• 03 Dec - 09 Dec, 2022
  • Wajiha Jawaid
  • Obituary

Whenever I am down or feeling low I watch the PTV skit show 50/50 for an instant mood lift. It has always been my favorite show and one person without whom the show is incomplete is the brilliant comedian Ismail Tara.

With his perfect comic timing and brilliant expressions, he used to give a new soul to those minutes-long comedy sketches. Unfortunately, the great comedian is no more with us. According to media reports, He was ill for quite some time and was admitted to a private hospital for a couple of days but his health deteriorated and he couldn’t survive. The reason for his death was kidney failure.

Born in Karachi in Nov 1949. Tara had enjoyed a prolific career on stage, in drama and television. He began his showbiz career in 1964 during his teen years. He excelled in playing common, everyday people from across classes and ethnic groups. His commendable skill of mimicry was his forte. The talent hunters at PTV spotted him because of his incredible mimicry talent.

He rose to fame with Shoaib Mansoor’s comedy skit show 50/50 which later became his identity. His participation in the growth of Pakistan's showbiz industry has been tremendous. The recipient of five Nigar Awards, Tara, was a staple in 90s Lollywood movies. Mostly as the trusted friend of the antagonist or the guardian of the heroine, he shined in every role he did on screen. His last appearance on the silver screen was Nadeem Baig’s blockbuster movie, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani, where he played Mehwish Hayat’s father. Disguising as Arab, he entertained us with his amazing acting.

Tara’s shining career has expanded over five decades. He entertained us with his impeccable comedy for years. I am sure you all have remembered that funny sketch of 50/50 where he was dancing like a crazy soul and when the camera took a closer shoot he was washing the dishes.

His quiet banter with Majid Jehangir used to be my favorite part of the show. That Hyderabadi accent and those silly takes on daily matters were not only amusing but required a certain skill that only a brilliant performer could do and both Ismail Tara and Majid Jehangir were experts in their field.

Ismail Tara paired up with Zeb Shehnaz in 50/50 for the first time but later their iconic Jodi did several projects together including Haathi Mere Saathi and many others.

In his personal life, Ismail Tara was a jolly, fun-loving individual. His son while talking to the media after his demise told that he never maintained a strict attitude with him. He was kind and friendly to them. As a father, he never imposed his will on them but rather encourage them to follow their dreams.