LAHORE: Renowned film, television, radio and stage actor Masood Akhtar passed away on Saturday at Ittefaq Hospital after a protracted illness. He was 83.

His close family circles told Dawn that he had been suffering from cancer and breathed his last on Saturday morning. He is survived by two daughters and a widow. In 2021, his son also died of cardiac arrest.

His funeral was held at Usman Park, Gulshan-i-Ravi, and he was laid to rest at Miani Sahib graveyard.

Masood Akhtar was born on Sept 5, 1938, at village 1/145/12 Chichawatni, Sahiwal. His maternal grandfather Haji Muhammad Din was a doctor by profession who wished that Akhtar should become a barrister. Though Akhtar did LLB, fate had decided something else for him and that was acting.

Once Masood Sb told this reporter that the first stage play he did was at Government Muslim High School where he performed the role of Prince Saleem. He used to be a regular feature at Alhamra café where he often spent his evening in the company of other artistes.

He started working as a theatre actor in 1960s and later in 1970 he became a radio artiste. In 1964, he started doing plays at PTV and his film career began in 1967. He remained associated with radio for 40 years and did some 400 films and over a hundred TV plays and serials. He had a 60-year association with theatre.

He was a Pride of Performance actor. In 1969, his two films Dard and Maan Baiti were released.Some of his other films included Ansoo, Teri Surat Merin Ankhain, Mera Naam Hai Mauhabat.

One of his popular stage plays Paisa Bolta Hai earned him great popularity. Producer Director Qaiser Javed said he was a born actor who did wonders in all performing art mediums. Actor Khalid Moeen Butt said Masood Akhtar was an institution. Usman Pirzada said Masood Akhtar was an artiste of great calibre.

Condolence messages poured in on the demise of Masood Akhtar.

Chief Minister Usman Buzadar said Masood Akhtar was a versatile actor. The governor said his void could not be filled.

Lahore Arts Council Executive Director Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi said he also served as member governor Body of LAC. His services would always be remembered.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2022

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