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Shaheen Bano

(1945-09-10) 10 September 1945 (age 78)
Occupation(s)Actress, Producer
Years active1962–1989
Known for
  • Taubah (1964 film)
  • Aisa Bhi Hota Hai (1965)
  • Armaan (1966 film)
  • Insaan Aur Aadmi (1970)
  • Mohabbat (1972)
ChildrenSamina Ali
HonoursHilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) Award by the President of Pakistan (2016)

Shaheen Bano (born 10 September 1945), known professionally as Zeba (Urdu: زیبا), is a Pakistani actress. She was one of the top stars of the Pakistani film industry in the 1960s and the early 1970s.[1][2][3] She was voted among 25 of the greatest actors of Asia in a 2010 CNN poll.[4][3]

Early life[edit]

Zeba's family migrated to Pakistan from India when she was only 3 years old. She received her basic education in Pakistan. She made her screen debut in film Chiragh Jalta Raha in 1962.[5] 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.[4][1]


In 1961, producer Noor Mohammad Khan offered her a role of heroine in his film Zindagi but later, due to unknown reasons, the 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.[5]

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.[6]

One of her most memorable roles came in the 1972 film Mohabbat which was a critical and commercial success and earned her the third Best Actress award from Nigar Awards.[6]

She starred in only one Punjabi film named Mehndi wale hath, even though she had worked with a total of 45 film directors over her entire career.[5]

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.[7]

Zeba reportedly told a major newspaper of Pakistan in 2021, "I'm not complete without Ali. He was a good husband, a great father and a good friend."[3]

Films with Mohammad Ali[edit]

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)[2][5] – This was a debut movie for both of them
  • Aag (1967)
  • Jaise Jante Naheen (1969)[5]
  • Baharein Phir Bhi Aaeingee
  • Dil Diya Dard Liya (1968)
  • Najma
  • Afsana Zindagi Ka (1972)
  • Mohabbat (1972)
  • Aurat Ek Paheli
  • Naukar
  • Mohabbat Zindagi Hai
  • Jab Jab Phool Khile[5]
  • Phool Mere Gulshan Ka
  • Daman Aur Chingari (1973)[5]

Her last film Mohabbat Ho Tau Aesi released in 1989 was also with Mohammad Ali.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Her first marriage was to Khawaja Rehmat Ali (1959–1962), and her second to Sudhir (1964–1966).[5] 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.[1] The couple remained married until Ali's death from heart attack on 19 March 2006.[8][5]

Zeba had a daughter from her first marriage named Samina, after marrying Mohammad Ali, he legally adopted Samina, giving her the name Samina Ali.[9]

Awards and recognition[edit]

She received the Nigar Awards three times in her movie career:

She had also received two special awards from Nigar Awards [Millennium award in 1999] and [Ilyas Rashidi gold medal in 2002].[6][3]




  • Baaji[5]
  • Dil ne tujhe maan liya
  • Sumeera
  • Mehndi wale hath (Punjabi)






  • Mafroor
  • Baalam
  • Adalat
  • Pakeeza
  • Asmat
  • Mujhe jeeney do
  • Mahal
  • Dil diya dard liya
  • Taj Mahal


  • Tum mile pyar mila[3]
  • Jaise jante nahin
  • Zindgi kitni haseen hai
  • Bahu Rani
  • Jang-e-Azadi


  • Insaan Aur Aadmi[3]
  • Mohabbat rang laye gi
  • Ik Phool ik Pathar
  • Anjaan
  • Najma
  • Noreen


  • Insaaf Aur Qanoon[3]
  • Duniya na maney
  • Yaden
  • Teri soorat meri Ankhen
  • Salam-e-Mohabbat
  • Aansoo bahaye Pathron ne


  • Afsana Zindgi ka
  • Ilzaam
  • Sabbaq
  • Mohabbat[5]
  • Badley gi Duniya saathi
  • Dil ik Aaina


  • Daaman aur Chingari
  • Nadiya ke paar




  • Aurat ek paheli
  • Phool aur Sholay
  • Goonj uthi Shehnai
  • Dharkan
  • Aap ka Khadam


  • Bharosa


  • Kora Kaghaz
  • Takrao


  • Chori Chori
  • Ibadat


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Muhammad Suhayb (7 January 2018). "The Rishta from Abroad (Zeba's films)". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Profile of Zeba on pakmag.net website Retrieved 26 January 2022
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Adnan Lodhi (9 March 2021). "Lollywood veteran Zeba Begum shifted to ICU". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "Asia's 25 greatest actors of all time (includes Pakistan's Zeba and Mohammad Ali)". CNN International via Asia Society website. 5 March 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Amjad Parvez (17 November 2019). "Zeba – a look back at the legendary actress's life". Daily Times (newspaper). Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Swami Ji. "Pakistan's "Oscars"; The Nigar Awards (1957 - 2002)". The Hot Spot Film Reviews website. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  7. ^ Gautam Chintamani. "Love thy neighbour". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Pakistan's Top Film Star Muhammad Ali Dies". PakTribune (newspaper). 20 March 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Mohammad Ali – Shehanshah e Jazbaat". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  10. ^ 70 military, 84 civil awards conferred (including Zeba's award) Dawn (newspaper), Published 24 March 2016, Retrieved 1 July 2019

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