Veena Malik, born Zahida Malik on 26 February 1978, is an actress, model and comedian. She established herself as one of the leading women in the Pakistani television and film industry with her abilities to mimic others and improvise. Veena grew up expressing an interest in joining the film industry and her grandmother encouraged her. Her father, however, disliked the idea of his daughter being in an industry that was deemed unsuitable for girls in Pakistan and initially resisted her attempts to pursue a career in entertainment. However, she continued to receive support from her grandmother despite the disapproval of many family members. Before starting her career as an actress, Veena worked as a comedian for several television shows and series. She made her acting debut alongside Shaan and Zara Sheikh in Tere Pyar Mein in 2000, which did well at the box office but since she played a supporting role in the film she was barely acknowledged. However, she received widespread acclaim when she appeared in a supporting role in Javed Sheikh’s Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa in 2002; the film was a commercial success. In 2003, she appeared in Indo-Pak cross venture Punjabi film Pind Di Kuri which failed to do well. However, the film turned out be the first Indo-Pak venture film with a budget of approximately 70 million rupees. She also appeared in Askari’s Sassi Punno alongside Sana and Moammar Rana and in Jageer. In 2008, Veena appeared in the Punjabi film, Mohabbatan Sachiyan, alongside ex-fiancee Babrik Shah and newcomers Maria Khan and Adnan Khan. The film went on to become a commercial success. In 2010, she worked in Main Jeena Tere Naal, and debut comedy programme Miss Duniya.
Veena has usually been cast as a supporting actor. It is unclear if she herself stayed clear of the leading roles or was denied them. Industry enthusiasts say that the only genre she was good at was ‘comedy’ and that the directors failed to create a leading role around her acting skills. The criticism was taken well by her and she began to hone her skills even more in comedy. In 2002, she hosted a show called Prime Gupshup ushering a new direction for her comedic skills and she improvised on the hour-long show by occasionally mimicking actors. The show’s format was such a great success that she got offers from various other channels as well. She hosted the Geo TV show Hum Sub Umeed Say Hain, in which she was hailed for her parodies. In September 2010, Veena was approached to become part of the Indian television reality show, Bigg Boss Season 4, being hosted by Salman Khan.
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