Born as Ragnhild Olavsson in Alingsås, Sweden. Zahra became a schoolmistress but was destined for a new and more glamorous life as a very famous model and actress, She was crowned as Miss Sweden at the age of 19, by none less than Tony Curtis, in 1954 under her real name.
As a Playmate, she was known as one of the “good girls” of the 1950s and early ‘60s. That is, she managed to pose seductively without actually revealing anything. At the age of 24, she became only the second non-American Playmate (after Elsa Sørensen from neighbouring Denmark).