Aaliyah – Profile
Aaliyah began her career in smaller roles, but graduated to the top of the Punjabi cinema due to that killer combination of verve and curve. She had the vivacity and the talent that soon catapulted her to the Urdu movies too. Her first film was a Punjabi one – Mian Shafiq’s Rishta, in 1963, which starred Sabiha and Santosh Kumar in the lead, while Aaliyah had light hearted fun with Rangila and A. Shah Shikarpuri. She was later also cast opposite the other celebrated funny men of the industry too, like Lehri, Munawar Zareef, Nannah and Ali Ejaz. Basically, in the early days she was known for her sensational dances alongside the top heroines of the times, as she began to make her name as a firecracker of a girl in the Punjabi movies. Very soon, she got leading roles in the Punjabi movies, and at the same time the Urdu film makers found out that Aaliyah was star material in glamorous roles. She was cast in fun ‘n’ games roles in films like Albela, Dastan, Cheen Le Aazadi, Nai Laila Naya Majnoon etc. She acted out a naive girl in Kamal’s Nai Laila Nai Majnoon where she was paired with Lehri. Two of its dances including Jaane mujhey kiya ho gaya hai were very famous. Aaliyah was pretty adept at dancing the European dances, as well as local folk numbers. She performed brilliantly in films, including all sorts of dances in Love in Jungle, which was one of her earliest lead roles. It was basically a jungle adventure of Tarzan, which was much censored for its body exposure. Somebody by the name of Ikkoo had made it, who later also came up with films like Aadil and Cheen Le Azadi. But, it gave Aaliyah an image that stayed with her for the rest of her career.
As a leading lady, she was later partnered with such top Urdu and Punjabi heroes as Ejaz, Yusuf Khan, Shahid and Waheed Murad, in films like Mastana Mahi, Ishq Mere Naa, Farz Aur Mamta, Anhoni, Awara etc. Even during the 1980s, Aaliya was momentarily seen in Maula Jatt and Sher Khan, as the demand for Anjuman, Mumtaz, Asia and Chakori had grown more than her. Despite that when the funny triangle of Nannha, Ali Ejaz and Rangila made hey with hits in the eighties, Aaliyah worked in few big hits of the time – (Source – Mag The Weekly – Karachi)