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Moin Akhtar: The star still shines


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Moin Akhtar left us two years ago yet the heart still refuses to accept his untimely demise. He was one of those few actors whose legacy extends beyond their physical presence; high-lightened every time a glimpse of his mimicry or his indelible impressions flash in front of our eyes.

Moin Akhtar was among the very first few artists who laid the foundations of mimicry complimented with a measured course of satire.

According to Akhter, “I was quite a character; imitating teachers in school. My friends and family were in awe of this talent and I soon found myself catering requests to mimic just about anyone and everybody.”

His first breakthrough that earned him praise was at Dow Medical College where the realisation hit him that he could actually earn a living out of his art.

Akhter hailed from that very humble age where simplicity and strength of character were the much valued merits in people. He couldn’t finish off his education (much to his own dismay) and entered practical life to share the family burden at a very early age.

His introduction with Syed Ameer Imam of PTV was another dramatic event.

In one of his interviews with Dawn, Akhtar recalled: “I kept impersonating Muhammad Ali, Lehri and Waheed Murad, after all that’s what I had been doing in all this time. Imam sahib kept rebuking me to be nothing but myself. Qazi Wajid was a live witness to all this and I was pretty convinced that I was to never step in PTV ever again.”

For Akhter, Zia Mohyeddin was a living inspiration and his mentoring services were something that he was eternally grateful for. The Zia Mohyeddin Show was also his major recognition where his take off on the host had the audience roaring with laughter.

Among the many memorable performances by the hard to forget Pakistani icon, include Studio 2.5, Studio 2.75, Aangan Terha, Chaar Bees, Fifty-Fifty, Such Much and the much-acclaimed persona of Rozy.

In addition to this, his collaboration with Anwer Maqsood in Loose Talk was extraordinary for the duo was able to come up with four hundred ghettos in all and had the audience hooked to it for many years.

About his relationship with Anwer Maqsood, he once said: “He and I share a rare chemistry. I gauge exactly what he is saying beneath the lines and he in turn is at comfort with entrusting me fully with his writings.”

Although he is much credited to be a comedian, he had many skills of a true performer on his fingertips. He was not only fond of penning his thoughts but also loved to sing. Born of a God-fearing nature, he was a sound citizen who believed that to improve the structure of society efforts had to be initiated from within.

What Moin Akhter gave to our society or perhaps to the whole world can be seconded by none. Such gems are born in centuries only to leave a presence that is to surpass beyond many years to come.

In lieu of his contributions to art and the Pakistani society as a whole, he was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 2003, Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2004 and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

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Comments (15) Closed

Saad Yamin Apr 23, 2013 04:17am
he was the legend and a very good man we miss him and i'll remember him in my special prayers..... and was a real muslim good one May ALLAH bless Him and give him a plce in Jannatul firdus...... amin
Sajid Ali Khan Apr 23, 2013 06:26am
Through his versatile personality on media,despite not knowing Moeen in person, he sure cast such an profound impression, it is still difficult to believe that he is no longer between us. What I had noticed that he was off-scene for a number of years, but when he staged a comeback, he was a different performer altoghether. He was no longer a typical comedian, but an icon,, an identity, a trendsetter with no parallel, he won hearts by his unique mannerism. Through his change of style, he lifted himself way above his contemporary performers, most of whom have gone into oblivion, the audience not even realising their absene. The duo of Anwar Maqsood and him, brought comedy and satire to such a level that it will be difficult to match. I can just barely imagine what Anwar Maqsood must be going through after him. . May Allah grant blessings on Moeen.
PakFan Apr 23, 2013 02:00am
He earned respect from everyone who saw him perform. A unique and genuine artist.
teezee Apr 23, 2013 05:38am
Haniya Jawed's needs to work on her writing skills. Poorly written piece replete with errors of expresion, grammer and vocabulery.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Apr 23, 2013 03:11am
Moin Akhtar was simply great. May his soul rest in peace!
AHA Apr 22, 2013 10:58am
Moin Akhtar will always remain one of the all-time greats that Pakistan can ever produce.
umesh bhagwat Apr 22, 2013 11:39pm
he reminds me of jaspal bhatti!
Mohammad Apr 22, 2013 09:02pm
These days we are unable to find decent comedians. Really a nice comedian and we can't forget him
Qaiser Bakhtiari Apr 22, 2013 08:25pm
For a country that is in such dire straits, Moin Akhtar was the light of hope that we all needed so badly. Instead of being sad that he is not there any more I choose to be glad that he was able to entertain this God forsaken country for whatever time he had in this world of mortals.
A. Khan Apr 22, 2013 04:15pm
Please .. this is getting to be too much. I found that in the later half of his career, Moin Akhtar came across as an arrogant and not too funny individual. His forte was as a comedian and mimic artist in the early days and that's what made his name. When he switched his career to being an MC or host with a few characters thrown in, I found most of his shows to boring and his personality unbearably arrogant. Its not nice to talk ill of the dead but its no better to hyping a dead person to saint level. He had a reputation for greediness in making excessive demands for even charity shows. Lets leave it at that and not elevate him to a demi-god.
Taq Apr 22, 2013 11:25am
I dont think i will see such an artist in this century and in my life time.
Wasif Apr 22, 2013 11:20am
Salute to you Mr. Akhtar - we will eternally grateful
Muhammad Farooq ON, Canada Apr 22, 2013 05:06pm
Moin Akhter, as far as I know, never used indecent words and avoided sexual innuendoes in his performnces. This puts him on a high pedestal alongwith our Late Lehri and our ever green Anwar Maqsood. The best trio for comedy and satire the country has produced so far. Moin's successors should learn from it. My tributes to late Nazar Rangeela and Munwwar Zarif also for their precious contributions to celluloide comedy. Moin Akhtar's untimely death has saddened every heart. All his life he made us laugh but left us shocked and sad without looking back at the end of the day. RIP.
ZAQ Apr 22, 2013 05:11pm
Certainly, Moin Akhtar was one of the best actors of the sub-continent and he will remain alive in the hearts of people for a long time. He had his own style of mimicry and his incredible performances have lessons for people in this field. Unfortunately, in the current environment of private TV channels in Pakistan mimicry has become the name of character assassinations. However, Moin's responsible style of satire is still afresh in the minds of people and this writer has rightly said that his legacy extends beyond his physical presence. --ZAQ
AB Apr 22, 2013 11:05am
Mimicry King. #Respect