Zeenat Aman was born to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father Amanullah whowas one of the writers for the classic "Mughal-e-Azam", on November19th, 1951. Zeenat was an only child and her parents divorced when shewas a little girl. A graduate of Saint Xavier's school in Bombay. Herfather passed away when she was 13.
Zeenat won a scholarship to studyin California. Upon her return she started working as reporter and wasintroduced to modeling by friends. Her most prominent ad campaign wasthe Pond's 7 day to better complexion. Zeenat entered the Miss Indiacontest and was the third runner up, to go to Miss Asia/Pacific a titleshe later won - being the first Indian to ever win that title (the sametitle was brought to Indian a second time in 2000 by Diya Mirza). Zeenat was introduced to the movie screen by O.
P. Ralhan in Hulchul withKabir Bedi and later repeated by again by Ralhan in a cameo in Hungama. Both films sunk without trace. Zeenat was the third choice for thejunkie 'Janice/Jasbeel' character in Dev Anand's 'Hare Rama HareKrishna',(1971) opposite himself and the then reigning queen Mumtaz. Upon completion of shooting, Zeenat began packing bags to move to Maltawith her mother and German step father (Mr.
Heinz) for his job posting. When Dev Anand received feedback on rushes for the film, he insistedthat Zeenat and her parents hold off on the move until the film isreleased and its fate decided, with reluctance they agreed. The filmwas an instant hit and Zeenat walked away with all the accoladesshunning Mumtaz - never before had the Hindi cinema seen a newcomerovershadow the reigning queen. She won the Filmfare Award as BestSupporting Actress. For the first time, the Indian audience accepted awoman who played a 'less than pure' role in a movie.
Zeenat went on to revolutionize the Hindi film actress. She was thefirst Indian actress who refused bouffants, cropped a bob at the heightof her career and hardly appeared in saris and bindis and could easilycarry off a bikini dress without looking vulgar. She took on roles ofthe modern urban Indian woman, who made no excuses and took noprisoners. Her characters contemplated abortion to pursue a career(Ajnabee (1974) or dumping a poor lover to pursue a rich man (RotiKapada Aur Makaan (1974), and still manage to win audience's approval. She pursued Vijay Arora by strumming her guitar singing "Churaliya hai"in the Nasir Hussain's hit film "Yaadon Ki Barat" (1973), foughtalongside Amitabh Bachchan as a revenge-seeking action heroine in "Don"(1978).
Even though Raj Kapoor's "Satyam Shivam Sundaram" (1977) didn'tdo well, Zeenat was able to break barriers by kissing her leading manon the mouth for the first time on the Indian screen post-Independenceand receiving a Best Actress Filmfare nomination. She received anotherFilmfare nomination as Best Actress for the controversial hit film"Insaaf Ka Tarazu" (1980) where she played a justice-seeking rapesurvivor. Dev Anand promoted Zeenat in 70's by signing 7 films with herof which 4 were blockbusters. Rajesh Khanna-Zeenat Aman were pairedopposite each-other in 4 films in 1974-84 period and 3 wereblockbusters. and Shashi Kapoor-Zeenat gave 7 super-hit films off the10 they did together.
Zeenat began a new trend, helping launch careersfor male actors - something Indian actresses never did. She signedInsaf Ka Tarazu with then unknown Raj Babbar and Deepak Prashar, signedfilms opposite even Mithun, Kanwaljeet Singh (Ashanti) and Tariq Ali(Hum Kissi se Kum Nahin and Yadon Ki Baarat). She had a tumultuousfirst marriage to Sanjay Khan which ended in divorce. Zeenat had a longstring of super successes throughout her career but towards the end ofher career she took on mature roles in Bhavani Junction, Haathon kiLakeerain, Bandhan Kacche Dhagon Ka etc. the movies did averagebusiness at the box office as by late 80's cinema shifted its focus tofront bench whistlers.
At that time Zeenat settled in matrimony withfellow actor Mazhar Khan and gave birth to two sons, turning downmultiple film offers. The marriage ended bitterly in divorce, but soonafter Mazhar died, and Zeenat's feelings about him in the press weremuch kinder. Zeenat's contribution to the Indian cinema is definitelyrecognized though not fully as yet, but in time to come she willdefinitely be remembered as the first person to introduce a lot toIndia and add several dimensions to Indian women. In summary "Sherevolutionized the portrayal of Indian Women" in its cinema. .
|1||Jaana... Lets Fall in Love||2006||as Mary Disa in Special Appearance|
|2||Professor Pyarelal||1981||as Sonia B. Singh/Asha Rai|
|3||Satyam Shivam Sundaram: Love Sublime||1978||as Rupa|
|4||Sirf Romance: Love by Chance||2007||as Durga Putri|
|5||Vakil Babu||1982||as Kalpana Choudhry/Kalpana Kumar|
|6||Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka||1977||as Veera Rai|
|7||Abdullah||1980||as Zainab (Mohammed's wife)|
|8||Ajanabee||1974||as Reshmi R. Saxena|
|9||Alibaba Aur 40 Chor||1979||as Fatima|
|10||Ameer Aadmi Gharib Aadmi||1985||as Kavita|
|12||Baat Ban Jaye||1986||as Nisha Singh|
|13||Balika Badhu||1976||as Adult Rajni|
|14||Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka||1983||as Sneh|
|15||Bhavani Junction||1985||as Reshma|
|16||Bhopal Express||1999||as Zohrabai|
|17||Bollywood Queens Vol. 2||2006||as Herself|
|18||Bombay 405 Miles||1980||as Radha|
|20||Chhailla Babu||1977||as Rita Verma|
|21||Chor Ke Ghar Chor||1978||as Meena/Maina|
|22||Chori Mera Kaam||1975||as Sharmili|
|23||Cinema Cinema||1979||as Herself|
|24||Daku Hasina||1987||as Daku Hasina|
|25||Darling Darling||1977||as Madhu/Madhavi|
|28||Dharam Veer||1977||as Rajkumari Pallavi|
|29||Dhund||1973||as Rani Ranjit Singh|
|31||Dostana||1980||as Sheetal Sahni|
|32||Geeta in Paradise||2009||as Zeenat|
|33||Gol Maal||1979||as Herself|
|34||Gopichand Jasoos||1982||as Bela/Lacho/Shano Rani|
|35||Haathon Ki Lakeeren||1986||as Geeta L. Singh|
|36||Haré Raama Haré Krishna||1971||as Jasbir Jaiswal/Janice|
|37||Heera Panna||1973||as Panna|
|38||Heeralal Pannalal||1978||as Ruby|
|39||Hooray for Bollywood||2013||as Herself - Actress|