Luminary Aly Zaker doesn't need any introduction, words aren't enough to describe his accomplishments and how he brought life to many characters at both theatre and TV. The gifted actor can be called the lighthouse for the theatre industry of Bangladesh.
Aly Zaker's first appearance on stage was in the play "Kabor," arranged by Aranyak Natya Dal. When he joined Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, he famously worked in plays like "Galileo," "Dewan Gazir Kissa," "Nurul Diner Shara Jibon", "Macbeth," among many others that made him perhaps the most famous stage actor of his time.
He also played memorable characters for TV and directed stage plays. On television, his most memorable roles were in "Aaj Robibar" and "Bohubrihi." Aly Zaker mesmerised the audience, in his long career by playing versatile and memorable characters for which he would always be remembered. He is the recipient of the prestigious Ekushey Padak (1999), Selim Al Deen Padak (2017) and the Shaheed Altaf Mahmud Padak (2017).
The eminent actor, director and chairman of Asiatic 3sixty, passed away on Friday while undergoing treatment at Bangladesh Specialised Hospital in the capital.
The actor, 76, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday as his health condition started to deteriorate, said family sources.
Below The Business Standard is presenting some memorable performances by the legendary Aly Zaker:
Nuruldin (Nuruldiner Shara Jibon): When as Nuruldin Aly Zaker says in his deep voice, "Company er gola ase, kaman bonduk ase, ar ase shikkhito shepai, tumi nachon chara ar ki baa se? lathi tao karo karo nai! Porajoy hobe nischoi," the audience gets shiver by this powerful performance.
Story of the play revolves around a farmer from Rangpur who led a rebellion against zaminder of Rangpur region during the British Empire.
This is one of few lifetime performances where Aly Zaker proved how an actor can become the character himself. Another giant of Bangladesh theatre industry Asaduzzaman Noor acts alongside Aly Zaker in this significant play.
Dewan (Dewan Gazir Kissa): Originally adapted and directed by Asaduzzaman Noor from Bertolt Brecht's "Herr Puntila und sein kencht Matti," "Dewan Gazi'r Kissa" is a comedy drama which has a small, linear story. The powerful Dewan Gazi (Zaker) has two alter-egos; a kind, congenial man when he's drunk and a straight-up obnoxious angry person when he is sober. The veteran actor Aly Zaker plays both alter egos brilliantly. Aly Zaker shines brightest as the alcoholic aristocrat. In "Dewan Gazir Kissa," the veteran actor teamed up with legendary writer and long-time friend Syed Shamsul Haque (1935-2016) for the first time.
Dr Asgor (Aaj Robibar): Aly Zaker plays Dr Asgor, aka boro chahcha of the family in "Aaj Robibar," a sitcom by Humayun Ahmed, aired on BTV in 1999. As Dr Asgor who is a psychiatrist, Aly Zaker delivers one of the funniest performances ever. Dr Asgor is a well-known psychiatrist but is considered a lunatic by everyone in the family because of his actions and hobbies. Dr Asgor applies his academic theory in everyday life such as treating his old father with coffin treatment. He also uses the coffin for meditation. Aly Zaker plays the character with authenticity that it became one of the iconic characters of TV.
Farid Mama (Bohubrihi): "Bohubrihi" is another BTV sitcom, written by Humayun Ahmed. Aly Zaker plays Farid Mama in the series. In an article published on Daily Star magazine, Aly Zaker wrote, "It was a very funny role. Mama was kind of a loony. And, that made the role take off. Till now some of the viewers who saw it on BTV talk about it." Farid mama is an interesting character who is away from the complex of this world and lives in his own bubbles.
Galileo( Galileo): Nagorik Natya Sampradaya's production "Galileo" is based on famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht's play "Life of Galileo." Originally, the play was translated by professor Abdus Selim and directed by thespian Ataur Rahman.
Aly Zaker's close friend and veteran writer Syed Shamsul Haque once said in an interview with The Daily Star, "I would pay to see every show that he played Galileo in." "He can breathe life into any character he plays.