Legendary actor Abdur Razzak, known as ‘Nayak Raj’ to the country’s film enthusiasts, died aged 76 at United Hospital in the capital on Monday evening.
Razzak, who had been suffering from old-age complications, was brought to the hospital on Monday afternoon as he felt unwell. The doctors could not find his pulse and declared him dead around 6:15pm, said Mushfikur Rahman, president of the directors’ association.
Razzak is survived by wife, four children and countless fans and well-wishers. His sons Bapparaj and Samrat are also popular actors.
President Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and many cabinet members expressed deep shock at the demise of the legendary actor.
Born on January 23
in 1942 at Nagtola in Taliganj of Kolkata, Razzak had a bent for acting from his schooldays and worked on stage in those days.
He first stood in front of the camera for the film Shilalipi. In 1964, he moved to Dhaka and met Abdul Jabbar Khan, maker of the first Bangla talkie Mukh O Mukhosh. He later got a job at the production house Iqbal Films with the help of Jabbar. Razzak’s first big break in cinema came with his role in Zahir Raihan’s Behula (1966).
Eventually, as an actor by passion, Razzak became the most popular face in the film industry.
At the zenith of his career, he got the epithet ‘Nayak Raj’ from Ahmed Zaman Chowdhury, editor of Chitrali. He won the hearts of millions through his powerful acting in the film Rangbaj.
Some of his notable works are Abirbhab, Bashori, Etotuku Asha, Nil Akhasher Niche, Je Agune Puri, Moinamothi, Dwip Neva Nai, Sharalipi, Ashikkhit, Chutir Ghanta and more. In his long and eventful career, Razzak acted in more than 300 films. His film Jiban Theke Niya is still considered as masterpiece of Bangla cinema.
It was the first modern action film in Bangladesh. In 1976, he emerged as producer with the film Akankha.
Later, he made his directorial debut with the film Chanpa Dangar Bou in 1985.
Razzak was made the goodwill ambassador of the Unicef as the first Bangladeshi film artiste. He was also the founding president of Bangladesh Film Artistes’ Association.
Razzak was awarded Independence Award, the highest civilian award of the country in 2015. He also received numerous awards in his career including National Film Award for five times in 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984 and 1988. He was also awarded Indo-Bangla Kala Music Award in 2003, Bachsas Life Time Achievement in 2009 and others.
The sudden death of Razzak awestruck the nation and actors, directors and producers expressed their deepest shock to New Age.
‘I am proud that I have acted in many films with Razzak; he was my costar in 35 films including the classic Ashikkhito,’ said Anjona, invoking those golden days of Bangla film.
‘He was such a helpful man. I will never forget the support I received from him as an artiste. The news of his death has shattered me. There will be no actor like Razzak in Bangladesh again,’ added Anjona.
Noted director-producer Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, who is also president of Bangladesh Film Director’s Association, said that Razzak was his mentor. ‘He loved me very dearly and would keep every request I made to him. I requested him to do a cameo in my film Mon Janena Moner Thikana and he did it only for the sake of his love for me,’ told Gulzar.
Sohanur Rahman Sohan said, ‘Razzak literally built up the film industry of the country. He was like a guardian of the industry and would always be remembered thus. There is no or will never be any alternative to Razzak,’ said Sohan.
Dhallywood superstar Shakib Khan also expressed his shock at Razzak’s demise and said that Razzak would ever be missed.
Noted actor and also president of Bangladesh Film Actor’s Association Misha Soudagar said that Razzak was an idol and his footprints would always be followed by the forthcoming actors.
‘He was a polestar to the industry — a man loved by all and respected by all. He died but his legacy will live on,’ said Misha.
Noted actor Ferdous said that Razzak’s death was unbelievable. ‘I still can’t believe Razzak sir has left us. I had the opportunity to work with him in my film Ek Cup Cha, in which Razzak played a role of a guest star. He was such a dear man. May his soul rest in peace,’ told Ferdous.
‘We have lost Razzak uncle today. May Allah grant him heaven,’ wrote noted actress Moushumi on her Facebook page.
Noted film critic and historian Anupam Hayat said that when Razzak started his film career, there was no film industry in the country like Bombay and Pakistan.
‘Razzak’s commercially successful films paved the way for a full-fledged film industry. He was a true pioneer of the country’s filmdom,’ complimented Hayat.
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