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Film star Syed Kamal passes away

October 02, 2009


Syed Kamal, the 'Raj Kapoor of Pakistan.'— Dawn Photo

KARACHI Seasoned actor and director Syed Kamal died on Thursday at a private hospital in Karachi. He was 79.


His funeral prayer was held at Sultan Masjid in the Defence Housing Society, and he was buried at the Gizri graveyard.


He leaves behind his wife, a son and three daughters.


Kamal, a heart patient, fell at his home about a month back and was bedridden since. He died at 11am on Thursday due to cardiac arrest.


Soyem will be held on Saturday between Asr and Maghrib at 69/II, 14th Lane, Khayaban-i-Badr, Phase 7, DHA.


Kamal grew to prominence in the '60s and ruled over Pakistan's film industry till '70s. He also performed in various television plays. He was called 'Raj Kapoor of Pakistan' because of his striking resemblance to the top Indian actor.


Kamal acted in many memorable films, including Tauba, Thandi Sarak, Sawera, Apna Paraya, Road to Swat, Insan Aur Gadha, Behen Bhai, Jut Kuriyan Tau Darda, Aisa Bhi Hota Hai and Ashiana.


He also directed a number of films, including Shehnai, Yahan Say Wahan Tak, Doosri Maan, Meray Bacchay Meri Aankhein, Dard-i-Dil and Aaliya.


The Zia era saw cinema houses being demolished and converted into malls and residential blocks.


'In such a situation, while others avoided venturing into Urdu films, Syed Kamal took a bold step and produced Yahan Say Wahan Tak, inspired by an English novel,' according to Mushtaq Gazdar's book Pakistan Cinema 1947-1997. The film starred Waheed Murad, Mumtaz and Kamal himself.


Kamal was also a member of the MQM's cultural wing committee. MQM leader Altaf Hussain expressed sorrow over his death.


The governor and the chief minister of Sindh have also condoled the actor's death.

The president of Hum TV, Sultana Siddiqui, who is closely associated with the bereaved family, said the fact that Kamal belonged to a respectable family had encouraged others to join the film industry.


Film writer Pervaiz Kaleem said that Kamal was a good actor and a noble soul, adding that with his death a chapter of the film industry had closed.


Director Aslam Dar termed Kamal one of the popular actors of the country who was a thorough professional and always performed with great devotion.


Ghulam Mohyuddin said Kamal was an actor of great abilities.


Babra Sharif said Kamal was her senior and his acting had a lot to offer in terms of versatility. He played various roles very successfully.


Deeba said Kamal was a legend who gave his life to the film industry. She said he was a courteous man and had his own style of acting.


Actor Habib said his memorable movie with Kamal was Ashyana in which the late artiste performed superbly.