Showbiz is a tricky business and that’s the reason why only those with genuine talent succeed here; it’s something that can’t be inherited yet many actors in Pakistan have tried to follow the footsteps of their fathers and made a name for themselves. Let’s look at a few of them who knew what to do when they were young, and actually managed to pursue their dreams.
The surname of ‘Murad’ would have been enough to give Adil Murad the attention he deserved; being the only son of Waheed Murad, the greatest romantic hero Pakistan has ever produced, the stage was set for Adil to conquer when he debuted as Raja Sahib, in a film of the same name. The movie had excellent songs and the director emphasised more on the picturisation of songs but sadly, the story was not original and the film couldn’t do well at the box office. Adil chose to move back to TV; he kept acting and producing plays, following his producer father’s footsteps in another way. However, Adil is making a comeback to films after 20 years, through Syed Noor’s under-production flick Chain Aaye Na.
Then there are the Jilani brothers Adnan Jeelani and Kamran Jeelani whose father Qurban Jeelani had a distinguished career on TV. His legacy is kept alive by both Kamran and Adnan, however, by aping Shah Rukh Khan, Adnan Jilani has damaged his reputation dearly. Before he went the SRK way, he was hailed as an upcoming actor who would have gone a long way. Another actor whose sons couldn’t achieve the heights of popularity is Qavi Khan whose sons Adnan Qavi And Mehran Qavi appeared in a number of plays in the 80s and early 90s but they faded away from the scene very quickly. They still act in TV dramas but in Canada where they are well-settled.
Veteran film actor Agha Talish’s son Ahson Talish may not have acted much on TV but he remains active on the scene as a busy director who can also act. He played an important character in Actor In Law recently and will be launching his first feature film as a director soon. He had also done dubbing for Zeeshan Sikandar in Samina Peerzada’s Inteha in 1999, the film that featured Humayun Saeed and Meera in the lead. TV and film actor Aagha Sikandar died young but his legacy is carried forward by his sons Aagha Ali and Ali Sikandar who both act in TV plays and appear in commercials regularly. Asif Raza Mir’s son Ahad Raza Mir will also be debuting through Haseeb Hasan’s Parwaaz Hai Junoon, a role that was initially intended for Osman Khalid Butt. He will also be appearing in Hum TV’s Sammi opposite Mawra Hocane and one hopes he carries forward the good work of his director grandfather Raza Mir and father Asif who himself has acted in more than a dozen movies.
Veteran actor Waseem Abbas followed his father Inayat Hussain Bhatti into showbiz and his son Ali Abbas did the same; the youngster is acting in many TV dramas these days and making his parents proud. On the other hand, Rahat Kazmi’s son Ali Kazmi is making his family proud, internationally. After working in a few TV plays in Pakistan, he migrated to Canada and in 2016 alone, was seen in an Indian-Punjabi film Sardar Ji and Canadian flick Beeba Boys as well as in Mehreen Jabbar’s Dobara Phir Se. He, recently, appeared as a quirky analyst in TV show Taken, a prequel to the Liam Neeson films.
Film actor Ghulam Mohiuddin was a happy father when he got to work with his son Ali Mohiuddin in Sawal 700 Crore Dollar Ka; the film bombed at the box office but Ali’s performance was appreciated and he has the potential to do well in the future. Veteran actor Naeem Tahir’s sons Ali Tahir and Faran Tahir are also taking his legacy forward – Ali acting and directing plays in Pakistan and Faran working in Hollywood as well as on American television. Faran is easily the first Pakistani actor to have shared the screen with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and also has the distinction to play the Captain of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. Impressive, isn’t it?
Moving on, we have veteran character actor Mustafa Qureshi’s son Amir Qureshi doing well in films and on TV. The actor started his career as a host on an international TV but moved towards acting where he seems to be making a name for himself. He was recently nominated as Best Villain by two different award juries, which is a testament of his hard work. In the 90s, a youngster made his film debut with Dekha Jo Chehra Tera song – that young man was Arbaaz Khan, son of Pashto and Urdu film actor Asif Khan, and today, he is a leading actor and director of Pashto film industry himself.
Our very own ‘Actor in Law’ – Fahad Mustafa is yet another star son, as his father Salahuddin Tunio, who himself, is a renowned TV actor of the Sindhi and Urdu television industry, has been working for over 30 years now. Fahad not only followed his footsteps on TV but also in films – Salahuddin worked in a Sindhi film in the 80s. Fahad is also one of the leading TV hosts in Pakistan and has a huge fan following. Late actor Syed Kamal’s son Ghalib Kamal made his TV and film debut alongside his father – Kashkol on TV and Mehndi in films – but couldn’t scale the heights of stardom. He was last seen doing a cameo in Actor In Law while continues to host shows on TV.
In the 90s, another star kid made his film debut; Haider Sultan could fight, dance and act but after the death of his father Sultan Rahi and the decline of our film industry, he left showbiz. However, veteran TV and film actor Firdous Jamal’s son Hamza Firdous is here to stay. The youngster has done theatre in Ireland and has also worked in Irish TV series Ripper Street; in fact he has acted and directed a couple of plays in Pakistan. One of his plays is currently on air and he hopes to emulate his father in both TV and films.
Not even veteran comedian Irfan Khoosat would have thought that one day he would be known as the father of Sarmad Khoosat. The talented actor-director has won accolades for his acting and direction especially in Manto (2015); he has also worked behind the camera as Humsafar’s director -– one of the most popular plays in Pakistan that took Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to heights not witnessed by many. Veteran actor Jawed Sheikh’s son Shehzad Sheikh is also aiming for that glory and has been doing well on TV, and films (Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Karachi Se Lahore). When he did make his first appearance in a soft drink commercial nearly a decade ago, most of the people were surprised by his good looks and if he really wants to emulate his father, he will have to diversify like him.
Shehzad’s first cousin Shahroz Sabzwari began his career as a child artiste, which is exactly what his father Behroze did nearly 50 years ago. Shehroze will be making his film debut through Syed Noor’s Chain Aye Na and is all set to use his TV experience to succeed on the big screen. Last but not the least, we have the late Fareed Nawaz Baloch’s sons Yasir Nawaz and Danish Nawaz. Their father acted on TV and made a handful of film appearances, while his good work is being continued by both Yasir and Danish. Yasir’s upcoming flick as a director Mehrunisa V Lub U is all set to release this Eid and one hopes that it does better than his last movie Wrong Number which was instrumental in bringing people back to the cinemas.