Neelam Kothari

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Neelam Kothari
Neelam Kothari in 2009
Born Neelam Kothari
1967/1968 (age 47–48)[1]
Hong Kong
Residence Pali Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Other names Neelam Soni
Occupation Actress
Jewellery Designer
Years active 1984–2001
Spouse(s) Rishi Sethia (divorced)
Samir Soni (2011–present)
Children Ahana Soni

Neelam Kothari is an Indian film actress and jewellery designer.[2][3] She made her acting debut with Ilzaam (1986) opposite debutant Govinda. She then starred opposite Govinda in the box office hits Love 86 (1986), Sindoor (1986), Khudgarz (1987), Hatya (1988), Farz Ki Jung, (1989), Taaqatwar (1989) and Do Qaidi (1989). She starred opposite Chunkey Pandey in films Aag Hi Aag (1987), Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ghar Ka Chiraag (1989), and Mitti Aur Sona (1989).

Her career's biggest hit remains Ghar Ka Chiraag opposite Rajesh Khanna in 1989. She was also noticed for her appearance in the 1998 film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where she played herself as a VJ, and the multi-starrer classic hit Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999).

Early life[edit]

Neelam Kothari was born in Hong Kong. As a child, she learnt to play the keyboard and danced Jazz Ballet. Her family has a traditional jewellery making business, making high-class pieces. 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.[4] She decided to give acting a shot and signed for the film Jawaani (1984) alongside Karan Shah, Tina Munim's nephew.[5] But the film was a flop.[6]


Her performance in her debut film was noticed in film circles and she received offers. She later became famous in 1986 for her role in the film Ilzaam opposite another debutante 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 of the 8 she did with him.Ghar Ka Chiraag opposite Rajesh Khanna in 1989 was her career's most acclaimed hit film. Box Office success eluded her from the early 1990s. Her films Ek Ladka Ek Ladki opposite Salman Khan, and Parampara were successful however her other films like Pratigyabandh, Doodh Ka Karz, , Banjaran, Ranbhoomi, Indrajeet, Agneepath, Gharana, Amiri Garibi, and Afsana Pyar Ka were box office flops. Her last release was Kasam in 2001 opposite Chunky Pandey.[7] She stopped receiving offers as the lead heroine after 1995.

Personal life[edit]

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

Neelam married Rishi Sethia, son of a businessman from the U.K. Their marriage was short-lived. On 24 January 2011, she married actor Samir Soni.[8] After 2 years of marriage, they decided to adopt a girl on 2 September 2013 and named her Ahana.[9]

Other works[edit]

Neelam 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 of Bend It Like Beckham (2002).


In 1998, Neelam was charged with poaching two blackbuck in Kankani during the filming of Hum Saath Saath Hain along with co-stars Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Tabu[29] A lower court charged her with the others under the Wildlife Act and the IPC. She had filed a revision petition before a sessions court which discharged her of Section 51 (causing harm to wildlife) of Wildlife Act and both of 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly of persons) of the Indian Penal Code. [30] The Rajasthan state government then filed a revision petition before the Rajasthan high court which again added Section 149 against her, which it had dropped. In December 2012, the Jodhpur court summoned her along with all the accused for commencement of the trial with the revised charges on 4 February 2013. [31]

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.[10] She opened a showroom in Mumbai in 2004.[11] She then launched her jewellery store in Mumbai on 25 August 2011 under the name Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels.


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Jawaani Sanam
1986 Ilzaam Aarti
Andaz Pyar Ka
Love 86 Esha
1987 Aag Hi Aag Aarti
Khudgarz Jyoti
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
1989 Gharana Lalita
Do Qaidi Neelu
Ghar Ka Chiraag Kiran
Hum Bhi Insaan Hain Rekha
Mitti Aur Sona Anupama
1990 Vishnu Devaa
Badnam Kajol Bengali film
Shankara Seema
Doodh Ka Karz Reshma
Upkar Dhoodhache 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
1991 Kasak Divya
Meet Mere Man Ke
Ranbhoomi Neelam
Indrajeet Neelam
Afsana Pyaar Ka Nikita
1992 Parampara Sapna
Ek Ladka Ek Ladki Renu / Rani
Khule-Aam Priya
Sahebzaade Chinar
Laat Saab Anju / Mona
1995 Santaan Asha
Antim Nyay Rekha
1996 Ek Tha Raja Shilpa
Sauda Jyoti
Aadithya Kannada film
1997 Mohabbat Aur Jung Priya
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Herself as VJ Neelam
1999 Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United Sangeeta
2000 Pattar Aur Payal
2001 Kasam Bindiya


  1. ^ Patel, Nishika (16 October 2010). "Second Round". India Today. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sparkling delights". The Hindu. 
  3. ^ "Neelam". IMDb. 
  4. ^ "NRI beauties making it big in Bollywood". 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "We had loads to sort out before marriage: Neelam". The Times of India. 
  8. ^ "Samir Soni weds Neelam". Rediff. 24 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Maheshwri, Neha (2 September 2013). "Neelam and Samir Soni adopt a baby girl". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Gulfnews: The many faces of Neelam Kothari
  11. ^ "Spotlight - Neelam Jewels". 

External links[edit]