Zeba with Waheed Murad in Armaan (1966)
Shaheen, known professionally as Zeba (born 10 September 1945), is a Pakistani actress born in Punjab Province while under British rule. Her real name is Shaheen, but she adopted the name Zeba. She is widely regarded as one of the top stars in the 1960s and the early 1970s.
She made her screen debut in film Chiragh jalta raha in 1962. During a career that spanned almost three decades, Zeba appeared in numerous commercially successful as well as critically appreciated films, many of which featured her alongside actor and husband Mohammad Ali. She also starred in the 1966 film Arman which was produced by actor and producer Waheed Murad, Pakistan's first Platinum Jubilee film.
In 1961, producer Noor Mohammad Khan offered her a role of heroine in his film Zindagi but later, due to unknown reasons, film was shelved. By then, she accepted a role in another film Shakir. Arif was the hero, and the movie was eventually released in 1962 with a different name Chiragh jalta raha. Other debut cast were Mohammad Ali and Kamal Irani. Her second release of 1962, Jab say dekha hai tumhain, opposite Darpan earned her critical success. Her next film, Baaji was released in 1963 which was also successful.
Her first release of 1964 Taubah was a Golden Jubilee movie. Her pair, first with Kamal and then with Waheed Murad, who was the only producer at that time from Karachi. Her second collaboration with Waheed Murad was in 1964 film Heera aur pathar. Her next three successive releases in 1964, Aashiana, Baghi Sipahi and Head Constable.
After the introduction of color movies, she first appeared in Najma. Rishtah hey pyar ka was her first film which was shot overseas. Her first release of 1966 was Armaan which was also Pakistan's first Platinum Jubilee Urdu film. Armaan was produced by Waheed Murad himself and directed by Pervaiz Malik. The movie was released on 18 March 1966. She won her first Best Actress award from Nigar Awards for this film. During the same year, Zeba and Waheed Murad were teamed up in two other movies, i.e., Josh and Jaag utha insaan. From 1965 to 1969 Zeba worked in a number of films. Some of her notable and successful films of that time are Eid Mubarak (1964), Kaneez, Dard-e-Dil, Koh-e-Noor, Josh, Suhagan, Taj Mahal, Anjaan, Mohabbat rang laye gi, Ek Phool ek Pathar and Bahoo Rani. In 1970, she played a young-to-old role in Shabab Kiranvi's film Insaan aur Aadmi. Her performance was greatly appreciated and she won her second Best Actress award from Nigar Awards.
One of her most memorable role came in 1972 film Mohabbat which was a critical and commercial success and earned her third Best Actress award from Nigar Awards.  She starred in only one Punjabi film named Mehndi wale hath, whereas she had worked with a total of 45 film directors.
She along with Mohammad Ali also worked in 1989 Hindi movie Clerk written, produced, directed by and starring Manoj Kumar alongside an ensemble cast including Rekha, Anita Raj, Shashi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Prem Chopra and Sonu Walia. This was her only Hindi film appearance.
Films with Mohammad Ali
By the late 1970s, Zeba started to work opposite her husband only. Known as a couple 'Ali-Zeb' in the media, the pair did a number of movies together. Some of their most notable films are:
- Chiragh jalta raha (1962) - This was a debut movie for both of them
- Aag (1967)
- Jaise Jante Naheen (1969)
- Baharein Phir Bhi Aaeingee
- Dil Diya Dard Liya (1968)
- Afsana Zindagi Ka (1972)
- Mohabbat (1972)
- Aurat Ek Paheli
- Mohabbat Zinndagi Hai
- Jab Jab Phool Khile (Pakistani film)
- Phool Mere Gulshan Ka
- Daman Aur Chingari (1973)
Her first marriage was to Khawaja Rehmat Ali (1959–1962), and her second to Sudhir (1964–1966). Although Zeba had met Mohammad Ali on the set of their debut film Chiragh jalta raha (1962) but their affection for each other was rekindled on the set of film Tum mile pyar mila (1966), and they married while the film was still under production on 29 September 1966. The couple remained married until Ali's death from heart attack on 19 March 2006.
Awards and recognition
She received the Nigar Awards three times in her movie career.
- Nigar Award for Best Actress in film Armaan (1966 film) in 1966
- Nigar Award for Best Actress in film Insaan aur aadmi in 1970
- Nigar Award for Best Actress in film Mohabbat in 1972
She had also received two special awards from Nigar Awards [Millennium award in 1999] and [Ilyas Rashidi gold medal in 2002].
- Dil ne tujhe maan liya
- Mehndi wale hath (Punjabi)
- Mujhe jeeney do
- Dil diya dard liya
- Taj Mehal
- Tum mile pyar mila
- Jaise jante nahin
- Zindgi kitni haseen hai
- Bahu Rani
- Insaan aur Aadmi
- Mohabbat rang laye gi
- Ik Phool ik Pathar
- Insaaf aur Qanoon
- Duniya na maney
- Teri soorat meri Ankhen
- Aansoo bahaye Pathron ne
- Afsana Zindgi ka
- Badley gi Duniya saathi
- Dil ik Aaina
- Daaman aur Chingari
- Nadiya ke paar
- Jab Jab Phool Khile (Pakistani film)
- Bin Baadal Barsat
- Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1975 film)
- Sheerin Farhad
- Aurat ek paheli
- Phool aur Sholay
- Goonj uthi Shehnai
- Aap ka Khadam
- Kora Kaghaz
- Chori Chori
- Muhammad Suhayb (7 January 2018). "The Rishta from Abroad (Zeba's films)". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 1 July 2019.
- Profile of Zeba on pakmag.net website Retrieved 1 July 2019
- Zeba's filmography on Complete Index To World Film (CITWF) website Retrieved 2 July 2019
- Nigar Award for Zeba in film Armaan (1966) on cineplot.com website Retrieved 2 July 2019
- Zeba's Nigar Award for film Inssaan aur Aadmi (1970) on cineplot.com website Retrieved 2 July 2019
- Zeba's Nigar Award for film Mohabbat (1972) on cineplot.com website Retrieved 2 July 2019
- Gautam Chintamani. "Love thy neighbour". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Mohammed Ali – Zeba profiles". cineplot.com website. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Pakistan's Top Film Star Muhammad Ali Dies". PakTribune (newspaper). 20 March 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Mohammad Ali – Shehanshah e Jazbaat". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- 70 military, 84 civil awards conferred (including Zeba's award) Dawn (newspaper), Published 24 March 2016, Retrieved 1 July 2019