Neelam Kothari

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Neelam Kothari in 2009
Born Neelam Kothari
(1969-11-09) 9 November 1969 (age 45)
Hong Kong
Residence Pali Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Other names Sangeeta
Occupation Actress, Jewellery Designer
Years active 1984–2001 (retired as an actress)
Spouse(s) Rishi Sethia (divorced)
Samir Soni (2011–present)
Children Ahana Soni

Neelam Kothari (born 9 November 1968) is a British Indian jewellery designer and former actress. She was one of the leading and popular actresses of the late 1980s and 1990s.

Early life[edit]

Neelam Kothari was born on 9 November 1969 in Hong Kong. As a child, she learnt to play the keyboard & danced Jazz Ballet. Her family has a traditional jewellery making business, making high-class pieces.

Film career[edit]

After her early childhood in Hong Kong, her family moved to Bangkok. Neelam was holidaying in Mumbai when she was approached by director Ramesh Behl.[1] She decided to give acting a shot and performed in the film Jawaani in 1984 alongside Karan Shah (Tina Munim's nephew). But the film was a flop.[2] She soldiered on ahead and became famous in 1986 for her role in the film Ilzaam opposite the debutant Govinda. She starred opposite Govinda in 14 movies and 8 were hits such as Love 86, Ilzaam (1986), Sindoor, Khudgarz (1987), Hatya (1988), Farz Ki Jung, Taaqatwar (1989) and Do Qaidi (1989). She had 5 hits opposite Chunkey Pandey like Aag Hi Aag (1987), Paap Ki Duniya (1988),Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988),Ghar Ka Chiraag (1989),Mitti Aur Sona (1989) of the 8 she did with him. But after 1990 their next 3 films as a pair were failures. However her career's biggest hit remains Ghar Ka Chiraag opposite Rajesh Khanna in 1989.

Box Office success left her from the early 1990s. Her roles, including the one in Ek Ladka Ek Ladki opposite Salman Khan, Pratigyabandh, Doodh Ka Karz, Parampara, Banjaran, Ranbhoomi and films like Indrajeet, Agneepath, Gharana, Amiri Garibi, Afsana Pyar Ka were flops and thus taking her career into decline. She was also noticed for her appearance in the 1998 film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where she played herself as a VJ. In 1999, she appeared in supporting role in the multi-starrer family film Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United. Her last release was Kasam in 2001.


Neelam was featured in Bina Mistry's Hot Hot Hot music video, a song that is part of a compilation of dance hits in the 1995 BMG release, titled Channel [V] Hits: The Ultimate Dance Collection. The song became a hit when it was featured as part of the soundtrack to Bend It Like Beckham (2002).

Jewellery Designing[edit]

Even while pursuing her career in acting, she was interested in jewellery designing and involved in her family business. She pursued a formal course in jewellery-designing in Mumbai and, after quitting films in 2001, started out commercially on her own under the name Neelam Jewels.[3] She opened a showroom in Mumbai in 2004.[4] She then launched her jewellery store in Mumbai on 25 August 2011 under the name Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels.

Personal life[edit]

Neelam Kothari with husband Samir Soni at grace Kallista Spa opening.

She was once married to Rishi Sethia, son of a businessman from the U.K. Their marriage was short-lived. On 24 January 2011, she married fellow actor Samir Soni.[5] After 2 years of marriage, they decided to adopt a baby girl on 2 September 2013 and named her Ahana.


Year Film Role Notes
2001 kasam
1999 Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United Sangeeta
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Herself VJ Neelam The Neelam Show
1997 Mohabbat Aur Jung
1996 Ek Tha Raja Shilpa
sauda Jyoti
Aadithya Kannada film
1995 Santaan Asha
Antim Nyay Rekha
1992 Parampara Sapna
Ek Ladka Ek Ladki Renu / Rani
Khule-Aam Priya
Sahebzaade Chinar
Laatsaab Anju / Mona
1991 Kasak Divya
Ranbhoomi Neelam
Indrajeet Neelam
Afsana Pyaar Ka Nikita
1990 Vishnu Devaa
Shankara Seema
Doodh Ka Karz Reshma
Upkar Dhoodhache Marathi Film (1990) Reshma Marathi Film
Chor Pe Mor Ritu
Amiri Garibi Jyoti
Agneepath Siksha Chavan
Zakhm Aarti
Billoo Badshah Jyoti
Farz Ki Jung Kavita
Dost Garibon Ka Rekha
Gharana (1989 film) Lalita
1989 Do Qaidi Neelu
Ghar Ka Chiraag Kiran
Hum Bhi Insaan Hain Rekha
Mitti Aur Sona Anupama
1988 Taaqatwar Bijli
Hatya Sapna
Waqt Ki Awaz Dancer, Singer
Ghar Mein Ram Gali Mein Shyam Jaya
Khatron Ke Khiladi Sunita
Paap Ki Duniya Aarti
Sindoor Lalita Kapoor
1987 Aag Hi Aag Aarti
Khudgarz Jyoti
1986 Ilzaam Aarti
Andaz Pyar Ka
Love 86 Esha
1984 Jawaani Sanam


External links[edit]