LAHORE: Veteran television personality Navaid Rasheed, popularly known as Tony, died of a heart attack at his residence here in the wee hours of Wednesday. He was said to be in his 50s.

Tony’s funeral prayers will be offered after Friday prayers at his Dharampura residence and he is likely to be buried in the Mian Mir graveyard.

Starting out as a cultural reporter for Dawn newspaper in Lahore, where he served for six years interviewing film stars and writing film reviews, the multifaceted Tony later dabbled in many fields of arts from photography, hosting on TV to acting and singing. Most of his early work revolved around film actresses of the early 90s and transforming them with glamourous makeovers, doing away with the garish make-up, frizzy hair and tacky clothes.

Make-up artist and photographer Khawar Riaz called Tony a very “vivacious” person, who would create a lively atmosphere wherever he would go.

“One would never be sad or bored around him. He was witty, sarcastic. Though we would meet on and off, but got an opportunity to work together for the first time while he was writing for Dawn Images in the early 90s. We did a very difficult shoot for Dawn with Madeeha Shah, which was really appreciated. He loved presenting our actresses in a glamourous positive light through his writing. He made them look like Hollywood stars,” Mr Riaz told Dawn.

The veteran stylist said Tony had undergone a bypass operation a few years ago because of his “unhealthy diet and eating habits,” as he loved different kinds of food.

“His valves were blocked and he underwent an operation that he miraculously survived. He initially started watching what he ate, but such a personality can’t stay away from socialising for long. He went back to the unhealthy routine and I would often tell him to behave. He lived in the moment,” Riaz recalled.

Event manager Qasim Yar Tiwana, who enjoyed a 20-year association with Tony, remembers him as “an angel”, who only spread positivity all his life. “He was such a sincere and honest friend, which is a rarity. He was always there for all his friends at any stressful time,” he told Dawn.

In Tony’s decades-long career, there have been many milestones, including singing for former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad at a wedding in Kuala Lumpur as well as performing for the sultan of Malaysia at another wedding. Tony also did a photoshoot for Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan of the UAE with his son at the grand palace.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2022

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