Rakesh Bapat changed his name to Raqesh Vashisht but everything else about him remains unchanged, his dimpled smile, his soft-spoken manner and his charm that has girls swooning over him. His father is a navy captain and his mother is a teacher. It is known that Rakesh changed his surname to Vashisht due to career problem. Raqesh has great interest in painting, horse riding, playing tennis, sculpting, singing, playing the flute and sitar.
Raqesh made his screen debut together with Himanshu Malik in Anubhav Sinha's Tum Bin in 2001. After the success of Tum Bin, Anubhav Sinha again cast him as a solo lead in Kuchh Dil Ne Kaha opposite Raima Sen, which bombed at the box office. After that he starred in a few average films like Dil Vil Pyar Vyar in 2002 and Koi Mere Dil Mein Hai in 2005, but none of these films clicked. Raqesh failed to make a mark at the box-office and decided to turn to television. Raqesh has also done ads for Colgate, Wrigley's chewing gum, SSI-Education and Lux, Fiama di wills with Deepika Padukone, etc.
Raqesh made his debut in the Zee serial, Saat Phere. With his cute looks and talent, Raqesh earned instant recognition on the small screen within a short span of time. He chose to leave and sacrifice his time in the daily serial Saat Phere, due to a Hollywood movie. He has played the role of Anuj in the NDTV Imagine show Ek Packet Umeed. He depicted the role of an MBA graduate who helps run Umeed Bhavan and is in love with Sujata (role played by Rupali Ganguly) who is the daughter of the head of Umeed Bhavan. Raqesh also played the role of Karan Mehra in Simply Sapne as the main actor replaced by Gautam Rode. Shlok is the character he played in Seven (TV series) on Sony Entertainment Television. The show was produced under the banner of Yash Raj Television. He is recently seen as male protagonist Aditya in the Star Plus show Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak?.
Raqesh is all set to play the role of the antagonist in A New Love Iisshstory written by Vipul K Rawal of Iqbal (film) fame and directed by John Matthew Matthan which is set to release in early 2011.
A Grasim Mr. India (1999) first runner-up title holder
1st September 1978