Zia Mohyeddin

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Zia Mohiuddin
Born Zia Mohiuddin
(1933-06-20) 20 June 1933 (age 83)
Faisalabad, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Occupation actor, producer, director and television broadcaster
Years active 1954-2012
Spouse(s) Azra Mohiuddin
Relatives Alia Mohiuddin (daughter) Ainy Jaffri (niece)
Meher Jaffri (niece) Usman Riaz (nephew)

Zia Mohiuddin (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 British cinema throughout his career. Zia Mohiuddin is famous for his 1960s blockbuster PTV Pakistan Television talk show named after him "Zia Mohiuddin Show". He is also known for originating the role for Dr. Aziz in A Passage to India. [1]

Early life and career[edit]

Zia Mohiuddin 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. He spent his early life in Kasur and Lahore. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London from 1953-1956. 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.

Zia Mohyeddin, age 7 (on the floor, left) with the Central Training College Dramatic Club, Lahore, circa 1940. His father, Khadim Mohyeddin, is seated 2nd from right.

His first wife was Sarwar Zemani with whom he had two sons, Minos Ameer and Risha Ameen.

Return to Pakistan and later career[edit]

Mohiuddin 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 had a son, the percussionist and music producer, Hassan "Moyo" Mohiuddin.

Following differences with the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, Mohiuddin returned to the U.K. 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.

He has since traveled 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 Mohiuddin married Azra, his third wife, with whom he has a daughter, Alia.

In February 2005 then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf invited Mohiuddin to form the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi, of which he has been President since its inception.[2]

Though now in his 80s, Mohiuddin is still active in the Pakistani media as a speaker and he regularly hosts television programmes for national and private channels[citation needed]. He is also involved in narrating short films and commercials.[3]


Selected TV[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Jan-2004/zia-mohyeddin-s-magnificent-timbre, Profile of Zia Mohyeddin on Daily Times newspaper, published 23 Jan 2004, Retrieved 21 March 2016
  2. ^ http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/02-Jul-2010/pnca-cultural-week-concludes, Zia Mohyeddin's PNCA activities, Daily Times newspaper, published 2 July 2010, Retrieved 21 March 2016
  3. ^ http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/entertainment/01-Feb-2016/lahore-literary-festival-2016-llf-scheduled-for-february-19-21, Zia Mohyeddin at the Lahore Literary Festival 2016, Retrieved 21 March 2016
  4. ^ http://www.dawn.com/news/742068/abida-parveen-aleem-dar-among-winners-posthumous-awards-for-manto-mehdi-Hassan, Zia Mohyeddin's Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award in 2012 info on Dawn, Karachi newspaper, Retrieved 18 April 2016

External links[edit]