The entertainment industry, on Thursday evening, mourned the end of an era when news of veteran actor Abid Ali began to surface. Abid Ali, currently featuring in several drama productions on television, had been ailing from a liver disease and was being treated at a private hospital in Karachi. He was only 67 and his death came as a shock for his family and friends in the industry.
"Speechless," Iman Ali, his daughter wrote on her Facebook page.
"My father has breathed his last in my arms," his youngest daughter, Rahma Ali announced his demise in a social media post.
With a career spanning over four decades, Abid Ali was an institution. Born in Quetta, he always said that it was the urge to make something of his life that drove him out of the smaller city he was born in, to bigger opportunities in Lahore and eventually Karachi. He began his career with Radio Pakistan, where it is said that he struggled, and eventually moved to Lahore in 1973.
His first drama serial, Jhok Siyal, put him on the map and also introduced him to Humaira Chaudhry, his co-star, destined to be his wife. She was an actress and singer, which is why it makes sense that two of their three daughters - Iman Ali and Rahma Ali - went on to find fame in the limelight. Their third daughter opted to stay away from showbiz.
Abid Ali worked in PTV through the 70s, his most popular drama serials being Jhok Siyal, Zanjeer and Waris, in which he played Dilawar Khan.
"The historical past of PTV drama serials can be incomplete without Abid Ali," poet and playwright Amjad Islam Amjad, who wrote the iconic Waris, spoke to The News Observers. "He was an easy man, able to greatness, and greatness he did obtain."
It is this greatness that the entire industry has been remembering and mourning the loss of.
Maya Ali worked with him in Diyar e Dil. "Huge loss to our industry today. Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Sir Abid Ali. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him in Diyar e Dil and will cherish that experience forever. Truly we have lost a legend today, someone who can never be replaced," she wrote.
"Deeply saddened to hear about Abid Ali sahab’s death," Humayun Saeed wrote. "A legendary actor and a man with a heart of gold. We will miss you sir and your work will never be forgotten."
"Abid Ali sahab…the nation has lost one of its cultural heroes," wrote Shaan Shahid. "An artist who served with his art and craft and made permanent space in our hearts and minds. Our last salute to you sir, may you rest in peace."