Kamal Ahmed Rizvi

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Kamal Ahmed Rizvi
Born1 May 1930
Died17 December 2015(2015-12-17) (aged 85)
Occupation(s)TV actor, playwright
Known forSet a new trend in TV situation comedy dramas in Pakistan
  • Nuzhat
  • Aamna
  • Ishrat Jehan
AwardsPride of Performance Award
by the President of Pakistan in 1989[2]

Syed Kamal Ahmed Rizvi[2] (1 May 1930 – 17 December 2015) was a Pakistani television actor and playwright. He was born in Bihar, British India and died in Karachi, Pakistan.[3][1] Rizvi wrote and starred in the comedy series Alif Noon (1981-82 TV season), and won a Pride of Performance Award in 1989.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Kamal Ahmed Rizvi and his family had migrated to Karachi, Pakistan from Bihar, British India after 1947. During his early days in Karachi, he lived in an apartment in Arambagh area, before moving to Lahore to meet his idol, the renowned short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto with whom he spent a lot of precious time in Lahore in the early 1950s, and was influenced by him. Rizvi was generally impressed by the Progressive Writers' Movement people that he associated with in Lahore and Karachi. In Karachi, Saddar's Café George became his Pak Tea House (Lahore's famous hangout centre for leftist writers and intellectuals). Rizvi used to spend many hours here talking with then renowned writers like Ibrahim Jalees and Shaukat Siddiqui.[1]

At first, he tried his hand at editing some popular digests such as Tehzeeb and Shama. He also tried his luck with cinema but then decided not to pursue it and instead chose to be associated with Radio Pakistan.[2][1]

Kamal Ahmed Rizvi got a chance for his first acting stint when renowned Pakistani actor Zia Mohyeddin staged Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar' for BBC Urdu Service.[1] This led him to take up numerous theatre ventures and subsequently, television. Rizvi was invited to come to TV by one of the pioneers of Pakistan television Aslam Azhar.[4] Here, he met the Hardy (actor Nanha) to his Laurel (Laurel played by Kamal Ahmed Rizvi himself in their future TV shows). This stand-up comedy duo ruled Pakistan Television for many years in the 1980s with their popular TV comedy series.[1]

During his early days at Pakistan Television, Kamal Rizvi had also done a series of interviews with the common people of Lahore which included a 'paan-seller' and a 'waiter' of a coffeehouse.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, the man behind one of the most celebrated sitcoms of the country Alif Noon died of a heart attack after a prolonged illness in Karachi on 17 Dec 2015 at the age of 85.[3] Before this, Kamal had survived a serious heart attack in 1993. He is survived by his only one son from his first wife, Nuzhat. This son has been living in the US for a long time. His marriage with the second wife Aamna lasted only for a short time because she wanted to go back and settle in India and he wanted to stay in Pakistan. His third wife was Ishrat Jehan who was with him until his death on 17 Dec 2015.[2]

Kamal Ahmed Rizvi was known to stay away from undue publicity and always kept a modest profile despite being a successful celebrity. He was considered to be one of the trendsetters of situation comedy TV dramas in Pakistan in the early 1980s. His work was widely acclaimed for exposing corruption in the society through comedy and satire,[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Actor, playwright Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 17 December 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Zeeshan Azmat (18 December 2015). "Great 'Allan' Syed Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away (includes his Pride of Performance Award info)". The News International (newspaper). Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away". The News International (newspaper). 18 December 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ Imaduddin (17 December 2015). "Kamal Rizvi 'Allan' passes away in Karachi". Business Recorder (newspaper). Retrieved 25 July 2018.