Veteran Pakistani film star, Neelo Begum born in Sargodha as Cynthia Alexander Fernandes in 1940 passed away on 30th January 2021 in Lahore. She is the mother of popular Pakistani actor, Shaan Shahid, known for her role as a Palestinian fighter in the film Zarqa back in 1969. She converted to Islam and married screenwriter, journalist, and filmmaker, Riaz Shahid.
Her son, Shaan Shahid, had shared the news of her mother’s demise on the micro-blogging website. He wrote, “It is with the saddest of heart I share the departure of my mother as she has gone to her creator .may ALLAH bless her.”
It is with the saddest of heart I share the departure of my mother as she has gone to her creator .may ALLAH bless her ❤️🙏🏼
— Shaan Shahid (@mshaanshahid) January 30, 2021
He then shared another tweet with his mother, “I don’t know what to write as words have become empty .. just like the world without her is so meaningless.. my success and my failures both need her. The only hope that is still alive is to meet her one day beyond the boundaries of life..love you forever. ALLAH apkay saath ho”
I don’t know what to write as words have become empty .. just like the world without her is so meaning less.. my success and my failures both need her.the only hope that is still alive is to meet her one day beyond the boundaries of life..love you forever. 🙏🏼ALLAH apkay saath ho. pic.twitter.com/lgeV8UJdgY
— Shaan Shahid (@mshaanshahid) January 31, 2021
Neelo Begum’s Acting Career Began at the Age of 16
Neelo was just 16 years old when she got her first small role alongside Ava Gardner for a Hollywood film called Bhowani Junction. She became popular later in 1957 for performing on the song “Aaye Mausam, Rangilay Suhanay” in the film Saat Lakh.
Symbol of Resistance
During the era of General Ayub Khan, Neelo was ordered to perform on stage for the Shah of Iran at that time, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was here on an official visit in 1964. She refused to perform and was consequently violently grabbed from her home. The actress attempted suicide on her way and was rushed to hospital where doctors saved her life. She became a symbol of resistance to military rule in Pakistan after the fiasco.
Condolences Poured in from all Over Pakistan
Madam Abida (Neelo Begum) passes away – My Condolences with her Family. @mshaanshahid pic.twitter.com/VmIZzgorcr
— Sanam Baloch (@SanamBalochfans) January 30, 2021
Begum Neelo Shahid was an amazing actress and a wonderful lady. Sending Shaan Shahid heartfelt condolences and praying for sabr. Mothers never leave us they live in our hearts and in the love they showered on us. She lives on in her work and the memories of all her fans. RIP
— Samina Peerzada (@SaminaSays) February 1, 2021
Tu Ke Nawaqif-i-Aadab-i-Ghulami Hai Abhi
Raqs Zanjeer Pehen Kar Bhee Kiya Jata Hai!
(You seem to be unaware of the tenets of slavery
You can also dance in fetters!) pic.twitter.com/FuijKChCiB
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) January 31, 2021
Jalib’s poem “raqs zanjeer pehen kar” was written for #NeeloBegum when she refused to bow down to the demands of the dictator Gen. Ayub Khan. https://t.co/nE7gYrD7cO
— Shahram Azhar (@ShahramAzhar) January 31, 2021
#RIP #Neelo https://t.co/DL7uLyiEGf
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) January 30, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan also Passed Condolence on Neelo Begums Demise.
My condolences and prayers go to @mshaanshahid on the passing of his mother.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 31, 2021
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