Born in 1950, Moin Akhtar joined show business in the ’60s as a comedian. His remarkable impersonations earned him recognition in no time. But it was in the ’70s that Moin Akhtar’s appearance on the Zia Mohyeddin Show as a standup act catapulted him to national fame. Undoubtedly, Moin Akhtar was a comic genius.
In the prime of era PTV always cherished to have gigantic artists like Roohi Bano, Qavi Khan, Shakeel Ahmed, Sakina Samoo etc while on the other hand it has top stage anchors Moin Akhter, Anwer Maqsood and Tariq Aziz. It would be true to say that Moin Akhtar and Tariq Aziz not only built the repute of Pakistan Television but ‘kamaou puttar’ as well. Moin’s presence in any show guaranteed success. He was such a remarkable mimic that once he was severally banned for mimicking Ziaul Haq. ‘Madam Rozi’ brought him immense fame and in private sessions people would tease him saying – Hi Rozi.
What was brilliant about his career was not just its staggering volume or the fact that despite its vastness, his work was always of the highest quality. His legendary characters brought so many of our prejudices and vanities to life. He was not just a slave to his craft, but rather he was someone who determined what his craft would be to all others who practiced it. However, most of Moin’s best work was probably alongside Anwar Maqsood. The discerning, sharp-witted scriptwriter and the intuitive comedian formed a matchless combination as they teamed together in one show after another. Maqsood would always be the interviewer and Moin the interviewee, taking on different characters in each episode.
His name is synonymous with comedy acting in Pakistan. A pioneering television actor, Moeen Akhtar is a talented artist of amazing abilities and has proven his abilities over the last many years he has been associated with Pakistani entertainment industry.
He has acted in many plays and his acting has become inspiration for many budding actors. His wit, sharpness of mind, style, eloquence, dialog delivery and more importantly his versatility which enables him to perform almost any kind of role has made him among most popular Pakistani artists ever.
Moin Akhtar has shown amazing versatility and has proven it by impersonating almost any kind of personality and character. At the peak of his career, he performed role of a female nurse in a long play ‘rozy’ (which was an adaption of a Hollywood movie). His role and his acting earned him critical acclaim and even more popularity.
During his tour to Kuwait in 1985 the audience was stunned to see his excellent performance when he copied American accent in a finest way and on the other hand how a new comer to America twists same language. Though film star Sabeeha Khanam and Fifty Fifty fame Majid Jahangir were also part of the show, it was Moin that stole the show. I still remember that later Egyptian manager of the Granada cinema where show was held especially asked for Moin’s autograph. I later inquired about this decision that despite that he cannot understand Urdu then why he bothered to have an autograph from foreign artist. “I thoroughly gazed at his performance and audience’s response. I feel that this person is very talented since his body language was the best speaker. He kept the audience attentive and made them laugh. Sirrah, this person (Moin) is our Adil Imam (Egyptian comedian),” he said.
The other finest quality was his being a noble character. He never used filthy or rubbish language on stage. That is why once he declined offer from India being judge in comedy show. “I declined simply that sometimes you have to laugh even on substandard joke, which I can’t. And if I don’t then audience, jury, artists may take me an arrogant”. Renowned comedian Ali Ejaz paid him rich tribute and declares that humor met to death along with Moin. Qavi Khan said that PTV is orphaned. Daler Singh Mehdi from India sees that hardly any such entertainer India ever produced. His loss is great. In short, Moin Akhtar’s death was mourned nationwide.
He was 60. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons. May his soul rest in peace! Amin
By Haafiz, WEEKLY PULSE MAGAZINE, April 28, 2014