ISLAMABAD: Internet giant Google on Friday celebrated the 71st birthday of Pakistani entertainment icon Moin Akhtar with a retro doodle on its Pakistan homepage.
Born in Karachi on December 24, 1950, Akhtar is widely regarded as one of the greatest comic actors of Pakistan.
He began his stage career at the age of 16 and quickly became a household name for his masterful impersonations and side-splitting skits. He entertained fans with his wide-ranging craft for four decades on both stage and television.
While a majority of his performances were in Urdu, Akhtar mastered several other languages, including English, Sindhi, Punjabi, Memoni, Pashto, Gujarati, and Bengali, too.
His 71st birthday doodle was illustrated by Pakistan-based guest artist Hazem Asif, who described the project as “the most rewarding experience of my career to date.”
"Growing up in Pakistan during the 1990s, Moin Akthar was a celebrated figure in every household. His masterful and whimsical portrayal of a diverse range of characters, his wit and comic takes on the most mundane of social phenomena, helped define a new era of comedy and satire for people of all ages," Asif said, while sharing his thoughts behind the making of the doodle.
"Whether by watching Moin’s performance on stage or national television, his talent and style were ground-breaking. Considering the persistently turbulent socio-political scenarios of the country, his performances were also a much needed escape into a timeless world of creative redefinition of society and social perceptions."
Hazem hoped the doodle would not only help those who already knew Akhtar remember him, but also the ones who don't know him enter his unique world of comedy.
Akhtar’s famous dramas include ‘Rosy,’ ‘Intezar Farmaiye,’ ‘Bund Road,’ ‘Aangan Terha,’ ‘Studio Dhai,’ ‘Studio Ponay Teen,’ ‘Yes Sir, No Sir’ and ‘Eid Train’. His performance as a woman protagonist in 'Rosy' is widely regarded as one of Pakistani TV’s most successful productions ever and earned him huge prestige.
Akhtar later worked with fellow entertainment icon Anwar Maqsood. Together, the duo hosted over 400 episodes of the 1995 satirical talk show “Loose Talk” and entertained millions playing different characters.
Akhtar was a champion of everyday people across the Subcontinent and has fans in both Pakistan and India. In recognition of his artistic contributions, he was awarded the prestigious Presidential Pride of Performance in 1996 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s third-highest civilian award, in 2011.
He died of a cardiac arrest in Karachi on April 22, 2011.