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March 7, 2020

Amanullah joins list of iconic Pakistani comedians who have left millions mourning

National

March 7, 2020

LAHORE: Celebrated Pakistani stage, film and television comedian, Amanullah Khan, finally breathed his last in Lahore Friday after protracted illness, but not before the legend had displayed for decades how a blend of extempore verbal content, acting, body language and persona could make the viewers and audience burst into an instant laughter.

Known for his punch lines, spontaneity and timing of his dialogues, Amanullah was once the life-line of Pakistani stage dramas. Research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” shows that during these last 60 years or so, Pakistan has lost numerous stand-up comedians and humourists, whose sharp wit, pun, satire and subtle jokes had brought priceless smiles on the faces of their compatriots.

Here follows a list of top class Pakistani comedians who have departed for their heavenly abodes since 1960, leaving huge voids in the hearts and minds of their ardent admirers:

In October 1960, eminent comedian Zarif had died. Zarif was first ever comedy actor in Pakistani films who got overnight success in title roles. He died very young at the peak of his career. He was only 34. His real name was Mohammad Siddiq.

After Zarif, comedian Zulfi made his mark and won many a heart too. He died during the production of film “Pardais” in London on September 11, 1969. Zulfi played a lot of minor roles along with the likes of Rangeela and Munawwar Zarif.

Zarif’s younger brother, Munawwar Zarif, widely acknowledged as the uncrowned ‘Comedy King of Pakistan’, ruled the roost till his untimely demise some 44 years ago on April 29, 1976 in Lahore. He was 36 only.

Munawwar Zarif was the highest paid film actor of his time and the extent of his fame and popularity among the masses could be gauged from the fact that dozens of thousands of people from all walks of life had attended his funeral.

Munawwar Zarif appeared in many mega hits and blockbuster like Heer Ranjha, Banarsi Thug, Shareef Badmash, Bao ji, Zidii, Khushya, Jeera Blade, Naukar Wohti Da and Anjam etc during his illustrious career.

Syed Muzaffar Husain Zaidi alias Nirala had died on December 9, 1985 in Karachi. His superb performances in films Armaan, Aur bhi gham hain and Choroan Ka Badshah are still remembered by cine-goers for the laughter studded in them.

Nirala started his professional career as a comedian actor in the film industry in 1960 and became so popular that he was invited at private parties, social get-togethers and stage shows around the country to perform.

The evergreen Rafi Khawar alias Nanna committed suicide on June 2, 1986 in Lahore. Although his first Urdu film Watan ka Sipahi was released in 1966, Nanna got a breakthrough from film Noukar in 1975. His pair with Ali Ejaz was admired since the release of film Insaniyat in 1967. He was regarded as an exceptional comedy talent and people throughout the country still remember his hit serial “Alif Noon” with Kamal Ahmed Rizvi for a very long time.

Syed Sher Khan alias Saleem Nasir was a Pashto speaking Pakhtoon who was a fluent in Urdu productions. The extremely versatile Saleem Nasir also died fairly young at 44 on October 19, 1989. Television viewers still cherish the memories of Saleem’s roles in super-hit television serials like Angan Terha, Dastak, Akhri Chatan and UnKahi etc.

Comedian Abid Khan was a very popular stage artist, who also showed his unmatched talent in a number of television serials and films. Having had an extensive fan base both in Pakistan and abroad, Abid Khan passed away in 2000 while on a pilgrimage at Hazrat Bari Imam’s shrine in Islamabad.

Decorated radio/television host and announcer Prof Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti had perished of a heart attack in New York after a performance on October 30, 1994. His famous television shows include Takra, Yadish Bakhair and Mela etc.

Renowned TV artist Latif Kapadia died of cardio-respiratory arrest in Karachi on March 28, 2002. He had gained immense fame from the once most watched Pakistani television programmes “Fifty-Fifty.” Kapadia was known for his controlled and cultivated humour.

Legendary Punjabi stage comedian Shauqi Khan died in a car accident in February 2003, while he was on his way from Lahore to the neighbouring town of Kasur. He had won a lot of eminence through his comedy audio cassettes, more than 300 in fact.

Refreshing and witty comedian Akhtar Hussain alias Albela died of a heart failure in Lahore on July 16, 2004. Although he performed in movies like Wardatia, Badnam, Yaar Maar, Ishq Nachawe Gali Gali, Allah Ditta, International Lutairey and Abdullah the Great etc, his magnificent theatre shows had actually won him most public applause.

Saeed Khan alias Rangeela died on May 24, 2005 at Lahore. Having appeared in more than 550 films, Rangeela was a body-builder, painter, actor, hero, comedian, producer, director, writer, singer, distributor and a composer - all at the same time.

Rangeela made his debut in a 1958 Punjabi film called ‘Jatti’ and never looked back since. Distinguished comedian Jamshed Ansari breathed his last on August 24, 2005 at Karachi. He was famous for playing characters like “Hasnat Bhai” and “Uncle Urfi” in television serials.

God-gifted impersonator, comedian, singer, host, director, writer and iconic compare, Moin Akhtar, had succumbed to cardiac arrest April 2011. In April 2011, famous comedian Ayub Akhtar alias Babu Baral had passed away after prolonged illness at the age of 47. It was also during April 2011 when comic actor Murtaza Hasan, known as Mastana, had passed away at the Bahawalpur’s Victoria Hospital.

On May 31, 2011, Pakistani comedian Liaquat Soldier had died while participating in a TV show organised for the Pakistan-India World Cup semifinal match that India went on to win.

Legendary comedian, Safirullah Siddiqui, commonly known as Lehri, had died in September 2012. He was suffering from a lung disease, kidney diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart issues.

On July 2014, renowned Pakistani comedian and stage actor, Mahmood Khan, had passed away at Mayo Hospital Lahore.

In August 2015, well-known comedian cum stage actor Fareed Khan has passed away.

Brilliant comedian Khawaja Akmal was a veteran Pakistani television actor and comedian who was mostly popular for playing comic roles in Pakistani sitcoms. His notable work includes Bulbulay, Rusgullay and Batashay. He died of a heart attack on 26 November 2017.

Superb film and television actor and comedian, Ali Ejaz, was yet another famous Pakistani who died of a heart attack. His stay on the planet ended on December 19, 2018. He was 77.

His partnership with the late comedian, Rafi Khawar alias Nanna, in lead comic roles had earned him eternal fame, while his television drama ‘Khawaja & Son’ had won him immense popularity too.

Recently, on February 21, 2020, stage comedian Nadeem Baral had passed away. On December 25, 2019, another Pakistani comedian and stage actor, Ashraf Rahi, had left the planet.