Mohammad Ali (Urdu: محمد علی) (April 19, 1938 – March 19, 2006) was a Pakistani actor. He was known as Shahenshah-e-Jazbaat(Urdu: شہنشاہ جذبات), meaning The Emperor of Emotions. A highly versatile actor, he performed in historical, biographical and patriotic roles; in costume and art movies. He has starred in over 250 movies playing both heroes and villains. He was included among 25 greatest actors of Asia (all time) by CNN survey (On 4 March 2010).
Early life[ .]
Mohammad Ali was born in Rampur, British India on April 19, 1938. He was the son of Maulana Syed Murshid Ali, who was an Islamic scholar. Born into a religious family, he was the youngest of two brothers and two sisters. After his birth the family migrated from Rampur to Rohtak, and from there to Hyderabad and then finally settled in Multan shortly after the independence of Pakistan.
He attended Millat High School Multan and did his inter from Government Emerson College Multan. In 1954 he moved back to Hyderabad to pursued higher studies and passedB.A. from City College, Hyderabad.
Start of career from Radio Pakistan[ .]
Muhammad Ali joined Radio Pakistan Hyderabad station as a broadcaster in 1956, where his elder brother Irshad was already working as a drama artist. After some time working there, he moved to Bhawalpur station and from there finally moved to Radio Pakistan, Karachi.
Film career[ .]
Chiragh Jalta Raha was premiered by Fatima Jinnah on March 9, 1962 at Nishat Cinema, Karachi. He then appeared as a villain in director Munawwar Rasheed’s film Bahadur, director Iqbal Yusuf’s film Daal Mein Kala, and director Javed Hashmi’s film Dil Ne Tujhay Maan Liya. His first film as a hero was Mr. X but Movie Shararat was released before (in 1963). Later, he moved to Lahore and worked in the movie Khandan (1964). He made a breakthrough from Khamosh Raho (1964). In 1989, he had an extended cameo in theHindi film Clerk.
Mohammad Ali was a solo hero in 94 films. His first solo hero movie was Shararat and his last movie as a solo hero was Aaj Ki Raat (1983). His last leading actor movie wasMohabbat ho to aisi (1989) and his last movie of his career was titled Dum Mast Qalander (1995). Mohammad Ali worked with 111 directors in his career .
Ali met Zeba first time in 1962 during the filming of their debut film “Chirag jalta rahe”. The couple got married four years later during the filming of Tum mile pyar mila on September 29, 1966 and remain married until Ali’s death in 2006.
They did not have any children together. However, Mohammad Ali legally adopted Samina, Zeba’s daughter from her previous marriage, giving her the name Samina Ali.
Political and social Political activism[ .]
Mohammad Ali and his wife Zeba both had close relations with different political regimes in the country. He protested by putting up black dress in International Moscow Film Festival against India for holding 93,000 POWs after 1971 war. In Nawaz Sharif’s government, he also served as Cultural Minister and introduced new policies to improve the condition of Paksitani film Industry.
Ali-Zaib Foundation[ .]
Muhammad Ali along with Shahid Ali Zaidi founded Ali-Zaib Foundation in 1995 to help the Thalassemia patients. The founadtion made hospitals in Sargodha, Sahiwal, Jhang andGujranwala Head office Faisalabad. .
Retirement from Films and Death[ .]
After his retirement from films, when Mohammad Ali was asked in a television show about his disassociation from the films, he said: “The atmosphere in which I was accustomed to work for films and the way films were made, have entirely changed, hence I called it quits.”
Mohammad Ali died on March 19, 2006 due to a heart attack in Lahore.
He won 10 Nigar awards in in his film career starting from 1964 to 1984.
- Nigar awards for best supporting actor in 1964 Khamosh Raho
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1965 for Kaneez
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1966 for Aag ka darya
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1968 for Saiqa
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1971 for Wehshi
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1973 for Aas
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1974 for Aaina Aur Soorat
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1975 for Insaan Aur Aadmi
- Nigar awards for best actor awards in 1978 for Haidar Ali
- Special award from Nigar awards in 1984 for Doorian and Bobby
He was the only actor who win six Best Actor Nigar Awards in the first decade of his career.
In 1984, he become the first film actor to receive Pride of Performance which is the third highest civilian award in Pakistan from former president Zia ul Haq in recognition of his lifelong services to the entertainment industry of Pakistan. Later,he was also honored with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award in Pakistan and the only film actor who received it.
He got many honours and special awards like the Millennium Legend Star Graduate Award in 2000, , Ilyas Rasheedi Gold medal 1998, Nigar Lifetime Achievement Award 1998, Nigar Millennium Award 2000, Lifetime Excellency Award 1997, Pakistan Best Personality Award 1997. He received Bolan Awards, Screen Light Awards, National Academy Awards, Critics Award, Cultural Award from Punjab University and an Asian Academy Award. He received the first foreign award Al-Nasr Award in Dubai 1984. He was also awarded the Naushad Award of India.