood queen. Admired for her beauty she came to be known as "Dream Girl" after she starred in a film of the same name. She had numerous successes and was popular in her pairing with Dharmendra. They became a real life couple as well despite Dharmendra being a married man.
She continues to perform as a classical dancer, is a politician and returned to films starring opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Baghban. Hema has two daughters Esha, who is an actress, and Ahana.