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Alas, Lehri

September 23, 2012

He belonged to that rare breed of comedians who did not depend on slapstick or risqué to garner applause. With a poker-faced look he could make people laugh so hard that it would hurt their bellies. On Sept 13, the legendary comedian Lehri, who served the Pakistan film industry for more than four decades, passed away in Karachi. He was 83. He was suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac ailment. He is survived by five sons and two daughters.

Lehri began his acting career with a film titled Anokhi in 1956. After that, there was a hiatus for a couple of years. Once the audience started to get the hang of his comedy, he never looked back. He worked in more than 100 films a majority of which were commercially and critically successful. His last film was Zeba Bakhtiar’s Babu (2001) in which he appeared for three scenes. He was very ill at the time. The kind of comedy that Lehri saheb did was subtle and dialogue-oriented, something that most modern-day comedians are not familiar with. He will be sorely missed.