Zeenat Aman is a renowned Indian film personality, who is well known in her capacity as an actress and model, and remained one of the prominent beauty icons of her time. She rose to popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, where she stole the hearts of many young men due to her stunning appearance and charismatic performances. Starting off by winning the Miss Asia Pacific pageant in 1970, she went on to make her name in the film industry with leading roles in films like Satyam Shivam Sundaram
(1978) and Insaf Ka Tarazu
(1980). Born and brought up in Mumbai, Zeenat Aman came into film through the influence of her father, Amanullah Khan who was a script writer. It was a contraction of his name, 'Aman', that led her to adopt it as her last name. She is also related to the actors Murad and Raza Murad. Initially, she started off a career in journalism working with the women’s lifestyle magazine Femina
and then shifted to modelling, which set her on the path to fame. After acquiring popularity as the face of the brand Taj Mahal Tea in 1966, she went on to compete in the Miss India pageant, where she was second runner up, and later won the Miss Asia Pacific pageant in 1970. She went on to make her film debut with a small, supporting role in Hulchul
(1971) and later in Hungama
(1971), both of which were commercial failures and nearly discouraged her from pursuing a career in acting. But due to Zaheeda opting out of a secondary role in Hare Rama Hare Krishna
(1971), Zeenat Aman bagged the opportunity to play the protagonist’s sister. This was the role that kick-started her career and she went on to deliver some of the finest hits in Indian cinema. It also won her the Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actress. In particular, her performance in the hit song ‘Dum Maro Dum’ got her immense popularity. Her rising popularity was further aided by her pairings with the heart throb of the time, Dev Anand, which resulted in films like Heera Panna (1973), Warrant (1975), and Kalabaaz (1977). These films were commercial successes and led to Zeenat Aman becoming one of the most well known female celebrities. Her roles in Yaadon Ki Baaraat
(1976), Hum Kisise Kum Naheen
(1977) and Don
(1978) further established her as both an actress, and a beauty and style icon. In the 1980s, Zeenat Aman continued her streak of successes with Alibaba Aur 40 Chor
(1980), Katilon Ke Kaatil
(1981), Teesri Aankh (1982), Pukar
(1983), and Baat Ban Jaye
(1986). She was awarded the Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008, as well as the IIFA Award for her contribution to Indian cinema in 2010 and 2011.
She married fellow actor Mazhar Khan in 1985 and remained his spouse until 1998, when he died.
She continues making on-screen appearances, with her latest release being Dunno Y2 - Life Is A Moment (2015), and she remains a figure synonymous with beauty and glamour in Hindi cinema.