5 facts you might not have known about the legendary Moin Akhtar

5 facts you might not have known about the legendary Moin Akhtar

On the icon's 70th birth anniversary, we look back on a life well-lived.
24 Dec, 2020

Charismatic, extravagant, exuberant, humble and larger than life — the legendary Moin Akhtar, an artist of Pakistani television, film and stage, is remembered with love on his 70th birth anniversary today.

Rising to fame with his long-standing double act with writer Anwar Maqsood alongside Bushra Ansari in Loose Talk, the humorist, comedian and impersonator soon became an icon in the era of Radio Pakistan; his legacy living proof that he may be gone, but never forgotten.

In a tribute to honour the memory of the man who was truly one of a kind, here are five facts you may have not known about him.

His father initially disregarded Moin's profession as a disgrace

In the words of Sharjeel Akhtar, his son, "My grandfather, Muhammad Ebrahim, once beat my father with a belt upon discovering that his son was pursuing a career in acting.

However, 35 years later, when the Sitara-e-Imtiaz holder was getting ready for a show that would have the President of the country, General Pervez Musharraf, in its audience, his father asked him if he too, could join.

"My father replied, 'Baba, there is a security protocol. The President’s security detail needs to be informed weeks in advance for such an arrangement. I do not know whether it will be possible.'

And my grandfather said, 'Tumhe kaun rokega? (Who will stop you?)"

One can only imagine the pride felt by his father when the president stood up and informed him that his son was an asset to the nation. From struggling with his family's acceptance to being loved by the nation unconditionally, his was a grand story.

Akhtar had mastered 8 languages in his lifetime

He could speak well, emote well, mimic brilliantly, perform parody, and satirise almost anything and anybody — and if that wasn't enough on its own, Moin Akhtar could do it in eight different languages too.

English, Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Memoni, Pashto, Gujarati and Urdu, the man had fluency in all of these, rolled up his sleeve, making sure to adjust his body posture and move his hands with each character differently. Such command over craft and language remains rarely a sight even today.

His first performance was at the age of 13

Redefining the art of comedy and choosing to shine in a career that lay over the course of 40 glorious years, Akhtar's first performance was at the age of only 13.

He played the character of Shylock, a Venetian Jewish moneylender and the play's principal antagonist, in a rendition of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice — a story exploring stern themes of lending money, hatred as a cyclical phenomenon, friendship, the divine quality of mercy and melancholy. Quite surprising for a comic, wasn't it?

Madame Tussaud's expressed interest in acknowledging the legendary figure

Starring in over 400 episodes of the Loose Talk and depicting a style highly dynamic and versatile, Moin Akhtar's wax statue was reportedly wanted as part of the Madame Tussaud's collection. According to news outlets, the museum had taken note of his countless contributions and contacted his family to communicate their interest.

However, while the son of the late actor did in fact receive a call, he was not sure if it was actually on behalf of an authentic organisation. Had the statue been eventually made, it would be the first of its kind for any Pakistani entertainer. Nevertheless, the offer was declined due to religious reasons.

He took special care that his humour was devoid of vulgarity

Demeaning human beings, using foul language or throwing insults in the way of minorities, races or marginalised members of society were far from Akhtar's style. His impersonations, which were often better than the thespian’s' own acts, were never derogatory.

Instead, his was a show you could enjoy with family — entertainment that could make you laugh, yet consciously self-reflect all at once.

Taking special care that his humour was devoid of any vulgarity, most definitely was a fine quality rendered in one of the greatest artist the subcontinent had the honour of producing. So much to know about the man, who's literal translation of the name “Moin Akhtar” is “A Helpful Star.”


SAk Dec 24, 2020 03:48pm
Without a doubt a legend second to none.
Trq Dec 24, 2020 03:51pm
Moin Akhtar Moin Akhtar that’s all
Suraiya Kasim Dec 24, 2020 03:58pm
a legend.
Laila Dec 24, 2020 03:58pm
He is missed. What a legacy.
jaredlee007 Dec 24, 2020 04:00pm
And nowadays even news anchors do not care about vulgarity and cheap street language.
Zaffar Ali Dec 24, 2020 04:12pm
I am sure that there will no one like Moin sb ever!!!
Yasir Dec 24, 2020 04:26pm
Big man of Pakistan. RIP Ameen
Shahbaz Ahmed Tarar Dec 24, 2020 04:36pm
Yes, he is Legend...
Chrís Dăn Dec 24, 2020 04:54pm
What a man!!!what an artist!!! Two people and both totally self made ones. One, Mueen Akhtar and second is Anwar Maqsud- these two have brought maximum respect and pride for Pakistan from all those intellectuals,all sensitive minds,all well read people who speak Urdu -from all over the world . Moeen Akhtar in his own novel way fought against our hypocrite civic and political system in Pakistan for decades. Even now,his Lose Talk Shows reflect a lot of today civic life. PTV should start his Lose Talk Shows series again for our new generation if ARY agrees to. He is alive. In our hearts. Forever.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 24, 2020 04:55pm
No doubt, Moin Akhtar was a great artist, outstanding comedian, a transformational TV host, a world re-known comparer and a wonderful human being. Inna Lilla Hay Waa Inna Illehey Rajayoon.
Robby Dec 24, 2020 05:12pm
He was a legend n dearly missed
faizan Dec 24, 2020 05:17pm
what a gem of a person, an artist and loving human being - i learned from various sources about his humanitarian work without much buzz. Always brings tears to my eyes when i read about him or see his older work. RIP Moin Sahab - prayers and love for him and family.
Khaled Dec 24, 2020 05:55pm
He was great, no doubt about that.
Asad Mahmud Khan Dec 24, 2020 06:12pm
Such people personalities appear not very often on horizon. He elevated the mood of commoner of Hope. His legacy will live for long time in Humanity . His praise will not reach Him, but it will clear our conscious, for recognizing him late after His transition . We failed to value Him, being Honest in corrupt society of our country which He repeatedly highlighted to our children which we failed repeatedly. He was a teacher all the way, He eradicated vulgarity out of humor .
JUDE Dec 24, 2020 06:49pm
An everlasting legend. A man whose talent can never be forgotten. RIP Sir
DIGGER DOWN UNDER Dec 24, 2020 06:51pm
A great artist - achieved so much in such a little time! RIP Moin Akhtar. We miss you.
M. Saeed Dec 24, 2020 06:53pm
Moin Akhtar was unmatchable and will ever remain so.
Nusrat Rizvi Dec 24, 2020 07:10pm
Nobody loved his knighthood more than our Allama.
Arslan Dec 24, 2020 07:23pm
RIP legend...
NAVEEN GUPTA Dec 24, 2020 07:44pm
Love and respect to the legend from India...
Laila Dec 24, 2020 07:50pm
I miss the old Pakistan. The one I can remember from childhood. A time, when there was some sense of decorum and manners even among entertainers. When focus was content, not putting down or mocking people. When banter on TV was intelligent. I miss people like MA. Wish somebody had stopped time.
AbdulHaque Shaikh Dec 24, 2020 09:03pm
Moin Akhtar certainly a legend
mesotwisty Dec 24, 2020 10:12pm
An amazing actor and comedian. Taken too soon from the world
Ashfaq ahmed Dec 24, 2020 10:51pm
He was one and only one who could fit in any character. Like says the report, he never played vulgar. His mentor and partner, Anwar Maqsood, looked so serious and funny always.
Wake-Up Dec 24, 2020 11:36pm
Simply World Class!
TZaman Dec 24, 2020 11:39pm
Indeed a world class legend.
Rajesh Kumar USA Dec 25, 2020 12:25am
There will be none like him in subcontinent.
Safir A.Siddiqui Dec 25, 2020 02:45am
He was an asset to the country.Always smiling and making you smile.
Shahid Tanvir Dec 25, 2020 03:16am
BK Dec 25, 2020 04:41am
The best.
Zafar Yousufzai Dec 25, 2020 05:19am
I met Moin at his friend (late) Khalil Qaiser also a stage comedian residence when Moin was looking for connections in the shwbiz.
surinder kumar chopra Dec 25, 2020 09:57am
He had immense popularity in India also. I have been and am still his fan. A legend.
Syed A. Mateen Dec 25, 2020 01:25pm
Moin Akhtar will be remembered for a very long time by the common man as well as by the elite. Moin Akhtar was a born talent and a star. He never went to any professional academy to learn the art of acting and performing but he rose to the height of his profession which he well deserved. Acting was his profession but on the other hand he was a kind hearted person who always helped the poor and needy people without mentioning to other people.
Haider Dec 25, 2020 03:28pm
Such a humble and lovely man he was.
Haris Dec 25, 2020 08:18pm
I don't know how many times i have watched Half-plate,Rozy, Bakra kistoon pe and Loosetalk episodes.