Lehri (actor)

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Safirullah Siddiqui

(1929-01-02)2 January 1929
Died13 September 2012(2012-09-13) (aged 83)
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1956–1986
Awards12 Nigar Awards

Safirullah Siddiqui, commonly known as Lehri (2 January 1929 – 13 September 2012), was a Pakistani comedian and an actor in the Urdu film industry of Pakistan. He is still considered one of the most acclaimed comedians of South Asia.[1] Lehri is also known as the comedy king in the Pakistan film industry.[2] He won 11 Nigar Awards in Lollywood.[3]

Early life[edit]

Safirullah was born on 2 January 1929 in Kanpur, British India.[4] After independence, he along with his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. He performed on radio and stage before entering the film industry.[5]


Lehri acted from the late 1950s until the 1980s. He won the Nigar Award 11 times for various films between 1964 and 1986; his first film, Anokhi, was released in 1956, and his last production was Dhanak in 1986. The vast majority of his films have been in Urdu, though he did perform in a few Punjabi productions.[3]

Lehri's forte was the quip and in his monotone, his audience became used to finding a brand of quiet, almost surreptitious humour. To critics and to his fans, his restrained style came to personify the 'decency' of times gone by. After the mid-1980s, Lehri was reduced to occasional appearances on television and newspaper columns. By the time private-sector television arrived, though, the film industry was struggling and all that it had once encompassed was looked upon both with a sense of loss and with fondness.[6]


Lehri won 11 Nigar awards, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Urdu and Lollywood film industry in Pakistan.[7]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1963 Daman Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1964 Paigham Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1965 Kaneez Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1967 Mein Wo Nahi Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1968 Saiqa Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1969 Nai Laila Naya Mujnu Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1970 Anjuman Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1974 Dillagi Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1976 Aaj Aur Kal Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1979 Naya Andaaz Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1980 Saima Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won
1982 Beewe Ho To Aisee Nigar Awards Best Comedian Won


Lehri retired in late 1986; after his retirement, his health started deteriorating, then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto set up a monthly stipend for him of Rs. 2,500, which he continued to receive until his last days; however there was no increase in the amount until his death. He died on 13 September 2012 in Karachi, aged 83, from lung, kidney diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart issues. He had been under treatment and was on ventilator due to prolonged illness in a private hospital at the time of his death. Lehri’s funeral prayers took place on the same evening at Masjid-e-Baitul-Mukkaram in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, and he was buried at the Yasinabad Graveyard, Karachi. [8]


  1. ^ "Legendary comedian & actor Lehri died in Karachi". InsightPakistan.com. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Comedy king Lehri's final journey - The Express Tribune (newspaper)". 13 September 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Pakistan cinema, 1947–1997. Oxford University Press. 1997. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-19-577817-5.
  4. ^ "NDTV Movies: Regional Movies - Tamil Movies - Telugu Movies - Bengali Movies - Latest Movie News - Celebrity Gossip". NDTV.com. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Veteran actor Safirullah Lehri dies after prolonged illness". Dawn (newspaper). 13 September 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Lehri: the man with the longest quip". Dawn (newspaper). 13 September 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Legendary Pakistani actor Safirullah Siddiqui dead". InToday.in. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Renowned film comedian Lehri has been admitted to a private hospital in Karachi". Radio Pakistan. 12 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

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