Zohra was born in Saharanpur which was considered part of the united provinces which is now Uttar Pradesh in 1912. She started her career as a dancer with noted dancer Uday Shankar in the year 1935. Her father’s name was Mumtazullah Khan and mother’s name is Natiqua begum. Zohra is the third among seven siblings and she grew up mostly in Chakrata which is part of Uttarakhand now.
Zohra lost her left eye due to Glaucoma at the age of 1 and she went to a hospital in Birmingham. She did her education in Queen Mary’s Girls College in Lahore and this was a strict institution where Purdahs were compulsory. After her sister’s failed marriage, Zohra decided not to marry and pursue her career as an actor. She went to UK and got trained under a British actor.
From then on she became part of a dance troupe and travelled across many parts of the world giving performances. It is here that she met Kameshwar Sehgal a young scientist, painter who is eight years her junior. Both of them got married in 1942 and have two children. During partition they went to Pakistan but were unable to take the treatment and returned to Bombay.
Zohra made her debut as an actor in the year 1946 with the film Dharti Ke Lal and from then on she has been part of many ventures and worked with many noted names. Zohra is a strong agnostic and is known for her strong sense of humour. She was awarded the Laadli Of The Century by the CM of Delhi Sheila Dikshit in the year 2008. She is currently living in Delhi along with her daughter Kiran who is a famous Odissi dancer.