Star of the week - ZEENAT AMAN


DOB: 19 November, 1949
Star sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Occupation: Actress, model and beauty queen


Zeenat won Miss Asia Pacific in 1970, becoming the first South Asian woman to do so. She was also the second runner-up in the Miss India contest.

• She won a Filmfare and another best actress award for Hare Rama Hare Krishna in 1972. She garnered multiple other nominations for different performances.

Zeenat Aman, along with Parveen Babi, was credited with making a lasting impact on the image of leading actresses by introducing the modern look to Hindi cinema.

• She received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Interesting facts:

Zeenat Aman was born to Amanullah Khan who was related to the Bhopal State ruling family. He was a script writer for movies such as Mughal-e-Azam and Pakeezah. Amanullah often wrote under the nom de plume "Aman", which Zeenat later adopted as her second name on screen. Her mother is the cousin of actor Raza Murad and niece of actor Murad.

• After her schooling, Zeenat went to University of Southern California in Los Angeles for further studies on student aid, but she could not complete her graduation. Upon her return to India, she first took up a job as a journalist for Femina and then moved on to modelling.

• Zeenat's film career began with a small role in Hulchul (1971). She had a second role in Hungama, starring singer Kishore Kumar, but both films were unsuccessful and she was ready to pack her bags to leave India.

• She was chosen as a last-minute replacement in Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna. In the movie, aided by the hit song Dum maro dum, Zeenat won over the hearts of the audience as Janice. Throughout the 1970s, Dev-Zeenat pairing was seen in half a dozen films.

• Her hip look in Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973) as the girl carrying a guitar in the song Churaliya hai tumne jo dil ko won her more popularity.

• She appeared on every Hindi film magazine's cover during the 1970s. In December 1974, Cine Blitz magazine was launched with Zeenat on its cover, a testimony to her popularity at the time. She went on to become the favourite cover girl of Stardust.

• Zeenat Aman's persona was a contrast to many of the more conservative stars of the era. At a time when heroines were obedient wives and lovers on the screens of Hindi Cinema, Aman was drawn to more unconventional roles.

• 1978 could have been a disaster year for her even with a few hits, with a couple of her film failing to impress, yet it was Don that came to the rescue with its huge success. Ironically, her reasons for accepting the role in the film were altruistic and she didn't even take any remuneration for it because she wanted to help the producer who died midway through filming. Westernised heroines, such as Parveen Babi and Tina Munim, started following in her footsteps by the late 1970s.

• Her last role as the female lead was in the movie Gawahi, a courtroom drama in 1989. Aman came back to the silver screen after a decade doing a cameo role in the film Bhopal Express and did a few films after that until 2012.

Zeenat married Mazhar Khan in 1985 and had two sons, Azaan and Zahaan.