Pakistan’s film industry might not be where it used to be but we cannot forget its rich history that bestowed us with great artists. Some of the lead actors and actresses of yesteryears shared such a good rapport with each other that the audience mistook them for a real-life pair. Barring a couple of the ‘couples’, the rest were just reel-life pairs whom the audience loved. This Valentine’s Day, let’s remember these 14 lovely pairs who may not have been brought together by cupid but who managed to make the audience believe that they were made for each other.
Sabiha Khanum – Santosh Kumar
The Pakistan film industry was quite young when it welcomed the dashing Santosh Kumar (Syed Musa Raza) as a leading man who made women go weak in their knees. He made his film debut in 1950 with Punjabi flick Beli that was incidentally his future wife Sabiha Khanum’s first film as well. Both the actors went onto become the ‘perfect couple’ of Pakistan’s film industry and appeared onscreen as a pair for 35 years. After Santosh Kumar’s death in the early 80s, Sabiha Khanum shifted to television and retired in the 90s to settle in America with her kids.
Famous Films: Do Aansoo, Ghulam, Sarfarosh, Ishq-e-Laila, Mouseeqar, Kaneez, Dewar Bhabi, Maa Beta, Mohabbat, Anjuman
Waheed Murad – Zeba
She was one of the most beautiful actresses of the era; he was the dashing youngster who was making his debut as a tangay wala. Together in Pervez Malik’s Heera Aur Pathar, Waheed Murad and Zeba came together and ignited the screen that changed the way hero and heroines looked in those days. They became the face of the film industry until Zeba married Mohammad Ali and the two were reduced to bhai-bhabi roles in the 70s. They were part of the most successful films in the 60s including Pakistan’s first Platinum Jubilee film Armaan and no one can forget their interaction in Akele Na Jana, even 50 years later.
Famous Films: Heera Aur Pathar, Eid Mubarak, Jaag Utha Insaan, Kaneez, Armaan, Ehsaan, Maa Baap, Rishta Hai Pyar Ka, Insaaniyat
Mohammad Ali – Deeba
Although he mainly worked with his wife Zeba, veteran actor Mohammad Ali shared an excellent chemistry with Deeba, the heroine in his first film. The two worked in many flicks during the 60s and 70s, and their last film Doye Daku together was a Pushto one, in 1987.
Famous Films: Khamosh Raho, Aaina, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Shama, Ajnabi, Aag Aur Ansoo, Amber, Zameer
Shahid – Rani
Film actress Rani was already an established performer when Shahid made his film debut in the early 70s, however, when they appeared together in Umrao Jaan Ada, they clicked and the audience loved it. From there onwards, they worked in many films together since Shahid was director Hasan Tariq’s favourite and Rani was his wife. Although in some of their films together, Shahid was reduced to supporting roles notably in Seeta Mariam Margaret and Deedar but they always came back strong with excellent songs and films that are still remembered even after their last collaboration in the mid-80s.
Famous Films: Umrao Jaan Ada, Tehzeeb, Deedar, Pyaasa, Surayya Bhopali, Khushboo, Mr. Ranjha, Do Hathkarian
Nadeem – Shabnam
No reel pair that isn’t married has worked in so many films together as Nadeem and Shabnam who first appeared in a movie together during the late 60s and continued to act together till 1995 with their last film coming after a hiatus of nine years. From black and white films to colour, Nadeem and Shabnam have won the hearts of cinegoers and even during the lean period of the 80s, it was their films that did well in cinemas. They had worked with nearly every film director that mattered and one can write a book on their films because they were a part of Pakistan’s biggest success of that time Aaina, as well as many other classics.
Famous Films: Nazneen, Jalay Na Kyun Parwana, Mann Ki Jeet, Ehsaas, Badal Aur Bijlee, Do Badan, Intezar, Miss Hippy, Bhool, Sharafat, Farz Aur Mamta, Jageer, Pehchan, Anari, Zanjeer, Talash, Daman Ki Aag, Sachai, Aaina, Anmol Mohabbat, Bandish, Qurbani, Aahat, Dehleez, Kamyaabi, Lazawal, Faisla, Aawargi
Javed Sheikh – Neeli
Javed Sheikh and Neeli were the pair to look out for in the 90s – they not only looked good together but also complimented each other well. During the era, they appeared in many hits and also appeared on TV together in Javed Sheikh’s musical drama Khoobsurat Jahan that had songs sung by A. Nayyar and Mehnaz and was shot abroad. Neeli quit films in the 90s and has been missing in action but Javed Sheikh is still a force to reckon with.
Famous Films: Kalay Chor, Sher Ali, Khuda Gawah, Aakhri Mujra, Jo Dar Gaya Voh Marr Gaya, Mushkil, Jeeva, Chief Sahab
Shaan – Reema
Shaan acted and Reema danced into the hearts and minds of all those who wanted younger actors and actresses to take the center stage during the 90s. Director Javed Fazil introduced them in Bulandi and the film did take them to great heights. They appeared in Sangeeta’s Nikaah as well, that not only won awards but also critical acclaim for the interaction between the lead pair. The fans of the two would love to see the two actors again on screen as they both seem to defy age and time by staying young forever.
Famous Films: Bulandi, Nikaah, Mujhe Chand Chahye, Dil To Pagal Hai
Moammer Rana – Saima
The Choorian pair worked in both Urdu and Punjabi films with equal ease; they were loved by the masses whenever they appeared in a film together – be it as a pair or cast members. Not only this, their success can be judged with the fact that Choorian is still regarded as one of the most successful films of the last 20 years but their collaboration yielded other successful flicks that include Nikki Jayi Haan.
Famous Films: Choorian, Badmash Gujjar, Toofan, Jungle Queen, One Two Ka One, Jhoomer, Nikki Jayi Haan, Channa Sachi Muchi, Jugni
Humayun Saeed – Mehwish Hayat
They came together for Jawani Phir Nahi Aani and the result is in front of everyone. The film went on to become the highest grossing Pakistani movie and gave a new life to the careers of both Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat. They then recreated the magic in drama serial Dil Lagi which became one of the most successful TV dramas of 2016 and are currently busy in shooting their next project Punjab Nahi Jaoongi, which is all set to be released later this year.
Famous Films: Jawani Phir Nahi Aani
Fawad Khan – Mahira Khan
Would you believe if I told you that Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan are the only Pakistanis in the 100-crore club in Bollywood and haven’t worked together on the big screen as yet? Yes, they started their film career with the same film director Shoaib Mansoor in Khuda Kay Liye and Bol, respectively. But they are yet to create the Humsafar magic on the big screen. All eyes are set on Bilal Lashari’s Maula Jutt that is said to be featuring the two stars in action. Let’s wait and see!