Who is Neelam Kothari?

Indian actress and jewelry designer Neelam Kothari, was born under the zodiac sign Pisces in British Hong Kong on 3 March 1968. She has 59 acting credits, but is probably still best known for portraying Sangeeta Chatuvedi Pandey in the 1999 musical movie “Hum Saath-Saath Hain”, which starred Mohnish Behl and Salman Khan, and was written and directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya. It follows the lives of Mamta, her husband Ramkishen and their four children; the movie won one of its 10 award nominations.

Neelam’s currently shooting for the upcoming series “Call Me Bae”.

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Education and early life

Neelam was raised in Hong Kong alongside her older brother Afsheen Kothari, by their Iranian mother Parveen Kothari and Gujarati Indian father Shishir Kothari; Neelam’s parents run a traditional jewellery-making business.

Neelam studied at Island School and was a member of the Rutherford House; she was vacationing with her family in Mumbai when they were approached by movie director Ramesh Behl, who invited Neelam to an audition. She was only eight when she made her debut film appearance, playing a supporting character in the fantasy “Jai Mahalaxmi Maa”, and Neelam didn’t have any roles in the following eight years, as her parents urged her to focus on her education.

She studied at a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1986, focused on acting rather than enrolling at college.

Roles in movies

Neelam starred as Sanam S. Malhotra in the 1984 romantic action “Jawaani”, which also starred Karan Shah and Moushumi Chatterjee, and was directed by Ramesh Behl; it follows the members of the Malhotra family now that they’ve become wealthy all of a sudden. Some of Neelam’s notable performances in the remainder of the ‘80s were in the 1986 romantic drama “Love 86”, the 1987 romantic action “Aag Hi Aag”, and the 1990 crime comedy “Chor Pe Mor”.

In 1992, she starred as Chinar in the romantic action “Sahebzaade”, which also starred Sanjay Dutt and Aditya Pancholi, and was directed by Ajay Kashyap. It follows two brothers who are living with their mother in a village in the Himachal Pradesh Hills. A couple of Neelam’s following notable performances were in the 1993 family drama “Santaan”, the 1995 romantic drama “Sauda”, and the 1996 romantic action “Zordaar”. She played Shilpa in the 1996 action thriller “Ek Tha Raja”, which starred Suniel Shetty and Aditya Pancholi, and was directed by Dayal Nihalani. It follows wealthy Lalchand Dogra who’s living with his pregnant wife and two sons in a bungalow, but who’s now been sentenced to spend several years behind bars, and has lost his fortune. The remainder of the ‘90s saw Neelam appear in the 1998 musical comedy “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, and the 1998 action “Mohabbat Aur Jung”.

She played Bindiya in the 2001 action “Kasam”, which starred Naseeruddin Shah and Sunny Deol, and was directed by Shibu Mitra; it follows Shankar who’s teamed up with a police inspector, and a runaway convict to avenge his father’s death.

In 2002, Neelam starred in the crime mystery “Deewangee”, which co-starred Akshaye Khanna and Ajay Devgn, and was written and directed by Anees Bazmee. It follows an attorney as he’s to defend a person who’s been accused of murder, and is suffering from multiple personality disorder; the movie won six of its eight award nominations.

Neelam retired from acting following her role in “Deewangee” and focused on her family’s jewellery business; she’s only recently returned to the film industry, in 2022, with roles in two TV series.

Roles in TV series

Neelam’s appeared in only two TV series.

In 2022, she played a supporting character in two episodes of the popular comedy “Masaba Masaba”, which starred Neena Gupta and Masaba Gupta, and follows the lives of a woman and her daughter.

In 2023, Neelam portrayed Kriti Malhotra in the episode “And They Lived Happily Ever After” of the critically acclaimed romantic drama “Made in Heaven”, which stars Sobhita Dhulipala and Arjun Mathur, and was created by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar. It follows the lives of two wedding planners working in Delhi, India, the series has been airing since 2019, and has won six of its 19 award nominations.

Other credits

Neelam received special thanks for the critically acclaimed 1998 musical comedy movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”.

Some of her recent talk-show appearances have been in “Naya Andaz”, “BPL Oye!” and “Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives”.

Awards and nominations

Neelam was nominated for a 2000 Zee Cine Popular Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in “Hum Saath-Saath Hain”.

Jewellery designing

Neelam completed a formal course in jewellery design in the ‘90s, and upon retiring from acting launched her own business Neelam Jewels; her showroom opened in Mumbai in 2004, and her new jewellery store Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels was opened in Mumbai on 25 August 2011.

Love life and marriages

Neelam can rarely be heard speaking about her love life in public, but we know that she’s married twice. Her first husband was British businessman of Indian descent Rishi Sethia; they exchanged vows in 2002, but divorced only a year or two later.

Neelam began dating famous Indian actor, director and former model Samir Soni in 2010; he has 49 acting credits, and is probably known best for portraying the supporting character Kunal Raj Chopra in 70 episodes of the drama series “Parichay: Nayee Zindagi Kay Sapno Ka”, which aired from 2011 through 2013. Neelam and Samir married in a traditional Indian ceremony on 24 January 2011.

It’s also widely known that Neelam was engaged to Indian actor and comedian Govind Arun ‘Govinda’ Ahuja in 1986, but they separated because Govinda’s mother was against their relationship; Neelam was also engaged to popular Indian actor Bobby Deol, who’s a year her junior.

There are no other men whom Neelam’s perhaps been with, that we know about; she’s married to her second husband Samir Soni as of August 2023, and doesn’t have children.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Neelam enjoys being physically active, and is an avid tennis player, having been playing the sport since her teenage years.

Her brother Afsheen ‘Sunny’ Kothari’s the owner of the world renowned company E.S.C. Inc. in New York State.

Neelam’s aunt Kati ‘Ketty’ Irani’s also a popular actress, and was engaged to famous Indian actor Mahesh Anand in 1991.

Close to 30,000 people are following Neelam on her Instagram account ‘Neelam Jewels Official”, and she’s posted close to 100 pictures and videos; most of her content serves to promote her jewellery.

She loves bright colors and incorporates them into her jewellery designs; her favorites are blue and yellow.

Neelam’s travelled all around the world, mostly for work, but nowadays prefers to stay at her home in Mumbai.

One of her favorite actresses is Kareena Kapoor, and some of her favorite movies include “Heroine”, “Good Newwz” and “Veere Di Wedding”.

Appearance and net worth

Neelam’s age is 55. Her hair and eyes are brown, she weighs around 130lbs (59kgs) and is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall.

Neelam’s net worth’s been estimated at over $1 million, as of August 2023.

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