LAHORE: Renowned film, television, radio and stage actor Ali Ejaz passed away here on Tuesday. He was 77.
He leaves behind his wife and two sons.
His family told the media that he suffered a heart attack four days ago and was rushed to a private hospital where he breathed his last in the morning. Ali Ejaz had suffered a paralysis attack some 11 years ago.
Many of his showbiz colleagues, friends and fans attended his funeral near Ayubia Market, Muslim Town, in the afternoon.
Ali Ejaz was born in 1941 in Qila Gujjar Singh, Lahore. Popular comedian Munawwar Zareef was his school fellow.
Known for his versatility in acting, Ali Ejaz started his showbiz career with theatre in the 1960s.
Pakistan Television was his second home where he acted in a number of plays and trained a generation of artistes. He was awarded Pride of Performance in 1993.
His first film was Insaniyat. He acted in over 100 films and his pairing with actress Anjuman and comedian Nannha (Rafi Khawar) was very popular in the 1980s. His TV plays Khawaja and Sons, Sona Aur Chandi and Lakhon Mein Teen (with Qavi Khan and Athar Shah Khan Jedi) became household names. Among his popular films were Dada Ustad, Bhaiyan Di Jori, Yamla Jutt, Bad Nalo Badnam Bura, Ishq Mera Naam, Sohra Tay Jawai, Sala Sahib, Laila Majnoon, Athra Putar and Sajjan Dushman and Dubai Chalo.
TV serial Khawja and Sons and film Dubai Chalo are regarded as his best.
Prominent people present at his funeral included film actor Shahid, Suhail Ahmed, Syed Noor, Irfan Khusat, Jawad Waseem, Javed Rizvi, Naeem Tahir, Aurangzaib Laghari, Hamid Rana, actress Naghma, Nasir Adeeb, Baba Najmi and Director General of the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture Dr Sughra Sadaf.
Presenting views on his acting career, noted actor Suhail Ahmed said that Ali Ejaz was an institution in himself as he trained a number of artistes.
Film actor Shahid said he was a down-to-earth person and a great actor.
Aurangzaib Eshaie, who acted as his son in Khawaja and Sons, said that Ali Ejaz trained him how to do comedy. “He was a great teacher and a wonderful actor.”
Executive Director of Lahore Arts Council Athar Ali Khan said that Ali Ejaz played a vital role in doing objective and meaningful plays at Alhamra Theatre.
According to Dawn.com, Ali Ejaz launched philanthropic work under the umbrella of his charity Ali Ejaz Foundation in 2015. One of his notable projects was homes for old people in Kala Khatai, near Lahore.
According to his family, his Qul will be held on Wednesday (today) at his Muslim Town residence after Asr prayers.
Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018