Rajesh Khanna the superstar and the ‘soulmate’

The spotlight that she dreamt of as an aspiring actress but failed to achieve finally seems to be on Anita Advani. After she sent a notice to the family of Rajesh Khanna on July 16 claiming to be the late actor's live-in partner and seeking compensation, suddenly everybody is curious about the "other woman".

However, the alleged relationship with the late superstar isn't Advani's only connection to Bollywood. The 49-year-old's initiation into the world of glamour, in fact, dates back to 1978 when she made a debut as a background artiste and dancer in the popular heist film Shalimar at the age of 15.

Born and brought up in Mumbai's Bandra, with roots in Jaipur, Advani, say her friends, was always a "filmy girl". Claiming to be related to former Philippines president Fidel Ramos, Advani rubbed shoulders with stars early on in life at parties by her aunt and uncle that would often be attended by many Bollywood personalities.

Perhaps these interactions fuelled her dreams — as well her elder sister Kadambari's — for a career in Bollywood. However, her ambition was not realised and the only other film she is said to have done is Saazish in 1988, where her role was no bigger than that in her debut. Incidentally, the film also starred Dimple Kapadia.

The youngest of three sisters, Advani continues to live with the eldest, Shanta, while Kadambari Advani Davidson is now a devotional singer in the US. The sisters own a shop in Santa Cruz, which has been rented out while Advani also deals in the stock market.

"Anita was a stubborn, albeit friendly person. Her career in Bollywood may not have taken off, but she built a network in the industry. She hung out with members of the fraternity, such as actresses Anju Mahendroo and Reena Roy, and considered herself part of it too," says a source and friend of Advani's.

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