Neelo

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Neelo نِیلو
Born
Cynthia Alexander Fernandes

(1940-06-30) 30 June 1940 (age 79)[1]
Other namesAbida Riaz
OccupationFilm actress
Years active1955–2005
Spouse(s)Riaz Shahid (died in October 1972)[2]
FamilyShaan Shahid (son)

Neelo (Urdu: نِیلو ‎) or Abida Riaz (Urdu: عابِدہ رِیاض ‎), is a film actress from Lahore, Pakistan and mother of the renowned film actor Shaan Shahid.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Neelo was born Cynthia Alexander Fernandes on 30 June 1940 in Bhera, Sargodha, Pakistan.[1] At age 16, she appeared in Bhowani Junction (1956), a Hollywood film shot in and around Lahore. She got her big breakthrough in Pakistani films when she performed on the song "Aaye mausam, rangilay suhanay" in the film Saat Lakh (1957) with music by the renowned music director Rasheed Attre.[1]

Controversies[edit]

In 1965, at the peak of her popularity, she was summoned by Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, then Governor of West Pakistan, to dance on stage for the Shah of Iran during his official visit to Pakistan; but she refused to do it for her own reasons. Harassed and threatened, Neelo faced dire consequences for refusing to obey official orders. She was allegedly gang molested and attempted suicide on the way to the Governor's house and was taken to a hospital instead, where the doctors saved her life.[2]

The renowned leftist poet Habib Jalib, on hearing of the incident, expressed his anguish in his poem over her attempted suicide: "Tu kay nawaqif-e-aadab-e-ghulami hae abhi.." Later this poem was used in the film Zarqa (1969) with slight changes in the words and ended up becoming a super-hit film song in Pakistan. The film song became much more relevant, effective and popular because it was picturised on Neelo herself and was based on similar real life events in Neelo's life. She also won the Best Actress Nigar Award for film Zarqa (1969). It had superb music by Wajahat Attre and sung by Mehdi Hassan.[2] Film Zarqa (1969) was produced and directed by Riaz Shahid who also wrote its screenplay. Neelo helped her husband, Riaz Shahid, produce this film and it became the best known film of her career.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Neelo was born into a Catholic family. Her birth name was Cynthia Alexander Fernandes. She adopted the name Abida Riaz after embracing Islam at the time of her marriage to film screenwriter and film director Riaz Shahid.[2]

Filmography[edit]

  • 1956 Bhowani Junction
  • 1956: Sabira
  • 1957: Anjaam
  • 1957: Bholey Khan
  • 1957: Pasban
  • 1957: Sehti
  • 1957: Saat Laakh
  • 1957: Yakke Wali
  • 1957: Aankh Ka Nashah
  • 1958: Akhri Nishan
  • 1958: Changez Khan
  • 1958: Darbar
  • 1958: Jan-e-Bahar
  • 1958: Jatti
  • 1958: Kachian Kaliyan
  • 1958: Mumtaz
  • 1958: Nayi Larki
  • 1958: Neya Daur
  • 1958: Sheikh Chilli
  • 1958: Zehr-e-Ishq
  • 1959: Koel
  • 1959: Lalkaar
  • 1959: Lukkan Mitti
  • 1959: Neend
  • 1959: Shama
  • 1959: Shera
  • 1959: Sola Aanay
  • 1959: Suchhey Moti
  • 1959: Saathi
  • 1959: Yaar Beli
  • 1960: Alladin Ka Beta
  • 1960: Ayaz
  • 1960: Insaaf
  • 1960: Khyber Mail
  • 1960: Manzil
  • 1960: Neelofar
  • 1960: Shehzadi
  • 1960: Street 77
  • 1961: Bara Bajje
  • 1961: Subha kahin sham kahin
  • 1962: Azra
  • 1962: Banjaran
  • 1962: Barsaat mein
  • 1962: Darwaza
  • 1962: Dosheeza
  • 1962: Ghunghat
  • 1962: Husn-o-Ishq
  • 1962: Unche Mahal
  • 1963: Barat
  • 1963: Daaman
  • 1963: Ishq par zor nahin
  • 1963: Kala Aadmi
  • 1963: Mouj Mela
  • 1963: Qatal ke baad
  • 1963: Shikwa
  • 1963: Aman
  • 1964: Beti
  • 1964: Daachi
  • 1964: Gehra Daagh
  • 1964: Jugni
  • 1964: Khyber Pass
  • 1964: Mera Mahi
  • 1964: Nehle peh Dehla
  • 1964: Sher di Bachi
  • 1965: Fareb
  • 1965: Jeedar
  • 1965: Raqqasa
  • 1966: Abba Jee
  • 1966: Ann Parh
  • 1966: Badnaam
  • 1966: Chughalkhor
  • 1966: Laado
  • 1966: Mr. Allah Ditta
  • 1966: Naghma.e-Sehra
  • 1966: Nizam Lohar
  • 1966: Payal Ki Jhankar
  • 1967: Chattan
  • 1967: Dil Da Jani
  • 1967: Neeli Baar
  • 1967: Ravi Paar
  • 1967: Sham Savera
  • 1967: Yaar Maar
  • 1968: Jag Beeti
  • 1968: Lala Rukh
  • 1968: Paristan
  • 1968: Wohti
  • 1969: Aukha Jatt
  • 1969: Zarqa
  • 1971: Karishma
  • 1974: Khatarnaak
  • 1975: Athra
  • 1975: Balwant Kaur
  • 1975: Dhan Jigra Maa Da
  • 1975: Heera Phumman
  • 1975: Izzat
  • 1975: Jailor te Qaidi
  • 1975: Mera Naa Patey Khan
  • 1975: Rajjo
  • 1975: Sir Da Badla
  • 1975: Sultana Daku
  • 1975: Watan Iman
  • 1976: Ayyash
  • 1976: Gangu Puttar Maa Da
  • 1976: Jatt Kurrian Taun Darda
  • 1976: Khaufnaak
  • 1976: Kil Kil Mera Naa
  • 1976: Pindiwal
  • 1976: Wardat
  • 1977: Ajj Dian Kurrian
  • 1977: Akhri Goli
  • 1977: Danka
  • 1977: Jurm main keeta si
  • 1977: Malikzada
  • 1977: Mere Badshah
  • 1977: Sadqay Teri Mout Tun
  • 1977: Tera vi jawab nahin
  • 1978: Chamman Khan
  • 1978: Gharib da baal
  • 1978: Ghunda
  • 1978: Haidar Daler
  • 1978: Inqalab
  • 1978: Mazi, haal aur mustaqbil
  • 1978: Nazrana
  • 1978: Sharif Shehri
  • 1978: Tax
  • 1979: General Bakht Khan
  • 1979: Mout meri zindagi
  • 1979: Order
  • 1980: Chhotay Nawab
  • 1980: Heera Puttar
  • 1982: Khatra 440
  • 1989: Barood ki Chhaon
  • 1990: Bulandi
  • 1990: Jur'at
  • 2013: Waar

Awards and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]