Zeenat Aman is widely considered to be one of the most influential actresses in Indian cinema. Aman, who was born on 19th November 1951 in Bombay has received a wide variety of awards and award nominations throughout her film career that spreads well over about 80 films. A multitude of her films have been deemed classics and Aman has stood out for being one of the very few who played bold and controversial characters in Bollywood.
After studying in Los Angeles, Zeenat began her career as a journalist, writing for Femina magazine. Taking a break from her journalism career, she went on to try modeling at which she excelled winning the Femina Miss India pageant and the Miss Asia Pacific International pageant within the same year. Her modeling career took off and she appeared in numerous magazines and magazine covers while simultaneously modeling for various major and minor brands. By the year 1970, she started making small film appearances and she made her official big Bollywood debut with the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna in the year 1971. She won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and BFJA Award for Best Actress for playing the role of Jasbir/Janice in this film which starred and was directed by Dev Anand
. In 1973, she starred in films like Heera Panna, Yaadon ki Baaraat and Dhund. The following year, she starred as Sheetal in Manoj Kumar`s critically acclaimed Roti kapda aur Makaan. The film was a blockbuster hit and went on to become the highest-grossing film of that year, shooting most of the people, including and especially Zeenat Aman, into stardom. Aman followed this with a barrage of films in unconventional roles with almost all of the major male stars of that time such as Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna
, Shashi Kapoor
, Ashok Kumar, Shammi Kapoor
, Rishi Kapoor
and Sanjeev Kumar
amongst others. She also starred in a main role in the film Dharam Veer
which was clarified as one of the biggest hits of the decade. She then appeared in Raj Kapoor
`s Satyam Shivam Sundaram
in the year 1978 and played the famed character Roma in Don (1978), starring Amitabh Bachchan
Zeenat Aman was the poster girl of the urban and independent modern woman. She took on unconventional roles and provided a new dimension to the stereotypical Indian woman. She portrayed more strong characters and had a big part in breaking the taboo and rules of Hindi cinema. That is why she is considered as a revolutionary actress influencing other actresses of her own generation as well as the generations to come. Apart from being cited as one of the Hottest Bollywood Actresses ever, she has also been cited as the Original Sex Symbol of Bollywood. She played a woman married to a caustic cripple involved in an extramarital relationship in Dhund, an opportunist who deserts her jobless lover for a millionaire in Roti Kapda aur Makaan, the girl who falls in love with her mother`s one-time lover in Prem Shastra, a hooker in Manoranjan, amongst a sea of other unorthodox and unconventional roles in films spreading over diverse genres and subjects. That is the reason why she is considered to be one of the most path-breaking actors Indian cinema has ever seen.