A tribute to the Legend
Zeba is one of the most famous actresses in Pakistan. Her real name was Shaheen, but she adopted the name Zeba for her film career. Zeba was married to Mohammad Ali, a prominent actor of Pakistan's film industry.
Most of her movies were romantic, where her pair with actor Waheed Murad became very popular. After marriage, she, however, restricted herself only to the movies with Mohammad Ali.
Zeba started her film career from Karachi where producer Noor Mohammad Khan offered a role of heroine in his film Zindagi. Due to some reasons, this film was never released and then she was casted in another Karachi made film Shakir, with a lead role with Arif as hero, which was eventually released in 1962 with a different name Chiragh Jalta Raha. Other debut cast were Mohammad Ali and Kamal Irani.
Tauba was her first Golden Jubilee movie, where her beauty was immediately acknowledged by cinema goers. Her pair first with Kamal and then with Waheed Murad (in the film Heera aur pathar) became instant box office hit. Heera aur pathar undoubtedly established her as an actress of high repute.
After the introduction of color movies, she first appeared in Najma. Rishta Hey Pyar Ka was her first film which was shot overseas. Her first Platinum Jubilee was Armaan which was also Pakistan's first Platinum Jubilee Urdu film. Armaan is considered as the best movie in her entire career, which was produced by Waheed Murad himself and directed by Pervaiz Malik. The movie was released on 18th March, 1966. During the same year, Zeba and Waheed Murad were teamed up in two other movies, i.e., Josh and Jaag utha insaan.
She starred in only one Punjabi film named Mehndi Wale Hath, whereas she had worked with a total of 45 film directors.
Zeba's presence in the following movies gave new dimensions to the highly popular tragic roles: Gumrah, Ilzaam, (director S. Sulaiman), Ik phool ik pathar, Insaan aur Aadmi, Insaaf aur Qanoon, Afsana zindigi ka, Dil ik Aa'ena, Daman aur chingari, Aarzoo (director: Raza Meer), Adalat, Anjaan, Dil diya dard liya, Mahel, Pakeeza (director: Luqman), Phool merey gulshan ka, Mohabbat zindigi hai, Jab jab phool khiley, Paalki, Aap ka khadim, Baaghi sepahe, Koh-e-noor, Najma, Aansoo bahaye patharoan nay, Bharosa, Shama, Naukar, Esaar, Yaadain, Waqt ki pukar, Bahu Rani, Goonj uthi shehnai, Shireen Farhad, Aurat ik paheli, Riwaj and Sabaq.
Her last film as lead actress was Mohabbat ho tau aisi released in 1989.
During the struggle days, Zeba was called by Shareef Nayyar to work for his under direction film "Ishq par zor naheen (1963)" from Karachi to Lahore. On trail, Zeba was declared Fail and Shareef Nayyar passed the remarks that she is not a suitable actress and could not be a big actress in future, then he decided to take Musarrat Nazeer instead.