Abdur Razzak, dubbed as the Nayak Raj, passed away on Monday afternoon around 6:15pm at United Hospital at the age of 75.
Dr Shagufta Anwar, the media officer of United Hospital, confirmed the news saying: “He was brought to the hospital at 5:30pm on Monday after having a cardiac arrest. We tried to recover his heart’s normal condition but did not succeed.”
Khalid Hossain Shamrat, the youngest son of Razzak, asked everyone “to pray for his departed soul.”
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday evening expressed deep shock at the death of Nayak Raj.
Soon after the news broke, film artistes and media personalities including Alamgir and Shakib Khan paid visit to the hospital.
Alamgir said: “I feel like I lost my father. Can’t say more at this moment.”
Film director Delwar Jahan Jhantu said: “I would not become ‘Delwar Jahan Jhantu’ if Nayak Raj was not there.”
Followed by his deputure, Badiul Alam Khakon, the president of Bangladesh Film Directors’ Association, has announced a three-day suspension of all kind of filming activities in tribute to him.
In his long-running acting career, spanning more than half a century, Razzak worked in more than 300 Bangla and Urdu films, winning hearts of millions over the years. His tremendous contributions to Bangla cinema has earned him a place of gaurdian to the industry for decades.
The five-time National Award-wining actor has also earned fame as a director. He directed a total of 16 films while his latest project, “Ayna Kahini,” was released in 2016.
Razzak was born on January 23, 1942 at Nagtola in Taliganj of Kolkata. When he was in class VII, he was chosen to play a lead in a stage play, it was a role of rural boy which initiated his long-running acting career.
Before his first standing in front of the camera for the film “Shilalipi,” Razzak worked on stage those days.
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In 1964, he moved to Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) and he got immediate popularity after playing in a TV drama titled “Gharoa” on Pakistan TV. After leaving past some difficulties, he finally made to meet Abdur Jabber Khan, producer of the film “Mukh O Mukhosh” - first Bangla language feature film to be made in East Pakistan. With the help of Jabber Khan, he later got a job at the production house Iqbal Films.
However, acting was his forte and he showed his aptitude by playing a brief role in Salahuddin Productions’ “Tero Number Feku Ostagor.” Later, Razzak got his breakthrough with playing lead in Zahir Raihan’s “Behula” in 1966. Within a short span of time, he became the most popular face in the film industry.
In Zahir Raihan’s last feature film “Jibon Theke Neya” in 1970, Razzak played a rebellious Faruk which symbolises the political protest in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) against the dictatorship of Ayub Khan.
“Jibon Theke Neya” inspired the liberation movements in the land. In an event of February 2017, Razzak recalled how they faced disruptions from the government while filming the film. “We were filming at FDC. All of a sudden, few troops took me and Zahir Raihan to the cantonment. They accused us of making an anti-Pakistani film. Zahir Raihan confronted boldly through his logic, and then we were freed to complete the film.”
Ahmed Zaman Chowdhury, editor of Chitrali, has given the much popularised title of “Nayak Raj” in the mid-way of his career.
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.
He won the hearts of millions through his powerful acting in the film “Rangbaj”. It was first modern action film in Bangladesh. In 1976, he emerged as producer with the film “Akankha”.
As a first Bangladeshi film artiste, Razzak was elected goodwill ambassador of Unicef. He was also the founding president of Bangladesh Film Artistes’ Association.