Majid Jahangir’s tragic end: Artists recall how 'Fifty-Fifty' actor had to ‘beg’ for financial aid

Celebrated actor passed away in Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday

Adnan Lodhi January 12, 2023


Celebrated Fifty Fifty actor Majid Jahangir passed away in Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday. The actor was hospitalised after suffering from a fall last month, because of which he fractured his spine. Jahangir was also suffering from a respiratory illness that had worsened recently.

The comedian, who rose to fame from the popular sitcom that also starred the late actor Ismail Tara, was laid to rest in Karachi, his son Fahad Majid Jahangir confirmed, as per Express news. Several have since been mourning his demise while other have been remembering his contributions to the entertainment world.

Renowned playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed told The Express Tribune, “Back in the day, Majid Jahangir was the pillar of Pakistani comedy. The trends he introduced in acting became popular in India too. I was a part of PTV where I met with Jahangir at various occasions. He was one of those actors who could perform without a script. As a stage actor, he could do impromptu comic routines and his comedy was much different than the Punjabi ‘juggat’.”

Syed recalled how Jahangir was also an expert at developing characters. “But it was a tragedy that after his time passed by, he could not recreate himself. But that means he was a big star who peaked too soon,” he reflected.

“Majid Jahangir was a gem and there is no denying we have lost a great performer,” said veteran actor and Pride of Performance recipient Rashid Mahmood. “The artist community is sad. The public still remembers Fifty Fifty and naturally, it still remembers Jahangir’s performance. Jahangir, and Ismail Tara were a big deal during the peak of PTV. It is our bad luck that we lost both of them side by side.”

Mahmood also noted that aside from being a legend onscreen, Jahangir was a beautiful soul offscreen. “Surely, his loved ones will miss him forever,” he remarked.

Stage actor Shiba Butt, while reflecting on Jahangir’s career, asserted, "Jahangir was among those artists that laid the foundation for comedy in Pakistan alongside Ismail Tara. He introduced variations comic acting. We have seen that wonderful time when he was at the peak of his career and other actors were copying him. But it was our bad luck that like many others, he too suffered tragedies and sufferings before eventually passing away.”

Butt alleged that on several of his visits to Lahore, Jahangir had to “beg” from the public. “Here he even begged from public. I believe this is just due to the negligence of all those departments that are responsible for looking after actors who have contributed so much to the entertainment industry. Suffering seems to be our fate.”

Actor Jamal Shah also chimed in, “Majid Jahangir created a space in everyone’s hearts through Fifty Fifty and the whole country can never forget his acting. However, it is also reality that our government did not give any benefits or land to great actors like him. Although artists dedicate their entire life to this profession, they are treated like second-grade citizens. Even a talent like Majid Jahangir is ignored.”

Jahangir had kickstarted his acting career in Moin Akhtar's PTV show Saat Rang. However, it wasn't until 1979 that he was propelled to fame with PTV's famous comedy show Fifty Fifty, along with Tara, Zeba Shehnaz, Bushra Ansari, and Ashraf Khan. The show became later became a household name across the country and so did the cast. Jahangir was a constant feature in the show until it stopped airing in 1985.

It was later reported that Jahangir had moved to the United States and lived there for the next 23 years. On returning to Pakistan, he resumed his career by participating in Aamir Liaquat Hussain's shows for local TV and in the comedy show Khabarnaak. In 2021, Jahangir told The Express Tribune about his financial woes, adding that it had become a nuisance for him to even arrange for his medicines for stroke and other ailments.

In the 80s, Jahangir was conferred with the Pride of Performance award for his role in Fifty Fifty. In 2020, he was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and a Lifetime achievement award.


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