KARACHI- Veteran television, stage and film artist Moin Akhtar passed away at Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Karachi on Friday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 61.
Moin Akhtar was at his home when he felt pain in the chest and was immediately rushed to CMH where he was pronounced dead. He was considered as the best comedian, impersonator and a host. He was also a play writer, singer, film director and a producer. In recognition of his performances and services, the government of Pakistan bestowed him Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
He started his career from TV a show on September 6, 1966 after that he changed into a highly dynamic and versatile performer. He has performed in several roles in TV plays/shows, including Roozi, Dollar Man, 47, Half Plate, Family-93, Eid Train, Bandar Road Se Kemari, etc.
Later he made a team with Anwar Maqsood and Bushra Ansari. He performed various TV shows with Anwar Maqsood, including Loose Talk, Studio Dhai and others. Moin Akhtar was fluent in several languages, including English, Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Memon, Pushto and Gujarati.
He rose to national fame and gathered critical acclaim for his performance in the drama Rozy, in which he played the role of a female TV artist.
Rozy was an Urdu adaptation of Hollywood movie Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman. Moreover, in a talk-show namely Loose Talk, which began in 2005 on a private channel, he appeared as a different character in each and every of over 400 episodes interviewed by Anwar Maqsood, the writer and the host of the programme. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashique Awan, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Rashid Rabbani and a large number of prominent political figures have expressed their deep sorrow and grief over the unexpected death of Moin Akhtar.
Personalities from showbiz, including Film star Reema, Shakil, Talat Hussain, Qavi Khan, comedian Umar Sharif, Shehzad Raza, Faisal Qazi, Sikandar Sanam and many others have expressed their grief over his demise, and said that the death of Moin Akhtar is a national loss.
Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Moin was a trend setter artist who had been copied by many. Once the great Indian actor, Dilip Kumar had stated: 'Moin Akhtars great artistry is worth copying.
Renowned Bollywood comedian Johnny Lever while talking to a local TV channel said that Indian artists were shocked on the sad demise of Moin Akhtar. He said he was inspired by Moin Akhtar and started his career by getting inspiration from the legendary artist. He said he had the honour to associate with the noted artist who would be remembered not only in Pakistan but also in India.
His wit and wisdom took his fame to every nook and corner of the world. All his shows have an enduring quality. Most importantly, he never lost his power to inspire, entertain and even change lives.
Moin is the only host in the annals of the Pakistani showbiz, who had the honour to be the host of maximum number of shows in which the Head of States from both Pakistan and abroad were invited. He hosted King Hussain of Jordan, Prime Minister of Gambia Dawoodi-Al-Joza, President Zia-ul-Haq, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, President General Yahya Khan, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in different programmes.
He is survived by three sons, two daughters and a widow.