Renowned Lollywood actor Afzaal Ahmad breathed his last in Lahore on Friday.
He was 77. He is survived by four daughters.
Confirming the news, a relative of the yesteryear superstar said he had been rushed to Lahore General Hospital (LGH) on Thursday after his condition deteriorated following a marked fall in blood pressure. He breathed his last at around six in the morning at the public health facility. Another relative cited septicemia.
Over an illustrious four-decade-long career spanning film, television and theatre Afzaal excelled as a ‘super villain’. His booming voice, enviable footwork and impressive dialogue delivery catapulted him to superstardom.
Prominent among his credits are International Gorrilay, where he played the “role” of controversial author Salman Rushdie, Jatt in London, Wehshi Jatt, Chan Veryam and Thaah. An overnight sensation following the runaway success of Thaah, Afzaal commanded nationwide ‘infamy’ for acing the role of Rushdie in aforementioned International Gorrilay.
Afzaal remained paralysed waist down after a stroke in 2001. Those who regularly checked in after included veterans Nadeem Baig, Shabnam and Syed Noor. AQ Khan, the father of the nation’s nuclear bomb, remained a lifelong admirer.
His nephew Bilal Shah told The Friday Times that Pakistan never honoured its heroes. “The term government does not exist for us. My uncle was a living legend but next to nothing was done for him. Forget everything else, not even a single state honour was conferred on him for his contribution to the arts.”
Afzaal was raised single-handedly by his mother Hamida Bano. She hails from a Jhang-based Syed family that migrated to Pakistan following Partition from Kharkodah in what is now Haryana.