Famous Pakistani comedy star dies of cardiac arrest

Akhtar, who was also a playwright, singer, film director and producer, was suffering from heart problems.A versatile performer from Karachi, he made his television debut in September 1966 in a variety show on state-run PTV. He went on to perform roles in countless TV plays and shows.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed sorrow at the death of Akhtar, his office said.
Akhtar, who was born in December 1950, was awarded the Pride of Performance award and Pakistan's highest civilian award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, by the government. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters, his family said.

Fluent in several languages, he was a favorite among family audiences as he avoided vulgarity in his humour. He had a following across the border in India too due to his performance in shows like 'Bakra Qiston Pe' and 'Buddha Ghar Pe Hai'.

Akhtar came to the spotlight and gathered critical acclaim for his performance in the Urdu drama 'Rosy/Rozy', in which he played a female TV artist.The show was an Urdu adaptation of the hit Hollywood movie 'Tootsie' starring Dustin Hoffman.

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