Zeba Bakhtiar is a well-known Pakistani actress, producer, and director. She has worked in the Pakistani entertainment industry as well as the Indian film industry.
Zeba Bakhtiar was born Shaheen on Friday, 5 November 1971 (age 51 years; as of 2022) in Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. She did her schooling at St. Joseph’s Convent School in Quetta. She attended Karachi Grammar School. Zeba graduated from the Kinnaird College for Women University in Lahore, Pakistan. Later, she also attended the University of Balochistan in Quetta. Facebook – Zeba Bakhtiar
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Dark Ash Blonde
Eye Colour: Light Brown
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Yahya Bakhtiar, was a Pakistani lawyer and politician who served as the Attorney General of Pakistan. He was born in 1921 into a Pashtun family in Quetta. He attended several schools in Quetta and Lahore. He earned a degree in the field of Law in London and was later called to the bar in the United Kingdom.
In 1941, he became a member of the All-India Muslim League. He served as Pakistani barrister and statesman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s cabinet and played an important role in the framing of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. In 1974, he joined the Pakistan Peoples Party and left the Council Muslim League. In 1977, he was elected as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from the Quetta-Pishin constituency. Yahya was also appointed to the Senate of Pakistan.
When Mr Bakhtiar represented former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in a court trial against the Zia-ul-Haq government beginning on 24 October 1977, he rose to prominence in Pakistan. Bhutto was sentenced to death after being declared guilty of murder on 18 March 1978 and was executed on 4 April 1979. Many Pakistanis referred to the execution of the democratically elected prime minister as a “judicial murder.” The Nation The New York Times In 1988, Yahya Bakhtiar was appointed as the Attorney General of Pakistan. He remained the vice-chairman and a member of the Pakistan People’s Party Central Committee and president of the Balochistan PPP. Apart from this, he also represented Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Bakhtiar died on 27 June 2003 in Karachi at the age of 81.
Zeba Bakhtiar’s mother, Eva Bakhtiar, was born to Hungarian parents. She met Yahya Bakhtiar in the early 1940s and they got married in 1949. She graduated with an honours degree from University College London in England and moved to Pakistan in 1949. Eva passed away in 2011. Zeba has two brothers, Saleem Bakhtiar and Karim Bakhtiar, who are both US-based doctors. Her sister, Saira Bakhtiar, is a Karachi-based corporate lawyer.
Husband & Children
Zeba Bakhtiar has been married four times. In 1982, Zeba Bakhtiar got married to Salman Galliani from Quetta. The couple welcomed a daughter but they parted ways after their marriage went kaput resulting in Bakhtiar’s sister adopting their daughter. In 1989, she got married to Indian actor Javed Jaffrey; however, they filed for divorce within one year of marriage. In 1993, she got married to the music composer Adnan Sami, but they separated five years later. The couple welcomed a son and named him Azaan Sami Khan. Azaan is a singer, and got married to Sophia Bilgrami at the age of 20.
In 2008, Zeba got married to Sohail Khan Leghari in Pakistan.
She follows Islam.
In 1988, she made her acting and television debut with the Pakistani television drama series Anarkali, which aired on PTV. Zeba appeared in various popular TV dramas including Tansen (1990), Laag (1998), and Pehli Si Mohabbat (2005).
In 1995, she made her debut with the film Sargam in which she played the role of Zeb-un-Nisa. She appeared in several Pakistani films including Chief Sahib (1996), Qaid (1996), and Musalman (2001). In 2015, she played the role of Saba’s mother in the romantic drama film Bin Roye.
In 1991, she made her Bollywood debut when she played the role of Henna in the Hindi film Henna, which was directed by Randhir Kapoor. Zeba became a household name after she appeared in this film.
She appeared in several films including Mohabbat Ki Aarzoo (1994), Stuntman (1994), and Jai Vikraanta (1995).
She launched her own film production companies, ‘Nirvana Films,’ in 1999 and ‘Sagar Entertainment,’ in 2004. She runs her production company One Motion Pictures with her son, Azaan. In 2001, she debuted as a producer and director with the Urdu film Babu. In 2014, Zeba and her son, Azaan Sami Khan, produced a Pakistani spy thriller film titled O21 (or Operation 21 formerly The Extortionist), starring Shaan Shahid and Ayub Khoso. In 2017, she joined her paternal family’s real estate development business wherein she carried out her first project ‘Bakhtiar Mall’ in Quetta.
Breach of Agreement
In 2003, Arshad Sami Khan filed a case against Zeba Bakhtiar for breach of agreement, on behalf of Adnan Sami Khan in which Arshad pleaded that the court should direct Zeba to let Azaan Sami Khan (son of Zeba and Adnan) meet his father, Adnan Sami Khan, without any hindrance. He also claimed that three months earlier, there was a settlement between the two families after which they withdrew all the cases against Zeba and her father, Yahya Bakhtiar, but the latter did not withdraw their cases against the Sami family. The reconciliation agreement stated that Azaan would be allowed to meet his father anytime without any delays; however, Zeba Bakhtiar refused to let her son meet. While requesting the court to let his grandson unite with his son, Adnan, Arshad warned Zeba’s family and said that the twelve cases, which were withdrawn against Zeba Bakhtiar and her family, would be reopened in order to seek justice. Dawn
- In 1995, she was awarded Nigar Award for Best Actress for the Pakistani film Sargam (1995).
- In 2004, she won Chairperson’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the Pakistani entertainment industry at the 3rd Lux Style Awards held in Dubai.
- In 2018, Zeba won the Excellence Award for Timeless Beauty at the HUM Style Awards.
- Zeba was diagnosed with diabetes in her early 20s. She often advocates in diabetes awareness campaigns on different forums. In an interview, while talking about participating in awareness drives, she said,
Though I have been working formally to raise awareness for diabetes for over a year now. I have still not been able to provide free drugs, testing and treatment to patients who cannot afford to pay for it.”
- Zeba was chosen for the Eisenhower Fellowship South Asia program in 2012 to study the topic ‘possibilities of using media for social change and development.’
- Zeba has worked in Bollywood films with several popular actors including Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, and Jackie Shroff.
- Zeba is the CEO of Sagar Entertainment, a production company.
- She became the chairwoman of Diya Women Football Club, which is a Pakistani women’s association football and futsal club based in Karachi.
- In 2012, when Adnan Sami’s second wife, Sabah Galadari, filed a case against Adnan under the domestic violence act, Zeba Bakhtiar came in support of Adnan and said,
He could be a bad husband but could never physically hurt anyone.”
- In 2014, Zeba Bakhtiar announced a boycott of three cinema houses, Capri and Bambino Cinemas in Karachi and Dreamland Cinema in Multan. The screening of the film Operation 021 was released on the occasion of Eid but it was closed after 25 minutes, she revealed while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC).
- In September 2020, she was appointed as the president of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) in Pakistan.
- She has been featured on the covers of several fashion magazines.
- Zeba has also appeared in various TV commercials and print advertisements as a model.
- While talking about Rishi Kapoor in an interview, Zeba said that after she met Rishi Kapoor, she felt as if she was also a part of his family. She also said that she was always connected with him via calls and online social media platforms. Furthermore, Rishi’s brother, Randhir Kapoor, also made sure Zeba was aware of Rishi’s health.
Before these mobile phones came into our lives, I used to call him on his land-line phone to wish him on his birthday and Diwali. And once the trend of WhatsApp started, we communicated on that to wish each other. Also, he used to message me whenever a film of Ranbir Kapoor released and I used to make it a point to go and watch it.”
- Zeba is a fitness enthusiast and often shares her fitness regimen on social media.
- Zeba is a pet lover and has a Labrador Retriever.
|↑1||Facebook – Zeba Bakhtiar|
|↑3||The New York Times|