Zohra Sehgal was born in a conventional Muslim family in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Her actual name was Sahibzadi Zohra Begum Mumtaz-ullah Khan. She, unfortunately, lost her mother while she was too young. She enrolled at the Queen Mary College in Lahore for studies. Since her elder sister marriage got failed, she decided to build her career. She joined as a trained of an English actor and as an apprentice, she travelled to various countries with him.
She enrolled at the Mary Wigman’s Ballet School in Germany. She became the first Indian to join the school and learn the dance form of ballet. After returning, she watched a ballet by Uday Shankar of Shiv-Parvati and she was so impressed that she immediately joined his dance troupe. She worked with the group for eight long years. After which, she joined Prithvi Theatres and Indian People's theatre association and worked there for next 14 years. She did theatres in various parts of India and even performed for the jail inmates.
While working for theatres, she also did films. Rahgeer in 1943 marks her acting debut though she came to recognition after acting in Dharti Ke Lal. From Rahgeer to Sawariya in2007, she has acted for seven long decades. She is among the veteran actors who have seen the reformation and revolution that has happened in Indian cinema throughout 100 glorious years that Indian cinema has witnessed.
She recently appeared in the roles of Grandmother in various TV commercials, serials and films. Her most noted performance recently came in Rani Mukherjee Govinda starrer filmChalo Ishq Ladaye in 2002. Her performance in Cheeni Kam needs a special mention.