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Veteran actor, king of comedy and legend of theater industry, Amanullah Khan breathed his last at a private hospital on Friday morning. He was 70.

In January this year, Amanullah Khan was hospitalized. He was treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a local hospital but was released later. Earlier this month, he was again hospitalised after his health deteriorated. This was the fourth time when he was admitted to the hospital as his condition remained unstable.

He was suffering from multiple medical complexities such as lungs, kidneys and breathing issues. While appealing for prayers, the actor's family had said he was admitted to the hospital and was on the ventilator.

He was married thrice and has left behind 14 children and a sister. His funeral prayer, which was attended by a large number of people from different walks of life, was offered at his residence in Paragon City after Magirb prayer.

The versatile stage, TV and film actor had entertained at least three generations with his particular style of spontaneous comedy. His performances in various stage dramas and films had accumulated audience appreciation for his unique style.

Born in Gujranwala in 1950, Amanullah came to Lahore at an early age where he used to sell toffees in buses and at Data Darbar to make ends meet. Fond of singing, his earliest performances were at the Data Darbar. His first stage performance was "One Man Comedy Show" at a local theatre in Lahore in which he performed mimicry of famous celebrities.

His first television play "Sixer" with producer Iqbal Effendi was a huge hit. Some of his famous stage plays include "Basheera in Trouble" and "Landa Bazaar". He performed over 2000 stage plays in a career spanning some 40 years and worked with all the big producers of the time. He was regarded as one of the best comedians in Pakistan and had a world record of 860-day night theater plays. According to famous comedian Sohail Ahmed, Amanullah was also regarded as one of the top comedians in the country.

In 2018, the president had also given Pride of Performance Award to the comedian. Meanwhile, people from different walks of life, immediately after hearing news of Amanullah's demise, shared their experiences and memories with the comedian on social media. The Alhamra Arts Council (LAC) Lahore was also closed throughout the day to pay tributes to the departed soul. LAC Executive Director Ather Ali said that Amanullah was not only popular in Pakistan but in the world and with his passing, the country has lost a great artist. "In near future, the LAC will host a great program to pay tributes to Amanullah. He had brought great joy to the people through his art. We will never forget his services," Ather added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan also expressed "deep sadness" over Amanullah's demise. In a tweet shared by the PTI's official page, the prime minister said: "Late Amanullah was a valuable asset of stage, comedy and drama industry."

PML-N chief and Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif also condoled the actor's death. Terming his departure a "big loss for the worlds of stage, comedy and acting,".

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020


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