Sudhir (actor)

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Shah Zaman Khan Afridi

(1921-01-25)25 January 1921
Died19 January 1997(1997-01-19) (aged 75)
Lahore, Pakistan
Resting placeLahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Other namesShah Zaman Khan
OccupationFilm Actor, Producer, Director
Years active1940s – 1990s
AwardsNigar Awards in 1970, 1974 and 1981

Shah Zaman Khan Afridi better known as Sudhir (Urdu: سدھیر) or Lala Sudhir (25 January 1921 – 19 January 1997) was a Pakistani actor, director and producer. Sudhir was a highly respected film personality.[1][2]

He is known as the first action hero of Pakistani cinema. His film roles symbolized valour and bravery.[3][2]

Early life[edit]

He was born as Shah Zaman Khan Afridi on 25 January 1921 in Lahore, Punjab, British India. He was of Pashtun origin but he spent all his life in Lahore.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Sudhir started his career with a role in a Bollywood film named Farz in 1947 in British India. Afterwards, he migrated to Pakistan. After 1947, he started his career in the Pakistani cinema. His first film was Hichkolay in 1949.[3][4] He appeared in the hit musical film Dupatta in 1952. In 1954, Sassi was the first ever Urdu film to celebrate a Golden Jubilee. Dulla Bhatti (1956), Mahi Munda (1956) and Yakke Wali (1957) were the highest grossing Punjabi films of the time. Yakke Wali (1957) was the first blockbuster Punjabi film. These two films led to building of large film studios in Pakistan. Sudhir was the hero of action film Baghi (1956), the first Pakistani film to be shown in China.[2][1]

He was an "action films hero", but appeared as Hatim Tai in Hatim (1956), as Prince Saleem in the famous film Anarkali (1958), as Mirza Jat in the film Mirza Sahiban (1956), as Mahinwal in the film Sohni (1955) and as Mirza Ghalib in the film Ghalib (1961). He acted in the films Nooran (1957), Jhoomar (1959) and Gul Bakawli (1961) etc. He starred in one of the highest grossing Punjabi films Kartar Singh in 1959. He later appeared in hits such as the film Farangi (1964) and Ajab Khan (1961), on the struggle against the British Raj.[1] His film Jeedar (1965) was the first to reach a Platinum Jubilee status. Maa Puttar (1970) was another Punjabi film to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. He once fought a real battle with a tiger in film Sahil (1960). He appeared as a sidekick with his son in film Dushman Ki Talash (1978).[3][4][2]

Pakistan television[edit]

At a very old age, he had a special appearance on PTV and was interviewed by Izhar Bobby.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Sudhir married four times, twice within his extended family. These two marriages were 'arranged marriages' by his elders, which is commonly practiced in Pakistani culture, then with fellow actress Shammi and finally with Pakistani film actress Zeba. His marriage with Zeba lasted a very short time. Zeba later went on to marry actor Mohammad Ali.[4] Sudhir had four sons out of these marriages. He had his elder son Noor Zaman Khan from his first wife. He had one son from his second wife namely Meer Zaman also an actor. He had two sons from actress Shammi – Nadir Zaman Khan and Sikandar Zaman. His younger son Sikandar Zaman Khan is married to renowned playback singer Noor Jehan's granddaughter Fatima. He had no children with Zeba.[3]


Sudhir died on 19 January 1997 and was laid to rest at Defense Society Graveyard in Lahore.[3][4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1970 - Nigar Awards (Punjabi films)-Best Actor Award for the film Maa Puttar[6]
  • 1974 - Nigar Awards (Punjabi films)-Best Actor Award for the film Lottery
  • 1981 - Nigar Awards-Special Award for 30 years of excellence.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Muhammad Suhayb (28 March 2021). "FLASHBACK: THE EPIC STORY OF AJAB KHAN (scroll down to read about Sudhir in Ajab Khan (1961 film))". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sudhir's profile on Pakistan Film Magazine website Retrieved 27 June 2021
  3. ^ a b c d e "Sudhir (profile)". website. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Filmography of actor Sudhir on Pakistan Film Magazine ( website Retrieved 27 June 2021
  5. ^ "Sudhir on Pakistan Television". PTV. Retrieved 8 March 2016., Pakistan Television videoclip on YouTube.
  6. ^ Nigar Awards - 1970 on website Published 13 May 2010, Retrieved 28 June 2021
  7. ^ Swami Ji (24 November 2017). "Pakistan's "Oscars"; The Nigar Awards (Sudhir's Special Award from Nigar Awards for 30 years of service in films)". website. Retrieved 28 June 2021.

External links[edit]