Moin Akhtar (1950-2011)

Published: April 22, 2011

April 22 was the day laughter died. Moin Akhtar screen capture from his interview with Imran Khan.

April 22 was the day laughter died. Moin Akhtar, one of the most beloved comics and actors ever to grace the stage and television screens of Pakistan, passed away at the age of 60. It is nearly impossible to do justice to his versatility. Be it through satire or mimicry, slapstick or song, Moin Akhtar had a comedic range that will surely never be matched in Pakistan. He was awarded both the Sitara-i-Imtiaz and the Pride of Performance by the government, but the true measure of his genius will be shown by the emptiness we all feel at the news of his passing.

Moin Akhtar made his debut at the young age of 16, wowing audiences with his stand-up comedy on a variety show on state-owned television. For the next 40 years, he never stopped making us laugh. It is impossible to list the sheer number of memorable performances he delighted us with but among the highlights were TV shows Bandar Road se Keamari, Eid Train and of course Rosie, where he did the Pakistani version of Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie. Apart from his acting, which encompassed television, movie and theatre, Akhtar was renowned for his impersonations. From Waheed Murad to Dilip Kumar, he had a knack for mimicking the celebrities of our time, although he played it strictly for laughs with nary a hint of malice. It is a testament to his genius that no matter what character he played, whether in drag or playing off stereotypes, he remained gracious and charming, never resorting to vulgarity or cheap laughs.

Despite being the consummate showman, Moin Akhtar never hogged the limelight. In fact, one his greatest assets was that he brought out the best in those around him. Few will forget his partnership with Anwar Maqsood and Bushra Ansari on the sketch comedy show Studio 2½, and his later interview show Loose Talk with Maqsood. His work with Umer Sharif on stage shows like Buddha Ghar Pe Hai and Bakra Qiston Pay was so legendary that it has become a staple fare to watch even now.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • S.F.Hasan
    Apr 22, 2011 - 11:46PM

    An end to the era that was….Moin Akhter..

    Am glad that I was born in that era…where I could see the man he was……from the Black and White PTV…to the modern day plethora of channels…his prominence never faded…the way he was able to transform the ordinary life situations into lighter perspective with cutting edge satire…yet giving smiles to many…..

    He would be remembered by everyone who lived to see his work….

    Then man, the writer, the comedian, the compere, the disguises he had…..remind me of nothing….but that time consumes everyone and everything is as perishable…as the passing day and night….

    May he rest in peace as he left for the heavenly abode…Recommend

  • Imjee
    Apr 23, 2011 - 12:07AM

    May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. We will miss him.Recommend

  • missy
    Apr 23, 2011 - 1:53AM

    OMG….This is so sad….He was really a Legend…..But he really lived a great life…May Allah rest his soul in peace…Recommend

  • misbah nur
    Apr 23, 2011 - 4:19AM

    may Allah rest his soul in jannah his contribution to our lives is immense ..very very sad to lose such a living legend Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Apr 23, 2011 - 7:47AM

    I will simply say , the man was an unbelievable genius.
    Those who have seen him work , the punctuality , dedication , passion and vision he had cannot be matched by any one .
    The person who made us laugh through a single media medium for decades , the person whose command over the script will not be match by any one .

    You are loved , you are their for us , you might have lost physically but you have given us the treasure of a life time by giving us memories to keep smiling.

    Moin Akhtar , Salute to you from the Nation of Pakistan & all around the world.

    Rest in Peace . Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Apr 23, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Everyone in Karachi, please lets goto his funeral…
    Lets do this one thing for him when he spent 40 years doing what he did best, for us…
    made us laughRecommend

  • M.Atiq
    Apr 23, 2011 - 10:47AM

    Moeen was a very decent and versatile Patriotic artist.May Allah shower His blessings upon him.Recommend

  • W L M
    Apr 23, 2011 - 11:12AM

    so so sad…… this is a real set back for the entire show biz industry of pakistan. RIP my manRecommend

  • Iftikhar Ali
    Apr 23, 2011 - 11:47AM

    I am really shocked by this sad news. He was a verstile artist, a great speaker , and he had the ability to grasp the attention of his audience. There was a magic in his voice.
    We’re all going to miss him. May God bless him and I think he is also going make happy and some laughter on the faces of angels.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh
    Apr 23, 2011 - 11:55AM

    May his soul rest in peace.
    Let us also not forget the due credit that must be given to him for hosting Pakistan’s version of who wants to be a millionaire. He tried his level best to reel in the audiences for that.
    He was truly without a doubt an irreplaceable legend. Recommend

  • abdullah raza khan
    Apr 23, 2011 - 12:17PM

    MAY allah bless peace here soulRecommend

  • Imran....
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:08PM

    He will live in our heart for ever….Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2011 - 4:35PM

    For me “Emotions” died.Recommend

  • R. Khan
    Apr 23, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Nobody can be born as good as Moeen Akthar. It was shocking news & still unable to accept that he has left us. World salutes you Moeen Akthar.Recommend

  • SALEEM JAVED
    Apr 23, 2011 - 5:38PM

    Moen Akhtar was a great artist of our country his death was very shocking for all of us.Recommend

  • R.V.S.Sharma
    Apr 23, 2011 - 6:17PM

    He is one among those who made us exclaim – Pakistan zindabad ! There could be none like him in India . Pakistan lost a brilliant son.Recommend

  • Fajar Ali Khan
    Apr 23, 2011 - 7:15PM

    Death of a legendRecommend

  • Khalid Masood
    Apr 23, 2011 - 7:45PM

    Wonderful article about a wonderful man.
    As a young man I remained an admirer of Moin Akhtar.
    He was a patriotic person with great love for his country.
    I met him few times and he left inspiring imprint always.
    Once in Malir, we arranged a musical program for troops wanted Moin to act as host/anchor.
    He did not tell us but he was already booked for PM house Isb on same date and time. That was during the time of BB’s first government.
    Moin apologized powerful people at Islamabad and joined the program arranged for military troops – It was courageous and it was for the love of his country.
    Later on we came to know about this and this gesture enhanced the respect for Moin in my heart and mind manifold.
    I salute him – he is no longer with us but he will remain in the hearts and minds of all Pakistanis- Allah may rest his soul in eternal peace.Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2011 - 10:14PM

    I have gone through all 18 comments on his sad departure and there is not even one word or senrtence which is negative, all full of praise – that shows the greatness of Moein Akhtar. He was a legend in true sense of the word. The stage and telelvision has indeed lost a legend of his own class. May God Almighty shower infinite blessing on him and rest his soul in eternal peace and give courage and fortitude to the survivors to bear this loss – Amen.Recommend

  • Shahid Afzal
    Apr 24, 2011 - 12:02AM

    Pakistan lost a brilliant son.

    I think he is also going make happy and some laughter on the faces of angels.

    May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. We will miss himRecommend

  • Shahid Ali Zuberi
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:21AM

    He was a legend in true sense of the word. The stage and telelvision has indeed lost a legend of his own class. May God Almighty shower infinite blessing on him and rest his soul in eternal peace and give courage and fortitude to the survivors to bear this loss – Amen.Recommend

  • Arshad Mahmood
    Apr 24, 2011 - 3:09AM

    Moein Akthar was not only a great star but also a great human being. I have come to know that that he used to help many needy persons silently. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace.Recommend

  • amir shah
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:04AM

    Moin Akhtar was an Icon. He will always be remebered for his magical voice and down to eart attitude. May Allah rest his soul in peace Recommend

  • Noormohammad Gurwala
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:28AM

    One of the most talented individuals of Pakistan. A great role model for our young people. I don’t think, anyone can replace him.May God bless his soul. I always thought he was ‘Dick Clark’ of United States. He is going to be in our hearts for ever.Recommend

  • Shsukst Naeem Ghumman
    Apr 24, 2011 - 2:41PM

    strong textUndoubtedly, it was appalling news to hear the unhappy demise of – Moin Akhtar, one of the greatest adored comics and actors ever to grace the stage and television screens of Pakistan. Be it through mockery or mimicry, humor or melody, Moin Akhtar had a comedic range that will certainly not ever be matched in the country. His death is an irreparable harm to homeland.
    Let’s pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul. May his soul rest in peace and Almighty give courage to the family members to bear this untimely loss – AmeenRecommend

  • Abdul-Mughis.
    Apr 25, 2011 - 8:22AM

    May ALLAH SWT rest his soul in peace of Janna’ ul Firdaus, Aameen!Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Apr 25, 2011 - 9:50AM

    He is a legend. Lets all pray for him. Sir, you will always live in our hearts. Thank you!Recommend

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