Badi Uzzaman

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Mohammed Badi Uzzaman Azmi[1] (8 March 1939 – 14 June 2011), better known as Badi Uzzaman and also known as BadiUzzaman, was a Pakistani British television and film actor. According to The Guardian, Uzzaman was perhaps best known for his role as a hospital patient in the 1985 television series, The Singing Detective, opposite actor Michael Gambon.[1][2] He later appeared in numerous television roles during his career, often as a supporting character, including Torchwood, Inspector Morse, Coronation Street, Cracker, The Bill and Casualty.[1][2]

Uzzaman was born on 8 March 1939, in Phulpur, Azamgarh, British India.[1] His father worked for the railway industry, so he moved to the city of Abbottabad in present-day Pakistan.[1] He continued to move with his family depending on his father's job transfers, which included time in both Quetta and Lahore.[1] Uzzaman graduated from Government College, Abbottabad, in 1959, where he studied English and Urdu.[1][2]

Uzzaman began his career as a radio presenter in Pakistan. He switched to acting, appearing in roles of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) following the state-owned channel's launch in 1964.[1]

In 1984, Uzzaman was cast in Malia, a Pakistani film about a traveling fair with a strong, underlying theme against the martial law imposed by the government of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.[1][2] In the film, Uzzaman played five different characters.[3] The film was sharply rebuked by Zia's government,[1][2] and had to be completed in London.[3] Uzzaman left Pakistan and was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom soon after Malia's release.[1][2] He became a British citizen.[1][2]

He is also notable for playing two television characters who were subjected to racially motivated attacks. The first was in a 1989 episode of Casualty, where he appeared as a shopkeeper who was beaten up by two skinheads who had attacked his son in an earlier assault. In 1994 he played the role of Shahid Ali, a shopkeeper who was the first victim of a spree killer.

At the age of 72, Uzzaman died of a lung infection on 14 June 2011.[1][2]


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