Today marks the ninth death anniversary of the multifaceted actor and comedian Moin Akhtar, whose roles still resonate deeply with people.
Born on December 24, 1950, Moin Akhtar entered the entertainment industry in 1966 when his parody performance as popular actor Muhammad Ali shot him into the limelight.
After this there was no stopping Akhtar. His long-standing double act with writer Anwar Maqsood made him an icon, and when Bushra Ansari joined them the resulting comedy was matchless.
Talking to Images, actor Arshad Mehmood said of Moin Akhtar: “I knew him since a long time and this would be enough to say that he was indeed a huge artist but he was not just a great artist, he was a far greater human being.”
Acclaimed actor Samina Peerzada also shared her memories with the late comedian: “I have worked with Moin in both theatre and TV and I had an amazing time with him. He was truly an icon, a legend. There was nobody like him and there will be no one like him. I truly miss him,” she said.
"He was an extremely funny and he would always have a prank up his sleeve. Ullu bohat banatay thay, and he would pull it in such a serious way that anyone would fall for it," she added.
In an earlier interview with Dawn.com, Anwar Maqsood remembered him as the ‘best star in a night sky’:
“I have never seen such a professional yet such a careless person in my life,” he said.
Reminiscing about him, the writer known for his powerful satire had said that no actor could have done what Moin did for him.
“There are many good actors in India and Pakistan. But I couldn’t find an actor like Moin, neither in Pakistan nor in India.”
Veteran actor Qazi Wajid also echoed similar thoughts in the same interview. For him, Moin Akhtar was an extremely humble man who never addressed him by taking his name. As for his skills, Qazi Wajid said: “He was a master performer.”
His adaptability was undoubtedly his greatest strength: from speaking fluent Urdu to English, Bengali, Hindi, Pashto, Sindhi or Punjabi, Moin Akhtar could become anyone he willed: he was a perfect behroopiya, an impersonator.
His acts were not only lauded in Pakistan but he was admired in India as well by the likes of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan.
He is famous for his impeccable performance in shows like Rozi, Half-Plate, and Family 93. His theatre performance with Omer Sharif in Bakra Qiston Par and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai is also remembered as one of the best stage-shows, as the genre has seen a decline in recent years.
He was last seen making others chuckle in the popular show Loose-Talk which saw faux interviews of Moin Akhtar by Anwar Maqsood as he pulled on innumerable roles ranging from a labourer, politician, transvestite and even a dictator. It was Loose-Talk which made sure that the newer generation knew the art of being Moin Akhtar.
Along with many accolades, he was conferred the Pride of Performance in 2012.
Following a cardiac arrest, Moin Akhtar passed away on April 22 2011 in his hometown, Karachi.
This article was originally published in 2015