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Shamim Ara

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Shamim Ara

Shamim Ara
Born Putli Bai
1938 (age 73)
Aligarh, British India (now India)
Occupation Actress, Film Producer, Film Director
Years active 1956 - present

Shamim Ara (Urdu: شمیم آرا ‎) (born: 1938 in Aligarh, British India) is a Pakistani film actress, director and producer. She was born Putli Bai but later adopted the stage 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 Naela, released on 29 October 1965, whereas the first full length color motion picture was Sangam which was produced in the then East Pakistan and released on 23 April 1964. She currently resides in Lahore, Pakistan. in 2010, Shamim Ara went to coma after she underwent brain surgery.[1] She was admitted in ICU in critical condition in October 2012. She is unconsciousness condition from many weeks.[2]


In 1956, Putli's family were visiting some relatives in Lahore, Pakistan, when a chance meeting with the well-known film director, Najam Naqvi, had her signed for his next project. He was searching for a new face for his film Kanwari Bewah (1956) and was blown away by her cute features, sweet voice, approachable personality and innocent yet inviting smile. It was Najam Naqvi who introduced her under the stage name Shamim Ara. 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 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 is what truly advanced her career. By then, Shamim Ara had become a household name. The filming of the song Mujh Se Pehli Si Muhabbat Meray Mehboob Nah Maang (a poem written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and recorded by Madam Noor Jehan) 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 and the standard for beauty in Pakistan. Her fame and impeccable acting skills landed her the title character in the film Naela (1965), the first color film produced in the then West Pakistan. Her portrayal of the tragic Naela won her further critical acclaim. She went on to star in many hits including Devdas, Doraha, Humraz. However, Qaidi, Chingari, Firangi, Naela, Aag Ka Darya, Lakhon Mein Eik, Saiqa and Salgirah were landmarks in her career securing her 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. However, none of those films reached the level of success Shamim Ara had at the height of her acting career.

Jaidaad and Tees Maar Khan were the only two Punjabi movies in which she performed.

Film producer

In 1968 she produced her first film Saiqah which was based on the novel of Razia Butt. The film attracted a large number of viewers especially females.

Film director

In 1976, for the first time, she directed film Jeo Aur Jeenay Do. After that she directed Munda Bigra Jaaey, which turned out to be a major success at the Pakistani box office. Some famous films she directed include Playboy, Miss Hong Kong, Miss Singapore, Miss Colombo, Lady Smuggler, Lady Commando, Aakhri Mujra, Baita, Haathi Mere Saathi, Hum To Chaley Susral, Miss Istanbul, Hum Kisi Say Kum Nahin, and Love 95.


Shamim Ara, was first married to Sardar Rind, a landlord of Balochistan, who later died in a car crash. She then went on to marry Majid Karim, who was the owner of Agfa-Gevaert. Due to family pressure, he was compelled to divorce her. Third time her hand was held by Fareed Ahmed, son of W.Z. Ahmed (Waadah and Roohi), a Pakistan TV personality, but his wife, famous TV actress Samina Ahmed, allegedly created inevitable conditions which forced him to divorce the newly wed bride within three days of marriage. It is believed that due to the grief, he abandoned his job and left for Canada. Shamim Ara is now married to the producer and screenwriter Dabeer-ul-Hasan, who has written the screenplays for most of the movies she has directed. They are currently living in Lahore, Pakistan. the


  • Kanwari Bewah, Miss 56 (1956)
  • Anarkali, Wah Re Zamaney (1958)
  • Alam Ara, Apna Paraya, Faislah, Savera, Jaidaad, Mazloom, Raaz (1959)
  • Bhabi, Do Ustad, Izzat, Raat ke rahi, Roop matti baaz bahadur, Saheli (1960)
  • Insaan badalta hai, Zamana kya kahe ga, Zamin ka chaand (1961)
  • Aanchal, Mehboob, Mera kya qasoor, Qaidi, Inqalab (1962)
  • Dulhan, Ek tera sahara, Ghazala, Kala pani, Saazish, Seema, Tange wala (1963)
  • Baap ka baap, Chingari, Farangi, Haveli, Maihkhanah, Pyaar ki sazaa, Tanha (1964)
  • Devdas, Dil ke tukde, Fashion, Naelah (1965)
  • Aag ka darya, Jalwa, Majboor, Mere mehboob, Pardah, Qabeelah (1966)
  • Doraha, Humraaz, Laakhon mein aik (1967)
  • Saiqah (Producer) (1968)
  • Aanch, Dil-e-betaab, Salgirah (1969)
  • Aansoo ban gaye moti, Bewafa (1970)
  • Parai aag, Suhaag, Wehshi (1971)
  • Angarey (1972)
  • Khwaab Aur Zindagi (1973)
  • Bhool (Producer) (1974)Playboy (Producer and Director) (1978)
  • Mere Apne (Starred in and directed) (1981)
  • Pal Do Pal (Director) (1999)


External links

  • Internet Movie Database

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