22 March 1938
|Died||5 August 2016 (aged 78)|
London, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Actress, film producer, film director in Pakistan|
Abdul Majid Karim
-her husband until her death in 2016]
She was born Putli Bai but later adopted the film name Shamim Ara. Her acting career spans from the late 1950s till the early 1970s. She is most famous for her leading role in the then West Pakistan's first color motion picture Naila (1965), released on 29 October 1965, whereas the first full length color motion picture was Sangam (1964) which was produced in the then East Pakistan and released on 23 April 1964.
In 1956, Putli Bai's family were visiting some relatives in Lahore, Pakistan, when after a chance meeting with the well-known film director, Najam Naqvi, she was signed for his next movie. He was searching for a new face for his film Kanwari Bewah (1956) and was impressed by her cute face, sweet voice, approachable personality and innocent yet inviting smile. It was Najam Naqvi who introduced her under the stage name Shamim Ara, because her previous name was similar to the infamous dacoit Putli Bai. Though the film did not attract many viewers, a noticeable new female star had appeared on the horizon of the Pakistan film industry.
Later, Shamim Ara was given a minor role in the film Anarkali (1958) starring Noor Jehan as Anarkali and Shamim Ara as Surayya, Anarkali's younger sister. For the next two years, Shamim Ara went on to star in a few films, but none were a major success at the box office. However, in 1960, a major role in the film Saheli (1960) is what truly advanced her career. After this film, Shamim Ara had become a household name. The filming of the song Mujh Se Pehli Si Muhabbat Meray Mehboob Na Maang (a poem written by renowned Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and sung by Madam Noor Jehan) with Rasheed Attre's music in the film Qaidi (1962), had everyone talking about her. Women had begun mimicking her speech, her make-up and her hairstyle. She had become a household name. Her fame and impeccable acting skills landed her the title character in the film Naila (1965), the first color film produced in the then West Pakistan. Her portrayal of the tragic Naila won her further critical acclaim. She went on to star in many hit films including Devdas, Doraha, Humraz. However, Qaidi (1962), Chingari (1964), Farangi (1964), Naila (1965), Aag Ka Darya (1966), Lakhon Mein Eik (1967), Saiqa (1968) and Salgirah (1968) were landmarks in her career securing her a position as the top actress of the 1960s in Lollywood. Her acting career came to a halt when she retired as a leading lady in the early 1970s. But that did not stop her from being a part of the Pakistani film industry as she pioneered to produce and direct films on her own. However, none of those films reached the level of success Shamim Ara had at the height of her acting career. Jaidaad (1959) and Tees Maar Khan (1989) were the only two Punjabi movies in which she performed.
As a film producer
In 1968, she produced her first film Saiqa (1968) which was based on the novel by Razia Butt. The film attracted a large number of viewers especially females.
As a film director
In 1976, for the first time, she directed film Jeo Aur Jeenay Do (1976). Later she also directed the Diamond Jubilee film Munda Bigra Jaye (1995). Other films she directed include Playboy (1978), Miss Hong Kong (1979), Miss Singapore (1985), Miss Colombo (1984), Lady Smuggler (1987), Lady Commando (1989), Aakhri Mujra (1994), Baita (1994), Haathi Mere Saathi, Munda Bigra Jaye (1995), Hum To Chaley Susral (1996), Miss Istanbul (1996), Hum Kisi Say Kum Nahin (1997), Love 95 (1996) and Pal Do Pal (1999).
Shamim Ara was married four times. Her first husband (and perhaps patron) was Sardar Rind, a landlord of Balochistan, who died in a car accident. She then married Abdul Majid Carim, the scion of the family that runs Agfa Color Film Company. They had a son, Salman Majid Carim (who was to be her only child), but the marriage ended in divorce. Her third marriage was to Fareed Ahmed, a film director and the son of the famous film director W.Z. Ahmed. That marriage, too, ended in divorce. Shamim Ara later married Pakistani film director and writer Dabeer-ul-Hassan. They lived in Lahore until 2005, when she and Salman Majeed Carim (her son by a previous marriage) moved to London while her husband remained in Pakistan.
During a visit to Pakistan, she suffered a brain haemorrhage on 19 October 2010, and was taken back to London for treatment. She remained in and out of hospital for six years, and was cared for by her only son, Salman Majid Carim, who is very wealthy because of having inherited the Agfa Color Film Company from his father. Shamim Ara died on 5 August 2016 in a hospital in London after a very long illness. Her only son led the funeral arrangements and she was buried in the UK.
- Kanwari Bewah, Miss 56 -Films in (1956)
- Anarkali, Wah Re Zamaney -Films in (1958)
- Alam Ara, Apna Paraya, Faislah, Savera, Jaidaad, Mazloom, Raaz -Films in (1959)
- Bhabi, Do Ustad, Izzat, Raat Ke Rahi (1960), Roop matti baaz bahadur, Saheli -Films in (1960)
- Insaan badalta hai, Zamana kya kahe ga, Zamin ka chaand Films in (1961)
- Aanchal, Mehboob, Mera kya qasoor, Qaidi, Inqalab Films in (1962)
- Dulhan, Ek tera sahara, Ghazala, Kala pani, Saazish, Seema, Tange wala -Films in (1963)
- Baap ka baap, Chingari, Farangi, Haveli, Maihkhanah, Pyaar ki sazaa, Tanha -Films in(1964)
- Devdas, Dil ke tukde, Fashion, Naila -Films in (1965)
- Aag ka darya, Jalwa, Majboor, Mere mehboob, Pardah, Qabeelah -Films in (1966)
- Doraha, Humraaz, Laakhon mein aik -Films in (1967)
- Saiqah (Producer) -Films in(1968)
- Dil mera Dharkan Teri (1968)
- Aanch, Dil-e-betaab, Salgirah -Films in (1969)
- Aansoo ban gaye moti, Bewafa (1970)
- Parai Aag, Suhaag, Wehshi (1971), Khak Aur Khoon -Films in (1971)
- Angarey -Films in (1972)
- Khwaab Aur Zindagi -Films in (1973)
- Bhool (1974) (as a Producer), Playboy (Producer and Director) (1978)
- Mere Apne (Starred in and directed the film) (1981)
- Pal Do Pal (Director) (1999)
Awards and recognition
- Nigar Award for Best Supporting Actress (1960)
- Nigar Award for Best Actress (1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968)
- Nigar Award for Best Director (1993 and 1994)
- Special Awards from Nigar Awards (Ilyas Rashidi Gold Medal) (1999)
- "Humaima Malick tweets tribute to Shamim Ara". The Times of India. Times News Network. 7 August 2016. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
...passed away in London on Friday [5 August 2016] ...
- "Ailing Shamim Ara needs help". The Nation newspaper. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Khan, Sher (11 June 2014). "Wishing for Shamim Ara's speedy recovery". The Express Tribune newspaper. Pakistan: Lakson Group. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Salman, Peerzada (6 August 2016). "Yesteryear's heartthrob Shamim Ara dies in UK". Dawn newspaper. Retrieved 19 February 2018.