• Classical Dancer
|Profession(s)||Being mother of Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|Debut||Film: 'Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro' (1989) as Mumtaz
TV: Phir Wahi Talash (1989) on Doordarshan as Shehnaz
|Award||She received the Dr Bababsaheb Ambedkar Novel Award in 2017.
|Date of Birth||2 December 1958 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||64 Years|
|School(s)||• All Saints' College, Nainital, Uttarakhand
• Mater Dei School, Tilak Lane, New Delhi
|College/University||Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi|
|Educational Qualification||M.A. in Kathak from Sangeet Natak Akademi|
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||Rajesh Khattar The Times of India|
|Marriage Date||• First Marriage- Year 1979
• Second Marriage- Year 1990
• Third Marriage- Year 2004
|Husband/Spouse||• First Husband- Pankaj Kapur (actor) (m. 1979 - div. 1984)
• Second Husband- Rajesh Khattar (actor) (m. 1990 - div. 2001)
• Third Husband- Raza Ali Khan (Indian classical vocalist) (m. 2004 - div. 2009)
Shahid Kapoor (actor)
Ishaan Khatter (actor)
|Parents||Father- Anwar Azeem (Marxist journalist, Urdu author)
|Siblings||Brother: A N Anwer (actor)|
|Other Relatives||• Maternal Grandfather: Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (film director, novelist, and journalist)
• Cousin: Saba Zaidi (TV producer and costume designer)
|Dancer(s)||Bharati Gupta, Saswati Sen|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Neelima Azeem
- Neelima Azeem is an Indian actress, Kathak dancer, and writer. She is recognised for her contributions to Hindi films and TV series. She is the mother of two well-known Bollywood actors, Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter.
- She revealed in an interview that she began dancing when she was only two years old. She added that her first stage performance took place when she was four years old.
- At the age of 10, she started learning Kathak from the well-known classical dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj. She has remained associated with him for nearly 52 years. Neelima also took formal training in Kathak from some other renowned dancers like Munna Shukla, Srimati Reva Vidyarthi, and Pundit Devilalji.
- She wanted to become an actress since she was a child. She started participating in theatrical productions with the popular Indian theatre director and actor Habib Tanvir in his Chhattisgarhi theatre when she was 10 years old.
- In addition to dance, Neelima also underwent formal training in singing. She has learnt singing from the popular vocalist of the Kasur Patiala Gharana Ustad Munnawar Ali Khan, who was the younger son of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
- At the age of 14, she did a photo shoot for the stamps of the Indian Classical Heritage Series in which she represented Kathak.
- Neelima Azeem received immense popularity for her performance as Shehnaz in her debut TV series ‘Phir Wahi Talash’ (1989) which proved to be the breakthrough of her career.
- In 1990, she played the role of Mumtaz in the historical TV series ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ (1990) which aired on DD National.
- After making her film debut with the film ‘Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro’ (1989), she appeared in the film ‘Sadak’ (1991) in which she played the role of Chanda.
- In 2002, she appeared in a supporting role in the TV series ‘Saans,’ which aired on StarPlus.
- She has acted in various television series including ‘Talaash’ (1992), ‘Bible Ki Kahaniyan’ (1993), ‘Junoon’ (1994), ‘Amrapali’ (2002), ‘Kashmeer’ (2003), and ‘Dhoondh Legi Manzil Humein’ (2010).
- In the film ‘Ishq Vishk’ (2003), she played the role of Shahid Kapoor’s on-screen mother. It was Shahid’s debut film.
- In 2016, she played the role of Zeher Raza in the film ‘Alif.’ Later, the film was screened at the Indian International Film Festival of Queensland.
- She has acted in many more films including ‘Karmyoddha’ (1992), ‘Itihaas’ (1997), ‘Sooryavansham’ (1999), ‘Just Married’ (2007), and ‘Blackmail’ (2018).
- Apart from TV series and films, Neelima has also acted in a few web series. She played the role of Suhasini Joshi in the web series ‘Mom & Co.’ (2019) streaming on the YouTube channel ‘Zoom Studios.’
- Her performance as Farzana Shaikh in the web series ‘Halala’ (2019) received immense appraisal from the audience. The series premiered on the OTT platform Ullu.
- In an interview, Neelima Azeem revealed the biases she encountered in the Bollywood film industry. While talking about this in the interview, she said,
In films I also went through the unfairness of directors cutting off my roles because I was looking better than the heroines. The casting couch was also a problem. My talent was not well used by the film industry. I was a looker, dancer, actress and had great diction!”
- In Mumbai, she established a Kathak dance academy called ‘Roots Academy.’
- Among her students are several Bollywood stars including Jhanvi Kapoor, Aayush Sharma, and Payal Shetty.
- In an interview, Neelima’s second husband, Rajesh Khattar, revealed an interesting fact about his relationship with Neelima and said that he first met Neelima on a film set, where their friendship started. Later, they began dating each other and got married after nearly a year. In the same interview, he also talked about the situations that led to their divorce.