Zeenat Aman is one of the sexy and bold actresses, who convey a kind of positive energy towards her co-actors. Zeenat was considered as a hot and sexy actress as her appearance on the screen would sizzle the silver screen with her stunning performance. Her sensuous and her sultry image credited her as the sex symbol of Bollywood. Zeenat who always portrayed some unusual and bold roles is said to be the initiate to bring the western heroine look two Hindi cinema. Throughout her career, she has been referred as a sex symbol.
Zeenat was born on 19th November 1951 in Mumbai. Her father Amanullah Khan was a Muslim and her mother Scinda was a Hindu. Her father was one of the scriptwriters who wrote the scripts for cult classics like 'Pakeezah 'and 'Mughal-E-Azam '. Her father died when Zeenat was just 13 years old. Her mother remarried to a German citizen , Heinz. Her mother got the German citizenship and took her to Germany. Zeenat was very unhappy there, she immediately returned to India when she turned 18. After returning to India, Zeenat went to St. Xavier's College in Mumbai. She further pursued her studies from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After returning back to India, she started her career as a reporter for 'Femina' magazine. She soon shifted to modeling. Her notable TV ads are Television X Debut and Taj Mahal Tea. Zeenat was the second runner up in the 'Miss India' beauty pageant. She was the first to win the title Miss Asia Pacific , the prestigious beauty pageant held in 1970.
After a successful modeling career, Zeenat gradually shifted to Bollywood. Her debut film was 'Hulchul ' by O. P. Ralhan . Her second film was 'Hungama ' in 1971 with Kishore Kumar . Both of these films were unsuccessful. Zeenat then left the idea to make her career in the film industry and was planning to shift with her mother in Germany. It was Dev Anand who gave her the big opportunity of her career. Dev Anand offered Zaheeda (Prem Pujari fame) the role of his sister in 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna ' . But as Zaheeda wanted a lead role (played by Mumtaz ) she refused the offer and Zeenat was chosen as the last minute replacement in the film. It was 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna ' which gave her recognition and fame. Her song 'Dum Maaro Dum ' in this film aided by R. D. Burman , won the hearts of audiences. Her westernized appearance as Janice caught many eyes. Zeenat received the Filmfare award for the best supporting actress for this film. She also received BFJA Award as the best actress. In the 70s era, she was seen with Dev Anand in the films like 'Ishq Ishq Ishq ' ,'Heera Panna ' ,'Prem Shastra ', 'Darling Darling ' ,'Warrant ' and 'Kala Baaz ' etc. Out of these films, 'Warrant ' was a massive hit at the box office. She was next seen in a multistarer 'Yaadon Ki Baarat ' in 1973 in the stylish look. Her song 'Chura Liya Hai Tumne ' was hit amongst youngsters and won her popularity and millions of fan following.
Almost every magazine cover featured Zeenat on their cover pages during 70s. She was the favorite cover girl of Stardust, the famous magazine. Throughout her career, Zeenat worked with the banners like Dev Anand , Raj Kapoor , B. R. Chopra , Manmohan Desai , Nasir Hussain , Feroz Khan ,Manoj Kumar , Raj Khosla , Prakash Mehra and Shakti Samanta etc. Zeenat's all time hit movie was showman Raj Kapoor's 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram ' in 1978. The film was heavily criticized as Zeenat exposed heavily in that film. But later the film had a great deal to do with Zeenat's fame . The movie was later distinguished as the magnum opus. The Her sultry persona raised many eyebrows in the country. Her exposure was a contrast to many of the conservative stars of that era . Zeenat got the nomination at Filmfare awards for the best actress for 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram'.
Zeenat Aman 's entry to Hollywood failed when her film 'Shalimar' with Dharmendra and other international stars bombed at the box office in India as well as in USA. It was 'Don' which rescued her career again. Her role of a westernized girl seeking revenge for her brother's death was much appreciated and won accolades. It contributed to the film's massive success. Her westernized look was then followed by other Bollywood actresses such as Tina Munim,Sarika and Parveen Babi.
Zeenat Aman was seen in the hit movies like 'The Great Gambler ,'Chhaila Babu ' and 'Dharam Veer '. In 1980s, there was a trend of multistarer films and she was just asked to provide a sex appeal in the hero-oriented films. These hero oriented movies were successful. But contrary to this, Zeenat essayed a role of a rape victim in B R Chopra 's film 'Insaaf Ka Tarazu ' in 1980. For this role, she received the nomination of Filmfare awards for the best actress. She was next seen in 'Alibaba Aur 40 Chor ', 'Dostana ' ,'Qurbani ' , 'Ajnabi ' ,'Manoranjan ', 'Roti Kapada Aur Makaan ' ,'Dhund ' ,'Chori Mera Kaam ' and 'Laawaris '. She appeared in a supporting role in 'Sohni Mahiwal '. Her last role as a lead actress was in a courtroom drama 'Gawaahi ' in 1989. Aman was also seen in the modern films like 'Boom ', 'Jaana ', 'Chaurahen- Crossroads ', 'Ugly Aur Pagli ' , 'Geeta in Paradise ' and recently in 'Donno Y... Na Jaane Kyo ' .
She has also appeared in one theatre play 'The Graduate'. She has received the lifetime achievement award at Zee Cine Awards in 2008 for her contribution to Hindi cinema. She has been honored with An Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema award at IIFA awards 2010. Zeenat dedicated this award to her mother. Zeenat got married to Sanjay Khan but later divorced. She then got married toMazhar Khan . The couple has two sons Azaan and Zahaan. She filed for divorce as her husband used to abuse her physically. Mazhar Khan died in 1998 with the renal failure. Zeenat now lives with her two sons and makes many social appearances. She rarely appears on screen.
The sultry persona, Zeenat Aman was really a bold and beautiful actress of her times.