Munawar Zarif

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Munawar Zarif
منور ظریف
Munawar Zarif Ajj Da Mehinwal.jpg
Munawar Zarif in 1973
Muhammad Munawar

25 December 1940[1]
Died29 April 1976(1976-04-29) (aged 35)
Resting placeBibi Pak Daman Cemetery, Lahore, Pakistan
Other namesShahenshah-e-Zarafat (Urdu: شہنشاہِ ﻇﺮﺍﻓﺖ)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1961–1976[1]
Spouse(s)Bilquis Khanum
Children3, including Faisal Munawar Zarif[2]
RelativesZarif (brother)[3]
Munir Zarif (brother)[4]
Rasheed Zarif (brother)[5]
Majeed Zarif (brother)[6]
AwardsNigar Awards

Munawar Zarif (Urdu: منور ظریف‎) (25 December 1940 – 29 April 1976) was a Pakistani film actor and comedian. His fans named him Shahenshah-e-Zarafat (Urdu: شہنشاہِ ﻇﺮﺍﻓﺖ‎), meaning The Emperor of Humor or the King of Humor.[7][1] He was one of the most popular and highest paid actors of 1970s and is considered as one of the greatest comedians of South Asia.[8][9]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born on 25 December 1940 in Gujranwala, Punjab.[1] He started his film career from a Punjabi film Dandian in 1961 and got a breakthrough in the film Hath Jori in 1964, which was his first super-hit movie. After a film career as a comedian, he became a film actor, first as a side-hero in film Parday Mein Rehnay Do (1973) and then in the title roles and hero in the same year in film Banarsi Thug (1973) and Jeera Blade (1973). Possibly his most popular role was in 1974’s Naukar Wohti Da, which became one of the most celebrated films of Pakistan.[10] He received his first Nigar Award in "Special Award" category for his performance in Ishaq Deewana (1971). He won Nigar Award again in "Best Comedian" category for Baharo Phool Barsao (1972) and Zeenat (1975). He appeared in more than 300 films in just 16 years from 1961–76.[11] He was also famous for his Ad-Lib dialogue delivery. Often he would improvise so much that his fellow actors would have trouble keeping up with him.[1][9]

Personal Life[edit]

Munawar Zarif was younger brother of popular comedian Zarif. He was lifelong friend of fellow comedian Ali Ejaz.[12] His son Fiasal Munawar Zarif debuted as main lead with film like Puttar Munawar Zarif da and Putter Jeerey Blade da, but he was declined by the audiences. He died on August 20, 2019 in Morocco.[2] Munir Zarif, Rasheed Zarif and Majeed Zarif were also his brothers.


Zarif's grave at BiBi Pakdaman graveyard Lahore

Munawar Zareef was unable to live a longer life, Because of his liver problems[13] On 29 April 1976, he died in Lahore due to Cirrhosis of the liver.[14] Munawar Zarif was laid to rest at Bibi Pak Daman Cemetery, Lahore.[15][9]


Munawar Zarif is often regarded as the greatest comedian ever in Pakistani films.[11] Actor and comedian Sohail Ahmed compared him with Charlie Chaplin and called him the most powerful artist of Indo-Pakistan.[16] Journalist Tahir Sarwar Mir called him Neil Armstrong of comedy,[17] While comedian Ali Ejaz called him an extempore comedian.[17] Bollywood actors Dharmendra, Johnny Lever and Govinda were among his admirers.[17] Munawar Zarif was only star comedian who was casted more than anyone in title roles in film industries of South Asia.[17] Actor Habib said that his style was different then the likes of Johnny Walker, Rangeela and Mehmood.[17] Famous actress Babra Sharif stated that Nobody can reach his level and that there will not be another Munawar Zarif.[17] Radio Pakistan Multan programme manager Asif Khan Khaitran talked about the success of Munawar Zarif and said: "There was a time in his career when writers would develop script with Munawar Zarif's personality in mind."[18]

He has also set the trend of a comedian lead actor.[19] Zarif's partnership with Rangeela is considered as one of the best comedy duos of the subcontinent.[7] The longest running and highest rated sitcom of Pakistan, Bulbulay is dedicated to Zarif.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1961 Dandiyan
1964 Haath Jori Beeru
1965 Malangi
1966 Bharia Mela
1967 Imam Din Gohavia Shamaulu
1968 Bau Jee
1969 Diya Aur Toofan Abdullah


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Heer Ranjha Saida Khera
Rangeela Josheela
1971 Dil Aur Duniya Parwana
Ishq Deevana Maqbool "Qoola" Ahmed Special Nigar Award
1972 Baharo Phool Barsao Mirza Nigar Award for Best Comedian
1973 Ziddi Shaadi
Parday Mein Rehnay Do Qurban
Ajj Da Mehinwal Izzat "Izzy" Baig
Banarsi Thug Sheeda
Khushia Khushi
Rangeela Aur Munawar Zarif Munawar Zarif / Khan Bahadur Ishtiaq Ali
Jeera Blade Shafqat / Jeera Blade
1974 Manji Kithay Dahwan Rahmat
Naukar Wohti Da Bhola / Munawar
Chakkarbaz Iqbal
Hasday Aao Hasday Jao Mhanna
1975 Pyar Ka Mousam Munawar
Zeenat Shaukat Nigar Award for Best Comedian
Sharif Badmash Misrri
Shararat Sherwani
Sheeda Pastol Sheeda Pastol / Jeeda Double role
Shoukan Melay Di Bahadar
1976 Hukam Da Ghulam Jani
Jano Kapatti Jano / Jani
Anjaam Khaleel
Chitra Tay Shera Boota Singh
Badtameez Afzal
Reshma Tay Shera Jimmy

Awards and honours[edit]

Nigar Awards

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Munawar Zarif remembered The News International (newspaper), Published 30 April 2018, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  2. ^ a b "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Faisal Munawar Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  3. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  4. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Munir Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  5. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Rasheed Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  6. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Majeed Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  7. ^ a b "'Remembering Munawwar Zarif', Profile and obituary". ARY News. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^,-tv-and-stage
  9. ^ a b c 39th death anniversary of Munawar Zarif today Dunya News, Published 29 April 2015, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  10. ^ "9 Most Iconic Films in the History Of Pakistani cinema".
  11. ^ a b Profile and filmography of Munawar Zarif on website Retrieved 5 August 2018
  12. ^ "Comedian Ali Ejaz passes away". Dawn. Pakistan. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ In memory of comedian Munawar Zarif on his 42nd death anninversary Pakistan Today (newspaper), Published 29 April 2018, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  16. ^ "Hasb E Haal's Tribute to Munawar Zarif".
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Dunya News Special Documentary on Munwar Zareef".
  18. ^
  19. ^ "40th death anniversary of Renowned Comedian, Munawar Zarif".
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Nigar Awards (1972 - 1986)". The Hot Spot Online website. 5 January 2003. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2020.

External links[edit]