The year 2017 saw deaths of 11 prominent figures in the realm of art and culture. Below are short profiles of these individuals compiled in order of their time of deaths.
Dhallywood actor Mizu Ahmed, who played villain in over 800 films, died of a heart attack on March 28 at the age of 64.
Born on November 17, 1953 in Kushtia, Mizu Ahmed debuted in Dhallywood with Trishna in 1978. He quickly emerged as one of the most popular actors in a negative role. Some of his notable films are Surrender, Mohanagar, Boshira, Lal Badsha, Mohila Hostel, Big Boss, Hingsha and Protihingsa, among others. He received national film award for his 1992 film Trash.
One of the most popular musicians of the country Lucky Akhand died on April 21 at the age of 61.
Born in 1955 in Old Dhaka, Lucky became enlisted as a music composer of HMV Pakistan when he was barely 14 and a musician of HMV India at 16.
In 1971, he joined Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, a radio station that throughout the liberation war remained engaged in supporting the war against the Pakistan occupation forces and kept up the morale of freedom fighters through patriotic songs.
In the 1980s, Akhand won much fame as a singer, lyricist, composer and music director. He composed many popular songs like Abar Elo Je Sandhya, Ei Neel Manihar, Amay Deko Na, Ke Banshi Bajay Re, Agey Jadi Jantam, Jekhanei Simanta Tomar and others.
Recitation artiste Kazi Arif passed away at the Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan in the United States on April 28 at the age of 65.
Born in Rajbari on October 31, 1952, Arif was brought up in Chittagong.
He took part in liberation war in sector 1. Arif was a celebrated recitation artiste and he released about 17 solo albums including Patroput and Shabdatarjani. Patroput, released in 1980, was the very first recitation album of the country. Besides, he was one of the founding members of Jatiya Kabita Parishad.
Creator of Aparejo Bangla at Dhaka University, Syed Abdullah Khalid died on May 20. Born in Sylhet, Khalid served as a professor at Chittagong University’s fine arts department.
For his brilliant contribution to fine art, Syed Abdullah Khalid received several awards including Shilpakala Academy Award and the Ekushey Padak.
Eminent educationist, researcher and musicologist Karunamaya Goswami died on July 1 at the age of 74. The Ekushey Padak winner, Dr Goswami, also an eminent expert of Tagore and Nazrul, was born in 1943 in Kishoreganj.
He did his PhD under a Bangla Academy scholarship on Nazrul in 1987. The title of the thesis was ‘The Place Kazi Nazrul Islam Occupies in the History of Bengali Art Songs’.
During his lifetime, he did a lot of research work on music including writing a music encyclopedia in Bangla titled ‘Sangeet Kosh’.
His other famous books on music are Bangla Ganer Bibartan, Bangla Gaan Swaralipi-Itihash, Rabindra Sangeet Parikrama, Rabindra Sangeet Swaralipi (in two volumes), Nazrul Geeti Prashanga, Rabindra Natya Sangeet, Abbasuddin, Atul Prasader Gaan, Bangladesher Uchango Sangeet Charcha and others.
Seasoned actor Nazmul Huda Bachchu died on June 27 at the age of 78.
Born in 1938 in Dhaka, Nazmul Huda Bachchu in his illustrious career spanning over four decades played diverse characters in films such as Oggatonama (2016), Runway (2010), Chandra Grahan (2008), Chitra Nodir Pare (1998), Shongkhoneel Karagar (1992), Surjo Dighol Bari (1979), Alongkar (1978) and Sareng Bou (1978).
He used to act in teleplays and drama series.
Nazrul exponent Sudhin Das died on June 28 at the age 87.
Born in Comilla in 1930, Das began his professional music career as a regular Nazrul Sangeet singer at the then Radio Pakistan in 1948.
He started writing notations of Nazrul’s songs in 1976.
In 1965, Nazrul Academy first published a book containing notations of 25 Nazrul songs done by Sudhin. Subsequently, Nazrul Institute published 33 more books on notations of Nazrul’s songs done by him.
Das also wrote notations of many Lalon songs, which were published from Bangla Academy in a number of volumes.
He won many prestigious awards, including Ekushey Padak, in his career spanning over seven decades.
Legendary actor Abdur Razzak, known as ‘Nayak Raj’, died on August 22 at the age of 76.
He was born on January 23 in 1942 at Nagtola in Taliganj of Kolkata, India.
He came to Dhaka in 1964 and took a job at Iqbal Films. Razzak’s first big break in cinema came with his role in Zahir Raihan’s Behula (1966).
Eventually Razzak became the most popular face in the film industry.
In his long and eventful career, Razzak acted in more than 300 films including Abirbhab, Bashori, Etotuku Asha, Nil Akhasher Niche, Je Agune Puri, Moinamothi, Dwip Neva Nai, Sharalipi, Ashikkhit and Chhutir Ghanta.
Later, he made his directorial debut with the film Chanpa Dangar Bou in 1985.
Razzak was awarded Independence Award in 2015. He also received National Film Award for five times in 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984 and 1988.
Renowned singer Abdul Jabbar died on August 31 at the age of 79.
Born on November 7, 1938 in Kushtia, Jabbar began his professional music career as a singer at the then Radio Pakistan in 1958.
He won hearts of the millions for rendering playbacks such as Ore Nil Dariya and Tumi Ki Dekhechha Kabhu.
He also got huge popularity for singing inspirational songs such as Salam Salam Hajar Salam and Banglar Swadhinata Anlo Ke, which used to be aired from the defunct Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. Abdul Jabbar received Ekushey Padak in 1980 and Independence Award in 1996.
Noted singer and flautist Bari Siddiqui died on November 25 at the age of 63.
Born in 1954, Bari took training in classical music. Later he became passionate about flute and trained under eminent classical flautist VG Karnad in Pune, India.
As a flautist, he earned repute performing in many counties including France, Switzerland, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and Singapore.
Ekushey Padak-winning dancer Rahijha Khanam Jhunu, also known as nrityaguru mata, died on Nov 26 at the age of 75.
Born on June 21 in 1943, Jhunu joined Bulbul Lalitakala Academy as a dance teacher and subsequently became its principle. She also served as president of Bangladesh Dance Artistes’ Association.
The artiste received Ekushey Padak in 1990.
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