Born in Mumbai in 1951, after her scriptwriter father Amanullah Khan’s death, Zeenat Aman moved to Germany at the age of 13, with her mother, and German step-father. At the age of 18, the beautiful Zeenat moved back to Mumbai and completed her graduation from St. Xavier’s College and went on to complete her postgraduation from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
She started her career working as a journalist for Femina. She later went on to winning the title of Miss India, and was the first South Asian woman to become Miss Asia Pacific, in 1970.
As is the norm with beauty pageant winners in India, Zeenat ventured into the film industry. She got her break in Hindi cinema, in 1971, in the film Hulchul, and later went to star in Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna; This film proved to be her ticket of success. She later went on to act in blockbusters like, Don, Yaadon Ki baraat, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, and Insaf Ka Tarazu in which she played the character of a rape victim, for which she won the Filmfare best actress award.
She was most well known for her on-screen chemistry with Dev Anand. The duo sizzled on the silver screen, in hits like Heera Panna, Ishq Ishq Ishq, Prem Shastra, Warrant, Darling Darling, and Kalabaaz. This pair remained a fan favourite for several years.
She was also famous for her sensuous dance numbers like Aap Jaisa Koi, Laila Main Laila, Bhor Bhaye Panghat Pe, Hum Dono Do Premi, and the evergreen Dum Maaro Dum.
She was the it girl of her time, and is now regarded as one of the legendary actresses of the 70’s and 80’s, who has left an indelible mark on the history of Indian cinema.
Tehelka wishes this evergreen beauty a very happy birthday.