The year 2014 has taken more from the entertainment world than it has given. From Hollywood’s multifaceted actors to Pakistani celebrities, from American television’s greatest creators to Bollywood stalwarts, big names left the world in 2014, and we take a look back at their lives to honour their contributions.
The year began on a sad note for Pakistan as one of the pioneers of Pakistan Television, Dr. Laiq Ahmed, died the year the channel was to turn 50. The veteran educationist was not only popular for his long running Science Magazine show but was also part of the country’s history since he covered the first televised general elections in 1970, was on the panel of the Islamic Summit Conference in 1974, had been an integral part of the National Day Parade every year on March 23rd and was considered a staple at all national events was held at the Presidency till the turn of the century. His deep voice and stylish ‘Assalamualaikum’ will be long remembered by those who have grown up watching PTV.
Veteran actor Agha Waheed-ur Rehman will also be missed. As one of the leading actors in the ’70s and the ’80s, he was part of historical plays as well as the cult classic Fifty Fifty. Agha ji passed away of old age in February.
There will be no 2015 for Chacha Time Piece and Hameed Bhai of Sona Chandi as both Ghayyur Akhtar and Munir Zarif died in February within a space of a few days. While Ghayyur Akhtar was known for his exploits in films, on radio and on television as Saamri Jadugar in the hit show Ainak Wala Jinn, the 75-year old Munir was most famous for being the elder brother of comedy king Munawwar Zarif, who passed away in 1976.
Veteran Bengali playback singer, musician and lyricist Bashir Ahmed (also known as East Pakistan’s Ahmed Rushdi) also breathed his last in April and will always be remembered for his hit songs in ‘Darshan’ and ‘Hill Station’.
Madam Noor Jehan’s talented daughter Zill-e-Huma started her singing career at the age of 50 through S. Suleman’s ‘Very Good Duniya Very Bad Loag’ and after initial success, left the music industry. She left her fans forever in May due to kidney failure and leaves behind her son Ahmed Ali Butt (lead singer of EP) as her legacy.
Veteran film writer Dabeer-ul Hassan, who had the distinction of scripting as many as seven continuous hits for his wife actress/director Shamim Ara in the ’90s, also passed away at the age of 65. From Haathi Mere Saathi (1993) to Ham To Chalay Susral (1996), the duo had delivered as many as seven hits including the then biggest hit in Pakistan, Munda Bigra Jaye.
The year proved to be the last for popular ghazal singer Habib Wali Mohammad and veteran radio and TV artiste Maqsood Hassan who died on the same day in September. Habib Wali Mohammad’s ‘Aaj Janay Ki Zid Na Karo’ and patriotic numbers ‘Aye Nigar-e-Watan’ and ‘Roshan-o-Rakhshan’ are still as popular as they were when they first released.
Be it her double role in Mamta or her amazing portrayal of a hardened politician in Aandhi, Suchitra Sen will be remembered as one of the most influential Bollywood actresses, who never got the place she deserved. She died at the age of 82 in January but her work made her a legend during her lifetime, which is no small achievement. Veteran actress Nanda, who is known more for playing a vamp in Yash Chopra’s thriller Ittefaq than as the heroine in a handful of other Bollywood films, passed away in March at the age of 75. Veteran stage and film personality Zohra Sehgal bid adieu in July, but not after completing her century – 102 years to be exact.
Actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s most famous dialogue from his movie Aankhen was “short cut main baat boloon” and in November, he left us via the same short cut aged only 64. Comedian Deven Verma – known to the older generation as Bahadur from Angoor and to the younger generation as Inspector Ghalib (Dil) and ‘Amar kay pita ji’ (Andaz Apna Apna) – took his final bow in the final month of the year, and left many of his fans saddened with his last act.
The American entertainment industry was also hit by tragedy as it lost many star actors and directors, the most notable being Robin Williams. The man, who began his career playing Popeye and entertained all by playing Peter Pan in Hook, undertook comedy roles in Patch Adams and Mrs. Doubtfire, showed his serious side through Awakenings, Goodwill Hunting and Dead Poets Society and occasionally turned over to the dark side with Insomnia, was found to be suffering from severe depression, and committed suicide in August, stunning everyone who was ever entertained by the antics of the 63-year-old.
46-year old Philip Seymour Hoffman also left his fans suddenly, with a death that was attributed to an overdose. The year was not good for fans of classic Hollywood as two cast members of The Great Escape couldn’t escape death. Sir Richard Attenborough and James Garner, who were part of the John Sturges movie, died in 2014 at the age of 90 and 86 respectively.
The year also took with it the Hollywood beauty Lauren Bacall who gave memorable hits with her late husband Humphrey Bogart such as To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep and Dark Passage. Even after the death of her iconic hubby at the age of 57, she continued to act in films, and was part of John Wayne’s farewell movie The Shootist (1976).
The year was rounded up by the death of actor Bob Hoskins who was known for playing detective Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Richard Kiel who with steel ‘Jaws’ tried to kill James Bond twice and failed; Glen A Larson who created TV shows Knight Rider, Quincy ME, Magnum P.I, Automan, The Wizard and The Fall Guy and veteran film actor Eli Wallach who played Calvera in The Magnificent Seven and Tuco in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. He dies in both the films but went onto live a full life, dying off natural causes at 98.
Actor/Director Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Analyze This, Analyze That), former child star Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and director Mike Nichols (The Graduate) also breathed their last in 2014 and will always be remembered for the work that they have left behind.