Veena Malik (Urdu: وينا ملک, born Zahida Malik) is a Pakistani actress, model and comedienne. Over a span of ten years, she has worked with news channels and in movies, garnering accolades and acclaim for her performances. Malik has since established herself as a leading actress of Urdu cinema. She is also known for her various social causes, most notably as a representative of the World Health Organization.
Veena Malik was born in Rawalpindi in the province of Punjab, to Ali Malik, and his wife, Zeenat Malik. Her father, a former Pakistani army soldier, was opposed to her starting a career as an actress. She holds a BA in Sociology, Psychology and Persian.
Before starting her career off as an actress, Malik worked as a comedian for several television shows and series. She made her acting debut alongside Shaan and Zara Sheikh in Askari's Tere Pyar Mein (2000), which was a box office hit. She played a supporting role in the film and was barely acknowledged. However, she appeared in a supporting role in Javed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa (2002).
In 2003, Malik appeared in Indo-Pak cross venture Punjabi film Pind Di Kuri which failed to do so 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 (2003) alongside Sana and Moammar Rana, however the film failed to do well at Lahore's cinemas and further screenings had stopped in cinemas after a week of its release. She then appeared in Rafique's Jageer.
In 2005, she appeared in a short Punjabi film Bau Badmash (2005) which did not garner any recognition due to the lack of big stars. She then appeared in Reema Khan's Koi Tujh Sa Kahan (2005) which was a commercial success in Pakistan.In 2007, she won her first Lux Style Award for being the most stylish celebrity on the red carpet.
In 2008, Malik appeared in Rafique's 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. The same year, she appeared in Raza's Kabhi Pyaar Na Karna in a supporting role, but the film was a flop. Her last film of 2008 was Altaf's Ishq Beparwah, which also failed to impress the audience.
In 2010, she worked in Rafique's Main Jeena Tere Naal, and Beyg's debut comedy film Miss Duniya.
In 2002, she was called by Prime TV to host a show called Prime Gupshup for them ushering a new direction for her comedic skills and she improvised on the hour-long show occasionally mimicking actors.
She hosted the Geo TV show Hum Sub Umeed Say Hain, in which she was hailed for her comedic parodies.
Veena Malik performing to the tunes of Naheed Akhtar at the Lux Style Awards 2007.
In 2007, she graced the red carpet event of the Lux Style Awards and was awarded as being the ‘most stylish celebrity on the carpet’.
In October 2010, Malik appeared in the Indian television reality show Bigg Boss Season 4. She was evicted two weeks before the finals, and was one of the final six contestants out of the original fourteen who had participated. Malik was also part of the finale of the show. After her Bigg Boss stay, she was mentioned in the media as the voice of liberal muslims, including leading dailies, Daily Times,Express Tribune, and The Australian. Sabbah Hajim, from the Haji Amina Charity Trust in Jammu and Kashmir, writing in the magazine Tehelka, when comparing her with liberal rector of Darul Uloom Deoband, Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi said, "these two newly public figures might teach Muslims to stop feeling eternally outraged."
In February 2011, Veena Malik became part of the Cricket World Cup reality show in Delhi, India, called "Big Toss." Big Toss was a reality game show with contestants and Malik as the captain of one team, against Rakhi Sawant and her team.
In March 2011, Malik engaged in a passionate debate with a mufti, who claimed she had engaged in immoral behaviour as a contestant on Bigg Boss, even though he admitted to not having watched the show. Malik countered pointing out the double standards of Pakistani media against women among other rebuttals.
Controversy resulted in Pakistan over a nude image of Malik on the cover of FHM magazine India edition in which she had "ISI" written on her upper arm – the initials of Pakistan's controversial Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency. Malik says she was topless but did not pose completely nude, and has sued the magazine over the images.
Malik has worked as a representative at the World Health Organization for two years. She also sponsors a child at the SOS Children's Village, an NGO based in Pakistan working with orphaned children.
Veena Malik has five sisters and one brother. One of her elder sisters is a lecturer in Abdur Qadeer College, Rawalpindi.