Veteran actor, director, and voice actor Zia Mohyeddin passed away today at the age of 91. He was a cultural hero in Pakistan and a role model for countless aspiring performers and musicians.
Mohyeddin, who was born in Faisalabad in 1933, started out in the theatre in the 1950s, collaborating with famous names like Herbert Marshall and Frank Thring. When he decided to make a name for himself as an actor, he headed to England, where he quickly became a star at the National Theatre, the West End, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Mohyeddin has made an incredible impact on television and film in Pakistan. In the 1980s, he relocated back to Pakistan and quickly rose to prominence in his field. His acting credits include the likes of the hits Khuda Ki Basti, Ankahi, and Dehleez. He could breathe life into any role, and his acting skills were highly regarded for this reason.
Mohyeddin directed various plays and films in addition to starring in them, notably the highly regarded drama The Blood of Hussain. Many young performers credit him as a mentor, and he had a major impact on the development of Pakistan’s film and television industry.
Mohyeddin was a competent voice artist in addition to being an accomplished actor and director. He provided the Urdu voiceover for a wide variety of Disney animated features, including Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.
Though he was born in Pakistan, Mohyeddin’s artistic influence spread well beyond the country’s borders. He served as Pakistan’s “cultural ambassador,” travelling the world to share his country’s rich artistic heritage. For his exemplary contributions to the artistic community, he was honoured with the Pride of Performance in 1989 and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2019.
Zia Mohyeddin stood out from the crowd. He was a cultural treasure of Pakistan and will be remembered for his many achievements in the arts. His work will remain an inspiration for many years to come.
We will miss this legend, but his words will live on: “Art is not what you see but what you make others perceive.” We will be forever indebted to Zia Mohyeddin for giving us a glimpse of the world via his lens and his art. Thank you for your service, and may you finally rest in peace, sir.