Amrita Singh PROFILE
Amrita's paternal great grandfather, Sir Sobha Singh, was a noted civil contractor who not only made a substantial fortune during the building of New Delhi in the early decades of the 20th century, but also received a Knighthood for his efforts. His younger son, and Amrita's paternal grand-uncle, is the renowned littérateur Khushwant Singh. Her mother was Rukhsana Sultana who was famous for being Sanjay Gandhi's friend and influence peddler during the Emergency years in the 70's. Her parents were divorced when she was very young. She went to Modern School in Delhi. Amrita was initially a belly dancer, but then tried out with cinema. She is the first cousin of actor Ayub Khan as her and Ayub's mothers are sisters. Amrita's mother was influential in launching her daughter's career in Hindi cinema. She lobbied with B.R. Chopra who was looking for a fresh face for his film 'Nikah'. Having already rejected Zeenat Aman , who played the lead in his previous mega success 'Insaf Ka Tarazu' he searched the world over and finally decided on Salma Agha. Rukshana Sultan was miffed and wrote threatening letters to Salma Agha in hopes of scaring the British raised girl to run back to London. The controversy over the anonymous letters grew and the letters were finally traced back to Amrita Singh, however much after 'Betaab' was already on the floors, Salma Agha went on to do 'Nikah', Zeenat Aman moved on to another mega success, 'Qurbani' and Amrita Singh got her success with 'Betaab', however, her reputation was tarnished. Amrita made her Bollywood debut in 1983 with 'Betaab', a vastly successful film in which she paired with debutant Sunny Deol. During those days she was said to have an affair with actor Sunny Deol. Career wise she had a spate of hits, such as 'Sunny' in 1984, 'Mard', which was the biggest hit of that year, and 'Saaheb' in 1985, 'Chameli Ki Shaadi' and 'Naam' in 1986, 'Khudgarz' in 1987, and so on. Amrita made a successful pair in several films not only with Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt, but also with Anil Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, two leading actors of the 1980s. She not only played leading roles, but has also played supporting negative roles in films such as 'Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman' (1992) and 'Aaina' (1993). She also won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for 'Aaina'. This success did not dissuade her from her desire to retire into family life, and Amrita quit acting after 1993. She returned to acting in 2002 with the film '23rd March 1931: Shaheed' where she played the mother of Bhagat Singh (played by Bobby Deol). She then made a comeback on the small screen by doing the television serial, 'Kavyanjali' on STAR Plus in 2005. Later that year she won acclaim for her performance in yet another negative role for the film 'Kalyug'. In 2007, Amrita played the role of the gangster Maya Dolas's mother, Ratnaprabha Dolas, in Sanjay Gupta's film 'Shootout at Lokhandwala', directed by Apoorva Lakhia. Her last release was the anthology film 'Dus Kahaniyaan' where she appeared in the short story Poornmasi. In 1991, Amrita gave up acting for a family life with actor Saif Ali Khan, who was about 12 to 13 years her junior. The couple has two children, a daughter Sara and a son Ibrahim. They were separated in 2004 and Amrita Singh now lives with her two young children.