Mumbai: Veteran actress Hema Malini is elated to learn that her husband Dharmendra will be honoured with a Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian award, and says that the honour was long due.
"I am obviously very happy that Dharamji is getting the Padma Bhushan. It was long due and I am glad that the government of India is conferring the title to him," Hema told IANS.
"He has worked with the best of actors, directors and technicians in his career. I doubt any other actor can boast of such extensive and successful career in Bollywood. Dharamji is very shy so he doesn't speak much about himself," she added.
Hema Malini said that the Padma Bhushan for Dharmendra was long overdue.
The actress married Bollywood's original 'He Man' in 1980 and the couple has two daughters -- Esha and Ahana.
"I keep telling him that he must act in more films. I feel happy when his work gets appreciated. Such kind of national honour is always appreciated," she said.
Dharmendra, 76, is known for films like 'Bandini', 'Satyakam', 'Sholay', 'Chupke Chupke' and 'Seeta Aur Geeta'. He was recently seen in movies like 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' and 'Tell Me O Kkhuda'.
He has been chosen for the prestigious honour along with actress Shabana Azmi and filmmaker Mira Nair in the art-cinema category.