KARACHI, Dec 24: Leading film and television actor Izhar Qazi died here in the early hours of Monday.
The 50-year-old suffered a severe heart attack in his Gulistan-i-Jauhar home on Sunday night. He was taken to a nearby private hospital but the doctors’ efforts were in vain and he died shortly afterwards of heart failure. He leaves a widow, four daughters and a son.
His funeral prayers were led by Shaikhul-Hadis Maulana Asfandyar Khan and were held at Gulistan-i-Jauhar’s Masjid-ul-Khair on Monday afternoon. The veteran actor was later laid to rest at the Model Colony graveyard.
Izhar Qazi started his acting career over 20 years ago with the television serial ‘Ana’, written by Fatima Surraiya Bajiya. His talent soon led him to fame, and his popularity was helped along by his resemblance to the Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
The award-winning actor left his job with the Pakistan Steel Mills when he was lured to Lahore by the film industry, where his talent landed him a large number of roles. During an over two-decade-long career, Mr Qazi worked in more than a hundred films, including the hits Roohi, Baghi Haseena, Bangkok Key Sanam, Manila Key Janbaz, Aalmi Jasoos, Abdullah the Great, Janbaaz, Suhag Raat and Phoolan Devi. He worked opposite almost all the famous heroines of the time, including Babra Sharif, Babita, Kavita, Neeli, Reema, Madiha Shah, Saima and Nadira.
As the sustainability and standards of Lahore’s film industry declined, however, Mr Qazi returned to Karachi some four years ago and revived his television career. He also set up a real estate agency.
Mr Qazi won the prestigious Nigar Award twice, in 1991 and 1996, for his work in Bakhtawar and Sakhi Badshah, respectively.