Zeenat Aman was born in Mumbai on November 19, 1951. Zeenat's father, Amanullah Khan, was related to Bhopal's royal family. Khan had written scripts for movies like Mughal-e-Azam and Pakeezah. (Photos courtesy: mid-day archives, Yogen Shah and YouTube)
Zeenat Aman's father passed away when she was only 13 years old. Her mother, Scinda, who was an Anglo-Indian, later married a German.
Zeenat Aman studied in Panchgani and attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for further studies. However, she couldn't complete her graduation.
Do you know what was Zeenat Aman's first job in her career? After returning to India, Zeenat Aman worked as a journalist at Femina.
Zeenat Aman later shifted to modelling and featured in commercials for several brands. In one of her early assignments in 1966, Zeenat modelled for Taj Mahal Tea.
Zeenat Aman also participated in the Miss India Contest, where she was the second runner-up. She later won the Miss Asia Pacific title in 1970.
In 1971, Zeenat Aman stepped into the Hindi film industry with a small role in O.P. Ralhan's Hulchul, after which, she starred in Hungama (1971), starring singer Kishore Kumar. As both films failed at the Box office, a disappointed Zeenat was ready to pack her bags and leave India. She had made up her mind to go to Malta with her mother and stepfather.
However, Zeenat Aman's next release Hare Rama Hare Krishna, which released in the same year, completely changed her fortunes as an actor. In Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Zeenat Aman, aided by the R. D. Burman song Dum Maro Dum, won over the hearts of the audience as Janice and went on to earn a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
In picture: Zeenat Aman with Dev Anand in 'Dum Maaro Dum' song from 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' (1971)
Her chic look as the girl carrying a guitar and singing the famous 'Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko' from 'Yaadon Ki Baaraat' (1973), won her more popularity.
Zeenat Aman and Dev Anand's pairing became a hit throughout the 70s. After Hare Rama Hare Krishna, the duo was seen in films such as Heera Panna (1973), Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974), Prem Shastra (1974), Warrant (1975), Darling Darling (1977) and Kalabaaz (1977).
In picture: Zeenat Aman with Dev Anand in a still from Heera Panna (1973).
In 1978, Zeenat Aman starred in Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram. The actress faced backlash for 'exposing' a tad too much in the film. But, the movie established her image of a sex symbol in Bollywood.
Interestingly, Zeenat Aman was not the first choice as a leading lady - Rupa - for Satyam Shivam. Hema Malini, Dimple Kapadia, Vidya Sinha were previous choices. However, the actress denied playing the roled due to sensual content and body exposure.
In picture: Zeenat Aman with Shashi Kapoor in a still from 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' (1978).
Zeenat Aman's next big film was Qurbani co-starring Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna. The film's songs - Aap Jaisa Koi, Hum Tumhain Chahte Hain, Kya Dekhte Ho, Laila Ho Laila and Qurbani Qurbani are still considered one of the classics.
In picture: Zeenat Aman in a still from Qurbani (1980).
Zeenat Aman played the character of Sheela, a gorgeous disco club dancer and singer, who is in love with Rajesh (Feroz Khan), a thief, who hides his identity from his lady love. Qurbani became the biggest Indian hit of the year (1980).
In picture: Zeenat Aman with Vinod Khanna in a still from Qurbani (1980).
Zeenat Aman in a still from song 'Laila Main Laila' from Qurbani (1980). The song was recreated in Shah Rukh Khan's Raees (2017), featuring Sunny Leone.
Some rare pictures from Zeenat Aman's personal and professional life.
In picture: Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman in a still from 'Ashanti' (1982).
In picture: Zeenat Aman with her mother (third from right), Raj Kapoor, Krishna Raj Kapoor and a young Karisma Kapoor.
In picture: When Zeenat Aman and her husband Mazhar Khan attended a polo match at Mahalakshmi, Mumbai.
In picture: Zeenat Aman looks gorgeous wearing a 'gajra' as she attends an event.
In picture: Zeenat Aman on the sets of 'Jaanwar' (1982).
In picture: Zeenat Aman in a scene from 'Aurat' (1986).
In picture: Zeenat Aman looks unrecognisable in this desi avatar for one of her films.
In picture: Zeenat Aman's photo from her modelling days.
In picture: Zeenat Aman in a still from Pyaas (1982).
In picture: A candid picture of Zeenat Aman, resting after her shoot.
Zeenat Aman was considered as the trendsetter during the 70s and 80s. Her fashion statement was bold and confident, which was liked by her fans!
Click on next for some unseen pictures of Zeenat Aman in her later years (post-90s).
In picture: Zeenat Aman with her sons Azaan and Zahaan at an event held on Mother's Day.
In picture: Zeenat Aman with her son at an event in Mumbai.
In picture: Zeenat Aman with husband Mazhar Khan and co-star Dev Anand during a party.
In picture: Award-winner Zeenat Aman with Sunil Dutt and Yukta Mookhey at Sahyog Awards.
In picture: Zeenat Aman giving away prizes to specially-abled children at Arya Vidya Mandir in Bandra, Mumbai.
In picture: Zarina Wahab, Sezal Sharma and Zeenat Aman posed for a snapshot on the set of Love Life and Screw Ups 2 (2017). Kapil Kaushtubh Sharma's web series had brought the two yesteryear stars together after over four decades. The two featured in Dev Anand's Ishk Ishk Ishk (1974).
In picture: 'Mirzya' (2016) actress Saiyami Kher was conferred the Best Debut title at the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards. The youngster received the award from the legendary actress, Zeenat Aman. A thrilled Saiyami told mid-day, "[Aman's films] Yaadon Ki Baraat and Hare Rama Hare Krishna are my favourite films from the '70s. No party is complete without dancing to Dum Maro Dum. It was surreal to receive the honour from her."
In picture: Hiroo Johar, Zeenat Aman, Anju Mahendru, Sunita and Sonam Kapoor, Lally Dhawan, Namrata and Priya Dutt, and Pammi Bakshi with Malavika Sangghvi. Click on next to know more about Zeenat Aman's personal life.
In 1985, Zeenat Aman married Mazhar Khan. The couple have two sons Azaan and Zahaan.
Zeenat Aman's husband Mazhar Khan passed away in September 1998 of renal failure.
Zeenat Aman currently lives with her two sons and is often spotted at award functions and events.
Last year, Zeenat Aman had celebrated her 66th birthday with her two sons. "That ritual remains unchanged. When I was younger and a daughter rather than a mother, I had to be with my mother for every birthday no matter where I happened to be. Now that sense of family kinship has been passed on to my sons. I am the happiest when I am with them. They are good, well-brought-up boys. I am very proud of them," Zeenat Aman said while speaking to media on her birthday.
On the work front, Zeenat Aman remains selective. "There is not much to choose for actresses of a certain age," Zeenat Aman said.
"But I can't complain. I think I had good innings in my earlier days. I worked with the very best directors including the great Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand, also Shammi Kapoor, Feroz Khan, Nasir Hussain, Shakti Samanta, Manoj Kumar, Manmohan Desai and Raj Khosla," Zeenat Aman said.
"Gosh, that is quite a list. I learnt so much from these masters. I enjoyed every bit of the challenge that was thrown at me when I had to play a disfigured tribal girl in 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' or a happy sex worker in 'Manoranjan'." As for the challenges now, "I won't do 'faltu' (useless) roles. I will wait for something that does justice to me. I have learnt the hard way not to rush into things," Zeenat Aman concluded.
Zeenat Aman has also dabbled in politics. She once attended a road show in Kosi, near Mathura, to show support to a candidate of Mayawati's party. She had been roped in to canvas for the political party in Uttar Pradesh. Pic/PTI
We wish Zeenat Aman a very happy birthday!
Bollywood's original sex symbol Zeenat Aman turned 68 on November 19, 2019. We bring you pictures from her younger days in the film industry, her latest photos that prove she is still a diva, and some interesting facts that you probably didn't know!
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