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11 April 1940
Calcutta, British India
Ameeta, born Qamar Sultana, is an Indian actress.
Ameeta was born as Qamar Sultana on 11 April 1940 in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to actress Shakuntala Devi and Silvestar kolkay Ahmed. Showbusiness ran in her family and well-known Pakistani actor Aslam Parvez was her maternal uncle. When she was aged one her father died and her mother moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) and where young Qamar did her schooling.
A fan of Madhubala, Ameeta was enacting her idol's sword fight from the movie 'Baadal' when she caught the eye of Lekhraj Bhakhri who signed her for his movie Thokar. This was her debut film in a side role where she was credited as Jayjaywanti. Qamar's debut movie as heroine was a 1953 release Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1954), directed by Vijay Bhatt. The screen name Ameeta made its appearance in this movie. The film failed but Ameeta kept on working in films like Amar Kirtan, Badal Aur Bijli, Baaghi Sardar and Indrasabha. But her career took a positive turn when she worked with her idol Madhubala in Shirin Farhad (1956). She was then chosen for lead roles in Abhimaan and Zamana.
The turning point in Ameeta's career though came when she became the protégé of Filmistan Studios' owner Tolaram Jalan who produced Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), as a vehicle for promoting Ameeta as a new star. Great care was taken with her make-up, wardrobe and lighting, to present her in the most flattering and advantageous way possible. Furthermore, much of the film's extensive publicity also centred on the actress. The film was a big success but Ameeta's thunder was stolen by the until then struggling Shammi Kapoor. This got her the female lead of Goonj Uthi Shehnai, a role originally intended for Asha Parekh, with whom she had acted with earlier in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1954). The film starred a then up-and-coming Rajendra Kumar and an exceptional music score went on to become one of the top-grossing films of 1959. Here despite a mature and sensitive performance, Ameeta was overlooked and Kumar was given credit for the film's emphatic success.
Although she fired up the careers of Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar with these hits, Ameeta could never capitalise on them and stardom never materialised.
Further roles in multi-star films like Raakhi (1962) and the blockbuster Mere Mehboob (1963) did not help her career graph, even though she was nominated for a Filmfare award for the latter as Best Supporting Actress, and she now dropped to playing lead grade-B movies which though successful at the box office did not do much for her star status. By the mid-1960s she was playing negative and villainous characters in films like Rishte Naate (1965), and Aasra (1966). Worse still, she was seen in supporting roles to fledgling starlets Rajshree and Babita, in films like Around the World (1967) and Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968). After filming Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968) a disillusioned Ameeta left the film industry and settled into matrimony.
After she retired from the film world she married and had a daughter, Sabeeha. Sabheeha tried her hand in Bollywood as a lead actress in Anokha Rishta (1986) and Khiladi (1990) which were big hits of respective years, however her career never took off. Sabeeha appeared in Qayamat Ki Raat (1992), before she too disappeared from the Hindi movie scene.
Ameeta was nominated for a Filmfare Award as Best Supporting Actress for Mere Mehboob (1962) but lost out to Shashikala for Gumrah(1963). She came out of seclusion only once to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cine & TV Artistes Association on 20 November 2005 and then disappeared again.
- Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1954)
- Munimji (1955)
- Ab-e-hayat (1956)
- Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956)
- Zamana (1957)
- Dekh Kabira Roya (1957)
- Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957)
- Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959)
- Sawan (1959)
- Chhote Nawab (1961)
- Piya milan ki aas (1961)
- Teen Ustad (1961)
- Maa Beta (1962)
- Rakhi (1962)
- Mere Mehboob (1963)
- Samson (1964)
- Hum Sab Ustad Hain (1965)
- Around The World (1968)
- Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968)
- Kabhi dhoop kabhi chhaon (1971)
- Shirin Farhad(1956)