LAHORE: The 14th death anniversary of legendary Pakistani film actor Muhammad Ali isobserved today on March 19. The actor who was dubbed as the 'Shahanshae Jazbat'( Emperor of Emotions ) by fans and peers alike was a domineering force in Pakistani cinema from the 60s all the way into the 80s.
In the wake of his passing, several of his contemporaries and prominent figures of Lollywood paid their tribute to the late actor. Veteran film director Altaf Hussain went on to praise both Ali's acting ability and star persona. "Although Muhammad Ali had the looks of a leading man, at the time he entered the industry it was at it's peak in terms of stars. It was Ali's acting and determination that allowed him to succeed. His acting abilities allowed him to do justice to every role he was presented. Ali was one the prominent leading men of Lollywood's golden age and will forever be remembered for his contribution," said Hussain.
Likewise, actor Durdana Rahman also sung praises of Ali's command on his craft. " Ali's interest in acting brought him in the industry with him delivering a number of blockbusters through the course of his thirty year-long career. He performed brilliantly in all the roles he was presented with. During the peak of his career, all the leading ladies wanted to work opposite him," said Rahman.
It wasn't just Ali's acting ability and charisma that earned him the respect of the industry. According to actor Shiba Butt, off-screen Ali was a very generous and charitable person. " Muhammad Ali was a soft-hearted and humble man who cared about the not so financially well off artists of the industry. He established an Ali Zaiba Foundation when he was at the peak of his career. The Ali Zaiba Foundation works towards the aid of poor artists of the country," Butt said.
Born on April 1, 1931, Ali's family migrated from India to Karachi after the 1947 partition. He later shifted to Lahore. Ali made his acting debut in 1962 with the film Chiragh jalta raha. During the course of his two-decade-long career, Ali delivered several hit films including Khandan, Aulaad, Khamos Raho, Shararat, Aaj ki Raat and many others. Ali has worked in a total of 250 films, 94 of which he starred as a leading man.
Through the course of his career, Ali had the honour of working with some of the big names in the industry including Shamim Ara, Zaiba, Waheed Murad, Sultan Rahi and many others. Later on, he married actor Zaiba with the two of them becoming a prominent couple in Lollywood.
The actor has won several awards in his lifetime. During 1984 he won the Pride of Performance Award. For his services to the local film industry, Ali was given the Tamgha e Imtiaz and certain other awards including Bolan Award, Noshad Award at India, Al Nasar Award at Dubai, Pakistan Academy Award and Nigar Awards. He died in 2006 at the age of 74 from a heart attack.
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