Pakistan’s comedy king Amanullah Khan dies

Lahore: Veteran Pakistani comedian Amanullah Khan died of lung and kidney diseases at a hospital here on Friday. He was 70.

Khan was hospitalised for over a week with multiple complications, including lung and kidney ailments, his family said.

From a humble family in Gujranwala, Khan came to Lahore in the 1970s to earn a living. He sold sweets and candies in public buses.

Khan’s talent was first spotted in a road comedy show near the famous Sufi shrine Data Darbar in Lahore.

He shot to fame for his performance in a local Lahore theatre — “One-Man Comedy” in which he mimicked famous celebrities, earning him the title of “comedy king”.

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In a career spanning over 45 years, Khan performed in more than 2,000 plays, other than films and television shows.

He is survived by his three wives and 14 children.

Fellow stage actor Naseem Viki, who has worked in India, said Khan was the “undisputed king of comedy of theatre” who easily made his audience laugh. “This void after his departure may not get filled,” Viki said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condoled the veteran comedian’s demise, calling him “the greatest asset of Pakistan’s comedy and drama industry”.

Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif said: “Amanullah’s death is a loss for the worlds of stage, comedy and acting and his fans will never be able to forget his acting abilities and his services in the acting profession. He kept earning good deeds by bringing smiles on faces.”

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