80s actress Neelam Kothari: Here's what the gorgeous beauty is up to

Updated: 09 November, 2020 12:52 IST | Nikita Wagh
  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    Born on November 9, 1967, Neelam Kothari's Gujarati-Iranian family resided in Hong Kong. The actress, best remembered for her films in the late 80s, spent most of her childhood in Hong Kong and later moved to Bangkok. Well, destiny brought Neelam to the showbiz world. (All pictures/Neelam Kothari's official Instagram account)

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni childhood pic

    After her tenth grade, Neelam came to Mumbai from Hong Kong for holiday, when she was spotted by noted filmmaker Ramesh Behl. The director, best known for films such as Kasme Vaade and Pukar, lived in the same building as Neelam in Mumbai. He offered her his film. But Neelam's family were hesitant for their daughter taking up the acting profession.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    In fact, Neelam too wasn't confident enough on taking up the film offer, since she was not too familiar with Hindi. But as destiny had it, when Neelam's parents shifted from Hong Kong to Bangkok, she found it difficult to adjust to the American style of education prevalent there as opposed to the British curriculum she was used to in Hong Kong.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    As an escape route, Neelam Kothari remembered the film offer proposed by Ramesh Behl back in Mumbai and decided to give it a shot. Neelam was 17 when she made her debut in the film industry with Jawaani (1984).

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  • Neelam Kothari with Salman Khan and Aamir Khan

    While her debut flopped at the Box Office, Neelam Kothari was noticed by quite a lot of filmmakers. Soon, she was flooded with offers.

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  • Neelam Kothari with Salman Khan and others on film set

    Neelam Kothari's pairing with Govinda had become very popular in the 80s, thanks to their chemistry in films such as Love 86 (1986), Sindoor (1986), Khudgarz (1987), Hatya (1988), Farz Ki Jung (1989), Taaqatwar (1989) and Do Qaidi (1989).

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    Other popular films of Neelam Kothari are Aag Hi Aag (1987), Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ghar Ka Chiraag (1989), Mitti Aur Sona (1989), Doodh Ka Karz (1990), Agneepath (1990), Afsana Pyaar Ka (1991), Sahebzaade (1992) and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999).

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    Not for her acting prowess, but Neelam Kothari was popular for her dainty looks, elegant fashion sense and genteel manners

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni

    Neelam Kothari's film career didn't really ever took off. She soon joined her family business of designing and selling jewellery.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with her girl gang

    In a candid chat with mid-day in 2011, Neelam Kothari was quoted saying, "I've had an interest in jewellery ever since I was a small girl. Even when I was doing films, I knew that I would take on my dad's jewellery business. In my free time, I would make it a point to head to his office and watch him at work. It might be premature to say this, but even when I have my own kids, I would want them to be interested in jewellery and take the family business forward."

    In picture: A throwback picture of Neelam's girl-gang - (From L to R) - Seema Khan, Maheep Kapoor, Shabina Khan, Gauri Khan and Bhavana Pandey.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with her girl gang

    In 2001, Neelam Kothari quit Bollywood and started out her jewellery business - Neelam Jewels. She runs multiple stores in Mumbai and is one of the most successful businesswomen in the jewellery field.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni

    On the personal front, during her acting days in the mid-'80s and early '90s, B-Town buzz was that fellow actor Govinda was besotted with Neelam. She also dated Bobby Deol for over five years. Neelam was briefly married to London-based Rishi Sethia, son of industrialist Nirmal Sethia, in 2000 despite his family's opposition. She is now, happily married to actor Samir Soni, since the last nine years.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni

    After Neelam and Rishi Sethia's split, the actress-turned-jewellery designer's name was never linked with anyone till Samir Soni appeared on the scenario. Neelam Kothari was introduced to Samir Soni at one of Ekta Kapoor's parties. "We knew a lot of common pals so when we got introduced we, too, became good friends," said Neelam in 2009.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni

    Samir Soni too has been married before. He had a short-lived marriage to model Rajlakshmi Khanvilkar (who was married to actor Rahul Roy, from 2000 to 2014). Soni later dated the now deceased model Nafisa Joseph.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni

    After a lot of ups and downs in their life, they found their perfect mate. Although it took a while - four years to be precise, before Neelam Kothari and Samir Soni realised that they were similar people who shared the same likes and dislikes. On January 24, 2011, Neelam Kothari and Samir Soni got married.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni and daughter Ahana

    Two years after their marriage, on September 2013, Neelam Kothari and Samir Soni adopted a baby girl, whom they named Ahana. In an interview to TOI, back in 2013, Samir Soni was quoted saying that they'll tell Ahana about her adoption. "We have discussed how and when to do it. What really matters is how you bring up your child," said Soni.

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  • Neelam Kothari Soni with Samir Soni and daughter Ahana

    Happily ever after! Neelam Kothari is living a blissful married life and keeps herself fully occupied with her jewellery business and looking after her 7-year-old daughter. She seems to have no plans at present to return to acting. Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Neelam!

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About The Gallery

Remember the late 80s and 90s actress Neelam Kothari? The gorgeous beauty celebrates her birthday today, November 9. As the actress turns a year older, we look at her personal and professional life, in pictures.

First Published: 09 November, 2020 10:40 IST