20 June 1933
Faisalabad, British Punjab
Television director and television broadcaster
Chairman of National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi
Alia Mohiuddin (daughter), Ainy Jaffri (niece)|
Meher Jaffri (niece), Usman Riaz (nephew), Minos Mohyeddin (first born son), Risha Mohyeddin (son), Hassan Mohyeddin (son), Sarwar Zamani (former spouse), Nahid Siddiqui (former spouse), Mariam Mohyeddin (granddaughter), Fatima Mohyeddin (granddaughter), Maya Mohyeddin (granddaughter), Tarhun Mohyeddin (grandson), Maleeha Mohyeddin (granddaughter), Shayaan Mohyeddin (grandson)
Zia Mohyeddin (Urdu: ضیاء محی الدین; born 20 June 1933) is a Pakistani actor, producer, director and television broadcaster who has appeared in both Pakistani cinema and television as well as in British cinema and television throughout his career.
Zia Mohyeddin is famous for his blockbuster Pakistan Television talk show named after him Zia Mohyeddin Show (1969 – 1973). He is also known for originating the role for Dr. Aziz in A Passage to India.
Early life and career
Zia Mohyeddin was born in Lyallpur, (now called Faisalabad), British India (now in Pakistan), in a family originally from Rohtak, East Punjab (now in Haryana), British India. His father, Khadim Mohyeddin, was associated with theatre as a playwright and occasional lyricist.
Zia spent his early life in Kasur and Lahore. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London from 1953 to 1956. After stage roles in Long Day's Journey into Night and Julius Caesar, he made his West End debut in A Passage to India in 1960. He made his film debut in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), playing the role of Tafas (the Arab guide who is shot by Omar Sharif for drinking water from the wrong well). He then made numerous TV and film appearances. As an actor, he worked for nearly 47 years in the United Kingdom.
His first wife was Sarwar Zemani with whom he had two sons, Minos Ameer and Risha Ameen.
Return to Pakistan and later career
Mohyeddin returned to Pakistan in the late 1960s. Between 1969 and 1973 he hosted the hugely popular television talk show, "The Zia Mohyeddin Show", best remembered for Mohyeddin's rap-style song segment, which he would introduce with his trademark phrase of "zara theka lagaiye". He was appointed Director of the PIA Arts Academy in 1973, a role he held until 1977. Around this time, he met and subsequently married the renowned Kathak dancer Nahid Siddiqui. Together they have a son, the percussionist and music producer, Hassan "Moyo" Mohyeddin.
Following differences with the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, Mohyeddin returned to the UK in the late 1970s. During the 1980s Zia worked in Birmingham, Great Britain, where he produced Central Television's flagship multicultural programme Here and Now (1986 – 1989), a weekly magazine program.
While working in Britain in the 1980s, he was asked in an interview by a Pakistani news reporter whether he missed Pakistan. He replied that he certainly did. That it was his home country. He missed his friends there and the people of Pakistan.
He has since travelled the world giving Urdu poetry and prose recitations, and is considered the foremost reader of Urdu literature. In addition, he is also famed for his readings of English letters and literature. In the mid-1990s, Mohyeddin married Azra, his third wife, with whom he has a daughter, Aaliya Mohyeddin, born in 2002 when Zia was nearly 70 years old.
Though now in his 80s, Mohyeddin is still active in the Pakistani media as a speaker and he regularly hosts television programmes for national and private channels. He is also involved in narrating short films and commercials.
- Rahguzar (1960)
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – Tafas
- Sammy Going South (1963) – The Syrian
- Behold a Pale Horse (1964) – Luis, Guide of Paco
- Khartoum (1966) – Zobeir Pasha
- Deadlier Than the Male (1966) – King Fedra
- The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967) – Noori
- They Came from Beyond Space (1967) – Farge
- Work Is a Four-Letter Word (1968) – Dr. Aly Narayana
- Bombay Talkie (1970) – Hari
- Mujrim Kaun (1971)
- Ashanti (1979) – Djamil
- The Assam Garden (1985) – Mr. Lal
- Partition (1987)
- Immaculate Conception (1992) – Shehzada
- Some Lover to Some Beloved (documentary) (2017) - (Zia portrays Himself)
- The Adventures of Sir Francis Drake (7 January 1962 episode "Visit to Spain"). – King Philip of Spain
- Danger Man (1966) – Dr. Sawari / Sinclair Jones / Mr. Sen / Khan
- The Avengers (1966) – Prince Ali
- Adam Adamant Lives! (1967) – Sheikh Abdul
- Jackanory (1967) – Storyteller
- Man in a Suitcase (1968) – Rafael
- The Champions (1969) – Prengo
- Hadleigh (1969) – Major Savvas Stylianos
- Detective (12 October 1969 episode Inspector Ghote Hunts the Peacock) – Inspector Ghote
- Gangsters (1978) – Iqbal Khan
- Z-Cars (1978) – Anwar Chowdry
- Minder (1980) – Tajvir
- Death of a Princess (1980) – Marwan Shaheen
- The Jewel in the Crown (1984) – Mohammad Ali 'Mak' Kasim
- Bergerac (1984) – Adnan Rashid
- Family Pride (1991–92) – BB
- Dhun Hamari Tumharay Naam Hui (1999)
Awards and recognition
- Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award, [(Crescent of Excellence) Award] in 2012 by the President of Pakistan
- Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award, [(Star of Excellence) Award] in 2003 by the Government of Pakistan
- Lifetime Achievement Award on November 29, 2017 presented by the Pakistani community living in Dubai & given by the Pakistan Ambassador in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- Muneeza Shamsie (10 April 2016). "Zia Mohyeddin: Theatre, film and the written word". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- "Celebrating Zia Mohyeddin". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Shahid Nadeem (February 1984). "The social and cultural attitudes of medieval times have to be changed: Zia Mohyeddin". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Khaled Ahmed (4 July 2012). "What makes Zia Mohyeddin tick?". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Filmography of Zia Mohyeddin on Complete Index To World Film (CITWF) website Retrieved 11 February 2018
- Mehreen Hasan (9 November 2017). "This new documentary takes a fresh look at the work of Zia Mohyeddin and Faiz". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Zia Mohyeddin's Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award in 2012, info listed on Dawn (newspaper) Retrieved 10 February 2018
- President to confer civil awards today Dawn (newspaper), Published 23 March 2003, Retrieved 10 February 2018