He is well-known for his charming expressions, tender voice and unusual talent for acting in films. His romantic style of acting made him popular as well as controversial. One of his block buster films is Armaan, which was produced by himself, made a pivotal impact on the sub-continental film industry such that the Pakistani film industry was considered as the rising sun after Indian film industry. Armaan made him a superstar overnight and as equal to the Indian film titans such as Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar and Prithviraj Kapoor. Once, in an interview in 1967, he said that Dilip Kumar, too, is not an immortal actor.
waheed Murad started his film career in 1961 as producer of the film Insaan badalta hai. As an actor he was firstly appeared in a supporting role in 1962's Aulad directed by S.M. Yousuf; the film got the Nigar award for the best film for the year. Heera aur pathar in 1964 was his first movie as lead actor and his major breakthrough film. He got the Nigar award in the best actor category for the same film.
In 1966, he acted in and produced Armaan which was directed by Pervaiz Malik. Armaan broke all the box office records at that time and completed 75 weeks in theatres, gave him the status of superstar or perhaps the first superstar of Pakistani films. The film is a romantic and melodious love story. The songs like Koko korina..., Akele na jana..., Betaab ho udhar tum... and Zindagi apni thi ab tak... became extremely popular among the youth esp. among the college girls. He received two Nigar awards for the categories best producer and best actor for the film Armaan. During the same year, he starred in another superhit film Jaag utha insaan with co-star Zeba.
In 1967, he appeared as leading actor in masterpieces like Devar bhabi, Doraha, Insaaniyat and Maan baap. Devar bhabi is considered as one of his best movies and completed 50 weeks in the cinemas. The story of Devar bhabi is based on Indo-Pak's unjust social thoughts and norms. Insaaniyat is also considered as one of his best movies in which he played a role of a dedicated doctor.
From 1964 to 1968, Waheed Murad and Pervaiz Malik made blockbusters like Heera aur pathar, Armaan, Ehsaan, Doraha and Jahan tum wahan hum. The successful combination of Waheed Murad, Pervaiz Malik, Masroor Anwar, Sohail Rana, Ahmed Rushdi and Zeba created a number of successful films. Waheed Murad brought Malik, Anwar and Rana under the umbrella of 'Film Arts'. But in late 1960s, dissension grew between Waheed Murad and other three team members of 'Film Art'. Pervaiz Malik was not happy with Waheed's taking away the credit for all the success of movies and giving little recognition to others. So the Film Arts broke up and Pervaiz Malik started creating his own projects with new actors. A total of seven films, including two films, i.e., Usey dekha usey chaha and Dushman released after a long gap of 6 years in 1974, were produced with the combination of Waheed and Pervaiz. Ladla released in 1968 with a superhit song Socha tha piya na karengy... by renowned poet Kaif Rizvani turned him into a 'playboy hero' even in India.Waheed Murad flirting Shabnam in the song Kuch log rooth kar bhi... in Andleeb, 1969
From 1970 to 1979, many of his films were superhit like Naseeb apna apna and Anjuman in 1970; Neend hamare khuwab tumhare and Mastana mahi (Waheed's first Punjabi film) in 1971; Baharo phool barsao in 1972; Ishq mera naa (Punjabi film) and Shama in 1974; Jab jab phool khiley in 1975; Shabana in 1976; Saheli, Parakh and Khuda aur muhabbat in 1978; and Awaz and Bahan bhai in 1979. Mastana mahi was Waheed's first Punjabi film, which was also produced by him and directed by Iftikhar Khan. Mastana mahi was purely a romantic musical film. Waheed received Nigar award for the best actor for Mastana mahi.
During early 1970s, Zeba, after her marriage with Mohammad Ali, was not allowed to work as heroine with Waheed Murad. Soon Shabnam's husband Robin Ghosh forced her to not work with Waheed. Even Nisho was not allowed to work with him. These were major setbacks for Waheed's career. Most of the top producers offered Waheed secondary roles in their films. In addition, Nadeem was giving him a stiff competition and in fact replaced him as the number one hero of Pakistani film industry in 1970s. So Waheed had been casted by less popular directors and producers and had been given the role of 'stereotypical romantic hero'. Films like Naag Mani (1972), Mastani Mehbooba (1974) , Laila majnu (1974), Izzat (1975), Dilruba (1975), Raaste ka pathar (1976), Mehboob mera mastana (1976), and Naag aur nagan (1976) gave him major setbacks. By late 1970s and early 1980s, Waheed was being casted in supporting roles either with Nadeem or with Mohammad Ali in the films like Parastish (1977), Aadmi (1978), Khuda aur mohabbat (1978), Awaz (1978), Behan Bhai (1979), Wadey ki zanjeer (1979), Raja ki aaye gi barat (1979), Zameer (1980), Badnaam (1980), Gun man (1981), Kiran aur kali (1981), Gherao (1981), Ahat (1982) and Maang meri bhar do (1983). The films Hero (1985) and Zalzala (1987) were released after his death. Films Muqaddar, Aankhon ke taare, Aas paas and Andaaz were either incomplete films or not released by the producers.Hero was the last film of Waheed's life, directed by Iqbal Yousuf. The film was released after almost two years of Waheed's death in 1985. Another Waheed's delayed film Zalzala was released after 4 years of his death in 1987, which was also directed by Iqbal Yousuf. Zalzala did nothing on the box office, however, Hero completed its Silver Jubilee in Karachi.Waheed Murad, in his entire 25-year career, paired with several actresses like Zeba, Shamim Ara, Rani, Naghma, Aaliya, Sangeeta, Kaveeta, Aasia, Shabnam, Deeba, Babra Sharif, Rukhsana, Bahar, and Neelo. He acted in a total of 124 films (2 films were released after his death) of which 38 were black and white and 86 were in colour. He acted in 115 Urdu films, 8 Punjabi films and 1 Pushto film, and earned 32 prestigious film awards including ones for best producer and for best actor.
Waheed Murad produced several films under his father's established 'Film Art'. He was the youngest film producer in the industry at that time. As producer, Waheed Murad was a successful producer. Most of his produced films were either Golden Jubilee or Silver Jubilee. During 1960s and early 1970s, he produced films like Insaan badalta hai (1961) (his first film as producer), Armaan (1966), Ehsaan (1967), Naseeb apna apna (1970) and Mastana mahi (Punjabi film of 1971). However, during his days of struggle, in late 1970s and early 1980s, he produced few films, including his last film Hero (1985).
As director, he had directed and also produced Ishaara (1969) with co-star Deeba. The film failed to achieve the viewers' expectances.Waheed was the first Rock n' Roll dancing star in South Asia. He was famously known as the 'Chocolate Hero' and 'Lady Killer'. His dressing style, the hair style, dialogues and songs used to be liked and followed by people. Waheed's hair cut was very popular among the young and was called the 'Waheed Murad cut'. In his hey days Waheed once went to Saddar area of Karachi in his white car. Realising it was Murad’s car, a group of 30 college girls covered the vehicle with lipstick kisses.He enlivened the silver screen with his extraordinary talent in acting and picturisation esp. in romantic songs. Some of the songs that still turn many nostalgic are Tumhain kaisay bata doon, Kuch log rooth kar bhi, Dil tumko dey diya, Koko korina, Jhoom aye dil wo dera jaan-e-bahar aye ga, Beetay huway khuch din aisay hain tanhai jinhain duhrati hey, Mujhe tum nazar say gira to rahay ho, Yun kho gaiy teray pyar mein hum, Socha tha piyar na karan gain, Khamosh hein nazaray and Aye abre karam aaj itna baras.
Waheed Murad was born on October 2, 1938 in Karachi. He was the only son of the famous Pakistani film distributor Mr. Nisar Murad and Mrs. Shireen Murad. Since childhood he has been given an exposure to famous actors who used to visit his father regularly and inspired him to pursue an acting career. In his childhood, he used to wear a guitar around his neck and was famous as a good dancer among his friends. In his school life he played parts in several plays, which made him more popular. His best friends were Iqbal Yousuf and Pervaiz Malik who joined the same profession Waheed joined and thus remained associated with him for the rest of his life. Waheed passed matriculation in 1954 from the Marie Colaco School, Karachi. Waheed's parents persuaded him to complete his education prior to embarking on a film career. He graduated in arts from S.M. Arts College, Karachi and then completed masters in English literature from the University of Karachi. A strong educational background placed Waheed Murad at an advantage compared to other film producers and actors of his time.
Waheed Murad fell in love with Salma, a daughter of Karachi based industrialist and a MemonIbrahim Maker, when both were in grade nine in Grammar School, Karachi. Their marriage took place on Thursday, September 17, 1964. The wedding ceremony was arranged at Nisar Murad's house in Tariq Road, Karachi. He addressed his wife as Bibi at home. They had two daughters (Aaliya and Sadia) and one son (Adil). Sadia died in infancy and both Waheed Murad and Salma were became inconsolable. However, their two children, Aalia and Adil brought happiness and comfort to their lives.
By late 1970s, Waheed was being casted in supporting roles either with Nadeem or with Mohammad Ali, or being offered by 'B class' film directors. Most of the leading heroines like Zeba, Shabnam and Nisho were not allowed to play lead roles with Waheed by their husbands. The heart-throbing actor Waheed Murad could not take such an ignominious treatment meted out to him by industry, but kept silent and did not seek help from his friends. Pervaiz Malik, who was became an established director and producer by late seventies, wrote in a local newspaper: "Not even once during that time Waheed come to me seeking work in my films." Waheed was becoming depressed. His close friends revealed that he was becoming addicted to alcohol, oral tobacco and sleeping pills. Even his domestic life suffered and his wife Salma left for the United States.
A combination of bad habits and stress caused ulceration in Waheed's stomach in 1981. He suffered from bleeding and had to undergo stomach removal to save his life. His many fans came to the hospital to donate blood to save the life of their favorite hero. Although, he recovered, he lost a significant amount of weight. Even then, Iqbal Akhtar and Iqbal Yousuf, who proved to be real friends in difficult times, cast Waheed Murad in their movies. Waheed appeared pathetic in Dil ney phir yaad keya and Ghairao. Even his loyal admirers felt that it was all over for him.
"Once my film Hero is released, I will recapture my number one position."
However, the keen observers could see that Waheed would be unable to spellbind the public as he did in the past. Only during the singing of Tumhe kaisey bata doun... by Aalamgir in the Silver Jubilee show, Waheed's smiles reflected a shadow of his former self-probably in his mind he was still the young hero 20 years earlier.
Babra Shareef, a top actress of the time, revealed that during filming of a scene of Hero, Waheed lost his balance while walking briskly toward her and fell down. He took several minutes to catch his breath prior to standing up on his feet again.
In July 1983, Waheed was driving his car too fast, one of his favorite hobbies, his car struck a big tree. Waheed had a narrow escape, but was left with a large scar on his face. A few days after the accident, Waheed asked his friend Pervaiz Malik for a role. Malik knowing that Waheed was not ready for an acting assignment said, "Veedu you get better and you will be the lead in my next film." With his still razor-sharp mind , he replied, "You give me the role and I will get better." He was going to Karachi to get the scar fixed in order to complete the last few scenes of Hero when he met the chief editor, Ilyas Rasheedi, of the film magazine 'Nigar' at the airport. Rasheedi wrote in his magazine:
"By chance a famous film producer was also present in the waiting area and Waheed put him on the spot by asking if he had a role for him for Javed Sheikh's father in his movie. The producer had a difficult time dodging Waheed."During the flight Waheed was very bitter. He told Rasheedi that he was reduced to working in a Pushto film produced by Badar Muneer, who used to be his car driver and help him with his household work in the late sixties, and subsequently became a successful movie star.
Waheed's son Aadil was in Karachi staying with his grand mother. A day before his face surgery, Waheed celebrated his birthday. He bought several gifts for Aadil and wished him a happy year. He returned late to spend the night at Anita Ayub's mother Mumtaz Ayub's house. When Waheed did not wake up until late, the door had to be forced open and Waheed was found lying on the floor, dead for several hours. A paan leaf with 'something' in it was found in his mouth. Nobody knows for sure if it was a heart attack or suicide.
he rise and fall of Waheed is quite similar to that of Elvis Presley and analogies have been drawn between these two icons. According to a film critic, Waheed Murad was like Elvis Presley who enjoyed early success, the status of being the most mesmerising personality of his country. He earned great fame and then faced a sudden fall and had an untimely death. Despite hardship later in Waheed's life and suffering such a tragic death, he is born again. His movies are repeatedly shown on film festivals, cinemas and TV and are well received.
Ilyas Rashidi, the founder of Nigar Awards, wrote in his magazine:
"Waheed Murad was a born hero."
Ghulam Mohiuddin, a famous Pakistani film actor, said:
"Waheed Murad was not an individual but he was an era in his own right which ended when he was sidelined by those who took over the industry in the early 1980s, ... he was a great artiste, who recreated the image of a romantic hero. His acting was natural; he had a great deal of musical sense and was matchless when it came to picturising a song."
Lehri, one of the greatest film comedian, said:
"He was a great companion, an unforgettable friend and a humble man so rich in terms of money and fortunes."
Sangeeta, well-known director and actress, said:
"For me, it was a great time when I had been working with him."
In the recent Hollywood film Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, actress Leilah Isaac’s character Sabeen remembers Waheed Murad. Frankie Muniz, reprising his role as Agent Cody Banks, discloses to his cosmopolitan band members that he is a secret agent. To this, a Nigerian boy claims to be Spiderman while another girl calls herself Lara Croft. As the actors associate themselves with their favourite comic book characters, Sabeen says: "And I’m Waheed Murad." This entices all to ask "what?" to which she replies, "Famous Indian actor."
"Waheed Murad was a superb actor and probably one of the best who ever graced Lollywood. His failure in movies was not owing to lack of talent. In fact, he was the most stylish and original actor in Pakistan. He improved the image of industry by shining through their mediocre scripts; they repaid him by contributing to his downfall. Bad luck, his own strong personality and rendezvous with several actresses also ruined him. He, however, still lives on in the hearts of millions of fans. As his daughter Aaliya said, "If Dad knew that he had such a following, he would not have died.