Izhar Qazi was a well-known Pakistani film and television actor as well as a playback singer, best recognized for his similarity to the Indian film actor Amitabh Bachhan. Qazi was born in 1955 at Karachi, Pakistan. He was known for his diffident lifestyle and sincerity. His most prominent movies are “Love In Nepal”, “Aalmi Jasoos”, “Khazana” and “Sar Kata Insaan”. Professionally he was an engineer and worked at a decent position in Pakistan Steel Mills. He was first introduced to the well-known TV drama writer Fatima Suraiyya Bajia by his manager Admin of Pakistan Steel Syed Abdul Munim. Izhar Qazi made his showbiz first appearance in 1982 from drama serial Ana then he turned into a household name through his first TV serial. He started his film career in 1986 by starring in Nazar Shabab’s Ruby, as the lead actor, which was an instantaneous hit. His last acting role before his departure was in the serial, Pani Pe Naam, aired on PTV for which he got a nomination in the best actor category of Lux Style Awards in 2004. He died on 23 December, 2007 in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi, Pakistan.
Entry in Showbusiness
Izhar Qazi was born in Khadda Market, Karachi. By profession he was an engineer and worked at a respectable position at Pakistan Steel Mills until he was spotted by the manager Admin of Pakistan Steel Syed Abdul Munim and introduced him to the famous TV drama writer Fatima Suraiyya Bajia, who subsequently called for audition.Fatima Suraiyya Bajia was looking for a new face for television at that time and Izhar’s striking resemblance with Indian film actor Amitab Bachhan immediately caught her attention.
Izhar Qazi made his showbiz debut in 1982 by starring in Fatima Surraiyya Bajia’s family television drama serial Ana. In one of the middle episodes of Ana in which he appeared for the first time, Izhar didn’t deliver a single dialogue. But his mere appearance on the screen and resemblance with Amitabh caught the eyes of every viewer in Pakistan. Debuting alongside another newcomer, Mehreen Ilahi, as the young romantic lead and proving his mettle opposite veteran television performers Shakeel and Ghazala Kaifi, Izhar became a household name through his first TV serial.His credentials were further strengthened by excellent acting in the serial Daira and Gardish, again standing out in presence of Shakeel and the late Pakistani actor Saqi.
Qazi’s last acting role before his retirement was in the private TV serial, Pani Pe Naam, aired on PTV for which he received a nomination in the best actor category of Lux Style Awards in 2004.
Soon after achieving moderate television success, Izhar Qazi played a gamble by leaving his job and venturing into films and remarkably again achieved instant Lollywood stardom.
Izhar Qazi made his film debut in 1986 by starring in Nazar Shabab’s Ruby, as the lead actor, which was an instant hit. He excelled in the film despite the presence of veterans Mustafa Qureshi, Shafi Mohammad, Sabeeta and Rangeela. Although Javed Shiekh was cast initially for the lead role, his sudden disappearance from the cast (due to his visit to India with Salma Agha), forced the film distributor Satish Anand to send Izhar Qazi to fill the gap left by Javed Sheikh. During this time Jan Mohammad, another Pakistani film director, grew fed up with Javed and replaced Javed’s role with Izhar for his film Bangkok ke chor. In only his third moview, Izhar acted opposite Shabnam (Pakistan’s top film actress at that time) in a unique young-to-old character role. Most of his films were in Urdu but he also appeared in double version Urdu-Punjabi films, besides acting in his only Pushto film, Ghunghru do Kalashankoff, opposite Salma Agha.
Soon Izhar made a successful partnership with director Jan Muhammad and released hit films such as Manila ki bijlyan, Roop ki rani and Choron ka baadshah. He also made a successful acting pair with the late Sultan Rahi, releasing a series of successful Punjabi films such as Abdullah the great, Irada, Gujjar baadshah, Lahori baadshah, Pajero group, Ghunda and Dilari. Hence he was more of an action hero than a romantic one.Qazi’s role in Sakhi baadshan and Bakhtawar, both earned him the prestigious Nigar Awards twice. He also received the National Award for best actor for his role in Masood Butt’s Chiragh Bali.One of his only SciFi film Sar kata insaan, in which he played the role of a police investigation officer won a whopping 8 Nigar awards. Qazi also won Graduate Award and Bolan Award.
Disillusioned by the dismal situation of Lollywood and the quality of films being produced, besides the local film industry politics, Izhar Qazi called it quit a couple of years ago. He then concentrated on his real estate business
Izhar Qazi has four daughters and a son. Besides acting Izhar was also fond of singing and worked as a playback singer in a handful of films, releasing an audio album which didn’t get good reviews from music lovers. He also had good literary sense and was actively involved in various literary organizations and functions.
On December 23, 2007, Izhar Qazi, suffered heart attack on late Sunday night while singing at a marriage ceremony of his sister-in-law in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi He collapsed and was taken to a nearby private hospital where he died after two hours. His funeral prayers were offered at Masjid Darul Khair, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and was buried at Model Colony graveyard the next day.