LAHORE: Acting legend Muhammad Ali passed away here around 1.30 pm on Sunday, leaving the legacy of an illustrious career in Pakistani filmdom.
The 69-year-old star, who started his career as a radio broadcaster in the mid-50s, died of cardiac arrest at his house, leaving his wife Zeba and daughter Samina to mourn his death. His Namaz-e-Jenaza will be offered on Tuesday at the Liberty Park.
A large number of his fans, Lollywood stars and other personalities reached his house soon after his death. Regarded as an institution among the film circles, Ali started his career as a broadcaster from Radio Pakistan Hyderabad in the mid-50s. He was introduced as a villain in a Karachi-made film "Chiragh Jalta Raha" in 1962. This also happened to be the first film of its director, Fazli, as well as stars Zeba, Deeba and Kamal Irani.
Later in 1964, Ali acted the hero of "Shararat". Known as the King of Emotions, he became a superstar after the release of his movie "Aag ka Darya" and then remained on top during the next 10 years. He will be remembered for his emotional acting and the best dialogue delivery. "Khamosh Raho", "Insaan aur Admi", "Insaaf aur Qanoon", "Salakhen" and "Doorian" were some of his all-time best films.
The winner of the 7th Nigar Awards for best actor, another for best supporting actor and one special award for the film "Dooriyaan", Ali married renowned actress Zeba in 1968. His only daughter Samina was from Zeba’s previous marriage with actor Lala Sudhir. He also served as a cultural adviser to prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He also remained associated with the construction business for many years.
Ali got the first Nigar Award in 1964 for best supporting actor in the film "Khamosh Raho". He also received the award for best actor in director Hasan Tariq’s film "Kaneez" in 1965, director Humayun Mirza’s film "Aag ka darya" in 1966, director Laeeq Akhtar’s film "Saiqa" in 1968, director Hasan Tariq’s film "Wehshi" in 1971, director Ali Sufyan Aafaqi’s film "Aas" in 1973, director Shabab Kiranvi’s film "Aaena aur soorat" in 1974, director Shabab Kiranvi’s film "Insaan aur Aadmi’ in 1975, director Masood Pervez’s film "Haidar Ali" in 1978, and director Hasan Askari’s film "Dooriyan" (special award) in 1984.
Ali’s major films are "Mera ghar meri jannat", "Ik gunah aur sahi", "Kaalu", "Ibadat", "Watan" (a remake of "Shaheed"), "Seeta, Maryam, Margaret", "Aurat ka pyar", "Afsana zindigi ka", "Dil ik aina", "Daman aur chingari", "Aina aur soorat", "Baymesaal", "Nashayman", "Waday ki zanjeer", "Jaisay jaantay nahi", "Lori", "Mohabbat rang laye ge", "Teri soorat meri aankhain", "Ilzaam", "Gumrah", "Ik phool ik pathar", "Baywafa", "Manzil", "Teray bina kiya jeena", "Aasra", "Aarzoo", "Professor", "Dil kay daagh", "Sarhad ki godh mein", "Tum salamat raho", "Milan", "Aansoo bun gaye moti", "Samaj", "Muashara", "Aurat ik paheli", "Gharana", "Banno Rani", "Nanha farishta", "Daagh", "Mahal", "Duniya na manay", "Parchayein", "Dushman", "Intikhaab", "Meherbani", "Zanjeer", "Meray humsafar", "Safaid Khoon", "Tum milay pyar mila", "Soorat aur Seerat", "Jeenay ki rah", "Josh", "Budnaam", "Sangram", "Gherao", "Aag ka samandar", "Andata", "Sajda", "Nadia kay paar", "Baarat", "Raja", "Kinara", "Ik doojay kay liye", "Phool meray gulshan ka", "Mohabbat zindigi hai", "Jab, jab phool khiley", "Apnay huay paraye", "Naqsh-e-Qadam", "Zameer", "Aaj ki Raat", "Achhay mian", "Jaan pehchan", "Dil kay tukray", "Khandaan", "Paalki", "Sher di bacchi", "Wadda Khan", "Wohti" and "Baazi".
Loyalty, empathy, honesty and humility were his hallmarks, said Javed Sheikh while talking with journalists at Ali’s house. He said that besides a great actor Ali was also well known for his social services.
"Known in the film circle for his command as a passionate actor, he felt at ease in dramatic situations as well," said Lollywood star Reema. She said the industry would miss this versatile actor who worked with almost all successful directors of the Pakistan film industry.
MNA Mian Munir said actors like Ali are national assets. He said Ali has left a very bright way to be followed by young actors. Ghulam Mohiuddin said the entire film industry was feeling sad over the sad demise of the legendry actor. He said Ali was a great actor as well as a great human being.
"Ali was living in an era where social obligations were preferred over financial stakes and he made overtures through films to highlight social ills and national issues," said Ajab Gul. "He had a masculine resonant voice and with his individual dialogue delivery he performed quite a few memorable characters. Whichever film he performed in, his suggestions and advice would always be sought by the writing department. He had a command over his subjects and field," said Nisho.
"He lit the torch of art films in the days of commercialism. Ali belonged to the superior rank of actors, as he did not bow before commercialisation," said Arif Lohar. Pakistan People’s Party Punjab President Qasim Zia, PPPP Information Secretary Mohammad Naved Ch, drama writer and PPP leader Malik Ahsan Ganjiyal, Censor Board member Syed Agha Mujtaba, TV actor Tasawar Ali Mir, Sajjad Gul, Shahzad Gul, Fakhar Imam, Sherry Malik, Sohail Butt, Raja Riaz, Tajdar Alam, Bari Malik, Sangeeta, Saood and others condoled with his family.
PML President Ch Shujaat Hussain and Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi also expressed grief over Ali’s death. In their condolence messages to his widow, they paid tributes to the late actor for his services. They also prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.
Agencies add: President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have expressed profound sorrow over the death of Muhammad Ali. In their condolence messages to the bereaved family, the President and the PM said Pakistan had lost a great actor.
Expressing sorrow over the death, Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool eulogised Ali’s great services for social welfare and said Ali-Zeb Foundation and Blood Transfusion Centre at Faisalabad established by the legendry actor were serving the ailing humanity.
LAHORE, March 19: Great actor Mohammad Ali will be remembered for his versatile roles and heavy voice which helped him perform passionately. He worked with Radio Pakistan Hyderabad first as a broadcaster and then as actor for about a decade before he was picked up for films in the sixties.
Born in 1935 at Rohtak, India, Mohammad Ali, affectionately known as Ali Bhai, migrated to Pakistan soon after partition and settled in Multan. From there, he went to Hyderabad and lived there for many years.
Ali started his silver screen career when Fazal Ahmad Karim Fazli, whose two brothers Hasnain Fazli and Sabtain Fazli were already in the showbiz, gave him a role in his first film Chiragh Jalta Raha with Zeba and Deeba. The film was released in 1962. Interestingly, Mohammad Ali played the role of a villain in his maiden film.
Later, more producers offered Ali the villainous roles in their films. Director Munawwar Rasheed’s Bahadur, Iqbal Yusuf’s Daal Main Kala and Javed Hashmi’s Dil Ne Tujhe Maan Liya also featured him in the negative role.
The first film in which Ali played the lead was Shararat directed by Rafique Razvi alias Bapoo. The heroine in the film was Bahar. It was this film that took him to new heights of fame.
But he took his audience by surprise by performing a character role in Khamosh Raho, a film written by Riaz Shahid and directed by Jameel Akhtar in 1964. This film won him the first Nigar Award. Later, he won many awards in a number of films.
Another memorable role Mohammad Ali played was in Aag Ka Darya. Its story and dialogues were also written by Riaz Shahid. Shamim Ara was the female lead of the film, which was directed by Humayun Mirza. It was released in 1966.
He also won awards in Hasan Tariq’s Kaneez in 1965, director Laeeq Akhtar’s Saiqa in 1968, Hasan Tariq’s Wehshi in 1971, Ali Sufyan Afaqi’s Aas in 1973, Shabab Kairanvi’s Aeena Aur Soorat, director Masood Pervez’s Haider Ali in 1978 and Hasan Tariq’s Doorian in 1984.
This was the year when he was conferred upon the Pride of Performance award and appointed the prime minister’s adviser on cultural affairs.
Some of other great films, whose success can be attributed to the role Mohammad Ali played in them, include director Shabab Kairanvi’s Insaan Aur Admi, Insaaf Aur Qanoon, Dil Aik Aeena, Daaman Aur Chingari and Aeena Aur Soorat and S. Suleman’s Aag, Jaise Jaante Nahi, Lori, Mohabbat Rang Laye Gi, Teri Soorat Meri Aankhen and Ik Phool Ik Pathar.
Mohammad Ali also starred in the main lead in Raza Mir’s Asra, Arzoo, Professor and Dil Ke Daagh. He was also the hero in Jafar Bukhari’s Samaj, Luqman’s Mahal, Duniya Na Mane and Parchain and Iqbal Yusuf’s Tum Mile Pyar Mila, Badnam, Sangram, Aag Ka Samundar and Ann Data.
S. A. Hafiz cast him in the main lead in Sajda, Nadia Ke Paar and Barat and Hasan Askari in Salakhen, Aag, Kinara and Doorian. Director Farid Ahmad cast him in the lead against Iranian artiste Shahpara in his film Jan Pehchan which was one of the early feature films produced as a joint venture.
The last film which starred Mohammad Ali was Kirai Ke Qatil directed by S. Suleman and released in 1989.
Ali performed a character role in a film which had Babra Sharif and Ismael Shah in lead roles.
He was very choosy and accepted only a few films in a year. He usually worked in about a dozen films a year. But, as many as 23 films, starring Mohammad Ali, were released in 1975, which is the year of the highest number of his movies.
Similarly, he played the male lead in 14 films in 1974, and 13 in 1982. He also played an insignificant role along with his wife Zeba (they paired as parents) in an Indian film Clerk in 1990, when he had almost left the film industry in Pakistan.
Mohammad Ali started losing interest in the showbiz towards the mid 1980s when the industry was being vulgarized by people who had no artistic background. This was the period when the industry in Pakistan produced about 95 per cent films in regional languages.
Also there was a trend of making bilingual films. For example, many Punjabi-Urdu and Pushto-Urdu films were made towards the end of 1980s.
Mohammad Ali has to his credit a few Punjabi films like Sher Di Bachi, Wadda Khan and Woht. He also worked in two Pushto films, both in 1986. The first was Damoro Intaqam which was produced by the Evernew Films and directed by Shehzad Gul. Salma Agha, Javed Sheikh and Taalish were other actors in the film. His second Pushto film was Dushman Kaka which also starred Badar Munir.
Ali worked with all the top heroines of his time. But in most of them, he paired with Zeba. Their working together brought them so close to each other that they married in 1969. The couple did not have a child, but Ali adopted a daughter from an earlier marriage of wife Zeba.
His other heroines, included Nayyar Sultana, Neelo, Rani, Deeba, Shabnam, Babra Sharif, Nisho, Aasya and Mumtaz.
Mohammad Ali developed cardiac problem about 10 years ago and had been through critical days of his life in a hospital about six years ago. He courageously fought death. But this time around, he lost the battle and yielded to the merciless hands of the nature.
He was one of the greatest actors the Pakistan film industry ever had. But more than that, he was a great human being.
He was also a friend of many political leaders, including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Muhammad Ali — an icon of Pakistani cinema
LAHORE: The legend Muhammad Ali, who died on Sunday due to a kidney problem, belonged to a religious family. His father Maulana Syed Murshid Ali was a scholar. Ali was born in district Rohtak in India on July 20 1931. His family later migrated to Multan and finally to Hyderabad (Sindh). None of Ali’s family was associated with the glamour world. Ali joined Radio Hyderabad in the 1950s and became a pupil of ZA Bokahri, one of Radio Pakistan’s legendary names.
Ali’s quest to do more in the world of creativity led him to the film industry. His first film was Charagh Jalta Raha with Zeba, who later became his wife. It was Zeba’s first film too. Fazal Ahmed Karim Fazli introduced both Zeba and Ali in that film which was screened in 1962. Ali performed in over 300 films. Among his famous films are Khamosh Raho, Saiqa, Ansoo Ban Gaye Moti, Salam-e-Mauhabbat and Naukar. He also performed in an Indian film, Clerk. Manoj Manoj Kumar and Rajinder Kumar were his close friends from the Indian film industry. Former Indian prime minister Indra Gandhi also visited his home in the 70s.
Pakistan’s film industry was in its heyday when Ali was most popular. Some of the songs filmed on Ali are still popular among music fans. Aye baharo gawah rehna, Tumhi ho mehboob meray, Yun zindagi ki rah mein takra gya koie, Sau baras ki zindagi mein aik pal are the most popular songs. He worked with all big directors of his time like Shabab Kairanvi, Hasan Tariq, Khalil Qaiser and S Suleman. He also worked with leading heroines such as Shabnam, Babra Sharif, Sahmim Ara, Saloni, Nisho and Najma.
Ali developed an understanding with Zeba during his early film career and finally wedded her. Zeba had a daughter, Samina, from her first marriage. Ali’s funeral was delayed because Samina is in the United States. She will reach Lahore on Monday (today) and his funeral will be held at Liberty Park at 2pm. He will be buried at the Firdous Market graveyard. Family sources told Daily Times that Ali’s family was trying to get space at Data Sahib for Ali.
Ali’s elder brother Irshad Ali told Daily Times that Shah Faisal during his stay at Ali’s home – when he came to Pakistan to attend the 2nd Organisation of the Islamic Conference – had in writing given him and his wife permission to be buried at Jantul Baqi in Saudi Arabia. Irshad said that due to shortage of time, it was not possible to take Ali’s body to Saudi Arabia. With his eye brimming with tears, Irshad said Ali was like a son to him.
Akhtar Rasool, actress Firdous, film director Aslam Dar, Ajab Gul, Evernew Studio’s owner Shehzad Gul, Bari Malik from Bari Studio and a number of Ali’s fans gathered at his residence just after his death.
Ali was an adviser to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He also set up the Ali Zaib Foundation under which he built four hospitals in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal and Mianwali.